- The Washington Times - Monday, June 20, 2011


Let’s suppose that some folks come to you and ask if you want to invest in a terrific new fuel for motor vehicles (“Senate slams door on ethanol subsidies,” Page 1, Friday).

They claim the fuel can be produced - without drilling - right here in the United States. On top of that, they expect to get a substantial federal subsidy to help market the new fuel. But when pressed about any disadvantages, they are constrained to admit that as compared with gasoline and natural gas, their new fuel product is much more expensive to produce and gets far less mileage.

So what would you say to their proposition? In a real world, you are likely to tell them to keep it. That’s the real world, but unfortunately, with Barack Obama as president, we seem to be living in the land of Oz. The fact is that this “new” fuel is currently being marketed. It’s called ethanol and, despite its significant disadvantages, it goes right into your fuel tank, whether you want it or not every time you fill up at your local gasoline station.

Because ethanol emits much more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than gasoline or natural gas, one would think that environmentalists would get behind a campaign to eliminate it from gasoline and that Congress would choose to offer tax-credit incentives to promote the use of natural gas as a fuel in motor vehicles. However, in our land of Oz, environmentalists continue to attack the use of gasoline and natural gas and Congress, in its infinite wisdom, will likely continue to subsidize the production of ethanol while blocking any incentives for converting motor vehicles to burn natural gas.

In the final analysis, ethanol simply is not a viable alternative to gasoline or natural gas. Yet on Mr. Obama’s watch, the inefficient, nonviable ethanol remains the fuel du jour.



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