August 17, 2005

I Can't Stand Ethanol

Ethanol is one of the dumbest things the federal government lays its hand on. Yes, I know every Senator wants to be President one day and Iowa is the first caucus state, but does that mean Iowans are incapable of sticking with USEFUL products and innovations?

With the energy costs of planting and harvesting, transporting and refining the corn to make ethanol it actually costs MORE energy to make ethanol than it produces on its own. Yes, the energy is going to force an extra four weeks of Daylight Savings Time on us (two weeks extra on both ends) and cost the airlines billions and travellers hassle time in being unsynchronized withour neighbors just to save a comparatively light amount of energy, but they continue to lavish subsidies on ethanol to cancel out those gains. Absolutely absurd.

This is why a planned economy is ludicrous. Not only are we all forced to foot the bill so that 100 Senators can avoid pissing off Iowa, but instead of the federal government being punished for making a bad investment, the administrators of the country's wackiest investment fund (the General Federal Revenue) are rewarded when they start campaigning 3 years and eight months before the next election.

Frankly, if corn producers in Iowa and elsewhere want to make ethanol - which is expensive, dirty, degrades engines and costs more energy to make than it produces - then they can damn well pay for it themselves. I'm not asking them to pay for my products and pretending that they're getting great benefits out of it. Ethanol isn't worth the cost and doesn't provide sufficiently marketable benefits.

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