Energy and the farm beast

Energy policy-making has stumbled into an attempt by farm-state politicians to hijack the US economy. Energy and farm bills in Congress contain overlapping efforts to make energy serve the agricultural welfare system.Close to the center of both bills lurks—what else?—ethanol. There is no compelling energy or environmental reason for the government to require that gasoline contain ethanol. None. All advantages claimed on behalf of ethanol have offsetting disadvantages.But any politician needing support from farm states—meaning any US president—must genuflect to ethanol. President George W. Bush pays his dues by supporting the unwarranted requirement for oxygen in reform...

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