Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ethanol no more than Heavily Subsidized Cash Crop Supported by Powerful Lobby

So said one writer recently, and I think he's right.

While the usual proliferation of polls - that can no longer be trusted - have been recently thrown out as evidence the American people are behind the corn-based ethanol fiasco, it's only because of the way the poll is worded, as well as marketing campaigns from the dubious, but powerful corn lobby.

The rise in food prices directly related to the overgrowing and overuse of corn, has resulted in less acreage for other crops, and higher costs of seed as well. Some places in the world have dramatic food shortages as a result of this politically motivated, misguided policy.

Another less-than-honest reality is the performance of ethanol, which is far less productive than regular gasoline, and takes much more to make up the lower mileage difference ethanol gets.

As Bob Sommer, writing for Midwest Voices said, "... as long as every politician, Republican or Democrat, who sets foot in Iowa or Nebraska or any corn-producing state thinks the way to solve the energy and climate crises—and get elected in the bargain—is to drink the ethanol Kool-Aid, our future will look dim indeed."

Many of the polls I've seen in support of ethanol have come from ethanol-backed coalitions that have financial stakes in the continued tax-payer subsidy of the alternative fuel. Here's one as an example.

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