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Respekt in English

Biofuels will stir prices as well as politics

The introduction in September of car fuels with biofuel content might make food more expensive but the economy will benefit in the long run, Jaroslav Spurný writes in Respekt.

Admixing of biofuels into car fuels, compulsory from this autumn, will increase food prices, economists have warned. Even if it is true, we can only say: So what? These predictions are superficial, useless and misleading. One does not have to be an environmentalist or economist or expert in the OPEC price policy to understand the obvious: World prices of everything are so dependent on the price of oil that we can only hope that in the future they will be dependent on fuels produced from sources which most countries can control.

But let's stay on the ground – nothing is certain, after all. And let's stay at home. Our farmers should be most cheerful. At least they will be able to sell all their grains, especially wheat which they grow on a large scale, a hangover from the totalitarian era and its compulsory slogan, „Not one grain to be wasted.“ Each time they sow, they fail to estimate correctly how much wheat the country will need. Once they grow too much, once too little. In either case they need subsidies and the state is generous (although this has been at least partly regulated by the EU in the past three years).

Now the farmers will have their certainty, not only about grains and rapeseed, but maybe also about corn. And sugar beet, another good source of biofuel, might return to the Czech fields too. The whole country will get richer because we will no longer have to subsidize farmers. And farmers will get their existential certainty, which…

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