Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Corn Mafia

Members of the Senate corn-state mafia blocked an effort to repeal ethanol tariffs.

With any luck, the modified Presidential primary schedule will reduce the political sway of the corn lobby over time. But for now, we're stuck with the sort of crap.

If this country was actually serious about replacing a meaningful amount of gasoline with ethanol then they would kill this tariff. But they aren't, they're only interested in protecting the corn lobby. The federally subsidized push to ethanol has already increased the cost of all corn derived products (including beef and dairy), effectively taxing all citizens through increased food costs. I've been sour on corn-ethanol for quite some time as it seems to be an open question whether or not the production of ethanol is net energy positive, and one should always be suspicious when the government chooses one technology over another. This failure represents the continuation of a cynical protectionist scheme, and it exposes the hypocrisy of those who want lower fuel costs, the environmental promise of ethanol, or the foreign policy implications of less petroleum dependence.

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