Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"EPA rejects suspension of corn-based ethanol mandate" Christian Science Monitor

"Although about two dozen academics and scientists had testified for the waiver, it was opposed by the National Corn Growers Association.

Corn prices have quadrupled since 2005 as ethanol production has soared in response to the mandate. The trade group pointed out that the income of corn growers nationally had risen almost 50 percent since 2007, when the law took effect.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Congress should permanently waive the ethanol mandate"

"... Environmentalist groups that once supported the use of ethanol are now arguing that once accounting for land use conversion, the use of fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides, as well as the fossil fuels used for production and distribution, biofuel production has had unforeseen environmental consequences.
World hunger organizations have been especially critical of the mandate, arguing that diverting food to fuel increases corn prices. Corn is a staple product for many developing countries and is feed for livestock, so price spikes can have dramatically rippling effects."

Monday, November 19, 2012

"EPA Denial of Ethanol Mandate Waiver Will Hurt Farmers and Consumers" Environmental Working Group

“This 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. Its reliance on mandates for food-based fuel – namely corn ethanol – exposes us to spiking prices whenever yields drop because of drought or other severe weather. The skyrocketing cost of animal feed will force 100 of California’s dairies out of business by year’s end. Overall food prices are expected to rise by as much as 4 percent in the coming months, with even greater increases for meat, poultry, milk and eggs. These mandates have also spurred the conversion of 23 million acres of environmentally sensitive wetlands and grasslands – an area the size of Indiana – to row crops, mostly corn. "

"Consumers can expect higher prices with latest EPA rejection of states requests"

"This time around the Barack Obama administration is even rejecting a United Nations leader who insists EPA should suspend ethanol requirements as food shortages grow around the globe."

"The EPA vs. State Economics" National Review Online

"However, the EPA stacked the decks against petitioners, establishing a burden of proof that was virtually impossible to meet. Indeed, the agency’s August 30 Request for Comment telegraphed the decision Jackson reached on Friday. The EPA stated petitioners would have to show that the “RFS itself” was the cause of severe harm, not merely a “contributing” factor. In addition, petitioners would have to show that waiving the RFS would be a “remedy” for the hardship facing livestock producers.

These criteria are ridiculous. The Clean Air Act does not require the EPA to don analytical blinkers and ignore other factors that, in combination with the RFS, cause severe harm, nor does it say that any waiver granted must be a silver bullet."

"EPA Denies Request to Waive Ethanol Mandate for Gas" Wall Street Journal

"The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday it is moving forward with a mandate for corn ethanol in gasoline, denying requests to waive the requirement following a drought that pushed up corn prices."

"We are extremely frustrated and discouraged that EPA chose to ignore the clear economic argument from tens of thousands of family farmers and livestock and poultry producers," a coalition of agriculture groups said Friday."

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"E.P.A Upholds Federal Mandate for Ethanol in Gasoline" New York Times

"Several environmental groups are also opposed to the ethanol requirement, saying that corn ethanol production is not clean energy. “If the worst U.S. drought in more than 50 years and skyrocketing food prices are not enough to make E.P.A. act, it falls to Congress to provide relief from our senseless federal support for corn ethanol,” Michal Rosenoer, a biofuels specialist at Friends of the Earth, said in a statement. She said the mandate was “exacerbating our economic and environmental problems.” "

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"U.S. agency says near decision on ethanol mandate" Reuters

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday that it will soon have a decision on whether to waive the mandate that requires blending billions of gallons of corn-based ethanol into the national gas supply each year.
"EPA is completing its review and analysis of the RFS waiver requests and the agency plans to reach a decision shortly," an agency spokeswoman said, referring to the ethanol mandate or Renewable Fuel Standards.
Aimed at reducing U.S. reliance on foreign oil, the RFS requires 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol to be made from corn this year.
In August, several governors asked the EPA to temporarily waive the mandate on ethanol because the worst drought in 50 years has driven corn prices higher and hurt livestock producers who depend on the grain for feed. Forty percent of the U.S. corn crop is used to make ethanol.
A decision on the waiver is expected by the end of the month.
In 2008, EPA denied a request from Texas to relax the mandate during a period of surging corn prices. Ethanol trade groups say they expect the same ruling this time.
(Reporting By Patrick Rucker; editing by Carol Bishopric)"

Monday, October 29, 2012

"The Ethanol Election Delay" Wall Street Journal

"This sentiment did not trickle down to the EPA, which is less concerned with feeding the world than feeding the ethanol lobby and buying Farm Belt electoral votes. The EPA will now rule on the hunger issue post-election."

Monday, October 15, 2012

"UK must push world into tackling food crisis by making biofuels history" Alert Net

"Clare Coffey, Policy Advisor at ActionAid UK said: "UK Agriculture Secretary Owen Paterson should rally his fellow ministers from around the world into ditching damaging biofuel mandates.

"It is within our power to eliminate one of the chief drivers of global food price hikes. We must protect the world's poorest and put food before fuel once and for all," Coffey added."

"Food scarcity: the timebomb setting nation against nation" The Guardian

 "Food is the new oil and land is the new gold,"  (Lester Brown)
"Brown has been backed by an Oxfam report released last week. It calculated that the land sold or leased to richer countries and speculators in the last decade could have grown enough food to feed a billion people – almost exactly the number of malnourished people in the world today. Nearly 60% of global land deals in the last decade have been to grow crops that can be used for biofuels, says Oxfam."

"EPA may slash use of ethanol in gasoline as corn crop wilts" NBC news (The Bottom Line)

"the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast a sharp decline in farm grain output predicting next year’s global corn stockpiles will 5.4 percent – to the lowest levels in 39 years.  The USDA warned that only 23 percent of American corn crop yields are in “good” or “excellent” shape compared with 70 percent last year.
That sent prices for corn spiraling upward.  Hatch and others are hoping that by at least reducing the potential demand for corn stocks for fuel use demand prices may level off – which could, in turn, prevent a spiral driving up overall U.S. inflation rates."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New report by Timothy A. Wise (Tufts University) and ActionAid

"It is clear that
the promotion of biofuels by the US, the EU and
other countries has played a major role in creating the
food crisis. Without decisive action on the part of
these global actors to eliminate mandates and
incentives that encourage the unsustainable
production of industrial biofuels, the crisis will
continue with no end in sight."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"US corn ethanol fuels food crisis in developing countries"

Timothy A Wise is the Policy Research Director, Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University, Medford. OP-ED

"The US and other Northern governments can stop fuelling the food crisis with reckless biofuels expansion. The US can waive the RFS mandates to allow tight markets to adjust in a year of drought. It can join the European Union in reconsidering its mandates. It can halt the increase in blending targets to 15 per cent.

