Something FAR worse than the dairy agreement .......
Reader comment on: Richard Epstein on Milk Prices
Submitted by Fast Eddie (United States), May 29, 2012 12:47
I wish he had focused on the Ethanol boondoggle, as its economic dislocations are orders of magnitude greater than the dairy boondoggle. Among other things, it takes more BTU's to make a gallon of ethanol than the ethanol releases when combusted. And ethanol, even at the 10 - 15% mixture rates, causes small gasoline engines (think: lawnmovers, emerg. generators, et al) to malfunction because it is so much more toxic to engine fittings and is far more water-absorbtive than pure gasoline,thus requiring the use of water-absorbing fuel addtives. (That's why it must be transported by tanker truck rather than pipelines.) And, on a long term scale, Ethanol may literally destroy the farming way of life in the large swath of the Great Plains where the climate is too arid to naturally support the growth of corn and has necessitated immense water draws from the Ogallala aquifer. EACH BUSHEL of field corn requires 20,000 gallons of water to reach maturity. In these Great Plains dry climates, at least half of this water requirement is being drawn from the aquifer every year and the huge run up in corn prices due to the Ethanol boondoggle has pushed farmers to increase their corn planings by over one Billion bushes/year in recent years. Sometime in the not-too-distant future, these states are going to have to start rationing water used to grow this crop (corn) which is heavily subsidized by taxpayers to produce a product (ethanol) which has a net negative effect in virtually all respects. Hopefully Epstein will address this much more pressing topic soon.
Note: Comments are moderated by the editor and are subject to editing.
Other reader comments on this item
Comment on this item