DoE doubling down on feeding “green” ambitions and hiking third-world food prices

posted at 5:21 pm on January 7, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The Obama administration has roundly refused to scale back on its relentless buoying up of the biofuels industry, despite the clamorous criticism of almost everybody except the ethanol lobby; once the supposedly ‘environmental’ zealots of our bloated federal bureaucracy and their cronyish friends have decided on a policy, that’s just all there is to it, and no, we really do not give a damn about the real-world unintended consequences.

Well, leftists and rent-seekers, here are some unintended consequences: We are already dealing with inflated food prices in the United States because of the government’s mandate that we use a certain portion of ethanol in our fuel (nevermind that the we are essentially being forced to buy a politically-favored product we do not want to use that has no proven efficiency or carbon-reduction benefits anyway), but Americans’ food expenditures as a portion of their income are often relatively small compared to the rest of the world. In less developed countries, the effects of these polices can be nothing short of devastating. The NYT reports:

Recent laws in the United States and Europe that mandate the increasing use of biofuel in cars have had far-flung ripple effects, economists say, as land once devoted to growing food for humans is now sometimes more profitably used for churning out vehicle fuel. …

With its corn-based diet and proximity to the United States, Central America has long been vulnerable to economic riptides related to the United States’ corn policy. Now that the United States is using 40 percent of its crop to make biofuel, it is not surprising that tortilla prices have doubled in Guatemala, which imports nearly half of its corn. …

In a country where most families must spend about two thirds of their income on food, “the average Guatemalan is now hungrier because of biofuel development,” said Katja Winkler, a researcher at Idear, a Guatemalan nonprofit organization that studies rural issues. Roughly 50 percent of the nation’s children are chronically malnourished, the fourth-highest rate in the world, according to the United Nations.

The American renewable fuel standard mandates that an increasing volume of biofuel be blended into the nation’s vehicle fuel supply each year to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and to bolster the nation’s energy security.

Should this effect perhaps give pause to our magnanimous policy-makers? …Nahhh:

Those keeping score of the pro vs. against biofuel camps can add another point for the advocates since the federal government has agreed to divert more funds towards the expansion of biofuels. Specifically, the US Department of Energy (DOE) will award more than $10 million to five products designed to speed up technology related to converting biomass to fuel.

The largest grant, at $2.5 million, will go to California-based Novozymes, which (for you chemistry buffs out there) finds enzymes that can “deconstruct” biomass into fuel-worthy material. Washington State-based Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Texas-based Texas AgriLife Research will each get as much as $2.4 million for their biofuels projects. California-based Lygos and Maryland-based J. Craig Venter Institute will also get DOE funds. Read the DOE’s press release below.


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DoE is unconstitutional. Multiple lawsuits should be repeatedly filed until Jugears gives up on it. Oh, yeah, and the Weeper should defund it.

How long can I hold my breath while waiting?

platypus on January 7, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Washington State-based Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Texas-based Texas AgriLife Research will each get as much as $2.4 million for their biofuels projects. California-based Lygos and Maryland-based J. Craig Venter Institute will also get DOE funds.

Anyone taking bets when these companies will go sneakers up?

GarandFan on January 7, 2013 at 5:29 PM

I’m going to risk being flamebait and state flat-out that I do not give two shakes of a cockroach’s tail what the price of food is in the Turd World.

Now feeding the ‘green’ nuttiness, I very much care about!

MelonCollie on January 7, 2013 at 5:31 PM

The “RED COMMIE” red thumb caught tipping the fact scales.

It is all coming undone.

The msm can not hide the lies now, the zipper is ripped.

http://www.wattsupwiththat.com

Comes the Demon of the Real History, and he is pissed.

Caught:

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 7, 2013 at 5:32 PM

In a country where most families must spend about two thirds of their income on food, “the average Guatemalan is now hungrier because of biofuel development,”

But liberals want to feel good about themselves as they drive their cars, so if millions of third worlders have to go hungry for that sanctimonious glow…well that’s a price they are willing to pay.

sharrukin on January 7, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Yet we’ll “default” on our debt….

wolly4321 on January 7, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Kind of seems wrong to burn food. Especially when it isn’t efficient and consumes a lot of other resources.

No, I wasn’t talking about starving democrats. Or maybe I was.

DanMan on January 7, 2013 at 5:35 PM

it is not surprising that tortilla prices have doubled in Guatemala, which imports nearly half of its corn. …

They can eat algae, problem solved. Besides, tortillas are bad for you. It’s for the children, don’t they understand that?