On World Food Day, October 16, the FAO will convene an emergency meeting on the food crisis in Rome. Disgracefully, the G-20 group of economically powerful nations declined to convene its own emergency meeting, with a US spokesperson saying that "agricultural commodity markets are functioning".

Global leaders should take a strong stand in Rome against biofuels expansion, endorse the use of food reserves to cushion markets in times of drought, demand rules to end financial speculation on food commodities and restrict the land grabs that are driven largely by global demand for biofuels.

It's time we put food before fuel and people before cars."

Monday, October 8, 2012

"Biofuels and the food that’s going up in smoke" The Telegraph

"The competition drives up food prices – it has been partly responsible for recent abrupt increases that have driven scores of millions into hunger – and has helped stimulate a spate of land-grabbing in the Third World. Oxfam reported this week that an area of land eight times the size of the UK had been sold off over the past decade – and that two thirds of the deals appear to have been struck for the growing of biofuels. Often small farmers are thrown off the land, to join the destitute and hungry. "

"Standoff at Pump Over New Fuel: Ethanol Lobby vs. Station Owners" Wall Street Journal

"The U.S. ethanol industry's latest push to expand is off to a slow start, with many gas-station owners wary about a new gasoline blend containing 15% ethanol."

"The push-and-pull over E15 is part of a wider debate over using corn-based ethanol as motor fuel, a discussion that attracted renewed focus this summer when a drought drove up corn prices to record levels, pinching livestock producers that use corn in feed. Several states in August asked the EPA to waive the federal mandate that calls for using increasing amounts of ethanol in gasoline."

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"Can Riots Be Predicted? Experts Watch Food Prices" NPR

"While the drought is causing the current spike in food prices, prices have also been on a steady, long-term trajectory upward. So what's behind that trend? NECSI's model has fingered two key suspects: speculation and the conversion of corn to ethanol. (More on that later.) Even without the drought, Bar-Yam says, food prices were headed toward the riot zone by early next year."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"EU starting to see sense on biofuels" ActionAid

“This is big news as it’s the first time that the EU has explicitly acknowledged that using food as fuel can cause problems.
We’re glad that the EU has finally recognised what we have been pointing out for years – that diverting agricultural resources from producing food to produce fuel will inevitably lead to food insecurity and food price volatility.
But we’re concerned that including 5% of biofuels in European transport fuel is still too high.
We’ve already seen land grabs for biofuels in countries such as Kenya and Tanzania which have involved European companies, and we’ve taken these cases to European decision-makers.
But it’s not just a European problem. We’ve also highlighted problems with bio-ethanol production in the US driving up global corn prices and how even the champion of biofuels producers – Brazil – is violating people’s rights in their quest to profit from increased global biofuels demand.”

"The Hunger Grains" Oxfam International

"This paper shows how concerns about land and food rights around the world, both major campaigning priorities for Oxfam, are closely linked to EU biofuel mandates."

"It is completely unacceptable that we are burning food in our petrol tanks while poor families go hungry and millions are being pushed off their land. EU governments have it within their power to make a difference to the lives of millions of hungry people. It’s time to scrap EU biofuel mandates."

Monday, September 17, 2012


"Renewable Fuel Standard, Ethanol Use and Corn Prices" Heritage Foundation

"Ethanol production in the U.S. consumes a significant quantity of corn and has a large impact on corn prices. We believe that ethanol production increases the world corn price by up to 68 percent. Since some corn would likely go to ethanol production with or without a federal mandate, the mandate’s price impact is likely less than 68 percent. One estimate puts the price impact as low as 8 percent.
However, the direction of the impact is clear: The ethanol mandate increases corn prices and the prices of food and products that use corn as an input. Since the impact of the mandate is bad in any case, it is not redeemed by arguing that the bad impact might be a small bad impact.
Waiving the mandate is a good idea. Eliminating it is a better one."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

"World Hunger, the Problem Left Behind" New York Times

"... the United States government should stop subsidizing its own corn-based biofuels, mainly ethanol. Today, about 40 percent of America’s field corn goes into biofuels, thanks to a subsidy and regulatory policy dating from 2005. With virtual unanimity, experts condemn these subsidies as driving up food prices, damaging land use and costing the taxpayers money. Once the energy costs of producing the biofuels are taken into account, it doesn’t even appear that this policy helps slow climate change. It has become a form of crony capitalism, at great global expense. "

Friday, September 14, 2012

"Obama Should Waive the Ethanol Mandate" On Energy (

"We hoped it would be possible for President Obama to reject this harmful policy. After all, the renewable fuels standard was passed by the Bush administration, and it is opposed by environmental and antipoverty groups—groups that are usually his allies. As the international antipoverty group ActionAid USA said, "It is time to rethink ethanol mandates that ensure that cars eat before people."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"France seeks pause on biofuels competing with food" CNBC

" France will call for a pause in the development of biofuels competing with food at both international and European level in a bid to avoid crisis prompted by surging grain prices.

"(France) will push for a pause in the development of biofuels competing with food," a government spokeswoman said after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Biofuels are made mostly of grains and oilseeds whose prices have reached record highs this year due to droughts in the U.S. Midwest and the Black Sea region, prompting global alarm over the potential for a food crisis of the kind seen in 2007/08."

Reuters "Exclusive: EU to limit use of crop-based biofuels - draft law"

 "The European Union will impose a limit on the use of crop-based biofuels over fears they are less climate-friendly than initially thought and compete with food production, draft EU legislation seen by Reuters showed."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How to comment to the EPA on request for an ethanol mandate waiver...

Ethanol Mandate Waiver: Decks Stacked Against Petitioners

"In the EPA’s Request for Comment on the 2012 waiver petitions, the agency indicates it will use the same “analytical approach” and “legal interpretation” on the basis of which Johnson denied Perry’s request in 2008. This means the regulatory decks are stacked against the petitioners. As the EPA reads the statute, CAA Section 211(o)(7) establishes a burden of proof that is nearly impossible for petitioners to meet. No matter how high corn prices get, or how serious the associated economic harm, the EPA will have ready-made excuses not to waive the corn-ethanol blending requirements."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ed Rendell's failed "future of Pennsylvania energy" in the news again.

Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell’s “future of Pennsylvania energy”,  a $270 million ethanol plant in Clearfield, Pennsylvania that was subsidized by the state “with $27 million in grants and loans and by issuing $67 million in tax-free bonds” (Philadelphia Inquirer 8/28/2011), went bankrupt. Pennsylvania Grain Processing, that bought the failed Clearfield ethanol plant at the “fire sale” price of only $9.35 million, is requesting more of Pennsylvania tax payer’s money for the same ethanol plant!
This is happening as Governors, meat producers, environmentalists, global food security advocates, and academics are all calling for waiving the ethanol mandate to stop food insecurity/inflation and environmental destruction.

"Virginia Governor McDonnell Asks EPA for Ethanol Waiver" BloombergBussinessweek

"Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to suspend the nation’s ethanol requirement, citing high grain prices.
McDonnell follows lawmakers from both political parties who have called for a suspension of the mandate in the wake of the worst U.S. drought in 56 years, prompting the U.S. Agriculture Department to reduce its forecast for this year’s corn crop to 10.779 billion bushels.
The governors of North Carolina, Arkansas, Maryland, Texas, Delaware and Georgia have asked the Obama administration to halt the law, which requires refiners to use 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol this year and 13.8 billion in 2013."

"In Drought, Should Corn Be Food or Fuel?" NPR

"Jason Hill is a professor of bioproducts and biosystems engineering at the University of Minnesota. He says while roughly half of nation's corn supply this year will go to producing ethanol, that ethanol will make up only between 5 and 6 percent of the nation's fuel consumption. "So [it has a] very large impact on our corn market, a very small impact on our fuel market," he says."

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"California law eliminates ethanol funding" Western Farm Press

"On Monday, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 523 by Assemblyman David G. Valadao into law. AB 523 eliminates all future state funding for the production of ethanol derived from corn after July 2013. "

Sunday, August 26, 2012

"Burning corn in a famine: The obscenity of the corn ethanol mandate" Washington Times

"The federal mandate that was instituted during the George W. Bush administration could claim as much as 40 percent of this year’s plummeting corn crop for fuel as this historic drought worsens.
The 2012 law calls for 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol to be combined with gasoline. The expected corn harvest is estimated at 14 billion bushels, but due to the drought, it could be far less.
Politics will determine where the corn ends up. There are calls for the mandate to be lifted for now, but we can’t underestimate the power of the special interests which look out for their own interests, not for ours."

Read more: Burning corn in a famine: The obscenity of the corn ethanol mandate | Washington Times Communities

Friday, August 24, 2012

"Romney's Energy Plan" Wall Street Journal

"The "independence" trope always polls well, but it is also dangerous because it opens the political field to rent-seeking dreams. Any energy source that can be sold as making the U.S. more "independent" is therefore a candidate for corporate welfare, and Mr. Romney's blueprint proves the point by endorsing the corn ethanol mandate."

Thursday, August 23, 2012

"US Ethanol Requirements Could Cause a Global Food Crisis" The Take Away with John Hockenberry

Listen to interview with  Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam.....

"Researcher says rising corn prices could spark global food riots" PRI Public Radio International

"To avoid future global unrest, Bar-Yam says the U.S. government should reduce the ethanol mandate by at least half this year to help boost the world's food supply.

Bar-Yam admits its not an easy decision to make in the middle of an election year. Iowa, the largest ethanol-producer in the country, is also a swing state. Farmers there make more money as a result of the ethanol mandate than they would otherwise. But Bar-Yam says self-interest has no place in today's world.

"If we are concerned only about our own interests, we will suffer the consequences because our world is a connected world and we are all involved in the same system," he said."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Georgia, New Mexico join call for end to US ethanol rule" Reuters

" Two U.S. states that depend on the livestock industry are adding their voices to a string of states asking Washington to ease pressure on corn prices by suspending rules that send a large share of the crop to produce ethanol."

"Study: U.S. could put a big dent in food prices by relaxing ethanol rules" Washington Post

" A new paper (pdf) out from three agricultural economists at Purdue University finds that even a partial relaxation of the mandate could reduce corn prices by up to 20 percent next year."

"EPA seeks input on ethanol mandate waiver requests" Reuters

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday said it has begun weighing requests to suspend the U.S. ethanol mandate, which requires refiners to blend ethanol into gasoline, and is seeking public feedback."

"The EPA asked on Monday for public comment on the need for an ethanol waiver. The 30-day comment period will begin once the notice is published in the Federal Register."

Saturday, August 18, 2012

"Fuel Fight at the D.C. Circuit" Wall Street Journal

"The battle over ethanol came to a federal appeals court today, with prominent conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh saying the Environmental Protection Agency “ran roughshod” over the law when it permitted fuel refiners to bring gasoline blended with 15% ethanol onto the market.
Unfortunately for the petroleum industry, the food industry and a host of others who dislike E15 fuel, Judge Kavanaugh couldn’t persuade his two colleagues on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to reach the merits of the issue. Instead, Judge David Sentelle and Judge David Tatel ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the case."

Friday, August 17, 2012

"Experts warn of long-term climate change impacts on food" The Hills E2Wire

"The U.N. and global leaders have paid particular attention in recent weeks to U.S. biofuels policy as drought ravages corn supplies. They say the country needs to free up more of its corn for food to combat rising prices that heavily affect poor nations.
The United States, a major international corn exporter, reserves 40 percent of its corn acreage for biofuels production. U.S. corn has hit record highs of above $8 per bushel this summer.

"Region and nation brace for drought-driven rise in food prices" Philadelphia Inquirer

"Anticipating an imminent shortage of the grain that is integral to the production of meat, milk, and eggs - and, increasingly, fuel because of the ethanol mandate for gasoline - traders have sent the price of corn surging as much as 50 percent this summer.

Worries about rising prices for food and fuel at a time when individual income growth is weak could be trouble for the U.S. economy, which has failed to hit its stride. The drought could also be a wild card in the presidential election."

"Crop Damage Sparks Fuel Verus Food Debate" National Geographic (Tim Profeta of Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University)

"In Drought, a Debate Over Quota for Ethanol" New York Times

"The meat industry, backed by several governors, lawmakers and even international food agencies, argues that the quota has distorted grain markets by sucking up corn when ranchers can least afford it. "

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"How Ethanol Causes Joblessness" Wall Street Journal

"The MIT paper also documents the many ways in which the Iowa State authors mangle the basic economics of the oil industry, and it concludes that using better models suggests that the causal effects of ethanol on gas prices are "near zero and statistically insignificant." Something to remember when you see that next TV ad pushing ethanol as a free lunch."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"EPA should relax ethanol mandate" San Antonio Express-News

"The Environmental Protection Agency has the ability to issue waivers from the ethanol mandate under unusual circumstances. The drought and record corn prices qualify, and everyone from Texas ranchers to the director of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization is calling for the EPA to do just that."

