Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Corn shortage? Let's use more!
A day or two after an unexpectedly low harvest of US corn hit the headlines, the EPA announces that more corn will be dedicated to ethanol production. In upping the share of ethanol that can be added to gasoline, they're laying the groundwork for increased dependence on corn-based fuels. MSNBC describes the list of those opposed to the move as including, "the auto industry, environmentalists, cattle ranchers, food companies, and a broad coalition of other groups." Not very often that all these folks agree! This seems to be a pure sop to the corn belt, since no one else wants this policy, and it's not hard to understand why. Using more corn in our fuel raises prices on all types of meat, which in our society is mostly fed on corn. Also, E-15 (fuel that's 15% ethanol) is apparently harder on engines built for gasoline, whether they be vehicle engines or chainsaws. All this for a dubious to non-existent environmental benefit. At least Google seems to have more foresight than the Feds as far as energy policy!