Subsidies for ethanol are the biggest reason why food prices are rising faster than gas prices. This is leading to a worldwide humanitarian crisis, with the poor being hit hardest. Think of that when you next pump your ethanol.
And the main reason to favor ethanol over gasoline – to reduce carbon emissions so to help keep our planet cool – proves worse than empty. What’s required to grow and produce ethanol puts more carbon into the atmosphere than does producing and burning gasoline.
So why keep up the charade?
Well, ask Barack.
Senator Obama says he’s running to reduce the power of special interests. But, as the New York Times carefully parsed it, “like any other politician, he has powerful constituencies that help shape his views.” Tom Daschle, co-chairman of Obama’s campaign, says Obama possesses “a terrific policy staff” . . . which seems united in advising him to push ethanol.
The fact that Obama represents a state filled with lots of people who directly benefit from pro-ethanol subsidies may also have something to do with his enthusiastic support.
Obama has given the standard “national security” reason for the policy, too – energy independence – but I won’t repeat his arguments. They make no sense. If Americans don’t buy Arab oil, Europe, China, and India will. Big deal. Trillions will still go to some bad guys.
And, uh, billions will go to Obama’s friends.
Change? No, politics as usual.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.