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End the Ethanol Mandate

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Rocketman1981, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. Rocketman1981

    Rocketman1981 Member

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    Why don't we end the Ethanol mandate? It seems one of the most ridiculous pieces of legislation that is inflating food prices and inflating the cost of energy to consumers? Why isn't this ended?


    http://washingtonexaminer.com/exami...late-meat-prices/article/2504906#.UCu5291lREP

    Examiner Editorial: To protect ethanol, Obama seeks to inflate meat prices
    August 14, 2012 | 8:00 pm
    179Comments



    CUBA, IL - AUGUST 03: Cattle eat a ration of feed on a farm August 3, 2012 near Cuba, Illinois. Farmers in the Midwest and elsewhere continue to struggle after than half the counties in the United States have been designated disaster areas, mostly due to drought conditions throughout the Midwest. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
    Examiner Editorial
    The Washington Examiner

    Campaigning in Missouri Valley, Iowa, yesterday, President Obama announced yet another government spending program -- this time designed to inflate meat prices in Midwest swing states. "Today the Department of Agriculture announced that it will buy up to $100 million worth of pork products, $50 million worth of chicken, and $20 million worth of lamb and farm-raised catfish," Obama explained to reporters in front of a drought-stricken cornfield.

    "Prices are low, farmers and ranchers need help, so it makes sense," Obama explained. "It makes sense for farmers who get to sell more of their product, and it makes sense for taxpayers who will save money because we're getting food we would have bought anyway at a better price."

    None of this makes sense. In fact, Obama's move only harms American consumers while protecting a corrupt federal program.

    A drought is currently driving down corn production. The shortage of feed is forcing livestock producers to slaughter animals early, putting downward pressure on meat prices in the short run and guaranteeing shortages and higher prices next year. But nature is not the biggest factor in this crisis -- the government is. Specifically, the federal government's ethanol mandate, which requires that 13.2 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol be produced in 2012.

    Thanks to the ethanol mandate, more than 40 percent of the nation's corn crop now goes into the production of a useless fuel that hardly anyone would buy if the government didn't require it. That's up from just 17 percent in 2005, before the mandate went into effect. Only 36 percent of the corn crop now goes for feed, and 24 percent goes for food.

    Obama could solve this problem instantly by suspending the federal ethanol mandate -- something his EPA actually can do unilaterally and legally. Instead, Obama will buy up meat -- a move that meat producers say won't help them much anyway. "It doesn't solve the problem of having enough affordable corn next summer," industry analyst Steve Meyer told Reuters. "Without changing the ethanol program, nothing can be done," he said.

    The higher corn prices caused by the mandate and the drought have also driven up the price of ethanol by 33 percent since May, which means -- again, thanks to the mandate -- higher gas prices at the pump. Nationally, the average price of a gallon of gas rose 16 cents in July, an all-time record hike for that month. Prices rose an additional eight cents just last week. Gas is already more than four dollars a gallon in California and is expected to go higher.

    Hailing from the corn-producing state of Illinois, Obama has always been a supporter of special government benefits for ethanol producers. But even environmentalists rejected ethanol long ago, when scientists established that it actually increases carbon and smog emissions.

    To recap, government is driving up the cost of food, animal feed and gasoline, and Obama's solution is to drive up meat prices as well. Obama could eliminate the entire problem overnight and reduce carbon emissions were he to waive the ethanol mandate in a time of drought. Instead, he is creating a new spending program to mollify livestock producers, who, were it not for the ethanol mandate, would be able to make an honest living without his help.

    Last week, Obama said he wants to do for other industries what he did for General Motors. If by this he meant waste taxpayers' money to preserve a lousy status quo, then bravo and mission accomplished.
     
  2. Major

    Major Member

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    Agriculture lobby. Ethanol is one of the worst ideas around, but there are too many rural interests that love it. They made some progress last year by finally getting rid of some subsidies, but I agree that the mandate needs to go too. Whoever thought that turning food into fuel was a good overall idea was an idiot.
     
