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DOE Report: Biofuels Effect on Food Supply "Minor"

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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-19-08 11:18 PM
Original message
DOE Report: Biofuels Effect on Food Supply "Minor"
(From US Dept. of Energy EERE Newsletter)

More Studies Say Biofuels Have a Minor Impact on Food Costs

A new report from New Energy Finance concludes that biofuels are
responsible for at most 8% out of the 168% rise in grain prices since
2004, and for at most 17% out of the 136% rise in global food prices.
As a proportion of the total rise in prices, biofuels can take the
blame for less than 5% of the rise in grain prices and at most 12.5%
of the rise in global food prices. The report concludes that
population growth placed the greatest pressure on grain prices, and
that growth was not matched by increases in yields. The increasing
price of fossil fuels also caused 35.2% of the increase in grain
prices. See the New Energy Finance press release.

Meanwhile, DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimate that
the United States would use an additional 7.2 billion gallons of
gasoline in 2008 if there were no biofuels available. Ethanol
production alone has moderated U.S. gasoline prices by an estimated
20-35 cents per gallon, saving a typical U.S. household as much as
$300 per year. In addition, the price of food commodities has a
limited impact on retail grocery costs in the United States, so
ethanol and biodiesel consumption account for only about 3%-5% of the
increase in U.S. retail grocery prices over the past year and a half.
These statistics were included in a letter sent to Senator Jeff
Bingaman by Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman and Agriculture Secretary
Edward Schafer. See the DOE fact sheet and the full letter.
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losthills Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-20-08 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
1. If you can't believe the US Dept. Of Energy...
who can you believe?
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eilen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-20-08 05:28 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I tend to believe that report
it is still pretty early in this country (industry wise) for ethanol plants to make such an impact. The food prices going up are more a creation of the higher cost in transporting as well as speculation.

(Subsidized crops going up so high so fast--certainly must be speculation).

Corn is in everything.
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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-20-08 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
3. I'd be a little happier if the report had been more global in scope.
Quotes like "ethanol and biodiesel consumption account for only about 3%-5% of the increase in U.S. retail grocery prices over the past year and a half" ignores the effect that biodiesel production may be having on food prices in other countries. Globally the study rates its impact as twice that of the USA (8% vs. 4%) but that's an average, and a lot of deviation is concealed by such a basic statistic. If the global average is 8% and the US average is 4%, it is mathematically certain that some countries are experiencing a 16% or even a 24% effect.

The problem of rising global food prices is multi-factorial, incorporating effects as diverse as climate change, national policies and commodity market structures as well as underlying physical effects of soil depletion and declining fresh water availability. Even in this report biofuel is identified as a food price driver, so it's not as though we can simply dismiss its disruptive potential if biofuel production is allowed to grow without constraint.

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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-20-08 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
4. Biofuels has GOT to be a scam and a con if the Bushies are lying about it.
I had my suspicions before, now I am virtaully certain.

The usual lying Bushie bullshit, There are no conseuqneces to our actions.

And when we find out, years later, too many years to do anything about it, the Bushies, if any ofthem even bother to respond to us Little People, will say "WHOOPS! Just a big mistake."

My ass!

If a man's paycheck depends upon him making a 'mistake', you can bet he will make that same 'mistake' every day.

This describes the etire Bushie edifice of tyranny...NONE of it Katrina, 9/11, the weak dollar, the looted Treasury...NONE of them were 'mistakes'.
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poopfuel Donating Member (228 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-20-08 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
5. This report is worth a look- more international in scope
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JohnWxy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-21-08 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
6. NIce to see some rational analysis directed at this issue instead of raving arguments without any
real analysis to support them.



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