Carpe Diem

Even though corn ethanol is an ‘ecological disaster’ and is ‘raping the land,’ Team Obama remains blindly committed

The Huffington Post presents a devastating assessment of Obama’s push for green energy, especially his ongoing religious-like commitment to corn ethanol, which environmentalists and many scientists have now rejected as an ecological disaster and as bad environmental policy. Here’s an excerpt:

Farmers planted 15 million more acres of corn last year than before the ethanol boom, and the effects are visible in places like south central Iowa. The hilly, once-grassy landscape is made up of fragile soil that, unlike the earth in the rest of the state, is poorly suited for corn. Nevertheless, it has yielded to America’s demand for it.

The hills of southern Iowa bear the scars of America’s push for green energy: The brown gashes where rain has washed away the soil. The polluted streams that dump fertilizer into the water supply. Even the cemetery that disappeared like an apparition into a cornfield. “They’re raping the land,” said Bill Alley, a member of the board of supervisors in Wayne County.

The ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today. As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies. Five million acres of land set aside for conservation — more than Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined — have vanished on Obama’s watch.

Landowners filled in wetlands. They plowed into pristine prairies, releasing carbon dioxide that had been locked in the soil. Sprayers pumped out billions of pounds of fertilizer, some of which seeped into drinking water, contaminated rivers and worsened the huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico where marine life can’t survive.

The consequences are so severe that environmentalists and many scientists have now rejected corn-based ethanol as bad environmental policy. But the Obama administration stands by it, highlighting its benefits to the farming industry rather than any negative impact.

“This is an ecological disaster,” said Craig Cox with the Environmental Working Group, a natural ally of the president that, like others, now finds itself at odds with the White House.

But it’s a cost the administration is willing to accept. It believes supporting corn ethanol is the best way to encourage the development of biofuels that will someday be cleaner and greener than today’s. Pulling the plug on corn ethanol, officials fear, might mean killing any hope of these next-generation fuels.

MP: As I’ve mentioned before, anytime you have Paul Krugman agreeing on “demon ethanol” (his term) with such a diverse group as the Huffington Post (above), the Manhattan Institute, the Wall Street Journal, Reason Magazine, the Cato Institute, Investor’s Business Daily, Rolling Stone Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Times, John Stossel, The Ecological Society of America, the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution, the Heritage Foundation, George Will, and Time Magazine, you know that demon ethanol has to be one of the most misguided public policies in U.S. history.

14 thoughts on “Even though corn ethanol is an ‘ecological disaster’ and is ‘raping the land,’ Team Obama remains blindly committed

  1. you know that demon ethanol has to be one of the most misguided public policies in U.S. history.

    Obama’s own Ag Secretary admits they have their own agenda:

    “Among the morsels in AP’s probe: Pro-ethanol Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack doesn’t try to make the case that the fuel helps battle climate change.

    “I don’t know whether I can make the environmental argument, or the economic argument,” Vilsack tells AP. “To me, it’s an opportunity argument.”

    http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/189852-ag-secretary-vilsack-%E2%80%98i-don%E2%80%99t-know%E2%80%99-whether-ethanol-helps-climate

    Ol’ Nutsack doesn’t even trying to hide it. They’re so ensconced in the corruption that they’ve actually lost sight of it.

  2. Exactly. This has nothing to do with the environment, the farmers, energy independence and etc. Goldman Sachs and ethanol credit trading is why we starve the poor and rape the land.

  3. To get rid of the corn ethanol subsidy you have to move the Iowa Caucuses later in the primary season. Today if you run for president you need to do well in the Iowa caucuses, and to do that you have to be for corn ethanol, because it means more income for Iowa corn growers. (The price is higher for corn as a result). Since you won’t get the folks in Ia to change their position, you can’t get rid of it. (Also if you look you have at least 18 senators who favor it to do what their constituents want, Oh,In,Il,IA,Mo,Ky,Tn,KS,Ne (at a minimum)

    • MN WI SD KS MI are also pretty big on corn. Problem is it isn’t an Iowa thing. It is the entire corn belt that wants corn subsidies. If the first state moved to NH we would still have a big push for corn subsidies. I hate when folks make generalities like this. Don’t just blame Iowa.

      I didn’t know they grew much corn in Tn and KY.

      Here is a map of the corn belt for reference.
      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corn_Belt

        • I would say you saw some corn. Western Kentucky is in the corn belt, just not a a very strong producer. The map is helpful.

          Of course my perspective may be skewed having lived in Iowa for a few years. Now there, they produce corn!

          Which is interesting – because Quaker Oats has their biggest cereal factory there, and they need to import the oats from Canada – why would QO build in the middle of Iowa – Answer, Iowa used to have a much more diverse farming style, until the government started meddling. Yes they used to grow, oats, as well as Apples (Red Delicious – the most famous – is an Iowa variety!) Tobacco …

          Now it is just Corn and soybeans.

  4. Dr. Perry may have stumbled on a way to finally kill the red-pink rural state socialist ethal program…call it “Obamanol.”
    President Bush “I’m an ethanol man” Jr. ramped the agriculture program called ethanol. He even tried to mandate use of cellulosic ethanol.
    Obama, as with the Eatcrapistan follies, has been an extension of Bush.

  5. “Obamanol” is new. Not a copy-and-paste.

    The only problem with “Obamanol” is….everyone knows ethanol is really a red-pink state program, and the red-pinkers did not vote for Obama….

    I wonder if there is a bust of Lenin secreted somewhere inside the USDA…does the USDA stand for “United Soviet Department of Agriculture”?

    • Benji Troll,

      The only problem with “Obamanol” is….everyone knows ethanol is really a red-pink state program, and the red-pinkers did not vote for Obama….

      Thanks for demonstrating once again just how uninformed/dishonest you are. Your boyfriend was a huge ethanol whore Senator from Illinois. As is fellow nitwit Dick Durbin. Obama’s own Ag Sec is Tom Vilsack, the former Iowa Gov who bleeds ethanol when he’s cut.

      Illinois is a blue state. Iowa went Obama the past 2 elections. Minnesota has been blue forever. Wisconsin went blue in 08 and 12. I could go on regarding Democrat pro-ethanol Senators and Congressmen.

      I wonder if there is a bust of Lenin secreted somewhere inside the USDA…does the USDA stand for “United Soviet Department of Agriculture”?

      Very possibly considering 80% of the USDA’s budget is devoted to making sure that your communist boyfriend’s voters get their food stamps. Ooh, SNAP!

      http://www.snaptohealth.org/farm-bill-usda/u-s-farm-bill-faq/

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