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Fiscal Policy &Junk Science Richard Falknor on 29 Apr 2008 06:20 pm

Senate Energy Expert: ‘Dramatic’ Action to Fix Ethanol Mess

UPDATE April 30! The Really Inconvenient Truths: Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals Don’t Want You To Know About – Because They Helped Cause Them April 29, 2008 Watch | Streaming MP3 | Save MP3 | Details | from the Heritage Foundation here.




WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, delivered a floor speech today calling for “dramatic” action to address global food difficulties caused in part by current biofuel mandates.

“I come to the floor today to demand two dramatic and necessary actions to help mitigate our current biofuel policy blunder,” Senator Inhofe said. “First, Congress must revisit the recently enacted biofuel mandate, which can only be described as the most expansive biofuel mandate in our nation’s history. The mandates were part of last year’s Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Congress must have the courage to address this issue and address it now.

“Second, the EPA has the congressionally-given authority to waive all or portions of these food-to-fuel mandates as part of its rule-making process. The EPA must thoroughly review all options to alleviate the food and fuel disruption of the 2007 Energy Bill biofuel mandates.


Representative Roscoe Bartlett was the only member of the Maryland Congressional delegation to vote against the final version of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 with its ethanol mandate:

But I cannot vote for this bill primarily because of the corn ethanol mandate. A recent article in The Economist* noted that our use of corn for ethanol doubled the price of corn about a year ago. Farmers then moved lands from soybeans and what would have been in soybeans and wheat to corn. We now have further increased the cost of corn and we’ve increased the cost of soybeans and wheat the world around. And one of the members of the United Nations says what we’ve done is a crime against humanity. The effect we’ve had on gasoline use has been absolutely trifling. The National Academy of Sciences** says that if we converted all of our corn, all of our corn, to ethanol and discounted for fossil fuel input it would displace 2.4% of our gasoline. Mr. Chairman, this really represents one of those times as the old farmer says that ‘the juice ain’t worth the squeezing.’ We can do better.”

Virginia House of Representative members voting against the act were Eric Cantor, Thelma Drake, Robert Wittman, and Bob Goodlatte. Both Virginia senators, not unexpectedly, voted for the measure.

Here are the House and Senate votes on the final version of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Mark Steyn, as usual, says it best here:

The biofuels debacle is global warm-mongering in a nutshell: The first victims of poseur environmentalism will always be developing countries. In order for you to put biofuel in your Prius and feel good about yourself for no reason, real actual people in faraway places have to starve to death. On April 15, the Independent, the impeccably progressive British newspaper, editorialized: “The production of biofuel is devastating huge swathes of the world’s environment. So why on earth is the Government forcing us to use more of it?”
It’s not the environmental movement’s chickenfeedhawks who’ll have to reap what they demand must be sown, but we should be in no doubt about where to place the blame — on the bullying activists and their media cheerleaders and weathervane politicians who insist that the “science” is “settled” and that those who query whether there’s any crisis are (in the designation of the strikingly non-emaciated Al Gore) “denialists.” All three presidential candidates have drunk the environmental kool-ethanol and are committed to Big Government solutions.

Inhofe, the ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, goes right to the heart of the ethanol matter:

When you have Lester Brown, Miles O’Brien, Dan Rather, Time Magazine, the New York Times, the United Nations, and James Inhofe all in agreement on changing an environmental policy, you can rest assured the policy is horribly misguided.

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