AgentMarkets & Economy

Debate over biofuels, food supply intensifies

Proposal to end petroleum dependency not without consequences

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We Americans have happily given our cars the run of the country, paving over a good 40 percent of our cities so they can roam unfettered, and generously ceded a big chunk of our hard-earned homes to keep them warm and dry. But apparently that's not enough. Now some interests are suggesting that, in order to keep our four-wheeled friends tanked up at all costs, we share our food supply with them as well. Imagine creating fuel from plants instead of having to drill for it! We can guzzle all the biofuels we can grow! No more oil wars! No more Third World countries trying to push us around! Alas, as appealing as all this may sound, it's a pipe dream. Among the many pitfalls of the biofuels concept: Economics: Farmers across the globe, whether corporate or independent, will switch to growing plants for biofuel the instant it becomes more profitable than growing food crops. The current price of gasoline will give you a good idea how many seconds this decision might take. Result: ...