If Obama wants energy independence through alternative fuels, why doesn't he back imported sugar-based ethanol? This old-style politician knows it isn't grown in the Midwest and Brazil has no electoral votes.
Corn-based ethanol gets a 51-cents-a-gallon tax subsidy that will cost taxpayers $4.5 billion this year. McCain opposes ethanol subsidies while Obama supports them. McCain opposed them even though Iowa is the first caucus state. Obama, touted by Caroline Kennedy as another JFK, was no profile in courage in Iowa.
That subsidy was cut to 45 cents a gallon in the new farm bill, but more money was pushed toward other biofuels such as switch grass. The Democrats can't wait for offshore oil or ANWR, but they can wait for switch grass. The tariff on imported ethanol was extended. Neither candidate voted on the bill, but Obama said he supported it. McCain said as president he would have vetoed it.
If Obama is sincere about alternative fuels, why does he oppose imported sugar-based ethanol from countries like Brazil? He supports not only the domestic subsidy, but a 54-cents-a-gallon tariff on imported ethanol. McCain opposes both.
Corn ethanol is less energy-efficient and costs more. It generates less than two units of energy for every unit of energy used to produce it. Ethanol made from sugar cane has an energy ratio of more than 8-to-1. Production costs and land prices are cheaper in the countries that produce it.