Read more:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Examiner Editorial: To protect ethanol, Obama seeks to inflate meat prices" Washington Examiner

"Obama could solve this problem instantly by suspending the federal ethanol mandate -- something his EPA actually can do unilaterally and legally. Instead, Obama will buy up meat -- a move that meat producers say won't help them much anyway. "It doesn't solve the problem of having enough affordable corn next summer," industry analyst Steve Meyer told Reuters. "Without changing the ethanol program, nothing can be done," he said."

"But even environmentalists rejected ethanol long ago, when scientists established that it actually increases carbon and smog emissions."

"Arkansas, N.Carolina aks EPA to waive ethanol mandate" Reuters

"The governors of North Carolina and Arkansas joined two of their Northeast peers on Tuesday in asking the federal government to temporarily suspend the ethanol quota, piling pressure on President Barack Obama to make a tough choice months before the election."

"Jan Psaki, an Obama campaign spokeswoman, said the president, who campaigned in Iowa on Tuesday, has been a strong supporter of ethanol and cellulosic ethanol, which one day could be made in commercial levels from non-food crops.
"He absolutely believes in it, he thinks it's a driver of the economy here and a key component of renewable energy," Psaki told reporters before news broke of the new requests."

"Drought could emerge as sleeper issue in the presidential race" Chicago Sun-Times

"While voters are not blaming a political party for the drought, the shortage of corn and rising prices has triggered a debate over whether federal subsidies for ethanol should be suspended.
Under federal renewable fuel rules, gasoline producers in the U.S. are supposed to have 9 percent of the product made from ethanol. In normal times, that takes about 40 percent of the corn crop, keeping prices high — artificially so, some argue, because of the mandate. A political issue could develop over whether this should be continued during the drought emergency.
Asked about possible ethanol waivers, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said at the Friday briefing, “Well, I would simply say that the EPA, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, is looking at this.”"

"Global Food Crisis May Hit Us ‘Very Soon,’ IFPRI’s Fan Says" Bloomberg Businessweek

"Governments must act to prevent the crisis, Shenggen Fan, director-general of the institute, said today. The U.S. should end its biofuel program that uses 40 percent of its corn output, to boost supplies to meat producers, Fan said. The Washington- based institute, supported by governments and international organizations, is part of the Agricultural Market Information System formed by the United Nations to monitor food costs.
“The major problem is policy,” Fan said today in an interview with Susan Li on Bloomberg Television’s “First Up”. “Biofuel production has to be stopped. That actually pushed global food prices higher and many poor people, particularly women and children, have suffered.” "

"UPDATE 5-World powers eye emergency food meeting; action doubted" Reuter

"Instead, it must intervene through influence, perhaps urging
the United States to relax its ethanol policy in response to the
crisis - difficult only months before a presidential election
that may be won or lost in Midwest farm states - or urging
Russia not to impose an export ban, as it did two years ago."

" The United States uses 40 percent of its corn crop to
produce ethanol, drawing criticism for using food for fuel when
hunger is widespread in some poorer countries."

" The European Commission has also faced extensive criticism
of its biofuel policy for using land otherwise devoted to food
crops. Scientists have also argued that the policy fails to
achieve its environmental goals. "

" Charity Oxfam is among the groups campaigning for ministers
to agree on beginning to abolish mandates and targets for
biofuel production both in the EU and in the United States.
    "In 2011, 11 intergovernmental agencies produced a report to
the G20 where it unequivocally said there was a link between
increasing biofuels production and food price rises and
recommended quite clearly that biofuels mandates and targets
should be scrapped," said Hannah Stoddart, head of economic
justice at Oxfam Great Britain."

"G20 Plans Response to Rising Food Prices" CNBC

"G20 countries are to step in to try and co-ordinate a response to surging food prices, after the worst US drought in half a century devastated crops in the world’s largest agricultural exporter."

"The UN is likely to use the meeting to push for a global debate about biofuel policies, particularly asking the US, the EU and other countries to scrap government-mandated production targets."

"Arif Husain, deputy head of vulnerability assessment at the World Food Programme in Rome, said: “This is the third price shock in the last five years.”

Monday, August 13, 2012

"Drought crop damage worsens, ethanol waiver urged" CNBC

"Hours after the Department of Agriculture said the corn yield would likely fall to its lowest since 1995, worse than forecast, the governors of two poultry-producing states asked the Obama administration to waive the ethanol requirement, the first formal request for relief.

Pressure is also building internationally, as poorer countries bear a larger burden of rising food costs. The top United Nations food official, José Graziano da Silva, wrote in the Financial Times that an "immediate, temporary suspension" of the mandate could help head off another world food crisis.
Bill Lapp, president of Advanced Economic Solutions, said U.S. food inflation would reach 4.5 percent next year, adding about $30 billion to domestic costs.

"Globally it's a much more direct impact, a more immediate impact," he said. "A greater deal of the food consumption is done without further processing so you can have a much more dramatic impact in global prices. That's what's compelling the United Nations to ask for some relief on the biofuel mandates."

"Vilsack fears farm aid will be ‘embroiled’ in tax, sequester fight" The Hill

“As American consumers continue to cope with a period of pro-longed economic turmoil, and U.S. food, beverage and consumer products makers from farm to fork struggle with record high commodity prices, we believe it is EPA’s duty to grant a waiver for the applicable volume of corn ethanol required by the RFS,” states a letter to EPA Friday from over two-dozen food industry groups.

Groups signing the letter include the American Bakers Association, the American Beverage Association, the American Dairy Products Institute, the American Feed Industry Association, the American Frozen Food Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and the National Restaurant Association."

Saturday, August 11, 2012

"Obama administration looking at ethanol rules, as drought spurs corn prices" Washington Post

ETHANOL is the one environmental issue that all political ideologies agree is globally problematic.

(See today's Wall Street Journal article "Ethanol vs.The World"

Enchanting Ethanol is a fun adventurous eco-screenplay that people of all political persuasions will love.

The screenplay, Enchanting Ethanol, is all about a community finding out that green is not always green. Veronica and Nick buy a dilapidated cottage in an enchanting Chesapeake Bay community. They imagine spending their weekends hanging on the beach with their two little kids, watching wildlife and drinking beer. But their dream is interrupted when a phony green investor, in cahoots with the local trash mafia, sees the community as an easy target for an ethanol plant.

