The ethanol program has been highly touted as environmentally friendly and as economic development. Actually, the program has had the exact opposite effect and then some, namely: massive investment losses; increased grocery prices; increased cost of livestock feed; destruction of native grassland (land use change); Increased water pollution (fertilizer, herbicide and insecticide ); stressed water resources; inflated grain prices; inflated farmland values; tax increases; disruption of state tax policy; endangered bird and insect populations, including honey bees and butterflies; years of depressed rural economies; and lower miles per gallon.
In addition to the above, the program is now near total financial collapse.This is why corn and ethanol promoters are now frantically demanding that Washington adjust the Renewable Fuel Standard by mandating the blending of even higher levels of ethanol into gasoline. For example, Dan McGuire, policy director of the American Corn Growers Foundation, recently stated that RFS administrators are “obligated to quickly take the necessary steps that will greatly increase annual corn use for ethanol by at least one billion bushels, and that’s just playing catch up.”
It would seem a bit of an embarrassment for corn and ethanol promoters to expect the government to guarantee them an artificial market for their product and then demand adjustments, from time to time, to keep it afloat. It’s called an “entitlement.”
It would be a serious mistake to resuscitate this failed venture, as such would start a whole new round of damage, only worse. This is what brought us to this mess in the first place.