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Beating the Dead Ethanol Cow

We’ve been over this and over this: corn ethanol is a disaster. It’s fiscal sinkhole, an environmental fiasco and an engineering nightmare. It tears apart cars, encourages monocropping and raises food prices. And it is net energy loser. Libertarians, environmentalists, most conservatives, engineers and many liberals have found agreement on this one topic: corn ethanol needs to go.

You would think that with the worst drought since the Dust Bowl sending food prices through the roof and pushing livestock farmers to the brink of bankruptcy, the EPA might … oh, maybe not abolish this boondoggle once and forever … but at least delay it long enough for the American farmer to recover.

You would, of course, think wrong. Despite crop yields being down 30% and 40 fucking percent of corn now going to engine-destroying, air-polluting, energy-consuming ethanol; despite the possibility that we will have no corn reserves next year in case another drought hits, the EPA has stood with Big Ethanol.

They are not going to be satisfied until every pig in the midwest is butchered, every farmer goes bankrupt and starvation erupts in the world. In All the Trouble in the World, P.J. O’Rourke noted that very few famines happen because of a lack of food. They are almost always created by incompetent or misguided governments (see my earlier post on starvation in Mao’s China or read up on the Irish Potato Famine). Are we facing another man-made an utterly preventable famine?

God, I hope not.

5 comments

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  1. HARLEY says:

    Any attempt to cuts subsidies on corn, will bring out the FARM lobbyists er the ADM, Monsanto, ones too…Hews and cries of oh you want to kill the family farmer , want us to be dependent on the Arabs for oil, you want to burn dirty oil, wreck the environment… blah blah.. will reverberate thought congress and the media outlets.
    Corn farmers and commodity traders love this shit, prices are sky high, and the demand is artificially created by the FED GOV, and can be manipulated on demand! This is crony Capitalism/Socialism all wrapped up in a pretty bow of environmentalism.
    Hard times are ahead if we continue with this stupid Ethanol road to hell.

    That last paragraph kinda reminds of a John Ringo novel….

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  2. Seattle Outcast says:

    My cousin makes a killing with his overpriced corn contracts in Nebraska. He thinks you’re all a pack of idiots, but damn, that tax money in his bank account is nice…

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  3. FPrefect89 says:

    Bought a VW Golf TDi. I get to burn undiluted diesel in my car now. As a plus, I get to finally fill my own damn tank here in Oregon.

    Not to mention I went from paying $50 a week in gas to paying $50 a month. Not a bad trade.

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  4. balthazar says:

    Not to mention I went from paying $50 a week in gas to paying $50 a month. Not a bad trade.

    What were you driving before? A ford f-350?

    The TDI gets marginally better gas mileage than cars like the fiesta, honda crz, and scion iq, and it costs more.

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  5. FPrefect89 says:

    What were you driving before? A ford f-350?

    It was a Ford. A V6 Mustang. I looked at the Fiesta, but the mileage did not compare to what I get in the TDi. Right now I am averaging 43 MPG in mixed driving, so it is much better than the others.

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