  3. Rocketman1981

    Rocketman1981 Member

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    It really seems just a travesty and so illogical that a mandate like this takes place. Its been around for a while so not knocking just Obama, but its more an example of these special interests deciding policy which is contrary to what is beneficial for the nation.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Insider Newsletter™ 2X Diamond Member

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    He won't overturn it as long as he gas those votes in his pocket

    Congress could pass something to force him to sign. Beats Obama using his King powers...
     
  5. Haymitch

    Haymitch Contributing Member

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    End all mandates?

    Major is correct. The lobbyists are to blame. But really, it's just the nature of the US Nation-State that makes this inevitable. Refer to the Iron Triangle.

    [​IMG]
    On this picture, substitute "low regulation" with "favorable regulation"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_triangle_(US_politics)
     
    #5 Haymitch, Aug 15, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
    2 people like this.
  6. A_3PO

    A_3PO Member

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    I was disappointed McCain didn't hammer Obama on this in 2008.
     
  7. pirc1

    pirc1 Contributing Member

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    You must be joking right?
     
  8. CrazyDave

    CrazyDave Contributing Member

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    He won't do anything about it, but congress (yes, the one that can't and won't do jack to improve anything with this administration in place unless they have to) is able to pass something he is "forced to sign" which is better than him using his 'king powers' (of not doing anything about it)?

    lolwut? I'd say try again, but... don't.

    As you can see, Congress is in the iron triangle... if you think the President is keeping them from doing something about it... I think you aren't reading the chart right.

    Gas that in your pocket and smoke and mirror it.
     
  9. A_3PO

    A_3PO Member

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    No. This was an issue McCain could have brought out of the shadows to the general public. The more the ethanol mandate is debated openly, the more likely something will change.
     
  10. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    Ethanol is one of those issues that should frustrate people to no end---it serves only a very narrow set of intrests and yet it still sticks around.
     
  11. pirc1

    pirc1 Contributing Member

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    You do know that the rural areas support the Republicans more than the Democrats right?
     
  12. pirc1

    pirc1 Contributing Member

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    One of the flaws of democracy.
     
  13. ryan_98

    ryan_98 Memberberry
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    http://www.senate.gov/legislative/L...ote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=1&vote=00213

    McCain voted nay, Obama yea

    passed 74 to 26, signed by Bush

    I would have guessed that they both voted for it... also interesting is (to use a 1984 term) the double speak of the bill -
    affordable and reliable for who?
     
  14. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member

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    This is one reason why I want a national primary day...instead of allowing states to set the dates. This gives states like Iowa too much power and forces candidates to bow to the pressures that brings...like supporting ethanol when all logic screams to end the program.

    I know, logistically, it will never happen. It would likely mean most all states would have to completely rearrange their election calender to match as to avoid having multiple primary elections in presidential years. The benefits are, though, a much much shorter presidential election season and states don't get unreasonable amounts of swing just because of the date of their primary
     
  15. ryan_98

    ryan_98 Memberberry
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  16. Classic

    Classic Member

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    the 1%

    Most farming operations nowadays are huge corps anyway...long gone from the family operations of the 1800 & early 1900's
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. Kyakko

    Kyakko Contributing Member

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    Is it easy for farmers to switch to another more useful crop? What are the challenges? It seems like a win win situation, just grow something better.
     
  18. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

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    McCain was against it

    Obama was for it
     
  19. Kyakko

    Kyakko Contributing Member

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    Sorry... i mean grow something better that can be used for fuel and reduce the percent mandate... i forgot what it was but heard another crop was more efficient
     
  20. pirc1

    pirc1 Contributing Member

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    Sure, when he was running for senator in Arizona. It is a totally different story when he is running for the president of the United States. Republican candidate always count on rural voting in presidential elections, you think he want to piss of Midwest farmers?
     

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