The unintended consequences of America’s ethanol policy

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) mandated a steep rise in domestic ethanol production.

The goals were to ease dependency on imported petroleum, cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce fuel costs to motorists. EISA mandated ethanol production to grow from 4.9 billion gallons in 2006 to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Today, at 14 billion gallons, we’re not even half-way there. The unintended consequences of the policy, especially those influencing world food prices, far outweigh the intended benefits.

Houston Chronicle

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3 responses to “The unintended consequences of America’s ethanol policy

  1. “The unintended consequences of the policy, especially those influencing world food prices, far outweigh the intended benefits.”

    Baloney. Because of this baloney:

    “The goals were to ease dependency on imported petroleum, cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce fuel costs to motorists.”

    The intended benefits were to secure
    the votes of midwest corn producing
    states. It has succeeded. The increased
    cost of fuel and the alcohol damage to
    systems is of no consequence to the
    politicians who forced this. In fact,
    they want to double down, boosting
    alcohol content from %10 to 15%.

    World food prices are not a consequence
    to D.C. politicians.

  2. Eric Baumholer

    This ethanol thing started way back when corn was so cheap in the US that farmers could barely stay in business and lots of people actually burned corn grain in their homes (cheaper than firewood and natural gas) to keep warm in the winter.

    Turning corn into ethanol was a godsend for everyone: better farm prices for corn, a ‘solution’ to global warming for the warmists/renewablists/sustainabilists, and less petroleum use for the peak-oilers.

    Now that world demand for corn is surging, farmers don’t need an artificial price boost and warmists/renewablists/sustainabilists have become foodie globalists (as long as it’s not GMO corn). At the same time, the peak-oilers have joined with anti-carbonists and become anti-frackers.

    As far as world food prices go, turning corn into ethanol doesn’t make as much difference as does a surge in demand for corn in developing nations. When they can’t afford to buy food, they are irrelevant to world supplies. Now that they can afford to buy corn, and others in the protest industry playing musical chairs, ethanol is looking less attractive to basically everyone.

  3. Right on both of you. FYI a few years back, Peter Jennings had a story on the evening news about how the greedy American Ag companies were flooding Mexico with cheap corn and putting the native farmers out of business. A few months later, he had another story about how the greedy American Ag companies were using all the corn for ethanol and starving the poor people of Mexico.

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