Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Corn-A-Holing You Again!!

You like the way your car runs?

Work on remembering it. For that matter, work on remembering the price of food these days.

The Environmental Protection Agency wants to dump more corn into your fuel tank this summer, and it's going to cost more than you think.
The agency is expected to approve a request from 52 ethanol producers known collectively as "Growth Energy" to boost existing requirements that gasoline contain 10 percent ethanol to 15 percent.

...Ethanol's environmental credentials are further weakened by its inefficiency as a fuel. Higher ethanol concentration will reduce the gas mileage of America's cars across the board by 5.3 percent. In addition to the pain that adds at the pump, repair bills will mount when engines not designed to handle 15 percent ethanol run lean and suffer increased wear and misfires. Because vehicle warranties specifically exclude damage from the use of unapproved fuels, the additional price for this boondoggle will fall on drivers.

That's hardly the worst of it.

Even those who do not own automobiles will begin to feel the pinch as more and more farm land is shifted towards taking advantage of government-subsidized ethanol production instead of food. Groups as diverse as the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Chicken Council and the American Meat Institute realize that this policy is distorting the market for food prices.

According to the University of Missouri's Farm and Policy Research Institute, the ethanol tax credit increases corn prices by 18 cents a barrel, wheat by 15 cents and soybeans by 28 cents. That means higher prices for most food items at the grocery store and restaurants.

While that's bad enough, it is even worse in countries which depend more on corn than the US. Mexico, for example.

But, as was famously said during the DDT hearings when it was pointed out that banning DDT would lead to increased malaria in SouthEast Asia, 'So what? They're just little brown people.'

HT: AmSpecBlog

1 comment:

steveegg said...

There's more than one way to skyrocket the sales of Government Motors vehicles, which if memory serves, has the largest percentage of "flex-fuel" vehicles as part of its lineup.