Sunday, January 31, 2016

Who's talking about ethanol? It impacts your daily life in ways you can't imagine. And who chooses which letters get published in the paper?

The Palm Beach Post still publishes 'letters to the editor', a tradition that goes way back in American newspaper history. How which letters get published is a mystery. By committee? By vote? Is there the one supreme 'letter approver' who seeks to find the 'common ground' and balance out all views and opinions? Anyhow, the letters range from quite entertaining and enlightening and all the way to the other extreme, the outer realms of stupid. Which is fair because they have to be represented too.

Yesterday (1/30) a letter appeared which should make everyone pause for a moment when they go to the grocery store to buy a slice of beef, a roast, or a T-bone steak and end up leaving the store with chicken or pork instead. James Ness of Lake Worth who might live in the City of Lake Worth or in one of those many sprawling communities out west that have a Lake Worth zip code, wrote an eye-opening letter to the Post about ethanol which really should be a major topic of discussion in this nation and in Florida too.

Without further ado, here is an excerpt from the letter that appeared in the paper:
     I bought a beautiful beef roast to share with my daughter’s family at one of our birthdays. While it wasn’t very large and was on sale, I was blown away when the cash register rang up $54.
     So much of what we purchase at our local grocery store has risen by double-digit numbers. When I heard that we were exporting ethanol, I became outraged because now, we are sending our grains and other farm commodities overseas, with the net result of much higher prices for meats and other produce that require precious farm goods to make.
     In other words, we are exporting our cattle feed and other crops overseas, with the net effect of raising the prices of the food we purchase — all in the name of subsidies that provide little or no benefit to the American people.
[and. . .]
     Aside from raising the cost of our food, the ethanol has been shown to be detrimental to our machines that use it.
The "machines" that Mr. Ness refers to are the thousands of gasoline-powered tools like lawn mowers and generators that are thrown out every day. The ethanol, if an additive isn't used will eat away at the rubber lines and other parts.