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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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Comment Preferences

  •  The RNC are doing at an excellent job (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Da Rock, wilderness voice

    of producing fertilizer at their convention this week.

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 10:30:03 AM PDT

  •  Could be Potash? We import 90% , Price went (0+ / 0-)

    ballistic along with nitrogen in 08, but I can't see how you would "break dependence".

    On the other hand, we could always say Republicans support a radical transition to organic ag.

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

    by the fan man on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 11:04:26 AM PDT

  •  I remember Stranded Wind... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...a Kossack, now banned due to some flame war. Stranded Wind was also the name of his project, which began with the fact that a lot of wind-rich places in the Midwestern USA aren't close to many people but are close to a lot of farms and a lot of water. He proposed to set up wind turbines in such places, and use the electricity and water to produce ammonia, which is rich in nitrogen used for fertilizer. Ammonia could also be burned in internal-combustion engines (including farm machinery), with minor modifications.

    The fact that the wind blows intermittently wouldn't matter. The process could be mostly automated, and it would just run whenever the wind blew.

    Sounded like a great idea. Of course the GOP figures out a way to take a great idea and pervert it.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 12:44:24 PM PDT

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