Over at Ezra Klein's blog there is an entry about "The ten oddest items in the Republican Platform". One of the oddities is "Our dependence on foreign imports of fertilizer could threaten our food supply, and we support the development of domestic production of fertilizer." So what's really behind this? Nitrogen based fertilizer is made from ammonia which is made from natural gas. From the late 90's until a couple of years ago the rising price of natural gas made it cheaper to import nitrogen fertilizer from places with little or no environmental regulation than to produce it domestically and much of the US based production shut down. Trinidad is the biggest producer of imported fertilizer and has very little environmental regulation. Producing fertilizer is a very dirty and polluting enterprise. Since natural gas prices have fallen in the US, some shuttered domestic plants are slated for reactivation and the owners don't want the EPA regulating their dirty business. One of the big fertilizer producers is Koch Fertilizer, which also owns production capacity in Trinidad. Feel free to add jokes which include the words "Republican" and "fertilizer".
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