End Ethanol Tariffs

The federal government massively subsidizes corn-based ethanol production, even though it consumes as much energy as it generates, thus doing nothing to cut greenhouse gas emissions.  Yet the federal government imposes a tariff on imported ethanol that prevents costly ethanol mandates from being satisfied by less wasteful forms of ethanol production overseas.  In today’s Washington Post, Paul O’Connell criticizes the “U.S. tariff of 54 cents a gallon” that keeps imported sugar ethanol, which has a better “energy savings ratio” than corn ethanol, out of the U.S.   Environmental advocates like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have long made the same point, noting that “corn ethanol does not yield more energy than it takes to produce, transport and use it,” unlike ethanol from some other sources, and that turning an essential food product like corn into fuel “will cause in increase in global food prices and lead to starvation deaths worldwide.”  Indeed, ethanol subsidies have already caused hunger, starvation, riots, and political unrest around the world, as well as considerable damage to the environment, such as soil erosion and deforestation.