Think tanks weigh in on the merits of ethanol

As the merits of ethanol production become a mainstream issue, many in the agricultural sector argue the fuel is taking an unfair share of blame for its role in the world food crisis. Over the past eight months two Canadian think tanks have weighed in on the issue. Most recently is the CD Howe Institute’s assertion that ethanol production policies distort agricultural commodity prices and food markets, show little evidence of reducing greenhouse gases and ultimately end up costing Canadian consumers tax dollars. In November, 2007, the George Morris Centre argues many of the same points but adds that ethanol drives up the cost of livestock production, consumes more water than it should and faces some very serious challenges in terms of its distribution. Both are excellent primers for those seeking an overview of ethanol production issues and their implications for agriculture.