Senator Obama tries to dress up his ethanol mandate, but it’s still a pig:
WASHINGTON, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama told farmers on Tuesday that he backs the federal requirement to use ethanol as a way to reduce reliance on oil imports.
The alternative fuel, distilled mostly from corn (maize), is popular in farm country, particularly the U.S. Midwest. But sky-high grain prices and rising food prices have led to suggestions to relax the so-called renewable fuels standard.
Federal law calls for use of 9 billion gallons of ethanol as motor fuel this year.
A week ago, the Republican National Convention called for an end to ethanol mandates, in line with the views of its nominee, John McCain.
“I’ve long been a strong supporter of the RFS,” Obama said during a brief telephone call to members of the National Farmers Union. “I am strongly committed to advancing biofuels as a key component of reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”
Besides providing home-grown fuel, ethanol creates jobs in rural America, said Obama, who supported more rural economic development. The jobless rate in rural areas is well above the U.S. average.
Both candidates support development of fuel ethanol from cellulose, found in grasses and woody plants. McCain says he would end “mandates, subsidies, tariffs and prices supports that focus exclusively on corn-based ethanol” and let the free market identify the best alternative fuels.