Energy In Demand

April 9, 2008

April 9, 2008

Hello everybody out there in farm country. You can't avoid it. There is a national obsession about whether we can grow enough food. Point the finger at ethanol and biofuels. That's the problem.

Let's get some of the facts straight. If oil wasn't costing $100 per barrel, maybe then we wouldn't have a problem, but it does cost $100, and no one expects it to go back to $20. We are running a huge trade deficit thanks to all the money we are spending to buy oil. On top of that, we spend billions and billions of dollars on the military, especially in the Middle East. We do that to protect our energy supply -- National Security. Unfortunately, it seems the world oil reserves are on decline just when emerging nations like China and India need more.

So, what do we do? What should the world do? We need to find a substitute. Of course, we can conserve more, but that is not the answer. The whole world is scrambling to satisfy the energy shortfall. That's why ethanol and biodiesel have come of age. They are home grown. Keep our money and the jobs in the good old U.S.A. Ifwe did not have ethanol, gasoline would be well over $4.00 per gallon now.

I realize our food prices have gone up a modest 3 or 4 percent. But that's the trade-off. That's the price we pay for keeping the gasoline and diesel price from really going through the roof. There are many other things that we should be doing. We should be drilling for oil off the coast and in Alaska. Sorry, that's off limits. We need to build nuclear power plants. Sorry, environn1entalists won't tolerate that. The sun and wind are free. Let's use them. At this point in time, we need everything.

The fact that food prices have gone up in developing countries is not all bad. Their farmers now will be getting a better price and that will encourage more production.

For the record, I would report that our corn exports are moving at a record rate. It will take a little time to adjust to these new realities.

The loud mouth critics that don't want us to make renewable fuels don't have any answers. They just complain.

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington.