It is of no value. It has raised corn prices (and all the myriad
foods associated with it) by 100% over 1.5 years. It scours engine
components of their protective oil layer. It dries out seals. It
should be abolished.
P.S. Enviroqueers; Lead by example, STOP DRIVING.
10 August 2012 Last updated at 09:26 ET
US biofuel production should be suspended, UN says
The United Nations (UN) food agency has called on the United States to
suspend its production of biofuel ethanol.
Under US law, 40% of the corn harvest must be used to make biofuel, a
quota which the UN says could contribute to a food crisis around the
A drought and heatwave across the US has destroyed much of the
country's corn crop, driving up prices.
The US argues that producing much of its own fuel, rather than
importing it, is good for the country.
The latest forecasts from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
suggest that this year's corn yield - the amount produced per acre -
will be the lowest since 1995-6.
Total production will be the lowest for six years, it forecast, due to
the extreme heat and dryness.
As a result, the USDA is predicting further rises in prices. It now
thinks farm prices for corn will average $7.50-$8.90 per bushel, a
sharp rise on the $5.40-$6.40 per bushel it predicted just a month
Writing in the Financial Times, the director general of the United
Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Jose Graziano da
Silva, said suspension of the quota would allow more of the crop to be
diverted for food production.
"The worst drought for 50 years is inflicting huge damage on the US
maize crop, with serious consequences for the overall international
"The situation reminds us that even the most advanced agricultural
systems are subject to the vagaries of the weather, leading to
volatility in supplies and prices, not just on domestic markets, but
Concerns about the impact of the dry weather in the US pushed maize
prices up by 23% in July, according to the latest FAO food price
But the US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the biofuels
standard was having a positive impact on the country.
"It is impacting in a positive way the cost of gasoline in this
country - some estimates put it at 25 cents to as much as $1.30 less
for gas because we have a biofuel industry.
"There are jobs connected to that industry and less reliance on
foreign oil. The question is: Is the market responding to concerns
about supply and the answer is yes.
"Exports are down just a bit and ethanol production is down from
between 10% and 30%, depending on the part of the country."
By law, 13 billion gallons of biofuel must be produced in the US this
year. The country's Renewable Fuel Standard, as the law is known, was
designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on imported
oil. It has long been controversial, with many blaming the quota for
pushing up corn prices.
The United Nations is not alone in calling for the quota to be
suspended. Livestock producers in the US, worried about the cost of
cattle feed, also want it scrapped and the governments of China, India
and France have expressed concerns about the policy.
- posted 8 years ago