Ethanol uses more fuel

June 3, 2011
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A comment on your article on ethanol fuel in the May 31 Grand Rapids Business Journal (“Fast track to more flex fuel”):

You failed to mention that it takes more fuel to grow the corn to produce the ethanol than the ethanol produces. Secondly, the entire ethanol subsidy system is a massive redistribution of yours and my tax dollars to farm interests (mostly large corporate agribusinesses, not the much cuter small family farmers usually featured in media ads). Third, the USDA has become the functional equivalent of a lobbying operation on behalf of farm interests. They are pushing E85 pumping systems in order to put down deeper roots into our tax revenues.

Maybe I’m just jealous — as a manufacturer it would be nice to have some tax dollars transferred in to subsidize my products. I’m sure I could undercut the competition as ethanol does if I too had a massive federal subsidy. I am disappointed that your article did not feature all sides of the issue on ethanol. Subsidies to agricultural interests are one of many reasons the federal budget is as bloated as it is.

Jeff Mellgren

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