Ethanol Industry Is Losing Clout In Congress as Food Prices Climb

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Thread: Ethanol Industry Is Losing Clout In Congress as Food Prices Climb

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    Ethanol Industry Is Losing Clout In Congress as Food Prices Climb

    WSJ
    By LAUREN ETTER
    October 11, 2007; Page A8

    The stalling ethanol industry wants Congress to mandate greater use of the biofuel. But many of the industry's former friends have turned against it amid soaring prices for corn and other grains.

    Congress gave a big boost to ethanol in 2005, when it mandated that oil refiners blend 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuels such as ethanol into the nation's gasoline supply by 2012. The farm lobby was united behind ethanol as a way to strengthen rural economies. Environmental groups backed it as a way to fight global warming and lessen the nation's dependence on foreign oil. Even the petroleum industry was supportive.

    Since then, dozens of ethanol plants have sprouted around the country, turning corn into fuel. The rise of the industry has helped to boost grain prices and create jobs in farm states.

    But ethanol production today is close to reaching the 7.5-billion-gallon level in the 2005 law. Oversupply has forced down prices and driven some ethanol producers into trouble. Producers and corn farmers are lobbying hard for Congress to boost the requirement anew to ensure that demand can soak up the rising production.

    Opposition to the ethanol industry's goals has grown significantly stiffer. The so-called barnyard lobby -- representing the meat, livestock and poultry industries -- says high corn prices are hurting its profits. The price of corn-based animal feed has increased about 60% since 2005, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    "Our single biggest priority is for Congress to reject a new renewable-fuels mandate," says Jesse Sevcik, vice president of legislative affairs at the American Meat Institute, a meat and poultry trade association.

    Other groups that were originally sympathetic to ethanol are drifting away. They fear that the fuel's advantages are outweighed by the rise in corn prices, which they say increases the cost of foods ranging from steak to cereal. "Many policy makers were seduced by ethanol," says Cal Dooley, president of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. He opposes increasing federal support for ethanol.

    The Renewable Fuels Association, the Washington-based ethanol trade group, disputes that ethanol is the chief culprit for rising food prices. It says higher energy costs are more to blame.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1192..._us_whats_news

    There's more about how various interest groups are lining up on various sides of the issue. I question how much the price of corn is affecting food prices. I've read how much of the cost of a unit of grain-based food (box of corn flakes, loaf of bread) is the grain, and it's not much. So a doubling of corn/bushel wouldn't be felt much in a box of corn flakes, syrup, etc.. It might be more significant in the price of dead cows, aka beef. In any case, it's time to spread the loot around to the various lobbyists in DC instead of the ethanol weasels getting it all. Fast forward 4 years to the next presidential campaign; will all the politicians be so very very in favor of ethanol when the Iowa primary rolls around.

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    Re: Ethanol Industry Is Losing Clout In Congress as Food Prices Climb

    It's about time people start realizing that Ethanol isn't GOD in disguise.

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    Re: Ethanol Industry Is Losing Clout In Congress as Food Prices Climb

    Hey let's starve the world (many 3rd world countries depend on cheap US farm commodoties for food) so fatass Americans can keep driving Tahoes...

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    Re: Ethanol Industry Is Losing Clout In Congress as Food Prices Climb

    I'm sick of people slandering reality.


    Get the switchgrass programs running. Quit trying to make Corn work. Ethanol can work great, just not with corn.

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    Re: Ethanol Industry Is Losing Clout In Congress as Food Prices Climb

    Quote Originally Posted by t-rex
    Hey let's starve the world (many 3rd world countries depend on cheap US farm commodoties for food) so fatass Americans can keep driving Tahoes...
    You mean V-6 Camries, don't you?

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    Re: Ethanol Industry Is Losing Clout In Congress as Food Prices Climb

    Quote Originally Posted by shabodah
    I'm sick of people slandering reality.


    Get the switchgrass programs running. Quit trying to make Corn work. Ethanol can work great, just not with corn.

    1. Eight cellulosic ethanol plants currently are under construction. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent. How is this slandering reality?

    2. This year, corn will produce 6,800,000,000 gallons of ethanol. It will replace nearly 5% of the gasoline Americans consume. Mixing gasoline with corn ethanol lowers the price of the end product and reduces our dependence on foreign oil. Corn is working.

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    Re: Ethanol Industry Is Losing Clout In Congress as Food Prices Climb

    It's about time

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    Re: Ethanol Industry Is Losing Clout In Congress as Food Prices Climb

    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierRon
    1. Eight cellulosic ethanol plants currently are under construction. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent. How is this slandering reality?

    2. This year, corn will produce 6,800,000,000 gallons of ethanol. It will replace nearly 5% of the gasoline Americans consume. Mixing gasoline with corn ethanol lowers the price of the end product and reduces our dependence on foreign oil. Corn is working.
    Corn ethanol is a negative in the USA economy.
    Corn ethanol is heavily subsidized by the government both in the growing of the corn and the final product. Plus it increases the price of food and does nothing to reduce emmissions and saves maybe at best case 1% of the equivalent of the present gasoline usage.


