I recently passed a meat market that was advertising hamburger at $2.99 per pound and last week advertised a cheaper cut of beef steak at $4.95 per pound. Isn't it odd that the government does not count the costs of food or fuel in determining our rate of inflation?
One of the main factors in inflation is the cost of corn as a feed for the production of livestock. In fact, livestock producers have been begging the government to stop requiring the use of corn and other grains in the production of ethanol as an additive gasoline.
It takes approximately 50 bushels of corn to produce the ethanol additive required to fill your gas tank and 72,000 liters of water to produce one gallon of ethanol. This year, it will take 25 percent of all the feed grains grown in the United States to cover the mandated 10-percent ethanol additive requirement for gasoline. Next year, the ethanol requirement for gasoline will increase to 15 percent, which also will produce fewer miles per gallon. The ethanol grain facility in Fostoria is alleged to consume 50,000 bushels of corn per day.
There is, however, a new process to produce ethanol from abundantly available natural gas and coal. It can be produced for $1 to $1.50 less per gallon than the cost of grain-produced ethanol. Grain ethanol-infused gasoline is not at all competitive with the cost of regular gasoline. Grain ethanol now requires a 54-cent-per-gallon subsidy from the taxpayers to be used for gasoline.
The Celanese Corp. has a newly patented process to produce ethanol from coal and/or natural gas at substantially below the cost of grain-based ethanol, but the refiners are prohibited from purchasing it because by federal regulation they are only permitted to purchase ethanol made from "renewable" resources, i.e. growing crops. Next year, the mandated 15-percent grain ethanol additive will take almost 40 percent of the grain crop out of food production.
Ohio has one of the largest coal and natural gas reserves in the United States. Yet we are prohibited by law from its productive use. China, with huge coal reserves, has just signed the largest contract in the world to use the Celenese process to convert coal to 48 million gallons of ethanol per day.
I emailed our Sen. Sherrod Brown to say the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is driving Ohio's coal and electrical companies out of business, losing the good coal mining jobs and inexpensive electrical power needed to attract businesses in Ohio. I received a reply email in which he said he was glad I support him and the EPA!
I just sent a check to Josh Mandel, Brown's competitor for election to the U.S. Senate.
Very truly yours,
Michael B. Lange,