Sunday, May 07, 2006

Repeal the Ethanol Tariff!

Secretary of Energy Bodman suggested repealing the 2.5% tariff and supplemental 54 cent per gallon duty on imported ethanol. Repeal would allow for more economic importas of sugar cane based ethanol from countries such as Brazil, and ameliorate the ethanol shortage that is contributing to rising gas prices and led to the suspension of environmental regulations regarding cleaner gasoline. Kudos to the Secretary for a sensible proposal!! But of course the farm lobby is up in arms. Bad enough that we subsidize inefficient and over-priced corn-derived ethanol, but even when we can't produce enough of it we are unwlling to take action. These senators claim that tariff repeal would hurt the development of the domestic ethanol industry. Yes, the national security canard again. I feel safer already as we are protected against those horrible breeders of terrorists who grow sugar cane and produce ethanol such as Brazil and a host of Caribbean nations. While sugar cane ethanol is environmentally problematic, it is ten times more efficient than corn ethanol. Not to mention this is a golden opportunity to help poorer nations in our hemisphere. So the next time a farm state senator complains about high gas prices, ask he (or she if there are any) their position on this issue, and when they tell you they are against tariff repeal, you will know they are full of manure (and not using it to produce cheaper fuel either).

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