    "Bastiat wrote a parable about this which has become known as the "Broken Window Fallacy." A shopkeeper's window is broken by a vandal. A crowd formed sympathizing with the man. After a while, someone in the crowd suggested that the boy wasn't guilty of vandalism; instead, he was a public benefactor, creating economic benefits for everyone in town. After all, fixing the broken window creates employment for the glazier, who will then buy bread and benefit the baker, who will then buy shoes and benefit the cobbler, and so forth.
    Those are the seen effects of repairing the broken window. What's unseen is what the shopkeeper would have done with the money had the vandal not broken his window. He might have employed the tailor by purchasing a suit. The vandal's breaking his window produced at least two unseen effects. First, it shifted unemployment from the glazier who now has a job to the tailor who doesn't. Second, it reduced the shopkeeper's wealth. Had it not been for the vandalism, the shopkeeper would have had a window and a suit; now he has just a window."

    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/col...iams090705.asp

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    Re: Ethanol Industry Is Losing Clout In Congress as Food Prices Climb

    I still think it is idiotic to burn food for fuel.

    I don't mind ethanol, but, really, pursue other ways. I'm hoping some of the other technologies HoosierRon keeps talking about will take off quickly and we get away from corn based fuel.
    Last edited by prowlerjc; 10-11-2007 at 02:14 PM.

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    Re: Ethanol Industry Is Losing Clout In Congress as Food Prices Climb

    Quote Originally Posted by t-rex
    Hey let's starve the world (many 3rd world countries depend on cheap US farm commodoties for food) so fatass Americans can keep driving Tahoes...
    even 4 cylinder corollas burn foreign fuel
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    Re: Ethanol Industry Is Losing Clout In Congress as Food Prices Climb

    Quote Originally Posted by bluecon
    Corn ethanol is a negative in the USA economy.
    Corn ethanol is heavily subsidized by the government both in the growing of the corn and the final product. Plus it increases the price of food and does nothing to reduce emmissions and saves maybe at best case 1% of the equivalent of the present gasoline usage.


    "Bastiat wrote a parable about this which has become known as the "Broken Window Fallacy." A shopkeeper's window is broken by a vandal. A crowd formed sympathizing with the man. After a while, someone in the crowd suggested that the boy wasn't guilty of vandalism; instead, he was a public benefactor, creating economic benefits for everyone in town. After all, fixing the broken window creates employment for the glazier, who will then buy bread and benefit the baker, who will then buy shoes and benefit the cobbler, and so forth.
    Those are the seen effects of repairing the broken window. What's unseen is what the shopkeeper would have done with the money had the vandal not broken his window. He might have employed the tailor by purchasing a suit. The vandal's breaking his window produced at least two unseen effects. First, it shifted unemployment from the glazier who now has a job to the tailor who doesn't. Second, it reduced the shopkeeper's wealth. Had it not been for the vandalism, the shopkeeper would have had a window and a suit; now he has just a window."

    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/col...iams090705.asp
    Let me guess. Instead of buying a window, the shopkeeper would have bought $84/barrel foreign oil. And then Hugo Chavez would have bought bread from him. Unless the shopkeeper was an Imperialist Yankee, in which case Chavez would have told the shopkeeper that he smelled like sulphur.

    Don't you have some OPEC country you need to go send money to?

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    Re: Ethanol Industry Is Losing Clout In Congress as Food Prices Climb

    I was under the impression that food-grade corn was not being used in the production of ethanol and also that one of the by-products of the ethanol production was livestock feed. Was I mistaken?

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    Re: Ethanol Industry Is Losing Clout In Congress as Food Prices Climb

    Quote Originally Posted by rob2299usa
    I was under the impression that food-grade corn was not being used in the production of ethanol and also that one of the by-products of the ethanol production was livestock feed. Was I mistaken?
    No you were not. But let's not let facts get in the way.

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    Re: Ethanol Industry Is Losing Clout In Congress as Food Prices Climb

    Solution: replace high fructose corn syrup overused in all foods with sugar.

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    Re: Ethanol Industry Is Losing Clout In Congress as Food Prices Climb

    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierRon
    1. Eight cellulosic ethanol plants currently are under construction. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent. How is this slandering reality?

    2. This year, corn will produce 6,800,000,000 gallons of ethanol. It will replace nearly 5% of the gasoline Americans consume. Mixing gasoline with corn ethanol lowers the price of the end product and reduces our dependence on foreign oil. Corn is working.
    EXACTLY! People don't realize that it's not all about the $$$. We can grow as much food as we need, but we are enslaved by the Middle East when it comes to oil. Regardless of price, there are companies researching other natural, American grown resources to make ethanol out of. This is just the beginning of a successful march towards self independence of Non-American energy.

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