Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

For the first time in 30 years, food riots are breaking out in many parts of the globe, including major countries such as Mexico, Pakistan and Indonesia.

The fact that America's energy policies are creating global instability should concern the leaders of both political parties.

Restraining the dangerous effects of artificially inflated demand for ethanol should be an issue that unites both conservatives and progressives.

As a recent Time cover story pointed out, biofuel mandates increase greenhouse gasses and create incentives for global deforestation.

In the Amazon basin, huge swaths of forest are being cleared to meet the growing hunger for biofuels.

In addition, relief organizations are facing gaping shortfalls as the cost of food outpaces their ability to provide aid for the 800 million people who lack food security.

The recent food crisis does not mean we should entirely abandon biofuels.

The best way to lower energy prices, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, is to accelerate production of all forms of domestic energy.

Expanding biofuels while refusing to take other measures, such as lifting the ban on oil and natural gas production in Alaska and the Outer Continental Shelf, is counterproductive. We should be tapping into a broad portfolio of energy options, including clean coal, nuclear power and wave energy.

The key is increasing energy supply. By taking these measures, we can enable biofuels to be part of the energy solution, instead of contributing to the energy problem.

Congress must take action. I am introducing legislation that will freeze the biofuel mandate at current levels, instead of steadily increasing it through 2022.

This is a common-sense measure that will reduce pressure on global food prices and restore balance to America's energy policy.

As the Senate debates this issue, we must remain focused on the facts.

At one point, expanding biofuels made sense for America's energy security. But the recent surge in food prices has forced us to adapt. The global demand for energy and food is expected to rise about 50% in the next 20 years, and the U.S. is well-positioned to be a leader in both areas.

That will require a careful, finely tuned approach to America's farm products.

By freezing the biofuel mandate at current levels, we will go a long way to achieving that goal.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

Senator Hutchison chairs the Senate Republican Policy Committee and is representing Texas in her third full term in the Senate.