According to analysts from Goldman Sachs, the ethanol industry “will consume about 41 percent of the U.S. corn crop this year, or 15 percent of the global corn crop.” With increased demand comes increased prices, which means everything else that comes after corn in the economic pyramid rises in price.
That means food prices go up, and not only food made out of corn that people eat, but also feed for livestock, thus raising the cost of feeding the cows, chicken, and pigs that we eventually buy wrapped in styrofoam and plastic packages at Kroger.
The mandate also forces fuel companies to blend ethanol into gasoline. Since ethanol is more expensive to produce than gasoline it drives up the cost of a gallon of gas. Ethanol-laced gasoline also reduces gas mileage, thus compounding the problem.
And those hurt most by this wrong-headed policy which lines the pockets of a few lobbyists and industry fat cats are the poor who are forced to pay a larger percentage of their income on basic food staples and gasoline for their car. Especially in economic times such as these when the percentage of people out of work is at about 22.5 percent it is downright wrong to allow such a policy to continue. It is a drag on companies which could hire people with the money they are presently forced to pay for higher fuel costs. It is a drag on our pocket books in higher taxes. And it forces those who have less to surrender more for basic needs.
A bi-partisan group of 15 U.S. senators sent a letter to the Senate leadership calling for the end of the ethanol subsidy and protective tariffs. I hope they are successful.