In its zeal to impose the ethanol boondoggle, Congress has mandated it, subsidized it, and protected it from competitors. Now some Senators are siccing prosecutors on those who still won’t get on their ethanol cornwagon.
That’s the gist of a recent letter from Iowa Republican Charles Grassley and Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar, demanding the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission investigate the oil industry for “anticompetitive practices aimed at blocking market access for renewable fuels.” That’s Senatorial Cornspeak for saying oil companies should have to put their gas stations in the service of Big Ethanol.
Having mandated huge volumes of a fuel that has little willing market, the ethanol lobby is bullying auto makers to warranty cars that use damaging E15, pushing legislation to require more flex-fuel vehicles, and now using the threat of investigation to force the oil industry into selling a rival product. All this for a fuel that raises gas and food prices and has no anti-pollution benefits.
If ethanol is the miracle its supporters claim, it shouldn’t need a mandate or subsidies. And it shouldn’t need to bully the oil industry to do its selling for it.
MP: As I’ve mentioned before, anytime you have Paul Krugman agreeing on ethanol with such a diverse group as the Manhattan Institute, the WSJ, Reason Magazine, the Cato Institute, Investor’s Business Daily, Rollingstone Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Times, John Stossel, The Ecological Society of America, the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution, the Heritage Foundation, George Will, and Time Magazine, you know that ethanol has to be one of the most misguided public policies in U.S. history.