E85 Boondoogle of the Day: "Let Them Eat Rice"

In a recent interview with the Weekly Standard, Iowa Senator Charles Grassley weighed-in on the food-for-fuel debate. "If part of our problem is that the Chinese are going to eat meat and you've got to have corn and soybeans to feed the Chinese their meat, then why isn't it just as legitimate for the Chinese to go back and eat rice as it is for us to change our policy on corn to ethanol?" Despite the growing consensus (so to speak) that ethanol is not an environmentally-friendly fuel, drives up food prices and contributes to world starvation, Grassley isn't willing to surrender the $4.5b of federal ethanol subsidies and the farm lobby support that goes with it. The Weekly Standard condemns Grassley's position. "As this 'let them eat rice' soundbite made clear, the debate over the food versus fuel issue is about as undignified as a full out real food fight at a summer camp cafeteria."

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  • Gamper Gamper on Aug 13, 2008

    ihatetrees : gamper: That being said, I find it rather troubling when anyone suggests it is somehow our responsibility to feed the world’s hungry. We are not the only nation with surplus food supplies or a powerful farm lobby. The point is price and market stability, which corn ethanol distorts. People make long term commitments based on a certain price range. Why should Grassley be condemned when so many other nations around the world have policies in place that are just as openly self serving. Because it is right to condemn an amoral, selfish POS regardless of location. 1) Get involved in the futures markets if you are worried stable prices. 2) Selfishness and morality are relative terms....which was my point. It is easy to curse the selfishness and lack of morality of others, it is quite another thing to get out your wallet when someone comes to your door asking for a donation.

  • Ihatetrees Ihatetrees on Aug 13, 2008
    gamper: 1) Get involved in the futures markets if you are worried stable prices. Futures work well for weather and other natural uncertainties. Futures based on legislative or political acts don't work because they are illegal. Don't get me wrong - food futures contracts based on market distorting legislation pending in congress would be a plus. 2) Selfishness and morality are relative terms….which was my point Given that statement, there's no point in continuing this discussion.

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Aug 14, 2008

    Kudos to the Weekly Standard (from a liberal)

  • AJ AJ on Aug 14, 2008
    EJ_San_Fran : August 13th, 2008 at 7:46 pm What would you rather be: 1. a vegetarian driving a car, or 2. a pork chop chewer on a bicyle? How about eating a vegetarian while driving an SUV? :D