EPA, Not Enough Damage To Limit Corn Ethanol

Using corn-based ethanol as a fuel alternative has not accomplished what the ‘experts’ thought it would do. What it has done so far is to drive up the price of corn-based products world-wide. You’ve seen this in the grocery store in higher prices. Corn has gone from $2 per bushel to $8 per bushel, hitting the poor people in Central and South America especially hard.  It has caused the United Nations to complain that they can no longer feed the poor that they used to, let alone expand their aid program to feed the world’s hungry. It has also depressed the cattle and poultry industries, and any industry that uses corn as food, whether for people or animals.

Texas governor Rick Perry, (R-TX) puts it this way, ‘we do not want to be forced to choose between fueling our cars and feeding our families.’  In his state, higher corn prices are . . .

devastating the livestock industry to the point that Texas cattle feeders have been operating in the red since 2007.

Even our largest agriculture companies are taking a hit. Pilgrim’s Pride and Smithfield both posted huge losses this past year. Tyson’s bonds were downgraded. And New Way Pork, Texas’s largest independent pork producer, has been driven out of business by feed costs that have risen 50% since 2004.

In an effort to stop the bleeding, Gov. Perry asked the EPA to cut the grain-based ethanol mandate in half for one year.

Last Thursday, the EPA announced it was denying my request. Why? Because the agency’s agriculture and energy economists said the mandates are not causing sufficient damage to warrant action.

The EPA didn’t say how much damage to the economy they were hoping for.  But one thing is clear. Using food products for fuel is a huge mistake.

Perry says . . .

Supporters of the ethanol mandate have their hearts in the right place if they want to diversify this nation’s fuel supply. But artificially propping up an industry to the detriment of the vast majority of Americans is bad policy. And that’s what this mandate does.There are many sources of renewable energy in addition to corn-based ethanol. It is time America took steps to develop the technology to make use of these sources.

Only a bureaucracy like the EPA can argue with that. Time has come to inject this agency with a good dose of common sense.

related links:Texas Is Fed Up With Corn EthanolUnited Nations Warns Of Food Fight | New Study Recommends Against Burning Biofuels to Solve Global Warming