Much of Delaware's economy depends on her poultry growers, and their livelihood is directly tied to fuel and feed costs.
Recently, the Department of Agriculture predicted the worst corn harvest in nearly 20 years as a result of Midwestern droughts. Our Democratic congressional delegation asked the Environmental Protection Agency for a temporary waiver of mandates that a certain percentage of America's corn crop be reserved for ethanol production.
While I support such a waiver as an emergency measure, the reality is that the United States needs to end the failed experiment in using corn ethanol as a biofuel and stop distorting market forces to the disadvantage of our own citizens, and especially Delaware's poultry industry.
Government-mandated ethanol drives up the price of food and feed by artificially removing a high percentage of our corn crop from the market. There has been no discernible benefit in terms of better gas mileage or reduced environmental impact. In fact, the large amounts of water needed to process corn into ethanol are creating negative environmental impacts of their own.
The United States has already ended ethanol subsidies, and now we need to end ethanol mandates. If ethanol is a commercially viable fuel, the industry will survive. But it should not be allowed to survive at the expense of our region's farmers and poultry producers, who are currently being forced to underwrite a social program under the guise of environmental protection.
If elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, one of my top priorities will be the introduction of legislation to end all ethanol mandates. This will result in lower prices at the grocery store and lower feed prices for our poultry producers, while the nation pursues other, more realistic strategies for energy independence.
Libertarian candidate for U.S. House of Representatives