It was 10 years ago

that I started writing articles on the use of corn for producing

ethanol.  I thought it was a dumb idea. 

Today, even some of the left leaning media are starting to join the

naysayers about corn-based ethanol.

Why the negativity

you may ask?  Well, look at the facts. 

In 2001 corn sold for about $3 a bushel and the majority of corn

produced was used for either livestock food or human

consumption.

Corn use was

starting to escalate in the production of ethanol a decade ago, but

the cost factors involved in converting this grain to useable

alcohol were far more than the end product could generate at the

pump.  Thus, government subsidies continued to be

required.  Soon the corn growing states were locked in

a money romance with both sides of the political power

base.  The Republicans wanted to keep corn-producing

states in their political camp, while the Democrats romanced the

farmers to assure the Corn Belt felt kinship with the donkey

crowd. 

Both parties were

using corn-based ethanol  and the need to reduce our

dependency on foreign oil as a reason to subsidize that industry to

the tune of more than $6 to $7 billion in taxpayer dollars a

year.  Every dollar of that money was really being

used to buy votes.  It also translated into more than

$5.5 billion year in windfall profits for the farm industry and

ethanol producers.

The sad thing about

this vote buying with subsidies is that it created a situation

where we were using a vital food source to fill gasoline

tanks.  Our cattle need corn as a food

base.  It is also fed to hogs, poultry dairy cows and

other livestock.

There are more than

500 uses for corn including baby food, cereals, puddings, tamales

and almost uncountable numbers of different food

items.  Corn is also used for plastics, explosives,

rayon, dyes, antifreeze, adhesives, solvents, pharmaceuticals, and

soaps and in academic studies.

Because of the move

from general use to selling their crops for ethanol, our farmers

have managed to drive up the prices of every product that utilizes

corn.  What sold for $3 a bushel in 2001 is selling

for more than $7 a bushel in 2011…and the public is supporting

those prices by paying more for everything they buy.

What is even more

disheartening is when we realize that ethanol has only increased

our energy independence by 1.1% and reduced our greenhouse gas

emissions by 1/19th of 1%...and for that reduction you

have paid an extra $3.6 billion for gasoline at the pump.

Here are a few

additional facts that should boil anyone’s blood.  It

takes about 450 pounds of corn to produce enough ethanol for one

tank of gas.  It takes 450 pounds of corn to feed one

person for a year.

If we were to

produce enough corn to end our dependency on foreign oil it would

requires 482 million acres of cropland.  Today we only

have 434 million acres of cropland used for all the food production

in the United States.

Want more green

energy, anyone?