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Sat Jul 28, 2012, 11:47 AM

BIOFUELS: Drought, searing heat reignite food-fuel debate

[font face=Serif][font size=5]BIOFUELS:
Drought, searing heat reignite food-fuel debate [/font]

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter
Greenwire: Friday, July 27, 2012

[font size=3]

A withering Midwestern drought has reignited the debate over "food versus fuel" as soaring corn prices -- which the Department of Agriculture says will cause as much as a 4 percent spike in retail food prices next year -- become ammunition for livestock as proof that federal biofuels mandates have failed.

The ethanol industry isn't taking the attacks lightly, aggressively counterpunching claims that its product is at least partly responsible for a 50 percent jump in corn prices since mid-June.

"This is another step of this ongoing campaign of misinformation by a wide variety of groups, unfortunately, that have opposed ethanol policies either because they feel entitled to cheap corn or they don't want to see their market share taken by a growing biofuels market," said Brian Jennings, executive vice president of the American Coalition for Ethanol.

At issue in food versus fuel is whether the demand for ethanol -- driven by a federal mandate -- induces farmers to plant corn for ethanol rather than for food and livestock feed.


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