Increasing Ethanol & What Next?

Increasing Ethanol & What Next?

Increasing Ethanol & What Next plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

In remarks to the National Farmers Union convention - Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack endorsed the biofuels industry’s request to the Environmental Protection Agency for an increase in the ethanol blend rate up to 15-percent.

VILSACK: We can, we believe, move fairly quickly to move that rate up from 10% to maybe 12 or 13% in the interim and then take an even further jump to 15 or 20% over the course of the next couple of years.

I have been amazed at the weird weather we have been having across the northwest. Where I live in just one day we experienced sunshine, wind, rain, fog, hail and snow. Now the Western side of Washington State is once again getting snow which is causing a lot of problems for winter weary folks. If that isn’t enough an earthquake shook parts of the Olympic Peninsula yesterday afternoon. The quake registered only 2.6 and there have been no reports of any injuries or damage. Spring officially arrives a week from Friday and I for one can’t wait.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

The efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency to be everything to everybody are beginning to have the ring of an old Randy Travis song; you know, the one that bemoans that the road to hell is often paved with good intentions. In giving this agency the benefit of the doubt one would like to think that they do have the best of intentions, but one would also have to question whether good old common sense has taken a back seat to those “good intentions”. Case in point, the EPA’s efforts to regulate dust levels in urban and rural areas at first may seem like a fairly good idea, but on closer examination it’s a Pandora’s Box just waiting to be opened. Excessive dust in urban areas is generally produced by construction, demolition or excavation; in rural areas dust is produced by farmers working the soil, traffic on gravel roads and livestock. Granted, they have delegated to individual states the authority to monitor and enforce air quality standards. It remains to be seen whether states will govern this with rational and practical consideration, or lose to radical design.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.


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