In a speech
on the US economy given today in Independence, Missouri, Presidential candidate John McCain slammed federal support for ethanol.
And my administration will reduce the price of food by eliminating the subsidies for ethanol and agricultural goods. These subsidies inflate the price of food, not only for Americans but for people in poverty across the world, and I propose to abolish them.
In this painfully uninformed policy statement, Senator McCain ignores the repeated studies
that show that ethanol demand has had limited impact on food prices. In fact, it has been the higher price of oil that has driven food cost inflation. In other studies
, it's shown that the increase use of ethanol has kept gas prices down in part due to the increase in fuel supplies.
Ethanol subsidies are in place to encourage the OIL companies to invest in the technology and infrastructure to blend ethanol into our nation's fuel supply.
America needs to continue finding and funding alternative fuel solutions to improve the environment, break our dependence upon oil and provide for our economic and national security independence free from the tyranny of foreign oil
American voters, especially those who support renewable fuels and rural development, will have to weigh McCain's position on ethanol in a broader policy context of farm policy, taxes, national security, free trade, extreme environmentalism and federal fiscal responsibilities.
Ethanol enjoys wide support from both republican and democrat senators, congressmen and governors across the country. So they will be loathe to agree with any administration that seeks to turn back America's renewable energy growth.
But this much is clear: the next administration will need to support a robust rural farm economy that can both feed and fuel the country.
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