Jason Barton

Professional Information and Energy News

More Solid Challenges to Government Protection of Ethanol, This Time from the Left

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The article below points out that historically there are three forms government intervention in markets: mandating a product’s use, protecting it from foreign competition through measures such as tariffs, and subsidizing its production.

Corn ethanol benefits, at our expense, from all three.

This does not encourage the kind of innovation that will make domestic, clean energy a larger part of our energy matrix. Instead, it binds us to an inefficient and expensive (made artificially cheap by our tax dollars) practice that is environmentally damaging, not beneficial.

Congress, please, let your baby fend for itself on the free market. Even Al Gore agrees with me.=

  • DECEMBER 5, 2010, 7:10 P.M. ET

Ethanol on the Run

A left-right coalition is emerging against this energy boondoggle.

The political class inevitably invokes the moon shot or Manhattan Project as a model for every unrealistic energy goal, but for once maybe that hyperbole is apt: A left-right coalition is emerging to end ethanol subsidies.

Last week, no fewer than 17 Senators signed a letter calling ethanol “fiscally indefensible” and “environmentally unwise.” Led by Democrat Dianne Feinstein and Republican Jon Kyl, the group said Congress shouldn’t extend certain subsidies that expire at the end of the year, including the 45-cent-per-gallon tax credit for blending ethanol into gasoline and tariffs on cheaper imports. Conservatives like Tom Coburn dislike this costly industrial policy, while liberals like Barbara Boxer and Sheldon Whitehouse are turning against the hefty carbon emissions that come with corn fuels.

Read the entire article here.