Ethanol Fail

I should have known early reports of the death of ethanol supports in Congress were too good to be true.  Ethanol appears to be the un-killable zombie menace.  It used to be  a Baptists and bootleggers issue but even the Baptists (the environmentalists, in this case) have turned against it.  But still it lives on, probably as long as Iowa is a critical step in the Presidential nomination process.

Thune and Klobuchar's bill takes the tax revenue gained from ending the VEETC (which, again, doesn't help ethanol producers), and dedicates most of the money to other ethanol subsidies, such as tax credits for small ethanol producers and for ethanol blender pumps to be installed at gas stations. The bill, of course, leaves in place the mandate, which is by far the biggest ethanol subsidy.

Lobbyists for the American Coalition for Ethanol and the Renewable Fuels Association applaud the bill -- which tells you just about all you need to know.



  1. gadfly:

    Now we know why Thune decided not to run for President. But all of the so-called "conservative" Republican Senators including Indiana's own Richard "Don't Call Me Dick" Lugar and Dan "I Really Love The TEA Party" Coats voted for extending the stupid subsidy. Now that that subsidy has been stopped and it is known that the biggest use for corn is producing ethanol -- Thune will insure that ADM and the corporate farms will continue to rape taxpayers. Given the moonshine yield from corn, it makes no sense to continue growing corn for that purpose. Hell, switchgrass grows everywhere and it yields far more alcohol.

  2. John Moore:

    We all know that ethanol is a boondoggle.

    But you are in a good position (with your refinery background, etc) to answer the question: how much oxygenation do we need in fuel and what is the best source of it?

    I ask this because an otherwise sensible ethanol proponent raised the issue.

    BTW, while storm chasing in Nebraska the last couple of years I noticed that premium gas with ethanol was significantly cheaper than regular. Subsidies, no doubt.

  3. Mark:

    Don't blame Iowa, the entire Midwest is built on, and depends on corn. If the Iowa caucus did not do it, some other one would (Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, Indiana ...)

    But the reality is even in states like Iowa, many Iowans are doubting the efficacy of ethanol subsidies.

    I have always wondered why the Midwest is all corn/soybeans. They used to have much more crops including oats, (Quaker oats has their biggest Cereal plant in Iowa, but they need to get the oats from Canada now)tobacco, apples, etc. I think it has something to do with government programs making it uneconomical to grow anything but corn in the first place.

  4. Ted Rado:

    Is there such a thing as an honest, patriotic politician? Apparently not. They will sell out the whole country to get votes. What a bunch of a--holes!