More Hearings!

By April 1, 2008Energy

As noted in the post below (and in this Houston Chronicle article), today’s hearing by the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming will draw more attention — more heat? — because national average gas prices hit another high yesterday. Oil executives will be testifying, so the pressure will be on them to justify the prices. Fair enough, even if the hearing’s title indicates a predetermined story line: “Drilling for Answers: Oil Company Profits, Runaway Prices and the Pursuit of Alternatives.”

But then…

[Corn] prices have skyrocketed in recent years, almost tripling since 2005.

Corn began its latest surge in early 2007, rising from just more than $3 per bushel to record prices above $5 per bushel today. If prices hold steady or rise, the average price per bushel in 2008 will be the highest ever, according to USDA statistics.

Corn prices rose yesterday after the release of the USDA report, with the most active contract briefly hitting a record of $5.88 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade before settling at $5.67 a bushel.

Perhaps Chairman Markey can hold another hearing later. Call it, “Digging for Answers: Ag Company Profits, Runaway Prices and the Pursuit of Alternatives.” Or, “Plowing for Answers: Farmer Profits, Runaway Prices and the Pursuit of Alternatives.”

That is, if the goal is the seeking of real information on which to make rational policy judgments, as opposed to, oh, pure political theater.

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