In spite of a couple misguided journalists during the past week, ethanol is not the cause of Egypt’s problems, but it could be the answer to ours.
Larry Kudlow’s recent National Review Online article blames American ethanol production for the current protests in Egypt as he feels corn is being grown instead of wheat for ethanol production, and it’s driving up global food prices. Mr. Kudlow may want to look beyond the Wall Street Journal for “facts” when reporting on America’s only readily available alternative fuel. His article makes no mention of increasing oil prices, regional drought, market speculators, increased populations or even Egypt’s own corrupt government.
Kudlow’s article basically brings up the old and outdated Food vs. Fuel argument that has been put to bed time and time again. The jounal, Energy recently concluded that there is no connection between biofuel production and food prices. Also, one-third of the corn used for ethanol production will be used as livestock feed as American ethanol production will supply the world with 9 million metric tons of DDG’s this year.
If there’s one thing we can be certain of in these uncertain times in Egypt, it’s that America needs to be become more energy independent.
“Our country has a serious addiction to foreign oil and ethanol is weaning us from that dependence,” said South Dakota Corn Utilization Council President, David Fremark. “We can no longer continue the status quo of continuing to rely on other countries for our energy.”
The United States only uses 3% of the worlds grain supply for ethanol, but demands 25% of the world’s oil. Last year, American ethanol production helped displace the need for 364 million barrels of imported oil.
American farmers should be commended for continuing to produce abundant supplies of food, feed, fuel and fiber that are meeting domestic and export demands while retaining a surplus year after year.