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Letter: Allow farmers to supply food chain

Published: Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Last month, a U.S. appeals court basically allowed the use of ethanol in our gasoline be increased to 15 percent from the 10 percent previously allowed.

The original purpose of using fuels made from grains, like corn, was to cut our insatiable dependence on foreign oil. Obviously 10 percent of ethanol in your tank should equate to our purchasing 10 percent less oil from foreign sources. The record will show this has never been the case.

The court's decision will now allow farmers of corn, for example, to produce and sell their crops to refineries to make 5 percent more fuel. This means that much of the corn crop will now be headed to a refinery instead of to the protein processors who use this very same product for feed.

The result is more of a demand from the processors and less supply. An Econ 101 basic principle should remind us that this scenario will only increase the cost of feed and those food items, such as meat and poultry, will cost more at your family's table.

We do not pay less for motor fuel because of the addition of ethanol, and fuel costs will certainly not be going down by 5 percent because of the ruling, but we surely will be paying more for foods, as well as the cost to get that food to the marketplace.

Adding to all of this, the Obama administration has halted drilling in the Gulf and Alaska – offshore, in general – and he has halted the building of the Keystone pipeline from our neighbors to the north so that they are now looking to sell their lower cost Canadian oil to the likes of China and others. Yet one more major faux pas by this administration adding to our economic woes.

Can we tolerate four more years of these kids of actions? Does this uninformed decision make any sense?

We need to drill here and become self-sustaining with our own oil. Allow the farmers to supply the food chain as they should do, resulting in lower food prices at our tables. Now, does that make any sense?

Jerry Marchese Wayne

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