The phony environmentalists envision collecting green government subsidies, when the local bumpkins greet the ethanol plant with open arms, but they are surprised. In a comedic series of town hall meetings, the proud local stewards of the environmentally fragile Chesapeake Bay area are tough and resourceful. This is not some preachy documentary. This is kid-centered adventure that features Veronica and Nick’s young family. Things become dangerous when their boy, enthralled with a bottle picturing a one-eyed man he believes to be a pirate, takes that bottle that contains stolen cellulose-eating beetles. The gun-totting trash mafia who own the stolen beetles, they hope to use to produce ethanol, hunt down the family while they are hiking. As the family runs the tension builds each time the bottle which is in the boys backpack is bumped, for if the beetles escape all the Bay woodlands and marshes could be eaten by the bugs. The quirky locals rescue the family and, to protect the Chesapeake Bay, expose the ethanol scam.


"In 2007 and 2008, food prices spiked, resulting in much higher U.S. grocery bills and far more hunger in the poorest countries as the global supply chain buckled. The world may now be on the cusp of a 2012 reprise amid the drought in the Midwest farm belt, the worst in 50 years. Luckily, there are plenty of simple, modest things Washington can do to alleviate and even prevent another crisis.
The problem is that these fixes are opposed by a minor industry that adds little if any value to the economy, even counting its prodigious Beltway operations. Yup, the ethanol lobby strikes again. It can't succeed without a mandate that forces consumers to buy its product every time they fill up the tank, and if the resulting corn shortages drive food prices up in a way that punishes consumers around the world, so be it."

"Natural disasters can't be controlled. Ethanol is a man-made disaster that could be stopped if the EPA or others in Washington cared for human health as much as they do power politics."

Friday, August 10, 2012

"Ethanol: How government is making your food more expensive" Washington Examiner

"Common sense tells you that if you burns food for fuel, eventually you will run out of food. Now, thanks to another clumsy government intrusion, both food and fuel will rise in upcoming months."

"Two governors ask US to forego use of corn ethanol in fuel" Reuters

"Asked whether President Barack Obama was considering an exemption to the ethanol requirement, White House Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters, "The EPA, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, is looking at this. I don't have a statement one way or the other predicting what the experts are going to say."

"Dismal crop forecast fuels ethanol battle" The Hill's E2-Wire

"“If the U.S. only produces 10.8 billion bushels of corn and 5 billion bushels still goes to make ethanol, a shrinking percentage of corn is left for food and feed. It is time to rethink ethanol mandates that ensure that cars eat before people,” Marie Brill, senior policy analyst with international anti-poverty group ActionAid USA, said in a statement Friday. "

" A United Nations official said Friday that the country must suspend biofuels production to soften the blow the drought is dealing corn supplies. He said that could help restore some stability to international food prices."

"Bills in both chambers would also alter the RFS. Some would let states opt out of meeting the corn ethanol target; another pair of bills would let EPA revise the quota when corn supplies are low; and others would end the RFS altogether."

"Ethanol Waiver Might Not Crack Corn" Wall Street Journal

"Christina McGlone-Hahn, head of agriculture research at Deutsche Bank, says that unless the Environmental Protection Agency outright bans the use of corn for ethanol, it will take time for high prices to destroy demand from refiners. "It seems the weakest link will be the livestock sector—meaning they will ration first," she writes. Animal feed and residual use account for 38% of the projected corn crop.
Regardless of the mandate, therefore, high corn prices could mean busy slaughterhouses rather than idled refineries."

Thursday, August 9, 2012

"As food prices spike, how close in the world to another crisis?" Washington Post

 ”World leaders must snap out of their lazy complacency and realize the time of cheap food has long gone,” said Oxfam’s Colin Roche in a statement. He argues, among other things, that the U.S. and E.U. should scrap their biofuels programs that divert food for fuel and should also start preparing more forcefully for climate change, which is expected to increase the frequency of drought and could provoke similar food price spikes in the years ahead."

"UN urges US to cut ethanol production" CNN

"The UN has called for an immediate suspension of government-mandated US ethanol production, adding to pressure on Barack Obama to address the food-versus-fuel debate in the run-up to presidential elections."

"Easing U.S. ethanol mandate would help prevent food crisis: U.N." 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.
As the surge in corn prices revives a fierce food versus fuel debate, José Graziano da Silva, the director-general of the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization, wrote in the Financial Times newspaper that competition for a U.S. corn crop that has been decimated by drought was only going to intensify.
"Much of the reduced crop will be claimed by biofuel production in line with U.S. federal mandates, leaving even less for food and feed markets," he wrote in an op-ed just a day before the U.S. government issues a pivotal crop report that is expected to show U.S. corn output falling to the smallest in six years and stockpiles at near record lows."

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"Drought threatens world food price rises" euronews

"Some experts want to lessen the emphasis on producing ethanol. Corn to make biofuel, by its very definition, ends up feeding cars and not people."

"US Drought Affecting Global Food Security" Voice of America

“Here in the U.S., biofuel uses probably 30 percent of U.S. corn. And considering [the] very high maize price right now, it would be very wise to stop using maize or corn for biofuel production. The U.S. right now has a mandate for ethanol content in fuel. I think it should be very, very wise for [the] U.S. to stop doing that. And Europe should also stop doing that as well,” he said." ( Shenggen Fan, head of the International Food Policy Research Institute)

"The Silver Lining in the Drought" New York Times OP-ED

"The relentless promotion of corn-based ethanol through state quotas and federal subsidies must also be relaxed. The fact that the energy content of a gallon of corn-based ethanol is only slightly more than the energy required to produce it has always made the environmental argument for these programs dubious."

Monday, August 6, 2012

REPORT "Cereal Secrets: The world’s largest grain traders and global agriculture" (BIOFUELS PAGE 44)

"The four big commodity traders – Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus, collectively referred to as „the ABCD companies. – are dominant traders of grain globally and central to the modern agri-food system. This report considers the ABCDs in relation to several global issues pressing on agriculture: the „financialization. of both commodity trade and agricultural production; the emergence of global competitors to the ABCDs, in particular from Asia; and some of the implications of large-scale industrial biofuels, a sector in which the ABCDs are closely involved. The report includes a discussion of how smallholders in developing countries are affected by these changes, and highlights some development policy implications, given the importance of the ABCD firms in shaping the world of food and agriculture. The report highlights the ways in which these four firms are decisive actors in the global restructuring of the overlapping food, feed, and fuel complexes that is now under way, and considers how the firms are evolving as they respond to and shape the new pressures and opportunities in the modern agri-food system."

