Give thanks and remember a Patriots Duty to Just common sense
When Congress passed legislation mandating the use of oxygenated fuels, before the discovery of 200 years of inexpensive natural gas, using ethanol for energy was going to be win-win. The United States can grow so much corn, the argument went, that the country could divert some for gasoline and thus reduce tailpipe carbon emissions and become less dependent on foreign oil producers.
Alas, in the real world, unintended consequences arrive all too often.
Ethanol production is contributing to increases in the price of food, both in the United States and abroad. Not only is corn that was used for food made into ethanol, but other crops are being abandoned for corn. The Arab Spring was started by riots in Tunisia in December 2010 over high food prices, and last week high prices caused riots in Jordan.
Then, many scientists now believe that the production of ethanol causes more harmful emissions than it prevents. The more ethanol we produce, the more greenhouse gases are generated. Rising corn prices encourage farmers all over the world to transform their land from forests and fallow fields to corn, thereby losing the capture of airborne carbon dioxide performed by trees and shrubs.
Despite all of this downside, Mr. Obama is loyal to his environmental base and to farmers who voted for him, even though common sense would dictate otherwise.