Rural groups are fighting among themselves, which is probably nothing new (to rural or urban). Brownfield reports that a coalition of nine farm and food groups have filed suit to prevent the approval of E15 fuel. The Environmental Protection Agency had earlier approved the fuel with higher levels of ethanol for cars built after 2007.
The ag groups (representing grocers, packers and snack foods) all say that increased use of grain-based ethanol will increase their costs. Their argument before the courts, however, is that fuel with higher ethanol levels will harm emission control systems. The same argument is being made by the American Petroleum Institute.
• More stories coming out about higher commodity prices. The Los Angeles Times notes this morning that everything from increased demand to bad weather have helped raise the prices for the goods rural America produces.
• The Republicans will take over the House at the beginning of 2011 and the outgoing chair of the House Ag Committee has a warning. Rep. Colin Peterson, the Minnesota Democrat, says Republicans will see high commodity prices and will be tempted to reduce or eliminate price supports.
Peterson tells DTN’s Jerry Hagstrom that that would be a mistake.
• Montana Sen. Jon Tester writes in The Hill that over the past year that six children on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation have taken their own lives this year. During the same time, 20 other young members of the Fort Peck community have attempted suicide.
It’s an incredible story. Sen. Tester writes about the “poverty, inadequate infrastructure and sadly, a sense of hopelessness that should never afflict a ten-year-old child” found at Fort Peck. He continues:
“But the first step to really addressing this tragedy is to make sure folks understand that this story from the Fort Peck Reservation is real. The more people understand the challenges facing many of our rural communities — in Montana and across the country — the better able we’ll be to make sure all of our young folks live to their fullest potential.”