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Monday, May 25, 2009

Just tax carbon vs. the great ethanol scam

/. is running the following:
"Over at BusinessWeek, Ed Wallace is creating quite a stir, reporting that not only is ethanol proving to be a dud as a fuel substitute, but there is increasing evidence that it is destroying engines in large numbers. Before lobbyists convince the government to increase the allowable amount of ethanol in fuel to 15%, Wallace suggests it's time to look at ethanol's effect on smog, fuel efficiency, global warming emissions, and food prices. Wallace concedes there will be some winners if the government moves the ethanol mandate to 15% — auto mechanics, for whom he says it will be the dawn of a new golden age."

Yes, and a comment by gravesb cooks right to the solution:

just tax carbon

Stop the subsidies, tax carbon to account for externalities, and then let the market decide. The negative effects of biofuels have been on display ever since the Dutch dropped palm oil. Instead of the government pushing this obviously failed product, they should make sure that consumers bear the entire cost of their decisions and let companies develop a way to reduce fossil fuel consumption. And less biofuels means the price of my beer goes down, dammit! Won't someone think of my beer?

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