Friday, May 18, 2007

The Changing Politics of Ethanol

Kimberly Strassel has a great article in her Potomac Watch column about the changing politics of the corn Ethanol debate. Predictably after the federal government mandated the use of more ethanol as motor fuel the price of corn, from which U.S. ethanol is made, has more than doubled. This increase means that various groups of food producers are being hit with higher costs. This combined with environmentalists' laments about increased use of land for corn farming has put the politicians who implemented ethanol mandates in the tough spot. As usual when the government gets involved no one will be happy with the results.

The real way to resolve the "energy independence" problem is two fold: 1. Remove the quotas on sugar and sugar ethanol so that less expensive alternatives to corn ethanol can enter the motor fuel market; and 2. increase federal taxes on gasoline so that we use less oil products.

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