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2009 was not a good year for car sales. No surprises there. An interesting side effect of lowered sales last year, though, is that the total number of vehicles in the overall U.S. car fleet dropped. There were 250 million cars here in 2008, and only 246 million at the end of 2009. We may have been buying fewer cars than we usually do in a year – there were around 10 million sold in 2009 – but we still got rid of 14 million units.

Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute is no fan of ethanol, and he stiffened up his stance in an interview with Foreign Policy magazine. Brown noted the huge jump in new ethanol plants and tied the increased ethanol production to conflicts in the food market.