The Ethanol Papers - Paperturn manuscript - Flipbook - Page 266
Reply from MARC:
Ray, thanks for your reply. It sure is a politically charged topic, and given the
amount of money involved in all aspects how could it not be.
To say that farmers have "profited immensely from ethanol made from corn
since corn prices have skyrocketed" is convolutedly incorrect.
For the moment, let's say that farmers have profited immensely. So what? Perhaps they're entitled to profit immensely, finally. If, as you write, America feeds
the world, then why shouldn't farming be very profitable? There has been no
restriction on how much the oil industry can profit. I'd rather American farmers
be rich than foreign dictators.
But, corn prices have not skyrocketed, and during the times that corn prices
have been pushed up it is due to commodity speculators, the farmers aren't
necessarily the ones that profited. As a matter of interest, corn prices this past
June were about the same or slightly higher than they were in the 1970's,
1980's, and much of the 1990's. Recent prices are higher than in June, but they
are about half what they were in 2011-2013.
Additionally, I never wrote that ethanol "produces more energy than the oil energy used to grow corn, sugar beets or sugar cane and distill the alcohol from
it." I wrote that gasoline was more energy-negative than ethanol. As you know,
all man-made fuels require energy to produce them. This is due to the need to
"convert" the raw material into its final usable form.
Links to the studies and reports related to gasoline being more energy negative
than ethanol can be found in Part 5 of my report that I mentioned to you previously.
Follow up from RAYMOND B:
I beg to differ. I own a farm and have rented 22 acres to a big farmer who raises
corn. He told me corn prices tripled when government started the ethanol production programs and mandated gasohol. He even doubled the rent he was
paying me because of the higher profits.