Pro-ethanol folks respond to Economist's ethanol attack

Yesterday, I wrote about an article in the Economist that equated the amount of maize it takes to make a gallon of ethanol with a year's worth of food. Earlier today, we saw the latest bit of bad news from an ethanol producer (the suspension of construction of a large ethanol plant in Imperial Valley). Still, ethanol does have its defenders, and one of them - from Poet Energy - contacted AutoblogGreen to point us to a brand new study by Informa Economics that finds that overall food prices have a "weak correlation" with the price of corn. In other words, don't blame E85 for the increased cost of your dinner.
Actually, the study is long-term and looked at 20 years of data. The results are what's new. Reuters says that the study "shows that corn prices have minimal impact on the U.S. Consumer Price Index for food, which has been on the rise." Reuters reporter Christine Stebbins spoke with Bruce Scherr, Informa's chief executive, who said, "We're not saying that corn prices are cheap, that ethanol hasn't helped underpin the growth in the corn economy. What we are saying is to blame corn and corn-based ethanol for all of the inflation associated with food and food prices ... is to grossly under-consider all the other forces at work." In other words, don't blame E85 for all of the increased cost of your dinner.

Renewable Fuels Foundation funded the Informa study. You can read Informa's announcement or download the complete study (both in PDF).

[Source: Domestic Fuel, Reuters via Nathan S.]

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