Fueling the Fire
I guess the news has finally reached Washington. In a recent post on the Political Fix blog, Bill Lambrecht pointed out that the political heat around subsidies is increasing, and this time it is fueled by ethanol. Almost two years to the date after the Show-Me Institute’s release of its case study of the E-10 ethanol mandate in Missouri, another nonprofit research organization has published a study about the inefficiencies of federal ethanol subsidies. The Environmental Working Group‘s analysis of the ethanol subsidies concluded:
Americans have spent $17 billion since 2005 to achieve reductions in gasoline consumption that could have been achieved for free.
Today, proponents of ethanol are attempting to piggyback on the recent oil crisis in the Gulf of Mexico in order to gain support for their most recent push to increase the amount of ethanol in the U.S. gasoline supply and keep their subsidies. In a Post-Dispatch article yesterday, Jeffrey Tomich pointed out:
The ethanol industry is also lobbying Congress to extend a tax credit for blending ethanol with gasoline and maintain a tariff on imported ethanol — measures implemented years ago to help a fledgling industry grow. Both the tax credit and tariff are set to expire at the end of the year.
Letting the tax credits and tariffs expire wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Who knows, besides saving the American taxpayers $17 billion dollars, we might actually come up with an alternative energy idea that works.