Monday, April 21, 2008

Ethanol Mandate Hurts Us All

I had some dirt work done in our backyard. Three loads of dirt brought in and spread. This summer I am going to try to raise some grass.

The guy who did the dirt work and I were talking about the high cost of fuel. I believed it affects the most those who make minimum wage or just above it. He said it's not about fuel, it's about corn. All the corn being diverted to ethanol production is raising the cost of food. And not only food for us but food for the food we eat. He was speaking of cattle feed. Corn.

Ethanol is made from corn. Jason Rosenbaum has the story here.

A Republican state lawmaker will present legislation tomorrow to a House committee to repeal the state's 10 percent ethanol mandate.

While a study is of a study paid for by the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council claiming that the fuel will save the state millions of dollars, state Rep. Mike Dethrow, R-Alton, says that the mandate is causing unintended consequences.

Dethrow, who operated a livestock farming business for year in rural Oregon County, said today that the mandate is driving up cost of feed. That means a "meltdown" for farmers raising livestock.

Even though he voted for the mandate a couple of years ago, Dethrow said that changes in the agricultural economy warrant another look.

“Two years ago when we voted to implement the ten-percent standard — and I voted for it at the time — but things do change," Dethrow said. "And the situation’s been changed. We want to make sure that we’re still doing the right thing. I’m concerned that a mandate is not the right thing to do. I’m concerned that it has distorted markets in other areas in the feed grains and those issues.”

Similar charges were made when the Missouri Senate approved a five percent mandate of biodiesel - which is made with soybeans.

Dethrow's legislation will be heard tomorrow at 8 a.m. in front of the House Transportation Committee. Even if it manages to pass through the legislature, it would likely face scrutiny from Gov. Matt Blunt. Blunt signed the E-10 standard into law and has touted the move as one of the key accomplishments of his term.

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