Is there no limit to the shortsightedness and selfishness of American gasohol makers?
Just when the drought is pinching farmers by killing crops and hurting consumers by increasing prices, the gasohol interests seem determined to worsen the situation.How?
By taking scarce corn that could be used to feed people in the U.S. or abroad and turning it into fuel instead. And by doing so at bargain prices to the firm involved, Archer-Daniels-Midland Co.
This ill-advised ploy is part of the drought relief bill now being considered by Congress.
As part of that bill, farmers who badly need grain to feed their livestock would be allowed to buy it from the government's stockpile at rock bottom prices. That makes sense. Since the drought hit, the price of corn has doubled, making it so expensive than farmers can't afford to feed their livestock.
What doesn't make sense is the demand that the same federal stockpiles also be sold at the same cut-rate prices to fuel producers so they can turn the grain into gasohol.
What extravagant folly!
This proposed raid on the grain stockpiles comes at a time when gasohol is even less in demand than it ever was because the world is awash in plentiful supplies of cheap petroleum that is likely to become even more abundant and cheaper once the Iran-Iraq war ends.
Though the world may one day need gasohol, its makers shouldn't be allowed now to feed on the misery of American farmers.