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Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It has been said by folks that Washington, DC., is the only place in America that is surrounded by reality because people here, especially in Congress, those people say, are in a Disney World atmosphere and don't know how the world really is.
Probably the best example is what has taken place throughout our country in the area of gasoline prices. They are going up every day. Every day we come back to Congress, gasoline prices continue to rise. And there's a constant problem here. Retail operators who run those mom-and-pop independent gasoline stations are saying they're not even making a profit off of gasoline. They hope maybe they can make one cent a gallon. The way they make profit is selling lottery tickets and donuts, and the country continues to see higher and higher gasoline prices.
It's a tremendous problem that we have to deal with. We have to come out of this Disney World atmosphere and solve the problem. Some say what is going to save us all is ethanol. Let's take all of the farmland in America, let's till it up, let's grow some corn, and let's make some of that unproven, unpredictable ethanol to burn in our vehicles.
Of course, what we have done as a Nation by encouraging and subsidizing the special interest group of ethanol, we've raised the corn prices worldwide. In fact, they have tripled in the last 2 years. And because corn prices are going up, wheat prices are going up. And in the last 17 years, food prices inthe world are higher than they ever have been, all because the United States has seen this vision that ethanol is going to save us all.
Several years ago, those who talked about ethanol that weren't for the concept of ethanol said ethanol is not going to be profitable unless gasoline gets to $4 a gallon. Four years ago, people in this House said, oh, that's never going to happen. The problem with ethanol is it takes a gallon and a third of fuel, diesel, to produce a gallon of ethanol. And only when gasoline gets to be $4 a gallon will ethanol be profitable for this country.
In fact, it's driving up pollution. Science Magazine has stated, "After taking into account worldwide land-use changes, corn-based ethanol will increase greenhouse gases 93 percent compared to gasoline over a 30-year period."
In other words, the House was trying to be environmentally correct. We want to make sure we don't have pollution. Nobody wants pollution. Nobody wants greenhouse gases; but unproven, subsidized ethanol is going to raise worldwide greenhouse gases all because we're tilling up our farmland.
I have here a map of the United States. Now we're also finding out where the Mississippi River dumps into the Gulf of Mexico, there is a dead zone, and there is a dead zone there for various reasons. But because we're plowing up all in the Midwest this farmland and making corn, which takes a lot of fertilizer, that fertilizer is going down the Mississippi River, and the dead zone at the mouth of the Mississippi River is getting bigger. ``Dead zone'' means exactly what it says: Nothing grows there and fish don't live there, all because of this concept of ethanol.
So what are we doing about it? Well, first thing Congress did, we're going to punish those oil companies, those American oil companies, and we are going to tax them, raise the taxes on these oil companies, and that's what Congress did. Now it's a simple economic fact. You tax something, you get