by Marion Nestle
Aug 17 2012
To ponder over the weekend: What to do about corn and biofuels
Think about this over the weekend.
- Corn producers: Want high prices. Don’t care whether meat or ethanol producers get the corn. Note: Many own their own ethanol refineries.
- Meat producers: Want the corn at low prices. Do not want corn grown for ethanol. Want the ethanol quota waived.
- Ethanol producers: Want the corn at low prices. Want to keep the quota.
- International aid agencies: Want corn to be grown for food and feed, not fuel. Want the ethanol quota waived.
The ethanol quota:
- Government energy policy requires an increasing percentage of gasoline to contain ethanol each year.
- More than 40% of U.S. corn is grown for ethanol.
Three big industries—corn agribusiness, industrial meat, ethanol—plus international agencies have a stake in the U.S. corn crop.
How should the Obama administration handle this?
- Waive the ethanol quota?
- Keep the ethanol quota?
- Do nothing?
- Do something else? If so, what?