Hart: Yet another reason for less government - ethanol costs us all

In this July 20, 2013, file photo, an ethanol plant stands next to a cornfield near Nevada, Iowa. Some farm groups and farm-state lawmakers are expressing anger at the Trump administration over final ethanol rules that they say fail to uphold the president's promises to the industry. The Environmental Protection Agency has released final renewable fuel standard rules for next year that do not include language President Donald Trump agreed to that would guarantee 15 billion gallons of ethanol is blended into the nation's gasoline supply. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Just when I go to bed thinking there is nothing lawmakers can do to harm us any more than they have, the sun comes up the next morning.

I bought a GMC Yukon, and its two-year service date came up last week. I called the GM dealer to ask what was due. I was told that new to all cars is an every 30,000-mile service requirement to clean out the gunk in pipes and the engine that government-mandated ethanol causes. The cost: about $600.

You know ethanol as corn. Elizabeth Warren and her people call it "maize." And by "her people," in this case I mean pandering politicians who want to win Iowa and do not care how much it costs the rest of us. Democrat politicians are forced to go to Iowa every four years to pander for votes by promising ethanol subsidies. Any other time a liberal elite would end up in Iowa means his or her plane crashed there while heading to one of the coasts.

By being in favor of subsidizing corn for ethanol, supporters say they are "helping the environment," but they are not. It takes 70% more energy to produce ethanol, and it costs about twice as much as gasoline to produce. We taxpayers subsidize this and it is tearing up our car engines.

When supposedly "well intentioned/do-gooder" environmentalists get involved in anything, the outcome is worse for you and me. These are the same alarmists who stopped nuclear power plant production with their hysteria in the 1970s, only to now realize it is the cleanest form of energy. These are the same folks who think they will know the temperature of Earth 10 years from now. And they have the hubris to think that, with higher taxes, they can change that.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came right from her bartending job to Congress to become an expert on climate change and sponsor the "Green New Deal," which imposes massive taxes on us. AOC and 16-year-old anger merchant and Time Magazine Person of the Year Greta Thunberg are now viewed as "experts." Why? A joke I told last year still rings true: "What happens when AOC walks into a bar? It is lowered."

Aside from ethanol costing more, being worse for the environment and depleting our farmland, it now costs Americans a lot of money to repair the corrosive nature of what is essentially corn syrup in our cars. Remember those movies where people would pour sugar into someone's gas tank to stop his car or harm an enemy? That is essentially what your government has been doing, gumming up our car engines to win votes in Iowa with our tax subsidies while pretending that they are doing something for the environment.

Think of it this way. There are 273 million cars registered in the U.S., driving 2.5 trillion miles a year. Putting ethanol in our gas cost us $50 billion a year, or about $300 per driver in incremental engine repair bills. This does not include the cost associated with engines wearing out earlier than those not forced to use ethanol.

We need politicians to get their greasy hands and half-baked policy ideas out of our pocketbooks. If you think the ethanol mandate costs you money and is stupid, you have no idea how costly solar (Solyndra) and wind power have become, all to make sanctimonious politicians feel better about themselves. If an idea really works economically, it need not be subsidized with our tax dollars. The free market will bring us the product.

Energy has always been an area politicians try to regulate so they can shake it down. Having knocked up an Arkansas stripper, court documents for child support show that Hunter Biden may have made $150 million "working" for a Ukrainian oil company. When Joe Biden was asked by Fox News whether his son should have pulled out of Burisma, he snapped at the reporter, "Her name is not Burisma!"

photo Ron Hart

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