It is always foolish for a country to order the burning of its food supply, but it takes a special kind of depravity to do it in the midst of a severe drought. Yet that is precisely what the misguided federal ethanol mandate is doing, requiring the burning of 40 percent of the corn supply at a time of shortages and sky-high prices. If no action is taken, the impact will be another spike in grocery prices next year, as well as devastation for farmers and ranchers attempting to cope with higher feed prices.
The severity of the situation is being expressed across the political spectrum and across the world.
Two Democratic governors – Bev Purdue of North Carolina and Mike Beebe of Arkansas – have officially petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to grant a waiver from the ethanol mandate, officially known as the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS). They have now been joined by a bipartisan group of 26 senators and 156 House members.