Around the world people are starving due to higher food prices and Congress is just now beginning to realize the connection between their global warming policies and misery around the world. Heritage scholar Ben Lieberman explains the link:

America’s first mandatory policy to reduce global warming emissions is its biofuels mandate. … At the beginning of the decade, Al Gore said that “by tripling U.S. use of bioenergy and bioproducts by 2010, we can keep millions of tons of greenhouse gases out of the air….”

Thanks to the 2007 energy bill signed into law by President Bush last December, it is occurring even faster than Gore imagined. The U.S. is now required to mix 9 billion gallons of such fuels into the gasoline supply in 2008, up from less than 3 billion gallons in 2000.

Not surprisingly, diverting crops from food to fuel use has raised food prices. At a little over $2 per bushel when the mandate was first effective, the price of corn has recently surged well above $5, due in large part to nearly a quarter of the crop’s now being needed for fuel use. A host of corn-related foods, such as corn-fed meat and dairy, have seen sharp price increases. Wheat and soybeans are also up, partly as a result of fewer acres now being planted in favor of corn. European biodiesel mandates have had a similar impact.

A Purdue University study places the annual food cost increases for 2007 at $22 billion and estimates that “$15 billion of this increase is related to the recent surge in demand to use crops as fuel.”