If there is a worse alternative energy idea than corn-based ethanol, we have yet to see it. Despite growing evidence and data that reveal what a bad deal is ethanol, we continue our tax payer-subsidized head-long plunge deeper into this horrible idea. And now, in California, we have more bad news regarding ethanol that will, no doubt, be ignored by our law-makers and regulators.
Attempts to clean up our air and to ensure that the nation has enough milk to drink are on a collision course.
As a result, the future of California's dairy industry looks sour. Around 100 farms are expected to go bankrupt this year alone, and the trend seems likely to continue if nothing is done.
Because of the demand for grain to produce the gasoline additive ethanol - which was supposed to reduce air pollution - plus a nationwide drought, many of the state's cash-strapped farmers are selling their cows for slaughter because they can't afford to feed them. It's a "perfect storm," says Colin Carter, professor of agricultural economics at UC Davis, that could spell trouble for the county's milk supply - 1 out of 5 glasses of milk consumed in the United States comes from California cows. And the increasing price of grain is hurting all livestock industries.
The drought conditions are bad enough as it is and we compound the problem by doubling down on stupid as the federal law mandating ethanol in gasoline now consumes one-third of the nation's corn crop, a percentage that only looks to go higher.
So far, 6 states have petitioned for relief via an escape clause contained within the ethanol law. The EPA, in an emergency, can temporarily lift the mandate. Frankly, given the ideological bent of this particular EPA, we don't see that happening. Besides, even a temporarily lifting of the mandate would expose what an awful sham corn-based ethanol is.
That the actions of the Environmental Protection Agency should be so far-reaching as to effect the price of food and availability of fuel demonstrates how far outside the box the agency has grown.
By 2050, there will be 9 billion people on this planet and they are going to need to be fed but try reasoning that reality to the flat-earthers within the enviro-zealot community.