Friday, November 30, 2007

What's So Good About Corn

An interesting response to a Washington Post article regarding corn ethanol:
What's So Good About Corn

As crude oil prices edge toward $100 a barrel, it's clear to most consumers that we need to focus on reducing our dependence on foreign oil and, ultimately, investing in an American-fueled energy market that promotes sustainability and economic growth ["So What's So Bad About Corn?" front page, Nov. 23].

The economics and environmental sustainability of corn ethanol are rapidly improving, benefiting from some of the same technological advances that are making cellulosic ethanol possible. Arresting the development of ethanol would only stunt the overall pursuit of energy independence, perpetuating our reliance on foreign entities. Ethanol is a cleaner-burning fuel that has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 30 percent, according to studies supported by the Environmental Protection Agency.

As far as food goes, numerous factors affect retail prices. According to the Agriculture Department, labor costs account for 38 cents of every dollar a consumer spends on food. Packaging, transportation, energy, advertising and profits account for 24 cents of the consumer food dollar. Just 19 cents of every dollar can be attributed to the cost of food inputs such as grains and oilseeds. Our continued reliance on foreign oil is far more costly and disastrous than our expansion of ethanol production.

President and Chief Executive
Biotechnology Industry Organization
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