Distillery Demand for Grain to Fuel Cars Vastly Understated: Interesting article (not neutral, however, as this is a lobbying group’s site). Ethanol is in so much demand that it’s pushing grain prices higher and higher. In fact, according to the quote below, Iowa — the nation’s largest corn producer — will soon be able to allocate more than its total corn crop to fuel plants alone.
Robert Wisner, Iowa State University economist, reports that Iowa’s demand for corn from processing plants that were on line, expanding, under construction, or being planned as of late 2006 totaled 2.7 billion bushels. Yet even in a good year the state harvests only 2.2 billion bushels. As distilleries compete with feeders for grain, Iowa could become a corn importer.
And the U.S. corn production has global ramifications:
The U.S. corn crop, accounting for 40 percent of the global harvest and supplying 70 percent of the world’s corn exports, looms large in the world food economy. Annual U.S. corn exports of some 55 million tons account for nearly one fourth of world grain exports.
It’s kind of depressing, really. Along comes this great breakthrough which seemingly solves problems…and it just creates more.
What this proves to me is that there’s really only one solution to the energy and pollution problems of this nation and the world in general: use less gas.
I’m not a tree-hugger by any stretch, but I have a policy that I won’t buy a daily-driving vehicle that gets less than 20 m.p.g. I imagine that threshold will rise to 25 m.p.g. in the coming years.