The end of a boondoggle?

November 24, 2010

Early this week, I came across a Reuters report in which Al Gore called ethanol policy ‘not a good idea’. The thing that struck me was that he pretty much admitted pandering to farmers by voting for ethanol subsidies. (Thanks for ‘fessing up, Al. Better late than never, I suppose.)

Today I found this interesting post by Jonathan Adler at the Volokh Conspiracy on the topic. Maybe there’s hope we’ll be rid of this boondoggle.

The End of Ethanol?

Maybe it’s the new mood in Congress. Maybe the stars are aligned. Whatever the cause, opposition to ethanol subsidies is cropping up in some unusual places — and just in time, as ethanol tax credits are set to expire in a few weeks. […]

Meanwhile, on the other end of the political spectrum, Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) are taking aim at ethanol subsidies as yet another special-interest energy policy boondoggle that should be opposed by free-marketeers and environmental activists alike. […]

As Jonathan Zasloff notes, the ethanol issue also presents Republicans with an opportunity to show how less government intervention can be better for the environment.

Ethanol is a lose-lose proposition any way you slice it: it costs a big chunk of money, it’s horrible for the environment, and it does nothing but enrich special interests. It’s particularly bad on the climate, because the amount of emissions requiring to produce a liter of ethanol is actually more than just using gasoline. Kudos to Senators Coburn and DeMint for pushing this.

Go get ’em, Senators!

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