"Congress’s wrongheaded approach to drought relief" Washington Post

"The broader lesson is that dictating a certain level of ethanol usage from Washington was bound to distort markets for food, land and energy. Federal mandates enrich the ethanol business and those who supply it, at the expense of all competing uses for cropland, water and capital. For all that, the environmental benefits are modest at best. When this crisis passes, Congress will still have work to do reforming the unwise system it created."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

"Food or fuel?" Baltimore Sun

"While we have had our differences with the poultry industry and their views on the EPA and the enforcement of Clean Water Act standards on poultry litter disposal, they are right on target on ethanol.",0,5879939.story

"We are teetering on the brink of another global food crisis" The Guardian

"Biofuels – which last year swallowed almost 40% of the US maize harvest – have also been highlighted as part of the problem. In the US, pressure is growing to abandon targets for biofuels in car fuel. Livestock farmers are warning they won't be able to afford to feed their animals."

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Lawmakers urge EPA to lower ethanol target amid drought" The Hill

"A bipartisan group of 135 lawmakers signed a letter Wednesday asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to adjust a rule that requires corn ethanol production for transportation fuel. "

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

U.S. Meat Producers "Call For Pause In Ethanol Quotas In Wake Of Drought" Environment360

"Amid a severe drought, does it still make sense to use corn for fuel?" WashingtonPost

"Regardless of the numbers, biofuels mandates are coming under increasing scrutiny. Last year, the World Trade Organization called on governments to pare back their ethanol laws, saying that they had increased food volatility around the world. Some scientists have argued that corn-based ethanol can actually be worse for the environment than gasoline if they indirectly drive deforestation. (Biofuels that are made from non-foodstuffs, such as algae, are still not yet viable.)
And some members of Congress have criticized government support for ethanol as an undue form of corporate welfare. This year, for the first time in three decades, Congress allowed a tax credit for ethanol production to expire. The credit was worth $6 billion in 2011. At the time, the ethanol industry didn’t put up much of a fight to preserve the credit—after all, the renewable fuel standard would ensure a continued market for their products.
But now even that standard is starting to come under attack. Earlier this week in the House, Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Jim Costa (D-Calif.) introduced a bill, supported by the livestock industry, that would relax the ethanol mandate by up to 50 percent when supplies are low."

"US farmers urge Obama administration to suspend ethanol quota amid drought" The Guardian

"The Obama administration was urged on Monday to stop diverting grain to gas amid warnings of an "imminent food crisis" caused by America's drought. "

"WRAPUP 1-US drought spurs ethanol push-back; World Bank watchful" Reuters

"We cannot allow short-term food price spikes to have damaging long-term consequences for the world's most poor and vulnerable," World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement. "The World Bank and our partners are monitoring this situation closely so we can help governments put policies in place to help people better cope."

"Corn for Food, Not Fuel" Op-Ed New York Times

"The price of corn is a critical variable in the world food equation, and food markets are on edge because American corn supplies are plummeting. The combination of the drought and American ethanol policy will lead in many parts of the world to widespread inflation, more hunger, less food security, slower economic growth and political instability, especially in poor countries. "

"Any defense of the ethanol policy rests on fallacies, primarily these: that ethanol produced from corn makes the United States less dependent on fossil fuels; that ethanol lowers the price of gasoline; that an increase in the percentage of ethanol blended into gasoline increases the overall supply of gasoline; and that ethanol is environmentally friendly and lowers global carbon dioxide emissions. "

Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Groups battle over request from ranchers to ease ethanol rule" The Hill

"Interest groups on both sides of the corn ethanol debate are stepping up their messaging on an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that lawmakers have targeted in recent weeks."

"Petition to waive ethanol mandate may come next week" Reuters

"The Coming Food Crisis: Blame Ethanol?" Forbes

"A series of spikes in global food prices resulted in riots in 2008 and contributed to violent uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East in 2011. The culprit is a matter of considerable and frequently heated debate, but the most commonly cited candidates include market speculators, global warming and aggressive government renewable fuel mandates."

New England Complex Systems Institute UPDATE July 2012 — The Food Crises: The US Drought

“Here we provide a second update, evaluating the effects of the current drought on global food prices. We find that the drought may trigger the expected third food price bubble to occur sooner, before new limits to speculation are scheduled to take effect. Reducing the amount of corn that is being converted to ethanol may address the immediate crisis.”

Friday, July 27, 2012

Africa: Are We Facing Another Global Food Price Crisis? Rob Bailey allAfrica

"In these circumstances the world is only one or two bad harvests away from another global crisis, and biofuel mandates appear increasingly hard to justify."

"The Ethanol Mandate Is Worse Than The Drought" Pope Wall Street Journal

"The nation's corn crop is in a state of crisis. We can't control drought. But we can and must address the impact of politics on corn supplies and prices by taking steps to ease the pressure and help prevent food inflation: We can waive the ethanol mandate now, and then work on a longer-term plan."

"Food vs. Fuel and the Midwest Drought" Geoffrey Styles theenergycollective

" vs. fuel quickly boils down to a debate over the tangible benefits of corn-based ethanol as a fuel.  There's growing evidence that those benefits have been oversold, despite industry claims."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

"In Drought-Stricken Midwest, It's Fodder Vs. Fuel" NPR

"As the drought continues to afflict the nation's corn belt, hog and chicken farmers are competing with ethanol factories for scarce and increasingly expensive corn. Meat producers say it's not a fair competition, because government rules call for a minimum level of ethanol production, no matter what the cost. They're campaigning for a suspension of those rules."

"Food prices to rise in California amid drought elsewhere" LA Times

"A persistent drought compounds a problem already besetting farmers, they and agriculture economists said. About a third of the country's corn is diverted to produce ethanol under federal renewable energy standards. Ethanol production already had driven up the price of corn in recent years.

"The ethanol policy is a bad idea because the impacts of a drought are much more severe than it used to be," said Colin Carter, a UC Davis agriculture economist.",LA0,7229769.story

"Put a damper on Congress’s drought drama" Washington Post

"And before Congress rushes through the farm bill, it’s worth reflecting on all the ways existing policies worsen the drought’s impact. More corn would be available for animals if not for federal ethanol mandates. One reason for drought- and flood-related crop losses is that federally subsidized crop insurance encourages farmers to cultivate marginal land and engage in other risky practices, knowing that taxpayers will, in effect, bail them out. Both the House and Senate versions of the farm bill would increase subsidized crop insurance, thus accentuating this moral hazard. "

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"Big Oil sues EPA over cellulosic biofuels mandate"

"A bill introduced this week in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Jim Costa (D-Calif.) would cut the RFS by as much as 50 percent if corn surplus stocks fall below certain levels."

