Congress Swears Off Alcohol Finally

Make bourbon, not fuelSubsidies are just downright bad policy. If a
product cannot survive in the market on its own, it deserves
oblivion. One tiny bit of cheery news as we go into 2012 is that
after 32 years, taxpayers will no longer be shelling out a subsidy
for corn ethanol. As MSNBC
reports
:

America’s corn farmers have been benefiting from annual federal
subsidies of around $6 billion in recent years, all in the name of
ethanol used as an additive for the nation’s vehicles.

That ends on Jan. 1, when the companies making ethanol will lose
a tax credit of 46 cents per gallon, and even the ethanol industry
is OK with it — thanks in part to high oil prices that make
ethanol competitive.

You know that corn ethanol subsidies are a really stupid idea
when even Friends of the Earth opposes them. From
MSNBC:

“Corn ethanol is extremely dirty,” Michal Rosenoer, biofuels
manager for Friends of the Earth, said in heralding the tax
credit’s demise. “It leads to more climate pollution than
conventional gasoline, and it causes deforestation as well as
agricultural runoff that pollutes our water.”

Opponents also see corn ethanol, which now takes a larger share
of the U.S. corn crop than cattle, hogs and poultry, as a
factor in driving food prices higher.

“The end of this giant subsidy for dirty corn ethanol is a win
for taxpayers, the environment and people struggling to put food on
their tables,” Rosenoer added.

Now Congress has to go after the mandate that requires the U.S.
to produce and burn 36 billion gallons of ethanol by
2022. 

Of course, Reason
has long been against
ethanol (or any other type) of
subsidies.