Ethanol Mandate: "Don't waste any more of our time or your time telling us it's a bad idea, because they're going to do it."

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Wind farmer T. Boone Pickens recounts for the Los Angeles Times a telling conversation he had years ago with then-Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.):

Back in 1996 when Bob Dole ran for president and I was his energy advisor, and he told me…on ethanol, he said, "Ethanol is, you say it's a bad fuel." I said, "Come on Bob, you spend more money making it than importing it." And he said, "Let me explain something to you about politics: There are 21 farm states, and that's 42 senators. Don't go any further." I'm getting the picture. I said, "They want ethanol." He said, "They're going to have ethanol." And so he said, "Don't waste any more of our time or your time telling us it's a bad idea, because they're going to do it."

http://blogs.princeton.edu/chm333/f2006/biomass/ethanol%20cartoon.gif

Once again, bad policy and a taxpayer rip-off turns out to be good politics.

Addendum: Apparently Pickens believes that taxpayers and ratepayers should help him finance his gigantic $10 billion wind farm. Like the ethanol barons before him, Pickens has learned to love subsidies and corporate tax breaks as much as next tycoon. Ah, hypocrisy.