Expansion Of Ethanol Production On The United States

1318 WordsFeb 22, 20166 Pages
In the eleven years since the Renewable Fuel Standard was signed in to law, US Corn production has shifted from feeding faces to fuel tanks, stirring a controversy over corns purpose. In 2007, the food or fuel controversy landed on the floor of the United Nations when Jean Ziegler, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, stated that diverting cropland from food to fuel is a crime against humanity (Ferrett). The Renewable Fuel Standard, signed in to law in 2005, is a mandate that requires renewable fuels, such as corn based ethanol, be blended into transportation fuel (“Renewable…”). Ethanol is grain alcohol that can be fermented from many sources, most commonly corn and sugar cane, that is then blended with gasoline (“Ethanol…”). Today, roughly forty percent corn grown in the US is used to produce ethanol, accounting for the crops single largest use. Expansion of ethanol production in the United States has been intended to lower emissions, and increase energy independence; however, this well intentioned program could be having a detrimental effect on developing nations by increasing the cost of and decreasing the supply of corn. In an article for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Ford Runge and Dr. Senauer, professors of applied economics at the University of Minnesota argue that the corn being used to produce ethanol could starve the poor through lesser supply and higher food costs. Throughout the article, Runge and Senauer use both logos and pathos to argue against
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