CBO report shows the folly of corn ethanol tax credit

A new report released by the Congressional Budget Office yesterday afternoon reaches some eye popping conclusions about what our lavish support for old corn ethanol is costing us. For mature and mainstream corn ethanol, we the tax payers are shelling out $1.78 per gallon before we even pay for it at the pump. As I've written a lot about before, this comes on top of a federal mandate, which this year requires 12billion gallons. That adds up to a total cost of over $21 billion just this year!

The industry is already is heavy spin mode, but even it has to acknowledge the sticker shock. RFA's early response amounts to "sure it's expensive, but what else are you going to spend your money on?"  But how about vehicle efficiency or electrification or getting advanced biofuels commercialized? Imagine what we could do with a fraction of $21 billion on those fronts. Or heck, even just reducing the drinking water pollution, gulf dead zone, soil erosion, and wildlife impacts of corn ethanol production.

Unfortunately, bills like the one introduced by Klobuchar, which I wrote about yesterday, would take us in the wrong direction pulling the rug out from under advanced biofuels and extending the corn ethanol tax credit.

Look soon for a more comprehensive assessment of the CBO report from my colleague Sash Lyuste.