January 19, 2020

“Every Member of Congress Now Has Discovered Ethanol”

I. Ethanol-Renewable Fuels
A. Politics and Economics
B. Ripple Impacts
1. Land Values
2. Corn on Corn Planting
3. Farm Policy
II. Oilseeds
III. Canadian Corn Case
IV. Doha
V. Freeze, Prices Up

I. Ethanol-Renewable Fuels
A. Politics and Economics

Brendan Murray and Tina Seeley of Bloomberg news, reported yesterday that, “Administration officials say Bush’s seventh annual address to Congress on Jan. 23 will reiterate his vow to cut Middle Eastern oil imports by 75 percent by 2025 and curb what he describes as a national ‘addiction’ to fossil fuels. Democrats and the White House are likely to agree to boost support for biofuels, increase federal funding for electric-powered vehicles and sweeten incentives for the use of solar and wind power, lobbyists and industry experts say.”

The article added that, “At the same time, a bipartisan group of senators –including Tom Harkin, a Democrat from corn-producing Iowa, Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican, and Barack Obama, an Illinois Democrat — introduced legislation earlier this month to give tax credits for cars that can run on fuel that is mostly ethanol.

“‘Every member of Congress now has discovered ethanol,’’ Representative Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat who heads the House Agriculture Committee, said in an interview. By mentioning biofuels such as switchgrass in his 2006 State of the Union address, Bush ‘really started people thinking,’ says Peterson, 62.”

Corn Harvest, Photo by the Associated Press

The Bloomberg writers also noted that, “Mark McMinimy, an analyst with Stanford Group in Washington, said in a note to his clients last week that ‘it is becoming increasingly apparent that the renewable fuels/ethanol juggernaut enjoys one of the most prized commodities in Washington: broad- based, bipartisan political momentum.’”