- typical lib

NapaConservative on January 7, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Well, all they have to do is come to the U.S., drop an anchor baby, and start collecting their ‘FREE obama STUFF’ – what the hell are they waiting for?

Pork-Chop on January 7, 2013 at 5:42 PM

No problem–we’ll just take them in as refugees and give them the full entitlement program.

PattyJ on January 7, 2013 at 5:42 PM

No, I wasn’t talking about starving democrats. Or maybe I was.

DanMan on January 7, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Democrat don’t eat corn, they don’t care about the price of corn.

SWalker on January 7, 2013 at 5:44 PM

How long can I hold my breath while waiting?

platypus on January 7, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Asphyxiation does not suit you, Mr. Platypus.

Breathe deeply, please…

Oxygenate, then exhale the CO2 that the corn will need to grow so that Obarry can destroy our economy.

turfmann on January 7, 2013 at 5:48 PM

…we’ll be eating sh!t before you know it!

KOOLAID2 on January 7, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Demons from a mad house commic strip turned loose on U.S..

Fight, Fight, Fight.

The weight of the lies grows, the msm becomes overburded.

The tangled web pulls them down now.

The lies decive fewer and fewer each passing day.

The mad cult members once they see what is coming for them will turn on each other and all at once camiblizing will run amock.

Do not stand near them or you will get caught in the sprial downward.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 7, 2013 at 6:04 PM

…we’ll be eating sh!t before you know it!

KOOLAID2 on January 7, 2013 at 5:54 PM

well, there certainly is enough coming out of Mordor on the Potomac to feed the entire nation… o_O

SWalker on January 7, 2013 at 6:04 PM

…we’ll be eating sh!t before you know it!

Funny you should mention that, in an article from sometime in 2011:

Japanese scientists have found a way to create artificial meat from sewage … Ikeda’s recycled poop burger would reduce waste and emissions,….

hawkeye54 on January 7, 2013 at 6:12 PM

This is bad policy, and yet a part of me doesn’t mind. The Middle East has been sticking it to us with oil prices for years, while we virtually gave them food. Is this a little bit of Karmic retribution? Let them eat their oil.

DFCtomm on January 7, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Democrat don’t eat corn, they don’t care about the price of corn.

For those who eagerly voted for legalizing pot in Colorado, rising Doritos prices are not going to be well received.

hawkeye54 on January 7, 2013 at 6:13 PM

This is bad policy, and yet a part of me doesn’t mind.

Of course its bad policy. It’s also intentional policy.

hawkeye54 on January 7, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Yeah. Why are we burning our food?

Galtian on January 7, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Hey – its all good – once the Obmamcare death panels kick into high gear, we can replace our corn based food with soylent green.

dentarthurdent on January 7, 2013 at 6:32 PM

Gas would have to go up to $10 a gallon to make ethanol production economical. The Left is so anti-economics, anti-math, and anti-science!

/sorry, it’s the truth in this case

These green shibboleths we’re all supposed to bow down to unquestioningly at the risk of being called anti-Earth or something equally absurd … I don’t see them as different from the large posters and statues of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Saddam (the other Hussein) those populations were to hold in awe.

Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 6:35 PM

By far, the poor and hungry are hardest hit by the radical leftist energy policies. The left wants to downsize western nations, the USA in particular, by shutting down its energy supplies, and if the poor have to suffer and die to get it done, so be it. Let them starve and die for “the greater good”.

petefrt on January 7, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Full court press by all the marxist-dominated bureaucracies to crash everything and kill millions of Americans via financial ruin and starvation. It’s the destination of ALL their rulings and advocacy, undermining everything they can affect. Military strength, alliances, energy production, fuel production, national credit and finance, cultural balkanization, indoctrination, the global warming fraud, redistributionist change, economy-gutting health insurance, taxation, regulations. ALL of it designed to destroy teh status quo and rob the United States of ALL of its historic strengths.
Yet pundits and pols all over think it’s ‘incompetence’ or merely a difference of opinion and compromise.

rayra on January 7, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Damn. All those poor vegans might die after we turn their veggies into gasoline. Too bad, good riddance.

ironked on January 7, 2013 at 11:40 PM

I’m going to risk being flamebait and state flat-out that I do not give two shakes of a cockroach’s tail what the price of food is in the Turd World.

Now feeding the ‘green’ nuttiness, I very much care about!

MelonCollie on January 7, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Hey MelonCollie, you might want to consider the effect of hundreds of thousands of starving people in Central America trying to get into the United States, or widespread food riots in Egypt. I doubt you think these would be positive developments so you might want to stop shaking that cockroach tail.

Fafhrd on January 8, 2013 at 11:00 AM