published Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Past time to cut energy subsidies

President Barack Obama is calling for an end to more than $4 billion in annual subsidies for the oil and gas industry. That’s a good start, but unfortunately the president has little desire to cut huge subsidies for other energy sources, particularly ethanol.

Ironically, ethanol’s subsidy cost to the U.S. economy is greater than the cost of special breaks for oil and gas.

Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, tallied up the cost of ethanol subsidies. He included in that calculation the far lower amount of energy that a gallon of ethanol provides compared with a gallon of traditional gasoline. When he added it up, he found that subsidies for ethanol and the federal government’s requirement that billions of gallons of ethanol be blended into the nation’s fuel supply cost taxpayers more than $16 billion this year.

That’s about four times the cost of the oil and gas subsidies!

Plus, ethanol harms small engines and drives up food costs by diverting huge amounts of corn out of food production.

Yet the president “dares not mention cutting the ethanol scammers out of the congressional pork fest,” Bryce noted.

It’s high time the president did “mention” that. He and Congress should call for an end to all unconstitutional energy subsidies.

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