Ethanol’s Growing List of Enemies


Businessweek reports on an unlikely group of allies united againt the ethanol craze:

The ethanol movement is sprouting a vocal crop of critics. While politicians including President George W. Bush and farmers across the Midwest hope that the U.S. can win its energy independence by turning corn into fuel, Hitch and an unlikely assortment of allies are raising their voices in opposition. The effort is uniting ranchers and environmentalists, hog farmers and hippies, solar-power idealists and free-market pragmatists.

They have different reasons for opposing ethanol. But their common contentions are that the focus on corn-based ethanol has been too hasty, and the government's active involvement -- through subsidies for ethanol refiners and high tariffs to keep out alternatives like ethanol made from sugar -- is likely to lead to chaos in other sectors of the economy.

"Corn ethanol has failed to prove itself as a reliable alternative that can exist without huge subsidies," says Demian Moore, senior analyst for the nonprofit Taxpayers for Common Sense.

Photo: Todd Ehler/Flickr