The Economist is adding its voice to the growing chorus of critics of U.S. corn ethanol policy:
The 36 billion gallons of ethanol-equivalent biofuels the EPA requires to be produced by 2022 is now almost certainly a lost cause….Rather than rig things still further, as the farm lobby would like, there is one simple fix the EPA can do to ease matters for motorists. That is to relax (or, better still, abandon) the purchasing schedule for corn-based ethanol. The EPA has the authority to do so. If it refuses, then Congress should act to do so instead. The ethanol mandate is clearly wasteful, does environmental damage, contributes to higher food prices at home and abroad through the misallocation of agricultural resources, and is a needless tax on everyone who drives in America. Time for it to go.
Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing. The details of this farce can be confusing, but the Economist does an excellent job of clearly and succinctly explaining the story. They get all the facts right, and their recommendation is clear: Kill the corn ethanol mandate. Now.[Withered corn crop image courtesy of Shutterstock]