[Submitted/published State Journal-Register]
The article in the SJ-R on the decline in US gasoline consumption has an interesting bullet point illustrating how completely detached from reality our government energy policies have become.
To quote: “By 2022, the country’s fuel mix must include 36 billion gallons of ethanol and other biofuels, up from 14 billion gallons in 2011.”
I know people grow weary of me constantly harping on economics, so I’ll confine myself to some easy math. You can follow along at home with your calculator. Here we go…
36 billion divided by 14 billion is 2.57 (rounded).
That’s the factor for how much more corn we’ll have to divert from food.
Estimates vary between one-third to just over forty percent of the United States corn crop is currently being sacrificed for ethanol production. We’ll use thirty-five percent for this exercise.
2.57 times 35 equals 89.95.
Our result tells us that current regulations on the books dictate that within about a decade we’ll have to use ninety percent of the U.S corn crop to make a product that is so incredibly stupid that even Al Gore is running away from it.
But don’t worry. Since this policy comes from government experts, I’m sure we’ll be importing corn from China long before that.
(If you’ll forgive me for a bit of economics, note that even at the current level, beef and pork producers are already talking about “herd liquidation” due to the rising cost of feed.)
So, just a little middle school algebra is now all it takes to prove what I’ve been saying all along:
The situation is hopeless, but not serious!