When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do? -- John Maynard Keynes

Monday, November 11, 2013

US ethanol programs destroying the environment

Another example of the US government creating more problems with its legislation and programs -- in this case the unintended consequences and environmental destruction of the US government's corn ethanol programs:

From an AP news press release: "For years, corn ethanol has been a centerpiece of America's green energy strategy. President Barack Obama and his administration have described this homegrown fuel as a way to reduce greenhouse gases and to wean the country off foreign sources of oil. But an Associated Press investigation to be published Nov. 12 will highlight the environmental impact of ethanol production. As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they touched off a cascade of unintended consequences, including the elimination of many acres of conservation land . . . . Readers can join a conversation with AP journalists who reported the story on Nov. 12 at 3 p.m. ET on Reddit."

There is a role for government--a very limited role. Ethanol production is not a place the US government should have EVER gotten involved. Allow the market (and innovation) to solve energy production-- and the fact is that the US is sitting on so much natural gas, that this generation and the next can pretty much do without ANY corn ethanol, while also decreasing coal burning power plants, limiting nuclear power, and reducing oil imports. The ethanol programs are nothing but corporate and corn-belt welfare. And they are destroying the environment. Repeal the programs in their entirety.

The general lesson to be learned from the past 50 years: in most cases, the US government does not solve problems--it creates more problems. Let's start doing more with less--less government.


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