Monday, June 23, 2008

Obama's Ethanol Connection

The New York Times spent some time today explaining Obama's ties to the ethanol business and his standing when it comes to importing ethanol. The article is pretty fascinating as it shows how much the National Corn Growers Association has influenced Obama's stance when it comes to deciding the future of America's energy policies. Acting as the politician who is above politics as usual, it's funny to see how Obama's policy is tilted by the corn industry, which proves Obama is a politician just like all the others. Not saying there's anything wrong with that...just making the point.

The fact that Obama supports the 54-cent tariff on ethanol imports and dismisses the government subsidies for ethanol production shows exactly how influenced he has been by the corn industry. As McCain pointed out, sugar cane ethanol is more efficient than corn ethanol and the insistence to use only corn ethanol has dramatically increased the cost of corn for consumers. And, as I have said before, ethanol is not the panacea that many claim it to be.

On one hand, Obama talks about energy independence while supporting an industry that will not lead us there. If Obama truly cared about energy independence, he would support additional drilling in the United States while encouraging the development of better, renewable energy sources. But instead Obama proves he is "politics as usual" by supporting the Corn Growers Association and the production of an inefficient alternative. He's not the first, but his image of being above the normal politics should not exist.

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