Congress must revisit the federal mandate requiring the diversion of foodstuffs for production of bio-fuels. These “food-to-fuel” mandates were meant to move America toward energy independence and mitigate global climate change.
Former Vice President, Albert Gore Jr. was correct. “The science is settled.” Recent data completely refutes the political hoax called man-made global warming. The entire program has been based upon a false premise.
Clearly, the majority of the federal government’s ideas and legislation are followed by unintended consequence.
The evidence irrefutably demonstrates once again that federal law lead to a failed policy. Congressional mandates are not delivering on either goal. In fact, it is causing environmental harm and contributing to a growing global food crisis.
Without continued government subsidies the entire program would never be economically viable.
Food-to-fuel mandates were created with good intention. The hope of using American-grown crops to fuel our cars seemed like a win-win-win scenario: Our farmers would enjoy the benefit of crop-price stability.
Having a new domestic energy source would enhance our national security. A cleaner fuel would protect our environment. But the likelihood of these outcomes was never seriously tested, and new evidence has shown that the justifications for these mandates were inaccurate.
Increased agricultural production also means increased fertilizer use. The National Academy of Sciences reported that meeting the congressional food-to-fuel mandate by 2022 would lead to a 10 to 19 percent increase in the size of the Gulf of Mexico’s “dead zone;” an area so polluted by fertilizer runoff that no aquatic life can survive there.
This report was issued well before the current crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, which may very well be the biggest man caused ecologic catastrophe in U.S. history.
Meanwhile, the mandates are not reducing our dependence on foreign oil. In 2008, the United States burned about a quarter of its national corn supply as fuel; and this led to only a 1 percent reduction in the country’s oil consumption.
Turning one-fourth of our corn into fuel is affecting global food prices. U.S. food prices are rising at twice the rate of inflation, hitting the pocketbooks of lower-income Americans, many living in Santa Ana, CA and people living on fixed incomes.
Congress took a big chance on bio-fuels that, unfortunately, has not worked out. Let’s learn the appropriate lessons from this setback, and act to mitigate the damage and set upon a new course that holds greater promise for future.
Random thoughts while observing the continuing national charade, I’m J.C.