Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Silly Senators, Corn Is For Food

A new Reason.tv video examines the financial and environmental costs of ethanol

Politicians are going crazy for ethanol, touting it as a cure-all that will reduce both pollution and our dependence on foreign oil. But a new Reason.tv video shows ethanol subsidies are costing taxpayers a massive $8 billion this year and that as much as 60 percent of the increase in world food prices can be blamed on biofuel subsidies.

“Ethanol is bad for taxpayers, bad for the environment, and horrible for the world’s poor,” Nick Gillespie, editor of Reason.tv, declares in the video.

We are paying more for beef, milk, and eggs because the ethanol craze has increased demand for corn, driving up prices and diverting corn that used to go towards food products and feeding livestock. “We are in the midst of a world food crisis. Several million people are on the edge of starvation because we are turning food into fuel. The amount of corn that it takes to produce a 20 gallon tank of ethanol could feed one person for an entire year,” Reason magazine Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey says.

And those far-reaching environmental benefits that politicians promised? It turns out they were wrong. “Ethanol is much worse for the environment than gasoline,” states Bailey. “As some studies suggest, you put more energy into producing ethanol than you get out of it when you burn it.”

9 Comments:

At 8/13/2008 5:44 PM, Blogger Dr. T said...

“Ethanol is much worse for the environment than gasoline...”

But, corn-derived ethanol is highly profitable for midwest agribusinesses (formerly known as farmers) and processing plants. The owners and executives of both donate lots of money to Congressmen. That fact outweighs the negative effects on the economy, the food supply, and the environment. Nothing is more important than ensuring that Congressmen have big campaign chests plus lots of unreported bribes.

 
At 8/13/2008 7:07 PM, Blogger Conservative Scalawag said...

Ethanol is the worst idea, yet they keep touting as the savior of all of us and the environment. They love to use the model of Brazil, who uses primarily ethanol. What the medial bimbos and enviro-nuts forget to mention is, Brazil has a population of 100-some odd million, of which under 10% drive. American has a population of 300-million, of which 40% drive. That is 20 million people. Every body from 16 to 60 drive in this country, with few cities having mass transit,which is a flop in its own right.

So, ethanol is a false hope in this country and always will be. Oil is our only answer, until the market brings something else better to replace it.

 
At 8/14/2008 4:46 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> That is 20 million people

Typo? 120 million.

:oP

 
At 8/14/2008 8:25 AM, Anonymous EJ said...

scalawag,

add to the fact that brazil makes it from sugar, which is more economically viable then corn. theres a reason why we needed to place a tarriff on ethanol imports.

 
At 8/14/2008 1:16 PM, Anonymous QT said...

It takes 5 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of ethanol.to say nothing of the water required for irrigating corn.

With the high price of feedstock, many farmers are choosing to slaughter their livestock thereby assuring the likelihood of higher prices in the future for pork and beef.

Only in Washington could ethanol make sense.

 
At 8/14/2008 1:23 PM, Anonymous QT said...

After you factor in the irrigation, it takes an estimated
1,700 gallons to produce every gallon of ethanol.

 
At 8/14/2008 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The CEO of Tesoro was quoted as saying it takes two gallons of water to produce one gallon of ethanol. What's really shocking are the Michigan radio ads that tout how much corn Michigan has and how they don't have to worry about water either. I am searching for the altruistic motive in that ad that flaunts the use corn and water for fuel when so many know how precious water and corn is.

 
At 8/14/2008 11:40 PM, Anonymous QT said...

There is considerable debate on the amount of water used. Corn yields, however, vary directly with irrigation. From what I have read Nebaska is getting upwards of 200 bushels per acre with irrigation and yields without are about 1/2 that.

 
At 8/19/2008 9:00 AM, Anonymous feeblemind said...

According to the Iowa produced pBS TV show Market to Market, it will cost the average Iowa corn farmer $5.56 to raise a bushel of corn next year. Bottom line is that corn price won't go back down to where it has been historically or no one will be able to grow it.

 

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