The droughts in the Midwest caused by Climate Change are taking their toll on corn production. The situation has now deteriorated to the point where corn-based ethanol production facilities have been halted due to lack of supply.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday August 22, 2012 8:25 am|
A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court, voting 2-1 on partisan lines, has struck down the EPA’s “good neighbor” air pollution rule, which attempted to protect Eastern states from upwind pollution from Midwest and Southern states via tougher pollution laws. A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down a key Obama administration air pollution rule [...]
|By: David Dayen Friday August 17, 2012 9:01 am|
Gas prices have shot up 30 cents over the last month, and stand at $3.71 a barrel nationwide, the highest level since mid-May. Rising oil prices and a refinery fire in northern California have caused most of the price increase, but some of this is also due to the possibility of an Israeli strike on [...]
|By: David Dayen Thursday August 16, 2012 3:37 pm|
The Obama campaign has responded by saying that the President is a strong supporter of ethanol as a driver of the economy. The President was speaking in Iowa at the time. But even if you support ethanol – and studies show the corn-based version costs us more in energy to harvest than it’s worth – you cannot deny the economic harm created by the mandate at this time, given the drought conditions. The price spikes have caused a severe hardship for livestock producers in particular who use corn to feed their animals. The head of the UN’s food program, Jose Graziano da Silva, also called for a suspension of the ethanol mandate.
|By: David Dayen Friday August 10, 2012 9:20 am|
Here’s a classic case of what’s good for the US being terrible for the rest of the world. That typically does not lead to good outcomes for the world. Corn-based ethanol fails on its own merits. The energy used in production far exceeds the energy savings from using ethanol over fossil fuel-based energy. The biofuel standards could be reached by less invasive sources like switchgrass and other natural sources. Converting so much corn into fuel at a time of a massive corn shortage makes no sense.
|By: David Dayen Friday August 3, 2012 8:51 am|
The House of Representatives passed their one-year drought relief bill by a relatively thin margin yesterday, 223-197. They needed 35 votes from Democrats to get it across the line, as 46 Republicans begged off the bill. Here’s the roll call.
The House passed this on the last possible day of the session before the August recess, and the Senate did not get around to passage. So there will be no immediate disaster relief coming for livestock producers suffering under a price spike due to corn shortages.
|By: Crane-Station Thursday August 2, 2012 7:15 pm|
The current US Drought Monitor map was published today.
All but four Chicago-area counties in the US state of Illinois are disaster counties. Illinois has 102 counties. In short, Illinois, and I mean the whole of this giant Midwest state, is a government-listed, aid eligible disaster area. Illinois is, in pertinent part a leading US producer of corn, soybeans and swine, with 76,000 farms covering 28 million acres amounting to nearly eighty percent of Illinois total land acreage.
|By: David Dayen Thursday August 2, 2012 11:37 am|
The House will take up its standalone disaster relief bill today, which will serve as a talking point in rural Republican districts as “action” being taken to respond to the historic drought plaguing the country. The House waited until the last possible day before the August recess to pass the measure, giving the Senate basically no time to concur. So there won’t really be action taken before the recess, but House members can say “I passed a bill and now the Senate must act.”
|By: Ruth Calvo Sunday August 14, 2011 8:30 am|
Sadly, there is one good aspect I can see coming out of this year’s ‘exceptional’ drought level throughout the state of Texas, and neighboring Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico. It may finally teach farmers that high irrigation crops such as corn are not a good thing to plant here.