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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Farmers providing cleaner air on roads

RE: “Biofuels producers, farmers not sold on switch to electric,” Associated Press

Emissions from cars and trucks are the biggest contributor to carbon pollution today. As suggested in a recent article, electrification is a growing part of America's strategy to combat that pollution, but for now, it's only about 2% of what's powering America’s cars and trucks.

To overcome the clean air challenges consumers demand, we can't wait for new technology to catch up to our transportation needs. And we don't have to. The substitution of clean-burning biodiesel for petroleum diesel has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 140 million metric tons over the last three decades — that's the equivalent of removing over 30 million vehicles from American roads.

The assertion that “30% of soybeans goes to biodiesel" in the article is simply false. Soybeans across the country are grown for the valuable protein in the bean — the oil that is drained from the bean used in biodiesel doesn't compete with food production. There is an almost endless demand for soy meal, but that is not so for soy oil. The biodiesel industry uses the excess soybean oil that farmers produce.

America can do better in providing for its own energy needs and can do so in a much cleaner way. Why should we wait for 100% electrification to accomplish our carbon reduction goals? Biodiesel is here, now. America should take advantage of it.

Donnell Rehagen, Jefferson City, Missouri

Ocean carriers get COVID windfall

During times of economic strife there are almost always industry segments that thrive for all the wrong reasons. During the COVID-19 pandemic, that segment has been the ocean carrier community.

In 2020, ocean carriers cemented historic, record-breaking profits due to the increase in demand for products being imported into the U.S. While shippers have seen prices increase dramatically, we’ve also seen delays mount up.

NACD is an international association of chemical distributors and their supply-chain partners. A recent survey of ours found that over 80% of respondents have experienced average delays of 11 days or more. Shipping costs are also up an average of over 80% since the outbreak of the pandemic. Delays and price increases don’t only mean inconvenience and lost revenues, they also mean higher consumer prices and the potential for shortages of the inputs that go into some of our most critical industrial and consumer goods.

Commerce from shipping is critical to Charleston and the entire state of South Carolina. In 2020, 2.3 million containers moved through the Port of Charleston — providing work and stability for many South Carolinians. But the greed of ocean carriers is threatening all that with sky-high rates and unacceptable delays. It’s time for leaders in South Carolina to hold ocean carriers accountable for their anti-competitive behavior.

Eric R. Byer, president and CEO, National Association of Chemical Distributors, Arlington, Virginia

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