A drought of common sense

High temperatures and drought in many parts of the Midwest are harming America's corn crop, experts say.

And that presents Congress with additional justification to end its costly promotion of ethanol. It is true that the direct 46-cent-per-gallon subsidy for production of corn-based ethanol finally ended this year. But it is equally true that by federal law, 15 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol still will be getting blended into the nation's fuel supply by 2015.

The cost of that is high to us all as consumers.

That's because the propping up of an ethanol market that would otherwise collapse under the weight of its own pointlessness and unpopularity has led to the diversion of massive amounts of corn out of the U.S. food supply and into fuel production. And that means we pay more for groceries ranging from corn-fed beef and cereal to corn chips and sweeteners.