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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Sum of All Ears...........of Corn

Economist and NYT columnist Paul Krugman criticized the Bush energy policy in a recent NYT column that is posted here at the Economists view blog.

Besides stating the obvious blunders of the Bush administration's ethanol focus, Krugman mentions a key fact -

".....subsidizing ethanol benefits two well-organized groups: corn growers and ethanol producers. As a result, it’s bad policy with bipartisan support."

The bipartisan support thing is a huge problem........those of us following green tech in the blogosphere realize that ethanol is not the road to energy independence. The problem, is that while those of us following these issues "get it", there is usually a considerable lag before the politicians jump on the bandwagon (lots of polling!). Politicians and Presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle are on the ethanol bandwagon - THIS IS NOT GOOD!

The Democrat party (sorry, couldn't resist - must be the Texas thing) has a huge choice to make, one that will separate themselves from the pork lovin 'Pubs. If they truly care about increasing fuel efficiency then they will make the right decision in putting the best interests of the nation ahead of those of the corn belt states by focusing on technologies such as electric cars rather than settling on E85.

It is not in the nature of the Democratic party to reduce or eliminate tariffs, which would be a pro-trade move, as it would hurt the corn growers while making both home grown and imported sugar ethanol more competitive with gasoline. Since this would be a very unpopular move, especially with the 2008 elections on the horizon, it is not likely to happen. Therefore the politicians, the ones who "get it" (John McCain did until he decided to run for President) need to get behind alternative solutions. Maybe Bush's switchgrass idea isn't so "corny" after all.

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