Bloomberg and Ethanol

Michael Bloomberg is not a fan of ethanol, the corn-based fuel that is critical to farmers in the key caucus state of Iowa and whose increased production is mandated by the energy bill President Bush signed this afternoon.

The mayor, asked about the subject during a Q&A near the South Street Ferry Terminal this morning, said the increased production will make food more expensive in America and have “world wide implications” on the overall supply of food.

“The part of the bill that, uh, requires using more ethanol was an outrage,” Bloomberg said. “That is going to drive up the cost of food for everybody in this country and have world-wide implications on the food supply. The bottom line is you cannot keep growing corn for ethanol and have reasonably priced food in our country. Farmers are already walking away from planting wheat and soybeans and other things to go over and plant corn because they’ll be able to sell this corn to be used in ethanol plants. There is no evidence whatsoever that the ethanol that is made is fuel efficient or anything else. It’s just, it’s a farm bill rather than an energy bill and I’m not even sure it’s good farm policy. Most of the farm things that we do don’t benefit most farmers. They just benefit ten percent of the more industrial-sized farms. And the small farmers who we really should be helping in this country, who needs a lot of help isn’t sharing in that. So it’s bad energy policy and probably bad agricultural policy.”

This is not the kind of rhetoric someone running in the Iowa caucuses can afford to spout. But someone who bypasses the primaries and caucuses and runs as an independent…. Bloomberg and Ethanol