Congress trying to sneak past its ethanol fiasco

If they were not in an election year, lawmakers might be fixing America's fuel ethanol wreck instead of skewering consumers and hiding the damage. But no politician wants to admit mistakes in an election year. The latest round of ethanol mistakes began in 2005, when Congress imposed volumetric requirements for grain ethanol in motor fuel. Congress compounded them in 2007 by sharply raising the mandate and specifying that a growing share of the requirement be met by cellulosic ethanol starting in 2010. The ethanol program now faces two fatal problems. Because gasoline demand has flattened, the market soon won't be able to use ethanol in the growing amounts required. And because no one yet ...

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