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Stephanie Cohen

New Atlantis blogger Stephanie Cohen is a journalist who covers energy and environmental issues for a wide range of print and online publications. She can be reached at scohen@thenewatlantis.com.
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 Energy Incrementalism” (Spring 2006)

 Energy Dreams and Energy Realities” (Spring 2004)

 

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Power Politics

Monday, June 2, 2008

Senator Cornyn whacks ethanol in the blogosphere 

Senator John Cornyn, R.-Texas, has written a post for a Texas blog -- Panhandle Poet -- on why he wants to freeze the ethanol mandate:

Hello Panhandle Poet readers...it’s a privilege to guest post here.

I wanted to touch base with you regarding an issue which is very pressing in the Panhandle, ethanol.

When first introduced to the marketplace, it was hoped that ethanol would help revitalize rural America, lower the price we pay at the pump and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

That’s a worthy goal, yet the government’s focus on ethanol has produced a problem. There have been unintended adverse consequences to our economy from the focus on ethanol production. Chiefly, since February of 2006 the combined price of corn, wheat and soybeans has increased more than 416 percent.

For this reason and many more, I co-sponsored legislation which was introduced recently to freeze the renewable fuel standard corn-based ethanol mandate at current 2008 levels. In the panhandle, like other places, the effect of ethanol production has been mixed. While a few have benefited from it, a great many others have suffered.

As more and more farmers grow corn for ethanol production, cattle feeding ration prices have shot sky high. Mandates, along with the high cost of fuel, are squeezing every bit of profit out of cattle feedlots today.

As consumers continue to see rising food and fuel prices, freezing the corn-based ethanol mandate will allow us to re-evaluate the consequences of using food for fuel and determine the best way forward. Texas will remain a leader as we work to diversify our nation’s energy supply to include alternative and renewable sources, but in the meantime Congress must exercise its oversight role to ensure there are no further unintended consequences. A freeze of the mandate will allow time for necessary assessments and reduce increasing grocery, grain and feed prices.

Go to the blog post to read more...

posted by Stephanie Cohen | 11:49 am
File As: Biofuels