...Steve Ring: Drought should spur debate on ethanol.

"Food prices will go up. The real question is will there be enough food to go around the world? What happens if this isn’t a one-year event? What are our contingency plans? Sadly, there don’t seem to be any.  We are at the early stages of liquidation of cows and hogs. Once this continues to escalate, there won’t be a quick recovery due to the costs and time necessary to start livestock operations back up.
Burning food for fuel has always been a poor policy, in my opinion. Let’s see what type of knee-jerk reaction we get next. Remember Rahm Emanuel’s famous “Never let a crisis go to waste”? This one could be one of the current administration’s toughest yet. When will they recognize it?"

"Upper Midwest sees forecast of rain, but enough?"

"U.S. crops are suffering from the worst drought in more than 50 years, which is raising worries about the world's largest food exporter's ability to meet the needs of food processors, livestock producers and ethanol makers."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"US Drought Could Spell Another Global Food Crisis" Mother Jones

"America's drought threatens a recurrence of the 2008 global food crisis, when soaring prices set off riots and unrest to parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, food experts warn."

RAHN: Irrational infatuation with biofuels

"People in poor countries spend as much as three-quarters of their income on food, so a rise in food prices can cause real misery and near starvation. Low-income people in the United States also spend a much higher percentage of their income on food, and a rise in food prices causes them more misery than the more affluent."

"So when you turn on your TV news and see very hungry people in poor countries, food riots in Europe and the Middle East, and Americans getting upset and suffering from high food prices and unnecessarily high energy prices, you should remember that the real villains in this global tragedy are the members of Congress and politicians in other countries who voted for these insane policies."

"When Drought Strikes, Should U.S. Policy Endanger Hungry People?" Marlo Lewis

" No matter how much of the U.S. corn crop is ruined by drought, no matter how high corn prices get, no matter how many people in developing countries are imperiled, the RFS requires that billions of bushels of corn be used to fuel cars rather than feed livestock and people. This is crazy."

EDITORIAL: Biofuel mandate worsens drought’s effect---Washington Times

"Washington’s ethanol mandate is hitting Americans in the breadbasket. The worst drought in a half-century is withering cornfields across the heartland while Uncle Sam stubbornly insists American corn be turned into billions of gallons of this unnecessary fuel additive. The result is higher food prices in an already struggling economy. Unless the government can make it rain, Congress should uproot the ethanol mandate."

"Appeals court tosses out ethanol policy challenge" Captial Press

"The meat industry groups had filed a legal complaint against the EPA because the agency adopted a looser emissions standard for which ethanol plants qualify for renewable fuel credits."

"Citing drought, livestock groups push bill to limit production of ethanol" The Hill E2Wire

“If the drought situation continues to get worse, you’re going to continue to see this conversation elevated in Washington,” she continued. “It’s really getting to be a scary situation out in the Midwest.”

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

"The Biofuels Disaster" Canada Free Press

"You would have thought that after the UN referred to biofuels as a “crime against humanity” there might have been at least a pause for thought. It seems, however, that pork barrel politics can win out over pretty much anything and the headlong rush to reduce the supply of food and to increase the supply of ethanol continues unabated."

Drought, Climate Change, Corn Prices, Ethanol and Biofuels--Forbes

"If we can’t do the sensible and logical thing of abandoning them altogether perhaps we could at least be humanitarian and suspend them in times of bad harvests?"

Friday, July 20, 2012

"Record cereal prices stoke fears of global food crisis" TheGuardian

"On Wednesday, the US agriculture secretary pushed corn prices even higher when he said the situation was not bad enough to warrant a reduction in government quotas for biofuels, specifically ethanol, which is typically made from corn and is a factor in keeping prices high.

Ruth Kelly, Oxfam's food policy adviser, said: "The toxic combination of a heatwave in the US, which is decimating corn harvests, and the unwavering global demand for biofuels, is again pushing the price of basic food stuffs higher and higher."

"Spreading drought fuels growing attack on ethanol mandate" Lincoln Journal Star

"Tensions continued to mount at the national level Thursday between livestock producers and ethanol producers as they watched the 2012 corn supply shrink almost by the hour in a rapidly spreading and deepening drought."

"Mud-Slinging Enters Debate Over Ethanol’s Impact on Gasoline Prices" NYTimes

"As Drought Kills Corn, Farmers Fight Over Ethanol" Dan Charles NPR

"The real battle, he says, will be fought over ethanol production next year. If the drought continues, and corn prices rise even more, gasoline companies won't want to buy that expensive ethanol, and livestock producers will be fighting for their survival. And the EPA will face intense pressures to cut the safety net for ethanol producers. It is expected to announce its ethanol requirements for 2013 in November."

FarmEcon LLC "The RFS, Fuel and Food Prices, and the Need for Statutory Flexibility"

"Current U.S. biofuels policy contains escalating corn-based ethanol blending requirements (the Renewable Fuel Standard - or RFS) that do not automatically adjust to energy and corn market realities. That same policy contains cellulosic ethanol requirements that do not reflect the fact that the biofuels industry, despite decades of effort and large subsidies, has failed to develop a commercially viable process for converting cellulosic biomass to ethanol.

Corn-based ethanol blending requirements have pushed corn prices, and thus ethanol production costs, so high that the market for ethanol blends higher than 10 percent is essentially non-existent. That same policy has also destabilized corn and ethanol prices by offering an almost risk-free demand volume guarantee to the corn-based ethanol industry. Domestic and export corn users other than ethanol producers have been forced to bear a disproportionate share of market and price risk.

Increases in ethanol production since 2007 have made little, or no, contribution to U.S. energy supplies, or dependence on foreign crude oil. Rather, those increases have pushed gasoline supplies into the export market. Gasoline production and crude oil use have not been reduced. If the RFS is made more flexible, and ethanol production shrinks due to market forces, we can easily replace ethanol with gasoline currently being exported.

This paper will argue that it is time to reform the current RFS. Corn users other than the ethanol industry need assurance of automatic market access in the event of a natural disaster and a sharp reduction in corn production. Ethanol producers should bear the burden of market adjustments, along with domestic food producers and corn export customers. Ethanol prices should reflect the fuel’s energy value relative to gasoline, not a corn price that is both inflated and destabilized by the inflexible RFS.

