Ethanol From Corn Is Bad Policy, Especially In A Drought

Colin Carter and Henry Miller, Corn for Food, Not Fuel

The drought has now parched about 60 percent of the contiguous 48 states. As a result, global food prices are rising steeply. Corn futures prices on the Chicago exchange have risen about 60 percent since mid-June, hitting record levels, and other grains such as wheat and soybeans are also sharply higher. Livestock and dairy product prices will inevitably follow.

More than one-third of our corn crop is used to feed livestock. Another 13 percent is exported, much of it to feed livestock as well. Another 40 percent is used to produce ethanol. The remainder goes toward food and beverage production.

Previous droughts in the Midwest (most recently in 1988) also resulted in higher food prices, but misguided energy policies are magnifying the effects of the current one. Federal renewable-fuel standards require the blending of 13.2 billion gallons of corn ethanol with gasoline this year. This will require 4.7 billion bushels of corn, 40 percent of this year’s crop.

Other countries seem to have a better grasp of market forces and common sense. […] Our government could learn from the Brazilian approach and direct the E.P.A. to waive a portion of the renewable-fuel standards, thereby directing corn back to the marketplace. Under the law, the E.P.A. would first have to determine that the program was causing economic harm. That’s a no-brainer, given the effects of sharply higher grain prices that are already rippling through the economy.

The price of corn is a critical variable in the world food equation, and food markets are on edge because American corn supplies are plummeting. The combination of the drought and American ethanol policy will lead in many parts of the world to widespread inflation, more hunger, less food security, slower economic growth and political instability, especially in poor countries.


Any defense of the ethanol policy rests on fallacies, primarily these: that ethanol produced from corn makes the United States less dependent on fossil fuels; that ethanol lowers the price of gasoline; that an increase in the percentage of ethanol blended into gasoline increases the overall supply of gasoline; and that ethanol is environmentally friendly and lowers global carbon dioxide emissions.

The ethanol lobby promotes these claims, and many politicians seem intoxicated by them. Corn is indeed a renewable resource, but it has a far lower yield relative to the energy used to produce it than either biodiesel (such as soybean oil) or ethanol from other plants. Ethanol yields about 30 percent less energy per gallon than gasoline, so mileage drops off significantly. Finally, adding ethanol actually raises the price of blended fuel because it is more expensive to transport and handle than gasoline.

But do you hear any of our leaders calling for these sensible policy changes? Not with the energy and agribusiness lobbies throwing money at them.

Well it looks like I was tagged.

Tagged by artifexan, thank you! :3

Rule one: Always post the rules.
Rule two: Answer the questions the person who tagged you asked and write 11 new ones.
Rule three: Tag 11 people and link them to the post.

1) What’s your favourite hobby/pastime?

Tumblr mixed with a few video games. No doubt.

2) What’s one item you’ve always wanted?

A fez.

3) Who’s one person you’d really like to meet?

To be honest, I don’t have one person I’d like to meat. Although I would like to meet some people I’ve known online for years.

4) Greatest strength?

I try to put other peoples priorities before my own whenever possible.

5) Greatest weakness?


6) Do you have a favourite book?

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (sorry not sorry)

7) Do you have a favourite word?

Tastistic. (I just made that word up) 

8) Are you an optimist, pessimist, realist or none of the above?


9) Which season(s) do you like the most?

Spring. I love going outside in spring and seeing the magnificent English countryside, then crossing the road and seeing a huge city.

10) Fictional world you’d most like to visit?

Gallifrey (Who wouldn’t?!?)

11) If you could have one person answer one question truthfully, alive or dead, who would they be and what would you ask?

Wow, that is a though one. I think I would ask Nigel Farage (UKIP Party Leader) why he is such a prickhead.

My Questions:

1) What socks are you wearing?

2) What country would you like to visit?

3) Who is your favorite artist/band and what is your favorite song from them?

4) What fandom(s) do you believe you belong in?

5) Last movie you saw? (As in going to the cinema)

6) If you had the chance to, who would you (dead or alive) go with to your favorite cafe to have tea and biscuits with?

7) Do you have a favorite time/date?

8) Do you think of yourself as a creative person?

9) Who would you ship?

10) Favorite hat?

11) How much sleep do you think you get?

People I tag:

(I don’t have eleven, but oh well)




I am in no way forcing you to do this, so you can dismiss this and go about your daily tumblr browsing if you wish. :p

If you wish to complete this and you haven’t been tagged, feel free! Not a single person is stopping you! (Maybe except satin, he is evvi-)