Letter to the Editor (SD U-T) “End Ethanol Subsidy” (5-13-11)

End ethanol subsidy

I applaud the Editorial Board for supporting a bill introduced by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Republican Sen. Tom Coburn to remove the ethanol tax credit subsidy (“Good bill, lousy odds,” Editorial, May 9).

The senseless multibillion dollar subsidy has been a disaster by hitching the price of corn to oil. Ethanol takes so much fossil fuel to prepare that the product produces marginal benefits to air and fuel supplies. Further, nearly a third of our nation’s corn supply will be diverted to ethanol this year. As fuel prices rise, farmers profit by planting more corn for ethanol (shrinking real food supply), causing food prices to rise and hurting the hungriest worldwide.

Can Congress go beyond parochial protection for the sake of long-term world interests? While the Editorial Board’s skepticism no doubt reflects pragmatism, I challenge Congress to surprise us. — John Reaves, San Diego


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