Finally, the RFS schedule should be revised to reflect the ethanol industry’s inability to produce commercially viable cellulosic fuels. Policy should reflect reality when that reality does not reflect substantial and undeniable barriers to achieving policy goals. "

Thursday, July 19, 2012

EPA Fines Companies for Failure to Deploy Unicorn Farts


Regulatory uncertainty key challenge for EU biofuels: BP Biofuels CEO

Nestle blames biofuels for high food prices-BBC

North Africa: Rising Food Prices and Social Unrest By Keshia Pendigrast

"In August 2011, Marco Lagi, Yaneer Bar-Yam, and K.Z Bertrand released a report through the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI). The report, "The Food Crises and Political Instability in North Africa and the Middle East," reveals a link between the background trend of rising global food prices and riots around the globe using data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) Food Price Index."

Korea Feed Group Asks U.S. to Curb Corn, Soybean Use in Biofuel--Bloomberg News

"South Korea’s top grain importer has urged the U.S. to consider cutting the use of corn and soybeans in biofuel production to ensure stable food supplies as prices soar amid the worst U.S. drought in decades."

Analysis: As corn burns, excess ethanol credits help dampen demand

"(Reuters) - As drought devastates the U.S. corn crop, relief from near-record prices may come from an unexpected quarter: oil companies, which may buy less ethanol than their government mandate suggests."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Global Food Shortage, Rising Prices Feared as Drought Parches Midwest

"Punishing drought in Midwest shows no sign of abating"ChicagoTribune

"About 55 percent of the contiguous United States is in a drought, just as corn plants should be pollinating, a period when adequate moisture is crucial. The United States ships more than half of all world exports of corn, which is made into dozens of products, from starch and ethanol to livestock feed."

USDA'S Vilsack says drought will spike crop prices--Chicago Tribune

"U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the worsening Midwest drought will result in sharply higher crop prices but maintained there is no need yet to seek a reduction in corn-based ethanol production.",0,4801350.story

"Agriculture Secretary tells White House drought getting worse"CNBC

“In his briefing to President Obama, Vilsack said that the drought of historic proportions will shrink this year's harvest of corn and soybeans. The crops are used for food and feed and because of that Vilsack said meat and poultry prices will be higher this year and next….Hard-hit livestock producers and other groups want the Environmental Protection Agency to give oil refiners a waiver from the mandate to blend ethanol into gasoline, arguing demand for the corn-based fuel was driving up corn prices.
But Vilsack said ethanol demand was not a problem right now.”

"Ag Secretary Says RFS Okay with Ethanol Stocks" Cindy Zimmerman

"Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack held a sobering press briefing Wednesday after meeting with President Obama about the impact of the nation’s drought on agricultural production.
Vilsack says the drought is “most serious situation we’ve had in 25 years” with 61% of the land mass of the United States is currently characterized as being impacted. About one third of the counties in the United States are now designated as secretarial disaster areas and that is expected to grow higher. “This obviously will have an impact on the yields,” he said.
When asked if the drought impact on corn should prompt action by the Environmental Protection Agency to roll back the use of corn for ethanol under the Renewable Fuel Standard, Vilsack said, “There is no need to go to the EPA at this time based on the quantity of ethanol that is in storage.”
The latest Energy Information Administration data from last week showed another drop in ethanol production from the previous week bringing the average weekly rate down to 841,000 barrels per day for an annualized rate of 12.89 billion gallons. Stocks of ethanol now stand at 19.6 million barrels or about 824 million gallons."

"MIT Study Debunks RFA/Vilsack Claims on Ethanol, Gas Prices"

"US 'absolutely not' mulling waiver to ethanol"

"US energy watchdogs are "absolutely not" mulling an easing in ethanol targets to reduce the pressure on corn supplies, despite significant damage to the crop from heat, a senior official said.
Persistent market speculation in grain markets that the Environmental Protection Agency is poised to waive obligations for ethanol use in the US is "just rumour", a spokesperson for the watchdog told"

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"Renewable fuel standard hits political divide at energy hearing" The Hill

"Republicans, environmentalists and traditional oil-and-gas producers have lined up to repeal or change the RFS — all for different reasons.
Environmentalists claim the RFS is a mandate for corn ethanol that has driven up global food prices, ..."

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Biofuels Battle" The Hill

"...Renewable Fuels Standard, which was expanded in a 2007 energy law. It requires increasing amounts of ethanol and other biofuels in the nation’s motor fuel supply."

"“EPA has allowed the RFS law’s volume requirements to drive decisions that are inappropriate and unwise. The law has become increasingly unrealistic, unworkable, and a threat to consumers.""

Friday, July 6, 2012

Biofuel Fraud Case in New York Times

"The scheme, and others like it, has had serious repercussions for both the biofuel industry and for conventional petroleum manufacturers. "

THE HILL---Biofuels Infrastructure Study "on the chopping block"

"The five energy programs on the chopping block are...Biofuels Infrastructure Study..."

"The Biofuels Infrastructure Study calls for the Energy, Transportation and Agriculture departments along with the Environmental Protection Agency to jointly assess infrastructure needs for developing and transporting biofuels with an eye toward market trends through 2025."

Biofuels and Global Land Rush

"The combination of preferential trade access and salubrious natural conditions have placed some African states in the middle of the biofuels boom. Addax Bioenergy took a 50-year lease in Sierra Leone's Bombali and Tonkolili districts in response to the European Union renewable energy directive to create a market for biofuels."

"In a public statement, the Land Matrix - an NGO coalition - claimed: "Investors are targeting countries with weak land tenure security, although they try to look for countries that at the same time offer relatively high levels of investor protection. Only very few projects seem to engage in adequate consultations with local communities."

 (Land Matric link )

"Critics worry about food security. The majority of land investment is export-oriented. While 78 percent of land deals globally are for agricultural production, three quarters is for biofuels, for which the African market has limited absorptive capacity."

"Purdue Economist: Drought Could Ignite Ethanol Debate"

"That fight could drive up food prices not only in this country but around the world. Hurt says that will create a debate over whether federal law should be changed.".

Friday, June 29, 2012

"Face the truth: Europe’s biofuels bonanza causes hunger in Africa"
" So I call on all folk above the age of 15 to borrow or buy Destruction Massive by Jean Ziegler before the end of July. Those who cannot understand French are urged to check out the book as soon as it is published in English (with the title Betting on Famine) this coming autumn.
Ziegler, a former UN special rapporteur on the right to food, mixes personal observations with sharp analysis to illustrate how global hunger is not an accident of nature but the consequence of deliberate policy choices made by an unaccountable elite. He opens with a heartbreaking account of how nurses in Niger have to turn away starving children due to a lack of resources."