Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton DTN Ag Policy Editor

Thursday 02/21/13

Protecting RFS is One Way to Battle Climate Change
Agricultural groups are writing Democratic members of Congress telling them they want to be part of any possible solution regarding how the federal government attacks climate change.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 5:39AM CST 02/21/13 by Chris Clayton | Post a Comment
Comments (12)
See Corn Ethanol: Bad For Farmers, Consumers And The Environment BY-LINE: SCOTT FABER, VICE PRESIDENT OF GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 By driving up the price of food and gas and causing costly engine damage, corn ethanol has been bad news for consumers. And by driving up the price of food, corn ethanol is also costing all of us money � by increasing the cost of federal programs like food stamps and school lunches. But corn ethanol has not just been a disaster for consumers, most farmers, and taxpayers; it�s also been a disaster for the environment � worse, in fact, than Canadian tar sands. That�s according to the Swiss Federal Laboratories, which concluded that biofuels �often shift environmental burdens toward land-use related impacts.� By dramatically raising the price of corn, the federal corn ethanol mandate has, in just the last four years, contributed to the conversion of 23 million acres from wetland and grassland � an area the size of Indiana � to cropland. In fact, thanks to the corn ethanol mandate, we have lost more than wetlands and grasslands in the last four years than in the previous 40. By encouraging farmers to plow up wetlands and grasslands, the mandate is causing more carbon to be released into the atmosphere, consuming more water to irrigate crops, causing more fertilizer to wash off farm fields and destroying more habitat that supports wildlife � and millions of jobs. What�s more, burning corn ethanol in gasoline releases more benzene, a known carcinogen, and other toxic air pollutants that have been linked to asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory ailments. Thanks to new fuel efficiency standards, the rationale for the corn ethanol mandate created in 2005, and expanded in 2007, has evaporated. So why is Congress continuing to force consumers to use a fuel that increases food and gas prices and is bad for the environment and public health? Now is the time to reduce the use of corn ethanol in our gasoline.
Posted by Lon Truly at 6:32AM CST 02/21/13
China just announced it will implement a carbon tax to fight climate change! Great the NFU has taken the stand they have. Let the necons scream and cry, its time to get off the dwindling fossil fuel supply!
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 8:44AM CST 02/21/13
The one thing that would help the world-wide pollution problem is if the US required everything imported into the US to be raised or manufactured adhering to US air and water quality laws.
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 9:23AM CST 02/21/13
Check this out - http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/021513-644725-geoscientists-engineers-dont-believe-in-climate-change.htm#ixzz2LAtp1Qee
Posted by Lon Truly at 9:31AM CST 02/21/13
The Chinese are worried aabout climate change, give me a break. They are going to have a carbon tax, Oboma must green with envy. Maybe Oboma can team up with them they seem to have lot in common. The only are concerned about one thing, keeping 1.4 billion citizens employed and peacefully quiet revolution sucks.
Posted by GORDON KEYES at 10:42AM CST 02/21/13
Here is a good site not supported by oil or ethanol money, on the facts and fiction of ethanol. http://www.farmecon.com/Pages/EthanolAFactandFiction.aspx by Dr. Thomas E. Elam. We don't need to, and with the drought and population growth we shouldn't use farm land to grow fuel. There are better options, for energy like,Safe, new, nuclear- http://www.terrapower.com, that Bill Gates promotes, and could be tied with http://www.airfuelsynthesis.com/ and also produce carbon free energy for electric cars. Also, /www.proterro.com/ that makes the sucrose instead of extracting it, lowering the cost of sugar for the economical and scalable production of biofuels. We really should support and fast track these options for a cleaner, healthier planet, and for the best future for America and the world. But the RFS mandates takes away resources(money, research) and stifles better options by forcing us to use billions of gallons, of corn ethanol and other land source energy. I know the National corn growers association will not let the corn ethanol mandate end with out a fight.But we need to make the best and wisest choices. The highly respected OECD said. "The rush to energy crops threatens to cause food shortages and damage to biodiversity with limited benefits â?¦ Government policies supporting and protecting domestic production of biofuels are inefficient [and] not cost effective â?¦ The current push to expand the use of biofuels is creating unsustainable tensions that will disrupt markets without generating significant environmental benefits â?¦ Governments should cease creating new mandates for biofuels and investigate ways to phase them out." - Richard Doornbosch and Ronald Steenblik, "Biofuels: Is the Cure Worse Than the Disease?" in Round Table on Sustainable Development (OECD, Sep 11-12, 2007).
Posted by stan s at 12:44PM CST 02/21/13
Do you people who comment ever get tired of saying the same old thing?
Posted by DAN ALLEN at 7:30PM CST 02/21/13
How about this, Dan. If the 65% overweight would eat less and exercise more to lose weight. America would reduce health ins. cost, reduce the wasted energy to produce food, reduce the wasted energy by walking instead of riding, drive slower when one does drive for better mileage, therefore solve much of the alledged global carbon issue. We would all live happily ever-after.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 6:14AM CST 02/22/13
Bonnie, your solution involves nearly everyone - that's why it will never work. Much easier to point fingers at someone else and say, "you suffer so I don't have to".
Posted by Curt Zingula at 7:10AM CST 02/22/13
Kind of a catch 22 Curt, but that is what is needed. Those riding in a majic carpet, abusing the earth, extracting rare earths to implement the concept. Driving 100 miles or more in the guzzeler to shop for what they could wait for or do without, while pointing their finger at the others. Flying to another country for a weekend off. The government should consider taxing waste. How about $1.00 tax on plastic bags, water bottles and cardboard boxes? But I am sure groups with kissing beaks would would flock to D.C. looking for exemptions at the feeder and chirping to have a voice in the defining of the term, "waste". Thanks for picking up on the concept.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 9:32AM CST 02/22/13
A carbon tax would cut waste Bonnie,,, glad you see that!
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 11:02AM CST 02/24/13
There are too many people oblivious and in denial of their own direct and indirect contribution, for that to work, Jay.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 1:10PM CST 02/24/13
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