Has the U.S. push for biofuels contributed to rising global food prices? Well, yes, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday: “There has been apparently some effect, unintended consequence from the alternative fuels effort.” But, she hastened to add, “biofuels continue to be an extremely important piece of the alternative energy picture” and “we think that it is not a large part of the problem.” Unconvinced, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has suggested that 50 percent of the federal renewable-fuels mandate be waived for a year to take some pressure off of food prices and the Texas economy. But his critics argue that oil prices are more to blame, and thus eliminating all or part of the renewable-fuels standard would hike gasoline prices higher while having only a minimal impact on food prices. All that to say: If you need us, we’ll be scrounging for pennies on the sidewalk.

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