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Both are so sensitive, because of price
volatility, that they were removed from
the list of commodities that comprise the
Consumer Price Index (CPI) used by the
federal government to calculate the rate
of inflation in the United States.
The
American public is told by our
government the rate of inflation
in 2006 was only 2.2 percent.
However, when price increases in
food and energy were factored in,
he reality was that actual inflation
was 4.8 percent, or an increase of
118 percent above what the nation
was told.

In reality, energy is consuming a food supply system in order to sustain its own energy
supply system used to fuel automobiles. The energy supply system's purpose from the
outset was to supply energy to all systems, not draw from them.
At the heart of this conflict of resources is the American food source that affects most
others: corn.

    Corn was selected as the most adaptable
    and richest source of energy for biofuel —
    ethanol. Corn was readily available, easy to
    transport and produced more energy than
    other feedstocks such as cellulose, grasses,
    wood chips, crop residues, waste paper and
    municipal solid waste.

    Today, 60 percent of the American corn
    crop is fed to U.S. livestock. Therefore, as
    the price of corn is forced up by the
    demands of ethanol production and many
    natural causes, such as weather, so is the
    price of meat, poultry, eggs, milk and more
    than 3,500 other products Americans use
    every day.

Prices for nearly all these products are increasing. Prices across the board were up 6
percent in 2006. At the outset of biofuel production, corn prices doubled but have settled
back to a 33 percent increase in 2007.

Estimates suggest milk at $4.00-plus per gallon and a general increase of some
10 percent across the board for other corn-sensitive products in the
foreseeable future.

Corn production for the nearly 7 billion gallons of
ethanol production at the present time requires
about 16 million acres, or 20 percent, of the total
80-plus million acres presently in corn production.
Ethanol plants presently under construction and
expansion will add another 6 billion gallons to a total
production of 12-plus billion gallons by 2012. This
will require an additional 16 million acres of corn
production land, thus consuming 40 percent of 2006
corn acreage available.

A five-fold increase in biofuel production is mandated
in Senate Bill 1419, introduced by Senator Harry
Reid, D-Nev. This increase to 36 billion gallons of
ethanol by 2022 will require nearly 100 million acres
of corn, approximately a 25 percent increase above
the present 80-plus million acres. Additional farmland will be found at the expense of
soybeans, cotton and other crops and their prices will rise accordingly.

Iowa State University economist Bob Wisner observes when "a staggering 55 ethanol
plants in Iowa" become fully operational they will virtually consume the entire Iowa corn
crop.

The U.S. supplies 70 percent of world corn exports of some 55 million tons of
corn. It is now estimated that ethanol production in 2006 consumed about 50
million tons.

    There are many voices in the
    agricultural industry who are taking
    exception to questions raised by
    many Americans as to the wisdom of
    placing food resources at the disposal
    of energy resources.

    Lynne Hoot, executive director of the
    Maryland Grain Producers Utilization
    Board, points out that developing new
    traits of drought resistance and
    nitrogen utilization in corn will provide
    15 million tons of corn by 2015,
    enough to provide 15 billion gallons of
    ethanol. This is commendable.

However, Sen. Harry Reid’s mandated goal is 36 billion gallons of ethanol by the year
2022.

Very rarely do nations take their basic food source and convert it to an energy
source when all sorts of energy sources are staring them in the face
. Alternative
sources of proven quality, safety and economy are available for immediate development.

There is, of course, the traditional energy source,
petroleum. Vast reserves lie in offshore areas
surrounding America and in untouched identified
reserves in Alaska.  Some 200 billion barrels of crude
oil is waiting to be brought to the surface.

Atomic energy would not only provide all our electrical
energy but lead to the development of electric
automobiles. Atomic energy would replace all coal-fired
electrical generating plants, saving hundreds of billions
of dollars in the electrical bills of U.S. citizens while
reducing America's main source of man-created
pollution, CO2, by 60 percent. The rest of the world is
doing this. China is building five new atomic plants with
U.S. Westinghouse technology and plans to build 30
more.

According to a bulletin recently released by Netherlands-based BioeCon, a scientific
network, Xu Dingming, deputy director of China’s National Energy Group on Monday,
June 14, 2007, said “China has ruled out the production of ethanol from food crops,
since that program will not be the path to meet the country’s energy needs”

Obviously there are many issues yet to be resolved in the ongoing biofuel
debate.
This GUEST eCOLUMN is
used by MyBestYears.com
with special permission from

E. Ralph Hostetter
, a
crusading newspaper
editor, owner and publisher
for a half-century, and a
champion of individual
liberty.

In his columns Hostetter
consistently warns of the
harmful erosion of our
constitutional rights.

Born and educated in
Maryland, he enlisted in
the U.S. Navy in 1941 and
was assigned in 1943 to
the Naval Reserve Officers
Training Corps at Harvard
University, where he
earned a bachelor of
science degree in 1945. He
was released from World
War II service in 1946 with
the rank of Ensign.
Recalled into the U.S. Navy
in 1950 during the Korean
War, he served as a Naval
Intelligence Officer until
released in 1952 with the
rank of Lieutenant, Senior
Grade.

Hostetter is chairman and
publisher of American
Farm Publications Inc.,
Easton, Md., and former
president and owner of
TriState Publishing
Company, Elkton, Md., a
chain of 13 community
newspapers.
He was elected to the
Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press
Association Newspaper Hall of
Fame in 1990. The New Jersey
Agricultural Society awarded
Hostetter its highest award, the
Gold Medallion, in 2003.

Hostetter is also Vice
President of the Strasburg
Rail Road Co. (PA),
Chairman of Ambassador
Travel Service (DE),  
Chairman, Southside
Virginia Auto Auction, (VA)
and owner of Camelot East
Farms, Prince Edward
Island, Canada.

Active in civic affairs,
Hostetter is presently a
member of the Board of
Directors of Free
Congress Foundation,
Washington, DC.

In nearly 50 years of travel,
Hostetter has made three
round-the-world trips,
visiting 113 countries,
including traveling to
Antartica, going through
the Northwest Passage on
a Russian ice breaker, and
to the North Pole on an
atomic-powered Russian
ice breaker.

He married the former
Edith White of North East,
Md., in 1947 and they have
five daughters, one son and
13 grandchildren.
E. RALPH HOSTETTER
     ...The Impact of Biofuels

As the United States involves itself more deeply into
biofuel production, questions are arising as to the
long-range effect such programs can have on America's
food source and the U.S. economy.

The production of biofuels to solve an energy
problem involves placing one of the two most
sensitive commodities in the U.S. economy, food,
at the disposal of the other most sensitive
commodity, energy.
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