September 2, 2008

It's about national security, stupid

"It's about national security, stupid" are the last few words of an article published in The Ethanol Monitor - and reprinted at the GoodFuels blog here - it's a takeoff of the well-known "It's the economy, stupid" line of political years past.

It makes one wonder if Russia would have bothered crossing into Georgia or consider nationalizing some of its grain facilities if it didn't have a pocket full of oil money (check out this post). Ditto for Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, who has been emboldened by oil money and does what it takes to keep himself in power and bash the United States.

Some people argue that energy markets should be "free markets" and, therefore, ethanol shouldn't be supported by mandates or a blender credits (which go to oil companies, BTW). This is a false argument - there is no true free market - not only do we have the oil cartel OPEC controlling supplies and foreign leaders using oil money to support activities against the U.S., but we're spending billions defending oil interests around the world. And in the end, without ethanol, consumers wouldn't have a fuel choice. How can you have a real market when there are no readily available options - no choice? (Check out this or this and this.)

There is a some history here - why there is support for ethanol and blending requirements in the Renewable Fuels Standard and energy legislation. It has something to do with the oil industry's efforts to eliminate choice and prevent an open energy market. Refresh your memory with a history lesson here.

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