We've all grown up with Indiana Beach's slogan "there's more than corn in Indiana"
but that may be changing due to the Ethanol craze........it may not be long before corn is all that is planted. Yeah, that's right, no more fresh mown hay sending its fragrance through the fields we used to roam or soybeans or anything else for that matter.
I applaud research and interest in alternative fuels, but I don't think folks are really thinking through the side-effects of the ethanol binge we seem to be having. Large ethanol companies are scrambling to get land rezoned and options in place across the Hoosier state......corn prices are rising and farmers are happy. We are intoxicated on ethanol. Even Senator Lugar, a man I greatly respect and admire, is talking it up with his "Fuel Freedom" ad campaign. After hearing that, I remember turning to my wife and saying I couldn't have ever imagined a Republican talking about alternative fuels.
But what about our food supply? What happens when the corn we plant goes entirely to our cars and not to livestock? and what happens when our food prices start to climb? Gas prices won't go down to off-set those increases. And what of our dependence on foreign oil-I understand that if we used ALL of our corn production for ethanol, our import of foreign oil would only drop by a few percentage points. And eventually the 50 cent per gallon subsidy on ethanol will have to drop or go away-which pushes fuel prices up. It'll be tough to wake up to that hang-over.
No, ethanol is not the answer to our dependence on foreign oil. Consumption HAS to be curbed-that is the only short to mid-range term solution. No one wants to talk about that, though, that's too difficult and may just cramp our style.
I love watching news broadcasts once fuel climbs a few cents-they always interview those folks with the big suvs or hummers:
Reporter "sir, are you going to change your driving habits?"
Hummer man "how can I? I have to drive30 miles from the suburbs into work to pay for this"
Reporter "mam, are you going to limit trips to the store" to woman outside Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart woman "I have to drive across town to get to my wal-mart to save a few cents"
Well, I guess we better just plant more corn.