Thursday, May 15, 2008

Quotes of Note

As we come across useful quotes, we'll place them here as a reference to our readers:

Food Prices

"The change in the renewable fuel standard, the change in tariff or duty isn't going to affect food prices. We need to focus on things that will actually have an effect instead of a short-term political solution." - USDA Secretary Ed Schafer, May 2008

"Important food items like bread, eggs, and milk have high prices that are largely unrelated to ethanol or corn prices, but correspond to fundamental supply/demand relationships in the world."
- Texas A&M Report, The Effects of Ethanol on Texas Food and Fuel, April 2008

"The facts are these: U.S. corn prices rose by 37 percent in the past year through March, year, wheat prices by 123 percent, and rice by 36 percent. Of the total 43 percent rise in global food costs, the corn price rise accounts for only 1.2 percentage points, according to Edward Lazear, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. In the U.S., food prices rose 4.5 percent—without ethanol, Dr. Lazear told a recent press briefing, they would have risen 4.25 percent."
- Senator Richard Lugar, May 2008

"First, a reality check on corn ethanol, which isn't quite the villain critics make it out to be. Last year, American farmers grew a record 13.1 billion bushels of corn on 85 million acres. Of that, 22% went to make about 7 billion gallons of ethanol. That still left enough corn to supply the domestic market, increase exports to record levels, and stockpile a 10% surplus."
- Business Week, May 2008

"For nearly thirty years, our nation has pursued policies to promote the development and use of domestic, renewable fuels. We've promoted renewable biofuels as a way to lesson our dependence on foreign oil and to improve air quality. During this time, the biofuels movement enjoyed overwhelming support. Now, an anti-ethanol smear campaign led by the Grocery Manufacturers Association is blaming U.S. biofuels policies for the rising cost of food and global food shortages."
- Senator Charles Grassley, May 2008 letter to GMA companies

"Here are the facts. In the last five years, despite the nearly threefold growth of the corn ethanol industry (or actually because of it), the U.S. corn crop grew by 35 percent, the production of distillers grain (a high-value animal feed made from the protein saved from the corn used for ethanol) quadrupled and the net corn food and feed product of the U.S. increased 26 percent."

- Robert Zubrin / Gal Luft Opinion Editorial, May 2008

"The propaganda being used by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and its high-paid lobbying firms in Washington, D.C., is patently false and should be disavowed."
- Senator Charles Grassley, May 2008 letter to GMA companies

"While many like to blame the increases on biofuels, specifically corn ethanol, a closer examination will reveal that other factors beyond ethanol have played a greater role in higher food prices"
- National Farmers Union President Tom Buis, May 2008

"What's happening in the US today today is not affecting global food prices to the extent that people are talking about."
- USDA Secretary Ed Schafer

"Regarding the impact of biofuels on world food prices, the current starch ethanol has little impact and production from cellulosic materials will have no impact (if residues of current starch production are utilized) or little impact if dedicated energy crops are used.
- Dr. Robert Wooley, Abengoa Bioenergy, testimony before Congress, June 11, 2008


"The underlying force driving changes in the agricultural industry, along with the economy as a whole, is overall higher energy costs, evidenced by $100 per barrel oil."
- Texas A&M Report, April 2008

"The launching of the second-generation cellulosic industry will only be possible through first-generation starch-based cash flows, know-how and infrastructure,"
- Dr. Robert Wooley, Abengoa Bioenergy, testimony before Congress, June 11, 2008

"Instead of helping Big Oil make more money at the expense of average Americans, we are forcing oil companies to change their ways. We will hold them accountable for unconscionable price-gouging and force them to invest in renewable energy or pay a price for refusing to do so.”
- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, May 2008

"This analysis suggests that the growth in ethanol production has caused retail gasoline prices to be $0.29 to $0.40 per gallon lower than would otherwise have been the case."
- Iowa State Report on Effect of Ethanol

“Rising gas prices are contributing to the economic slowdown, straining the pocketbooks of hardworking families and the bottom lines of small businesses."
- Congressman Jason Altmire regarding the effects of higher gasoline prices, April 2008

“Iowa is becoming a national leader in the field of renewable energy. We’re building a very diverse renewable energy portfolio, and developing a statewide energy plan."
- Iowa Governor Chet Culver, May 2008

"These investments in leading-edge firms supports belief that ethanol has the greatest near-term potential as a clean-burning, renewable fuel that can help reduce oil dependence."
- General Motors President Fritz Hendersen

We estimate that over the past six years household expenditures on gasoline and motor oil have doubled, rising by more than $1200.
- Dr. Mark Cooper, Consumer Federation of America, Congressional Testimony April 2008

"While greenhouse gases from the tailpipes of cars get the most attention, the refineries that keep cars and trucks running also contribute to global warming. Fuel must be burned to make gasoline from oil, generating carbon-dioxide pollution."
- Chicago Tribune, February 2008

National Security

"...America has got to change its habits. We've got to get off oil."
- President George W. Bush, Wirec Conference, March 5, 2008

"Oil at $115 dollars a barrel in today's market is a deceiving figure, oil is a strategic commodity and should find its real value."
- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discussing that $115 a barrel oil is too cheap, April 2008

"We need energy security. We need food security. We can have both."
- Senator Richard Lugar, May 2008

"And the truth of the matter is it's in our national interests that our farmers grow energy, as opposed to us purchasing energy from parts of the world that are unstable or may not like us." - President George W. Bush, Press Conference, April 2008


"From fueling a national conversation about sustainability to fueling convention vehicles, we're working toward a green convention on every front,"
- Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. (regarding using E85 from beer for the 08 Democratic convention)

Campaign Against Ethanol
"But, as was recently reported, this anti-ethanol campaign is not a coincidence. It turns out that a $300,000, six-month retainer of a beltway public relations firm is behind the smear campaign, hired by the Grocery Manufacturers Association."
- Senator Charles Grassley, Senate Floor Speech, May 2008

"Corn-based ethanol is directly responsible for major increases in the costs of not just corn products, but virtually all major food staples."
- Glover Park Group, Campaign Report to GMA, March 6, 2008 distorting the truth about food increases.

"The rocketing price for corn already is hurting Americans at the grocery store and the gas pump. Now it’s going to hurt us at the multiplex, too.
- Kansas City Star blaming ethanol for RAISING gas prices, food AND movie popcorn prices!


"I am pleased to note the drug industry’s willingness to work with us in addressing these problems. While we may differ on the details, in marked contrast to food manufacturers, the drug industry appears to recognize that a safer drug supply is not only in the interest of the public health, but also in the interest of their bottom line." - Representative John Dingell about efforts to build a better and safer FDA, April 2008

So when (in the movie) Curt and Ian take a bite of field corn, (not sweet corn) well past "roasting ear" stage and into the dent stage, throw it back into the field and call it "crap, " it hurts -- a lot.
- Missouri farmer Marcia Gorrell describing how she felt about her extended family member's movie, King Corn, April 2008

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