Big Ethanol Strikes Back


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Opposition to further federal subsidies to encourage the turning of food into fuel is growing. Now the corn ethanol industry and farmers lobby are fighting to keep every penny they drain from the taxpayers' pockets. The ethanol lobbying group, Growth Energy, is rolling out a 12-week $2.5 million national TV ad campaign that aims to persuade policymakers and the public to continue lavishing subsidies on the industry. Some pro-ethanol ad tag lines read:

 -"No beaches have been closed due to ethanol spills. America's clean fuel."

-"Ethanol has not shipped a single job overseas. America's economic fuel."

-"No soldiers have been deployed to defend our ethanol reserves. America's independent fuel."

-"No wars have ever been fought over ethanol. America's peace fuel."

-"We won't have to wait millions of years to replenish our ethanol reserves. America's renewable fuel."

-"Ethanol has contributed $0 to the governments of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. America's sensible fuel."

May I suggest some alternative tag lines which might read:

-"No carbon dioxide emissions have been cut due to ethanol subsidies. America's greenhouse fuel."

-"Ethanol tax subsidies increase unemployment by reducing consumers' incomes. America's job killing fuel."

-"Police have been deployed to put down ethanol caused food riots. America's starvation fuel."

-"Food trade wars have broken out over ethanol caused food price spikes. America's protectionist fuel."

-"We have to wait more than 100 years to pay off ethanol's carbon debt. America's global warming fuel."

-"Ethanol has contributed $0 in taxes to the federal government. America's tax subsidized fuel."

Of course, we at Reason were opposed to corn ethanol subsidies -"Congress Gets Drunk on Ethanol"—long before it was popular to be against them.