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Ethanol shmethanol at Three Roads Blog
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Ethanol shmethanol

A DEPRESSING ARTICLE in today’s Times explores Obama’s ties with the domestic ethanol lobby.

Don’t get me wrong: I’d take his larger energy plan over McCain’s any day. But when Obama touts corn-based ethanol as a way to achieve energy independence, I get a little irritated and a lot cynical.

3 Responses to “Ethanol shmethanol”


  1. 1 Con Queso

    I’m pro-ethanol, and I think this is the right stance by Obama.

    Certainly there is a parochial concern by Obama here becuase Illinois is a corn-producing state.

    And certainly there are (significant) drawbacks to corn ethanol.

    But, if the United States is to reduce its oil consumption, biofuels have to be part of the equation. Along with plug-in hybrids, greater reliance on public transport, conservation and all the rest.

    IF the country is to move to advanced biofuels, corn ethanol is necessary as a transition crop. This is the case for both financing, infrastructure, and political support reasons. There are detailed reasons for all of this, but I’m trying to keep this concise.

    In terms of food prices, the cost of energy in general, and oil specifically, is a far greater component of food price run-ups than corn ethanol.

    Corn ethanol is no panacea, but I have come to believe that it is necessary now as part of the painful process of long-term energy transition that the United States is currently undergoing.

    I don’t believe I’ve come to this position in a politically motivated way, but because I believe it on the merits.

  2. 2 Nick

    Con Queso, are you Karl?

  3. 3 Jeb

    I don’t know, Con Queso …

    To paraphrase something Matthew Iglesias said recently, anyone who would block ethanol imports from Brazil is not serious about ethanol’s efficacy as an alternative fuel.

    What’s more, I see ethanol as a potential distraction from other, more promising energy sources.

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