Another Gallon of Pork
Pork comes in all shapes and sizes. Some of it is made out of corn. Specifically, ethanol.
This is an environmentally correct fuel source that’s not quite all it’s cracked up to be. Either as an energy saver or as a pollution saver.
The Department of Agriculture has churned out a pro-ethanol study, one that does not take into account the amount of energy required to make ethanol. Another study argues that it takes 29 percent more energy to create a gallon of ethanol than you’ll actually get out of the gallon of ethanol. Which makes it sound not too efficient energy-wise.
Ronald Bailey goes into the debate at the reason.com website in more detail than I can give here. All I want to point out right now is that this corn-based fuel is one of the infinite items of pork that gets tossed at legislators to bribe them into accepting legislation they might not otherwise vote for. In this case, a thousand-page-plus energy bill. Ethanol subsidies have already climbed to $1.4 billion annually. That’s only one fiftieth of what we’re sending to reconstruct Iraq, but still, it’s a lot of money.
And the pork-barrelers want to double it.
Bailey wants to know, “No matter which of the dueling studies one finds persuasive, one may well ask: If ethanol from corn is so cost-effective, why does its production need federal subsidies?”
Of course the answer is, so congress critters from corn-growing states can get pork to crow about when they’re up for re-election.
Something’s wrong with this diet.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.