Jun 26, 2008

My rant on the energy policies that I DEFINITIVELY, don't understand

The wake-up call this morning over here in the Rockies is that Longmont’s Butterball plant will shut down part of its operations and around 200 hundred people from my surroundings will loose their jobs.

The reason? Place your bets…

In a press release the company said it’s due to the high costs of soy beans and corn, due to government mandated production of corn-based ethanol that has skyrocketed the price of food for everyone, including the turkeys that the plant processes.

“The increased costs, the release said, have resulted from government policies that mandate ethanol production as a part of the Renewable Fuel Standards. In the past year, Butterball's feed costs have increased by $200 million and by more than $300 million in the last two years.”

“Congress and the administration have been cautioned since at least 2005 that consequences such a plant reductions, closings, higher unemployment and higher food costs would result from our nation's current renewable fuels policy," Shoemaker said in the release.

You know what, this Cubanita over here needs to be enlightened –one more time, because something in here simply does not add up.

Let’s take a quick look:

-We are using the land that it was supposed to be used to grow food to grow corn that, instead of being used to feed animals and human beings, is used to produce ethanol.

-Thus, food prices are going higher and higher and it looks that it won’t stop. I feel the pain in my wallet every time I look at my grocery bill.

-From releases like this one you become aware that our Congress is already aware of the consequences of this policy, but apparently the wake-up calls have fallen in deaf ears.

-Then you hear in the news that corn-based ethanol is one of the most expensive ones, that sugar cane ethanol is cheaper to produce but then, something is going on that sugar cane ethanol produce in Brazil, for example, is having a hard time to get into the US market.

-And then you hear about government supported subsidies for farmers that grow corn for ethanol instead of, let’s say, tomatoes or lettuces. Obviously, farmers will want to grow the corn for ethanol that will give them more profits. Thus, more food shortages in the local market.

-Then comes the news about Colorado governor Bill Ritter proposing or supporting –whatever!, that the state oil rigs workers should work a nine months schedule –same as teachers—instead of 12 months a year. (So what, are we going to eat the prairie dogs that will procreate massively in those three months? Or are we going to use their caca to fuel our cars? Oh! Got it! Are we going to be riding horses on I-25?)

-And our government does not want to approve the drilling in US coast or Alaska or anywhere else in the country where there is oil. (Are we saving it for a museum?)

-Some rich politicians out there want us to believe that the future of the country is in the environmentally friendly big corporations and carbon trade and all that stuff that we, the average Joe’s that can not afford a hybrid car, don't even understand.

-You can also read in the local newspapers’ guest commentaries that there is a big time oil and natural gas deposit in an area that goes along Colorado, Utah and Nebraska? Well, the geographic details are not important; it’s somewhere close here.

-And there you have the news, op-ed and other evidence that the US hasn't build a new refinery or nuclear plant (the cleanest and cheaper energy source) in like, 30 years? Helloooooo!!!

-Then some Harvard specialist on something was saying yesterday in NPR that drilling in the US or using more of our domestic oil will not change the oil global price. But, who cares about the OPEC prices?

Can someone in our government, please, think about the prices we are paying at the pump, the prices we are paying at the supermarket or the prices the laid-off employees from Butterball are paying for loosing their jobs?

Boy, I do need some energy-friendly explanations.

Hey, you, up there in Congress, get real! That’s why we vote for you after all.

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