Biofuels

January 27, 2011

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the Renewable Fuels Association, Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

I like the Wall Street Journal. I read it every day. And I join them in being critical of government subsidies. Our government spends too much money throwing dollars at every hand that reaches out.

However, the Wall Street Journal seems to have a thing about biofuels. Just last week, their lead editorial attacked subsidies for ethanol. Fine. They could be adjusted or reduced, but what about all the other energy subsidy programs? What about the billions spent on oil? What about the money thrown at solar and wind? If we are going to protect our energy security, we need all sources of energy. Let’s produce as much of it here at home while at the same time creating jobs.

I don’t accept the assumption that ethanol is the driver of rising food prices. Energy prices are. When prices of energy soared in 2006, food prices skyrocketed. But, when energy fell in 2008, so did food prices, even though ethanol production continued to increase.

Don’t ignore the productivity of the American framer. We are producing record crops for food and fuel, using the same acreage as two generations ago before ethanol was blended into 90 percent of American gasoline. Can you just imagine how the price of gasoline would explode to probably $4.00 per gallon if that 10% ethanol fuel contribution were taken away? Ethanol replaces 450 million barrels of imported oil while creating thousands of jobs in rural America.

Ethanol is a clean fuel, even though some of our critics don’t want to accept that fact. The EPA (not always our best buddy) reports that ethanol reduces carbon monoxide emissions, reduces benzene emissions, and reduces carbon dioxide.

As President Reagan used to say, “Facts are stubborn things.” Big city news media should check the facts before bashing the only fuel that can replace imported oil.

In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to http://www.johnblockreports.com .

Until next week, I am John Block in Washington.