The OC Blog Back Issues Our Mission Contact Us Masthead
Sudsy Wants You to Join the Oregon Commentator

Happy Ironic Earth Day

The ‘Ol Dirty’s front page today has a big spread on all the Earth Day events on campus. Below the fold, however, is a nice little story headlined “Researchers link biofuels to food price increase.” From the opening paragraphs of the article:

A sign outside of the SeQuential Biofuels retail fueling station in south Eugene reads “fight global warming.” But recent studies and media reports have increasingly questioned biofuel’s side in that and another life-and-death planet-scale fight.

As food riots erupt across the globe, researchers and analysts have been scrambling to explain why food prices have exploded in recent months, and the crosshairs are increasingly focused on corn-based ethanol biofuels.

The article goes on to mention the increasing criticism of biofuel production coming from sources such as The Economist (subscription wall), The New York Times and Science. Reason has been all over the subject as well. With all this scrutiny, you would think the government would be less eager to push through new biofuel subsidies and laws. Well …

And despite the criticism, ethanol is only getting bigger in Oregon. By the fall, all gas stations will be legally required to sell E10 gasoline, which is 10 percent ethanol.

This must be part of Governor Kulongoski’s Action Plan for Energy, which will “capitalize on Oregon’s emerging ‘bio-energy’ markets, particularly in the biodiesel and ethanol markets.” I’m assuming it was wrapped up in H.B. 2210. The Oregon Department of Energy’s website says that the bill “expands property tax incentives for biofuel and certain fuel additive production facilities, establishes a new tax credit for producers and collectors of biofuel raw materials, based on Btu content of feedstock, and creates an income tax credit for consumer use of biofuel.”

Welcome to Oregon: the cutting edge of poorly implemented good intentions.

Of course, the real tragedy, as pointed out by OC alum Ted Niedermeyer, is the effect of biofuels on the price of beer.

Down in the EMU there is an Earth Day fair with all sorts of environmentally themed booths, one of which is about planting victory gardens. With the rising price of food, government tomfoolery and runaway politics that might not be a bad idea. However, this late in the game you might have to compromise and just call it a “truce garden” or maybe a “peace with honor garden.”

  1. Magic Wooshy says:

    Gulley Sucks and so does his Ego!

  2. Vincent says:

    Eva: Yeah, seriously. I mean, what sort of hippies are so confused that they celebrate the event that THEY INVENTED on Hitler’s birthday by accident?

    Though I suppose it isn’t out of the question to assume that 4/20’s other commemorative function might be to blame for the mistake.

  3. Drew says:

    Gully Sucks,
    I love your passion for how much you think Gulley sucks

  4. Eva says:

    It’s also pretty common for people to get the date of Earth Day wrong and think it’s April 20th

  5. Vincent says:

    I think it’s ironic that Earth Day is celebrated on Lenin’s birthday, what with the Soviet Union being the perpetrator of some of the biggest environmental catastrophies ever.

  6. Gully Sucks says:

    We should power America off of Gulley’s Ego it’s big enough

  7. Sean says:

    The hippies gave me a metal reusable travel mug in my Senator mailbox, so I’m happy.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.