EPA urged to cut ethanol mandates due to drought

Credit: CraneStation on Flickr

The drought and increased use of corn for ethanol is driving up the price of corn. That means meat and food prices will go up too because corn is fed to livestock and is in many, many foods. Twenty five senators are asking the EPA to reconsider its Renewable Fuels Standard that mandates 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol be mixed with gasoline this year.

Some 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop is now used to make ethanol, though some byproducts of the process are fed to livestock.

The extreme drought in the heartland is badly hurting crops and July was the hottest month ever recorded.

In the last three weeks, the amount of corn-growing farmland suffering extreme and exceptional drought expanded to 53 percent from 14 percent, according to government data.

That is a huge increase in the drought in a very short time. Extreme and exceptional drought are the most severe types of drought. Unless there’s a lot of rain fast, this will be a disastrous year for crops. The US exports considerable food overseas to poverty areas which means some may go hungry.