Letter Re: Thanks to Congress, Ethanol and Biofuel Mandates Cause Food Prices to Soar

You may have noted the article titled Thanks to Congress, Ethanol and Biofuel Mandates Cause Food Prices to Soar, before and I missed it.

The article [by Dana Joel Gattuso a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research–a conservative think tank] is very interesting. I can’t vouch for the veracity of the report, or the organization, however, it doesn’t do anything to lessen my fears that any congressional involvement in the energy business only makes things worse.

Here are a few scary quotes from the article:

” …ethanol requires enormous quantities of water, a valuable resource already in short supply in many areas of the nation. Producing one gallon of ethanol fuel, including the water needed to grow corn, requires an astonishing 1,700 gallons of water, according to Cornell University ecology professor David Pimentel.”

“Yet Washington remains fixated on biofuels, ironically furthering our dependence on foreign oil. Government’s selection of ethanol as the chosen source of fuel discourages refiners from expanding capacity. Since ethanol can’t come close to meeting U.S. demand for fuel – turning our entire corn crop to fuel production would only replace 12 percent of our current gasoline consumption – we dangerously risk increasing our reliance on imports.”

None of this will matter, of course, when Congress acts on the energy bill. As is the way of the world in the nation’s capital, the powerful agribusiness and ethanol interests will trump science, and Congress will turn a blind eye to the poor’s struggle against soaring food prices.” – Bill P.