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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Corn dogs

This is disappointing. Earlier today I made the observation that "the abuse of power isn't a partisan issue." Neither, apparently, is parochialism:

The Democrat and Republican running to replace Gov. Mitch Daniels spent most of their Tuesday morning talk with Indiana corn growers and ethanol producers outlining their similarities, starting with the fact that their campaign vehicles run on E85 ethanol blends.

Former Democratic Indiana House Speaker John Gregg and Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Pence disagreed about little Tuesday at the Indiana Ethanol Forum. Both touted their support for more fuel choices -- read that as higher blends of ethanol in gasoline and more gas pumps throughout the state that dispense E85 blends -- and blasted the Obama administration for new regulations on coal plants that could hit the state's coal industry.

E85 is great for corn growers, not so much for everybody else. It takes too much in subsidies for too little boost in efficiency with no real hep for the environment. It could even be the perfect symbol for how Washington became the behemoth it is -- everybody wanting their piece of the pie for their unique set of constiuents whether it's good for the country or not.


Wed, 04/04/2012 - 10:20pm

Supposedly, we got good news at the beginning of 2012 when the tax credit for blending ethanol into gasoline and the tariff on imported "moonshine" was allowed to expire.  But our rent-seeking ethanol makers such as Poet don't need the giveaways as long as they have  the federally mandated requirement that ethanol be blended into gasoline to the tune of 36 billion gallions by 2022 principally to support the 15% blend now approved.

We are in this mess because our politicians, through the auspices of USDA continues to make our farmers the "premium dependent class" among our citizenry.  Corn ethaonol makes little sense (except to farmers and subsidized ethanol manufacturers) and there is little hope for using a really efficient ethanol source such as sugar cane in this county.  Ethanol will continue to be more expensive to produce than hydrocarbons and energy required to convert corn to ethanol will continue to be more than the energy remaining in the fuel itiself.  Corn for humans and animals to eat is now very expensive  - hitting alltime highs in 2011.

All this government price support has skewed the real gasoline market.  Subsidies remove incentives to inovate and lower costs.  Thus we get the corporatist relationships that make private companies dependent upon the government dole.  Indiana politicians on both sides of the aisle know better than to do this but they are afraid of the Big Farm and the Big Green rent-seeking lobbys (or they do not really care as long as they get votes).

BTW, if I keep getting inundated by the dishonest Poet North Manchester ads on WOWO, I will tune out 1190AM and 92.3FM permanently.


Thu, 04/05/2012 - 10:53am

Ethanol from c