Wednesday, January 31, 2007

USDA Releases Proposed 2007 Farm Bill

Johanns Unveils 2007 Farm Bill Proposals.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, $1.6 Billion is geared towards renewable energy research, development and production. This research will be targeted towards cellulosic ethanol. There is an additional $500 million initiative geared towards bio-energy and bio-based product research.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Effects of ethanol fuel on society

Mexico grapples with soaring prices for corn

Mexico is in the grip of the worst tortilla crisis in its modern history. Dramatically rising international corn prices, spurred by demand for the grain-based fuel ethanol, have led to expensive tortillas. That, in turn, has led to lower sales for vendors such as Rosales and angry protests by consumers.

Sometimes I'm not sure whether or not we, as members of society, think of the effects that our demands for cheaper fuel cause for others. This is one such instance. Is corn-based ethanol a "fix" for us that is going to cause problems for others? If so, then perhaps we need to rethink our stance on it, and move to a crop which will not have a negative impact, such as switchgrass.

Friday, January 26, 2007

USDA Devoted To Bio-Fuel Development

USDA Announces Plan For $1.6 Billion Investment In Renewable Fuels

"It remains a priority across USDA to support the development of biofuels. We will continue to build on current programs and turn the corner on renewable energy," said Johanns. "With biofuels coming to the forefront, American agriculture faces the greatest opportunity of a generation to lead a future in which we get our energy by the bushel and not by the barrel."