Emerald Isle - With fewer farmers growing corn for food, and growing more for fuel, the price of basic items is going up. Prices on staples, such as flour, are headed upwards, as many farmers try to cash in on the new Ethanol wave. However, average folks are seeing fewer benefits.
Additionally, your gas mileage falls when using ethanol, according to the following article.
Check out this editorial here in the Carteret News-Times or read it, below.
A Democrat victory in November would only make the situation worse.
It's not enough that the commie-libs all want us to drive battery powered cars, they also want us to drive cars fueled by food. This blogger is sticking with her two small SUVs, thank you very much. For what it's worth, her husband still has a sedan.
Once again alarmists and politicians who say the fate of the world rests precariously in the hands of greedy capitalists and their oversized carbon footprints have found new ways to make life worse for average Americans and those less fortunate.
As the push for alternative energy sources drives the cost of food to all-time highs, those concerned about the environment may not be getting what they bargained for.
Grain prices, particularly corn, have skyrocketed in recent months, due in part to the increased demand of ethanol producers who are turning corn into fuel. The effects on all grain prices are being seen worldwide, and Carteret County is no exception.
Last week, as News-Times business editor Mark Hibbs reported, Val Montesano, owner of Luigi’s Pizza in the Cypress Bay shopping center, Morehead City, said soaring flour costs are cutting deeply into profits.
Hesitant to raise prices, he said his cost for flour has quadrupled in recent months, that the cost of a 50-pound bag has steadily climbed from about $8.50 last year to $32, with most of the increase in the past few weeks. Another jump, he said, to $45 is predicted and consumers are being hit hard.
“Some pizza restaurants don’t care. They’re just going to raise prices,” said Mr. Montesano. “When it hits $45 (for 50 pounds), we’re going to have to go up a dollar on a pizza or a quarter per slice to compensate for that.”
This is just the tip of the ethanol iceberg. A bushel of corn produces 2.7 gallons of ethanol. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that by 2010, the country’s ethanol production will need 2.6 billion bushels per year or 1.2 billion bushels more than it consumed in 2005.
Federal mandates now require more ethanol usage in gasoline so more ethanol plants are being built. That has helped farmers, but environmentalists aren’t happy, as one might expect.
Thousands of farmers are taking their fields out of the government’s biggest land preservation program, which pays them not to cultivate, says The New York Times, adding, conservationists say they stand to lose decades of work to protect birds and other species.
With 35 million acres in the Conservation Reserve Program — about 8% of the nation’s cropland — about half of the five million acres protected in the program, and up for renewal last fall, are now being cultivated for ethanol because the profits from growing grain far exceed the rents paid in taxpayer dollars to members of the program. In the meantime, livestock farmers, ethanol producers, restaurateurs and bakers face skyrocketing grain costs and find themselves at odds with environmental and hunting groups.
“We’re in a crisis here. Do we want to eat or do we want to worry about the birds?” asked J.R. Paterakis, a Baltimore baker quoted by the Times, whose business is now in peril.
What positive trade-offs are there for these soaring costs? They don’t include energy efficiency or cleaner air.
Compared to gasoline, fuel mileage from ethanol drops about 20%, and energy used to grow and transport the corn and refine it into ethanol makes its value as an alternative fuel negligible.
A recent study shows the cumulative energy expended in corn and ethanol production amounts to six times the energy the finished product provides.
How does this solve America’s energy problem? It doesn’t, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that consumers feel the pain of their energy consumption because that’s what global warming scaremongers want.
A Democratic victory in November’s presidential race will make the problem worse, especially if Sen. Barack Obama is elected. He seeks to mandate that all new vehicles be dual fueled by the end of 2012. His goals include the introduction of 2 billion gallons of ethanol by 2013 and 60 billion gallons by 2030.
With about 22 billion bushels of corn going to biofuel production at that level, 2030 could be a very bad year for fans of hush puppies and breaded seafood. Start saving now.
Editor's Note: The above editorial appeared in the April 11, 2008 edition of the Carteret New-Times.