Tuesday, May 20, 2008

White House Defends Corn Ethanol

... Corn prices have grown dramatically in recent years, almost tripling since 2005. Along with high prices for other crops, they have been pushed along by the burgeoning biofuels industry as well as rising worldwide demand for food, trade barriers, bad weather in some regions of the world and other international factors.

According to Department of Agriculture economists, higher corn prices increase animal feed and ingredient costs for farmers, ranchers and food manufacturers, but pass through to consumers at a rate less than 10 percent of the corn price change. They say retail food prices would rise less than one percentage point above the normal rate of food price inflation — 2.5 percent — when corn prices increase by 50 percent.

White House economic advisers have said ethanol made from corn is responsible for just 2-3 percent of the overall increase in global food prices, which are up more than 40 percent this year over last year. Opponents say that's still too much.
(ems mine)

Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican, on Monday introduced a bill to freeze the current mandate to produce nine billion gallons of ethanol this year. Energy legislation passed last year would require that 15 billion gallons be produced by 2015.

I think that what will matter in the coming years isn't so much the reality that making corn ethanol is pushing world food prices up only a very little bit.

It is rather the perception on the part of a growing world population that the US will do whatever is in the short term interest of the corporations that have purchased our government. That the US will pollute, use up, and destroy scarce resources no matter the cost, and most especially if that cost is paid by someone - anyone - other than those who directly benefit.

It's called greed.

It will destroy us along with the rest of the world unless we reign it in.

The original story is here

To see a Greenwald vid "War on Greed" and sign a petition, go here


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