A letter to the editor in the Jefferson City News-Tribune discusses corn ethanol, pointing out that it's not a cure-all for our energy problems, because the United States can't produce enough of it to match our current oil usage:
Therefore, all our corn equals about 34 billion gallons (gasoline
equivalent) of the 150 billion gallons we consume each year.
Also, there's the fact that we use corn for other uses besides fuel. The letter continues:
But, if we convert all our corn
to fuel what happens to the poultry and livestock industries that
require the carbohydrate removed from corn when it's converted to
In the rush to make ethanol the solution to our energy problems, with all the subsidies and tax breaks that includes, many officials are ignoring the market system that would determine the true value of ethanol. If ethanol is actually a cost-effective replacement for oil, there would be little need for subsidies to produce it.