As we’ve seen over the last few months, skyrocketing commodity prices are pushing land values to record levels. They are also squeezing cattlemen and other producers who rely on corn and other grains to fatten livestock and poultry. One of the loudest voices protesting this trend has been Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who petitioned the EPA to grant a 50 percent waiver on the 9 billion gallon corn-based Renewable Fuel Standard. Now another vocal opponent of ethanol has emerged: south of the border.
Mexico is clearly feeling the heat. Last week Mexico Agriculture Secretary Alberto Cardenas called for ethanol producing countries to reduce production of grains for alternative fuels. (The U.S. is the world’s leading ethanol producer with Brazil a close second.)
According to the AP, Sec. Cardenas blames ethanol for bankrupting many of his country’s cattle and poultry farmers as well as causing food prices to hit record highs. The government has responded by freezing prices on more than 150 food products.