Sunday, June 26

Ethanol again--but this time it's in the NY Times

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece about the idiocy of the federal policy on ethanol. Now comes a New York Times opinion piece saying virtually the same thing.

In less than a year, the price of a bushel of corn has doubled.

This isn't due to massive crop failures, but due solely and simply to the fact that the corrupt idiots in congress have given ethanol such a wealth of subsidies and price-supporting import tariffs, and then decreed that gasoline makers must add billions of gallons of the stuff to gasoline every year.

Since about 40 percent of corn is used for animal feed, a doubling of the price of corn has caused the price of bacon (to take just one example) to increase by 24 percent in the past year.

It's been calculated that due to the subsidies and other effects, each gallon of ethanol costs taxpayers $1.78. And that's before you even go to the pump.

The subsidies make ethanol less expensive on the world market too--enough so that last year American ethanol makers exported almost 400 million gallons of the stuff. Normally that would be a plus, like Boeing selling jetliners overseas. But because of the subsidies and other sweetheart perks, those exports actually cost taxpayers nearly $800 million. Insanity.

Congress deserves a lot of the blame here, along with big ethanol-producing companies who gave tons of cash to congresscritters to get the bills passed. But at least some of the blame lies with environmentalists who pushed ethanol production because they touted it as a "renewable fuel."

These words have taken on a kind of magic power with politicians and the self-styled "elite" who know so much that isn't so. Oil and gasoline, they said, was awful, terrible stuff, while ethanol was clean and could be produced from a crop. How lovely!

What most of 'em didn't know (and the ones who did would never admit) was that turning 40 percent of American corn into fuel was guaranteed to increase the price of corn. As it did.

Also, it was known that ethanol was far more expensive than gasoline--which is why ethanol makers needed the sweetheart subsidies and tariffs. But the Lying Media ignored this fact in their push to sell the deal to the public.

Now we're reaping the entirely predictable consequences of stupidity, dishonesty and greed.


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