Fire of Liberty
Before the 2006 election I recall a lot of the Democrats harping about how the Republicans and members of the Bush administration were beholden to the oil and energy companies during the five year debate and eventual passage of the energy bill. Well now it looks like the the Democrats and a smattering of Republicans on the Senate Energy and National Resources Committee are now offering up some bones to the ethanol industry (It's not spelled out in the piece but I can assure you that there's some goodies from the government coming their way - Just look at the various Farm Monitor shows on RFD-TV to see how they're hyping ethanol.) some and affiliated companies with the 20-3 vote on the passage of the energy bill. I've said in the past that I'm all for the creation of alternative fuel sources like ethanol, hydrogen, coal and even super battery technology but I have a serious problem when the government buts into the world of energy production via excessive regulations and massive subsidies to the ethanol makers. As long as the government shells out billions of dollars to various companies and farmers to keep on producing this fancy moonshine, we will have an industry that will be an inefficient industry propped up by the government dole rather than being an industry that lives and dies by the actions of a free market and the demands of the consumer. Until we get the government out financing the production of ethanol and leaving it to the private sector, which should be on the energy companies dime, we're going to continue to see the depletion of our valuable cropland and forests to plant such crops, a shortage of feed corn, higher usage of energy to make the product and the ever increasing rise in beef, pork, and corn products.
*Now here's an example of what a private industry and a group of scientists can do in the field of alternative energy when they're left to their own devices. (It might be sparked by a grant which is limited and not a boondoggle like we are seeing in D.C.)