Ethanol and The Marketplace

Following up on the news that ethanol subsidies are alive and well, we have this:

For many, yesterday’s 40-59 vote in Washington to save ethanol subsidies is another step towards the fuel being able to compete head to head with gasoline.

Ethanol supporters say it’s a big victory for Americans.

Because Americans are big into expensive victories which require more taxes to be collected so we can keep “winning.” Here, however, was the sentence that particularly grabbed my attention:

“Ethanol can compete with oil, will compete with oil, if we get access to the marketplace,” Richardson said.

Ethanol has had access to the marketplace for a number of years. That access has been purchased by you and me.  If blender pumps made sense from a business standpoint, then companies would be buying and deploying them–without help from Uncle Sugar.

Current biofuels are simply not competitive with antique biofuels (aka fossil fuels). Neither can I function well as a human by eating coal, natural gas or crude oil.

We need to quit trying to tell the market how it should act and start letting the market (billions of people engaged in commerce) tell us what is feasible and what is not.