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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Ethanol Scam Driving Up Food Prices"

More of the liberal's war on the poor and middle-class. Andrew Morriss writes:
... Ethanol is vastly inferior to gasoline.

Consider these glaring drawbacks: Its energy density is a third lower, reducing cars' emissions. It attracts water, so it cannot be transported in regular gas and oil pipelines, reduces lubricants' effectiveness, and shortens engine lives. It is caustic, corroding engine parts and dislodging contaminants from fuel tanks.

While ethanol doesn't make gasoline cleaner, the more intensive farming and water needs of ethanol refining harm the environment.

Moreover, mandates for ethanol don't enhance national security because production of corn-based ethanol - the main type of ethanol in use in America - requires roughly as much energy as the ethanol contains.

Running tractors, combines and trucks, making fertilizer, and refining corn into ethanol all require energy - mostly from oil and natural gas. If the weather is good, corn ethanol shows a slight energy gain over the fuel used to make it; if not, it might be a net loss. The ethanol mandate just burns money to turn oil and natural gas into corn.

The mandate for corn-based ethanol also drives up food prices. Meeting the 2015 mandate will require using 5.3 billion bushels of corn. As a result of the forced conversion of corn to ethanol, any food containing corn - including pork, beef and ice cream - costs more.

... An inconvenience for wealthy people, rising corn prices are disastrous for the poor, at home and abroad. A Tufts University study estimated that Mexicans paid $1.5 billion more for food from 2006 to 2011.

During 2012's drought, U.S. hog farmers imported corn from Brazil while U.S. corn was being made into ethanol. This is even more ridiculous than it sounds as Brazil is an efficient producer of sugar-cane based ethanol. Because of trade barriers designed to protect the U.S. ethanol industry, farmers were forced to import Brazilian corn instead of Brazilian ethanol.

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