Dear Harry:

Your commentary of Sept. 1 on the California lawsuit over ethanol surprised me. I never knew you were such a states rights kind of guy. The facts and information presented seem accurate enough, but your point was made by ignoring the balance of facts and information. OK, I admit, I do not have real facts at my fingertips but try these conjurings on for size:

  1. All this extra corn diverted to ethanol will raise the price of corn a few dollars per ton.

  2. Whenever corn prices go up, the acreage devoted to corn rises, and the acreage planted to other crops goes down, which sometimes causes those prices to rise.

  3. Using homegrown ethanol makes us less dependent on imported oil.

  4. If there is a little money to be made in corn, then less will be needed in government assistance.

  5. When the corn belts is making money, they pay more taxes and go to the movies more often.

  6. Now the Feds will have more money to spend on a missile defense system, and the turnstiles are singing in the theaters; and who benefits most from that? CALIFORNIA!

If you don't like my conjured facts, then conjure up your own. Governor Davis' lawsuit is logical only if you are an oilman, or if you keep the blinders on. Ethanol is good for America.

Bob Hull
Blythe, Calif.

Re: “California lawsuit over ethanol rule makes good sense” (WFP September 1, 2001)

Dear Editor:

Interesting times in which we live. A Republican President wants clean air (ethanol); a Democratic governor wants dirty air, and a farm magazine is opposed to agriculture.

Your conclusion that the Bush position is “political” is incredulous. All positions are “political”. Why else does the administration move with speed to export our food production south of the border?

California agriculture is on the verge of bankruptcy because we cannot compete with Mexican vegetables, but you oppose a product (ethanol), which would generate incredible income for California farmers. If those hicks from the Midwest think they can grow corn, try California farmers.

If sitting in your Ivory Tower has made you oblivious to the needs of California agriculture, please send my future copies of your magazine to Gray Davis. He is also anti-agriculture. The two of you may be able to form a real partnership.

Lynn Wilson
Holtville, Calif.

Editor:

Please be advised that ethanol never goes to the refineries. It is blended at the fuel distribution terminals with gasoline. The fuel blenders get the U.S. government subsidy. The article says refineries would have to be retrofitted to handle ethanol. That's horse pucky.

John Bryant
Hebron, Ind.