Ethanol Faulted for High Milk Prices

The price of milk keeps going up, and Senator Charles Schumer says corn-based ethanol is to blame.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Senator Schumer's office surveyed 90 grocery stores across the city and in Long Island and found that milk is 35% more expensive than it was a year ago.

The biggest jump was in Brooklyn, where a gallon costs $4.34 - that's a $1.23 more than it was last January.

Schumer says the price increase is due to the higher cost of corn feed, which has been driven up the demand for corn-based ethanol.

Schumer wants to increase the supply of corn for dairy by lifting the tariff on foreign ethanol.

But Matt Hartwig, a spokesman for the Renewable Fuels Association, defended the tariff and said higher oil costs are to blame for the rising price of groceries.

Hartwig says the ethanol industry will oppose Schumer’s proposal.

For WNYC, I'm Arun Venugopal.

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