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| | |-+  UN urges US to cut ethanol production
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Author Topic: UN urges US to cut ethanol production  (Read 422 times)
dead0man
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« on: August 11, 2012, 06:48:38 am »
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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.

Most US ethanol is made from corn. The dispute over ethanol promotion pits states such as Iowa that benefit from higher corn prices -- and in some cases are swing states in the election -- against livestock-raising states such as Texas that are helped by lower corn prices.

The UN intervention will be seized upon by state governors, lawmakers and the meat and livestock industry, who have expressed alarm at surging prices for corn. Members of the Group of 20 leading economies -- including France, India and China -- have already expressed concern about the US ethanol policy.

The US is poised to divert around 40 per cent of its corn into ethanol because of the Congress-enacted mandate despite "huge damage" to the crop because of the worst drought in at least half a century, Jos Graziano da Silva, director-general of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, warned.

"An immediate, temporary suspension of that [ethanol] mandate would give some respite to the market and allow more of the crop to be channelled towards food and feed uses," he wrote in an opinion piece in the Financial Times.

<snip>
One of the few times I agree with the UN over the US, and Texas over Nebraska.
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Redalgo
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2012, 11:00:49 am »
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A permanent suspension of the mandate would be wonderful, in my opinion.
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Frodo
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2012, 11:51:44 am »
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I hope our government listens.  That corn can be put to more productive uses than ethanol. 
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Sbane
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2012, 12:40:24 pm »
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Obama needs to win Iowa, right? Yeah, this is going nowhere.
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A.G. Snowstalker
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2012, 06:25:53 pm »
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Ethanol is wholly unnecessary, especially when starving people may actually need some corn.
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Jacobtm
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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2012, 01:54:27 am »
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U.S. corn-based ethanol production is an issue that no one with the power of reason could support.

Unless you're a farmer. Or a Senator form a Farm State.

Just another knock against democracy, I suppose.
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Israel and the United States "killing dozens of civilians with explosives", as you phrase it, has, throughout history, almost always been a good thing.
Nagas
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2012, 03:34:27 am »
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It's not as simple as telling farmers to stop selling their corn to ethanol producers and sell to livestock ranchers instead. Much corn is raised in monocultures across the corn belt, and each of these monocultures is usually tailored to a certain use by utilizing specific strains of corn, such as for human consumption, animal feed, ethanol etc. Each strain is engineered to be more advantageous for its use.

Even if you overcame the political difficulties (and the corn/agribusiness lobby is a powerful beast that must be slain), there are still the economic hurdles. It would take time to make the transition.
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jfern
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2012, 03:41:41 am »
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Doesn't it take more than a gallon of gasoline to produce a gallon of ethanol? The money would obviously be better spent on alternative energy that actually would help things. It's obviously pork for politically important states like Iowa.
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