In an audacious move Sunday, General
Motors demanded that the federal government step in and create a
national ethanol fuel station infrastructure at the same time the
company announced that it has invested in Coskata, a cellulosic ethanol
the heels of federal legislation that set national mandates for ethanol
production, GM's strategy amounts to federal guarantees for its
investment in the ethanol industry.
need to grow E85 (ethanol) stations," said GM CEO Rick Wagoner at a
Detroit Auto Show news conference. "It is time for the U.S. government
to do it through regulation."
The article goes on to document the strong rent-seeking history of Coskata.
One small bit of good news is that the media seems to finally be catching on to the ethanol subsidy farce.
It's great that our politicians have discovered the need for new energy
technologies. But it appears that Washington is determined to put its
money"”our money"”on the wrong horse. Right now, researchers are studying
a host of energy solutions, including hydrogen, high-mileage diesel,
plug-in hybrids, radical reductions in vehicle weight and cellulosic
ethanol (made from cornstalks, switchgrass or other nonfood crops). It
is far too soon to say which of these holds the most promise. But,
instead of promoting experimentation and competition to find the best
solutions, politicians seem ready to declare ethanol the winner. As a
result, our nation could wind up with the worst of both worlds: an
"alternative" energy that is enormously expensive yet barely saves a
gallon of oil.