US ethanol mandate–not man-caused climate change–is causing mass starvation, misery, and instability. But the bankers like it.
11/16/12, “EPA rejects governors’ requests to waive ethanol mandate,” Houston Chronicle, Jennifer Dlouhy
“The Obama administration on Friday rebuffed requests by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and the leaders of several other states to waive a federal renewable fuel mandate that requires ethanol to be blended into the nation’s gasoline supply.
In rejecting the waiver requests, the Environmental Protection Agency effectively disagreed with the states’ concerns that the mandate was spiking corn demand and prices following a drought that devastated crops in the Midwest. The EPA concluded the Renewable Fuel Standard would not cause “severe economic harm” to states and regions.
“We recognize that this year’s drought has created hardship in some sectors of the economy, particularly for livestock producers,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “But our extensive analysis makes clear that congressional requirements for a waiver have not been met and that waiving the RFS will have little, if any, impact.”
his is the second time Perry has lost his bid for a renewable fuel standard exemption. In 2008, the EPA also turned him down.
But this time, Perry was joined by Arkansas, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina and other states in seeking at least a one-year waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Perry had insisted a timeout was needed because otherwise, the cost of groceries and feedstock will be pushed higher as refiners keep buying corn-based ethanol to satisfy the mandate, even though corn yields are down.
Anti-hunger activists note that because the mandate relies on a food-based fuel, it exposes the public to spiking prices whenever yields drop.
Perry spokesman Josh Havens called the decision “another punch in the gut for states’ agricultural economies that have been plagued by skyrocketing feed prices and lingering drought.”
“Congress provided relief from the Renewable Fuel Standard in the form of emergency waivers, yet the EPA continually refuses to accept requests from the states whose economies are being harmed the most,” Havens said. “This denial goes beyond common sense and, unfortunately, every American is going to feel its effects.”
Ethanol producers are the largest purchases of U.S. corn, snapping up 40 percent of the annual crop in 2011-2012 to help meet the mandate that requires refiners to blend a steadily increasing amount of ethanol and other biofuels into the nation’s transportation fuel. This year, refiners have to blend 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol into the nation’s fuel supply; the requirement will climb to 13.8 billion gallons in 2013.
Renewable fuel supporters cheered the EPA’s decision and said the governors were trying to capitalize on concerns about the drought before the mandate starts squeezing refiners….
“Today’s decision means the renewable fuel standard remains strong and stable policy, and our industry can move forward with greater confidence, continuing to invest in new technology to make biofuels production even more efficient,” said Jeff Lautt, CEO of POET, one of the country’s biggest ethanol producers.
But EPA’s decision drew criticism from an unlikely alliance of environmentalists, California livestock producers, refiners and chain restaurants….
Anti-hunger and conservation groups, including the Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth and ActionAid USA, jointly said the decision “should serve as a wake-up call to Congress and the White House that the Renewable Fuel Standard does not protect producers and consumers in times of hardship and must be reformed.”
As many as 100 California dairies could close or go bankrupt this year in part because of the cost of animal food.
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., said the EPA is putting “a flawed policy over the interests of hard-working Americans.” He noted that since June, feed prices have jumped nearly 60 percent.” via Free Republic
8/9/12, “Easing US ethanol mandate would help prevent food crisis-UN,” Reuters
“Global pressure on the United States to relax its ethanol quota mounted on Thursday as the top World Bank food official said an “immediate, temporary suspension” of the mandate could help head off another world food crisis.”…
4/4/2008, “UN chief calls for review of biofuels policy,” UK Guardian, Julian Borger
“Ban Ki-moon speaks out amid global food shortage, 33 countries facing unrest as families go hungry”
“The UN’s own special rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler,
called biofuels “a crime against humanity”,
and called for a five-year moratorium….
The UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, has called for a comprehensive review of the policy on biofuels as a crisis in global food prices – partly caused by the increasing use of crops for energy generation -
- threatens to trigger global instability.”…
3/28/11, “Biofuels Policy May Kill 200,000 Per Year in the Third World,” PR Newswire, Tucson, Ariz.
“U.S. and European policy to increase production of ethanol and other biofuels to displace fossil fuels is supposed to help human health by reducing “global warming.” Instead it has added to the
- global burden of death and disease.”…
Even NY Mayor Bloomberg, a CO2 endangerment profiteer, says ethanol causes mass starvation. A UN official called biofuels a “crime against humanity” in 2008.”
7/4/2008, “Biofuels May Be Even Worse than First Thought,” Der Spiegel
“Biofuels have driven up global food prices by 75 percent, according to the Guardian report, accounting for more than half of the 140 percent jump in price since 2002 of the food examined by the study. The paper claims that the report, completed in April, was not made public in order to avoid embarrassing US President George W. Bush….
“Political leaders seem intent on suppressing and ignoring the strong evidence that biofuels are a major factor in recent food price rises,” Oxfam policy advisor Robert Bailey told the Guardian on Friday….
“It takes at least 2/3 gallon of fossil fuel, by the US Department of Energy’s own figures, to produce one gallon of ethanol.” “It takes about 1,700 gallons of water to produce one gallon of ethanol….Each acre of corn requires 130 pounds of nitrogen and 55 pounds of phosphorous. Increased acreage means increased agricultural runoff that is creating aquatic “dead zones” in our rivers, bays and coastal areas.”…
9/7/12, “Why Do We Burn Our Food?” Hockey Schtick, Carl Brehmer
9/5/12, “Bankers: Ethanol at heart of corn, farm pricing structure,” Reuters
“The facts, they say, show that ethanol is now bolted on to the core of three huge industries: energy, meat and banking.
Farm bankers point to statistics on U.S. wealth and economic health that corn-based ethanol has driven — record-high farmland prices; a rise of some $500 billion in farm assets in the last five years; steady pay-downs of farm debt; a rise in farm assets in 2012 to an estimated $2.5 trillion dollars, based on real land not “paper,” and what those assets mean for U.S. money supply and economic demand.
“Corn can be a national security issue for this country,” said Curt Covington, senior vice president for agricultural and rural banking at Bank of the West, the second largest commercial lender to U.S. farmers. “That’s where we are right now.”"
7/19/12, “Ethanol Added $14.5 Billion to Consumer Motor Fuel Costs in 2011, Study Finds,” GlobalWarming.org, Marlo Lewis
10/28/11, “UK firm’s failed biofuel dream wrecks lives of Tanzania villagers,” UK Guardian, Damian Carrington