Will Nothing Sl…

Will Nothing Slay the Ethanol Dragon?

Apparently the beast cannot be starved to death. As the drought kills off corn by the stalk, animal feed costs are rising, and this has a big impact on livestock management. It’s causing ranchers to slaughter their animals earlier than usual, increasing the supply temporarily and actually pushing down meat prices.  
Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced a plan for the government to buy $170 million of this meat in order to keep farmers happy by keeping the prices up. This is a terrible idea, as the Washington Examiner explains:
“Prices are low, farmers and ranchers need help, so it makes sense,” Obama explained. “It makes sense for farmers who get to sell more of their product, and it makes sense for taxpayers who will save money because we’re getting food we would have bought anyway at a better price.”
None of this makes sense. In fact, Obama’s move only harms American consumers while protecting a corrupt federal program.
A drought is currently driving down corn production. The shortage of feed is forcing livestock producers to slaughter animals early, putting downward pressure on meat prices in the short run and guaranteeing shortages and higher prices next year. But nature is not the biggest factor in this crisis — the government is. Specifically, the federal government’s ethanol mandate, which requires that 13.2 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol be produced in 2012.

Read more: http://reason.com/blog/2012/08/15/will-nothing-slay-the-ethanol-dragon

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