The Corner

Oh Ethanol, I Still Drink to Your Health

From a reader:

Ok we get it, but I would you rather continue our wealth transfer to people that want to kill us?  I would rather fatten up Iowa, and the rest of the corn belt…

If you add in all the inputs, some studies say that it takes more than a gallon of gasoline to make its energy equivalent in corn ethanol. By the most favorable estimates, corn ethanol is almost energy neutral. Ethanol is not a source of energy. It is an unnecessary loop in our system of energy production, and a loop that we all pay for in the form of higher gas prices. And it doesn’t stop a single dollar from going to the Middle East.UPDATE: A reader makes another great point:

As a member of what could probably be characterized as a lower middle class household, I see ethanol’s contribution to higher gas prices as minor compared to the inflationary impact ethanol subsidies are having on the prices of beef, pork, and chicken. I haven’t had any beef pricier than eye round in over a year now. I used to have rib eye, t-bone or porterhouse steaks once or twice a month. Given the increases I’m seeing in my gasoline prices, heating bill, and grocery bill, I roll my eyes when I see the government publish annual inflation rate figures somewhere between 3 and 5 per cent. From where I sit, my cost of living is up more like 20 per cent over the past twelve months, and that’s after some serious cutting back on “luxuries”. And you’re right – the ethanol fetish is just fueling the fire. 


David – Just think of all the LNG we’ll have to bring in from the Middle East, Russia, and elsewhere in order to make fertilizer for the record corn crops we’ll need to make ethanol.  Unless there’s been a dramatic shift in thinking on development of domestic resources that I’ve somehow missed.


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