Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More on Moronic Ethanol

The Wall Street Journal's editorial page is about 80% utter right wing craziness. That is a shame, because the Journal is an otherwise excellent newspaper, and occasionally even the the Opinion Page contains something intelligent. An example is an editorial today about the costs of ethanol. Besides the taxpayer subsidy of $.45 per gallon to the industry, the editorial points out:

The Congressional Budget Office reported last month that Americans pay another surcharge for ethanol in higher food prices. CBO estimates that from April 2007 to April 2008 "the increased use of ethanol accounted for about 10 percent to 15 percent of the rise in food prices." Ethanol raises food prices because millions of acres of farmland and three billion bushels of corn were diverted to ethanol from food production. Americans spend about $1.1 trillion a year on food, so in 2007 the ethanol subsidy cost families between $5.5 billion and $8.8 billion in higher grocery bills.

A second study -- by the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Transportation and Air Quality -- explains that the reduction in CO2 emissions from burning ethanol are minimal and maybe negative. Making ethanol requires new land from clearing forest and grasslands that would otherwise sequester carbon emissions. "As with petroleum based fuels," the report concludes: "GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions are associated with the conversion and combustion of bio-fuels and every year they are produced GHG emissions could be released through time if new acres are needed to produce corn or other crops for biofuels."

So the question is, do the corn farmers in this country have photos of everyone in Congress in bed with a 14 year old and a goat? How else to explain our farm policy

1 comment:

ClaireWalter said...

No, silly. The picture is of esteemed statesmen, each one frolicking with a 16-year-old male page. No animals were harmed. On each bedside table is a Bible autographed by Ted Haggard.