Big Oil: Laughing all the way to the bank

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Wasn't it just a year ago we were all cheering for renewable fuels in this country? Wasn't that the president signing an energy bill that would quadruple biofuel usage over the next decade or so, helping to wean us off foreign oil?

My how times (and attitudes) change.

Now the mainstream media has decided rising food prices are the result of biofuel mandates and other government incentives. Yet, every shred of evidence — real, scientific studies - points the finger at big oil. Rising oil costs, along with global demand and a weak dollar, are pushing food bills.

Yet, somehow biofuel mandates are at fault. The renewable industry is now getting lynched.

The folks in the corner offices at Exxon Mobil must be laughing as they gleefully count their profits. "Hey, if we keep raising the cost of oil, everyone will blame biofuel mandates for the higher cost of food!•bCrLf says one. "We can have our cake and eat it too — keep those stock options coming!•bCrLf says another.

Exxon Mobil made $10.9 billion profit in the first three months of 2008 - up 17% from last year.

Merrill Lynch and other firms show gasoline prices would be fifty cents or more higher per gallon now if we didn't have ethanol to stretch fuel supplies.

Texas tea Texas Governor Rick Perry, a rancher's son who holds a bachelor's degree in animal science from Texas A & M, says he's thinking of asking the federal government to cut in half the mandate that requires U.S. fuel sources to include 9 billion gallons of renewable fuel in 2008.

Ironically, economists at Perry's alma mater recently did a study that found doing away with the Renewable Fuel Standard — the requirement to have so much of our fuel come from renewables - might lower corn prices by as much as 30 cents per bushel but would have almost no effect prices consumers pay for milk, bread, meat, or eggs.

Let's not forget Texas is the nation's largest oil and gasoline state.

I guess Perry skipped out on the economics classes. But he probably got an A in political science.

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