With dire news reports out of Libya sending skittish oil markets higher and higher, and predictions that Americans will face five-dollars a gallon gasoline, representatives of the U.S. ethanol industry warned that Congressional maneuvers to block already-approved levels of ethanol from reaching the market would only worsen the impact of high fuel prices. Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, believes some in Congress would have us continue a policy that would keep us addicted to foreign oil – even as political upheaval in the Mid East and North Africa push gas prices up to a prediction of 5-dollars a gallon.
Survey Shows Farmers Making Own Energy
The number of solar panels, wind turbines and methane digesters on America’s farms and ranches has increased significantly over the past decade and there are now more than 85-hundred operations producing their own renewable energy. These facts are gleaned from the first-ever On-Farm Renewable Energy Production Survey conducted in 2009 and released by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Seepage Blamed for Stream Bank Collapse
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists sediment as the most common pollutant of rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs in the United States. Trapped sediment can reduce the useful lifespan of dams and reservoirs, exacerbate flooding, harm aquatic plants and animals, and transport other pollutants downstream. According to work by scientists at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, much of the Mississippi River's sediment load doesn't come from field runoff, but from stream bank collapse and failure.