First things first: Thanks once again to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links! Also: Check out the latest of my Profiles in Toxic Masculinity over at Glibertarians! This week’s example is Master Sergeant Roy Benavidez, an honest to gosh American hero whose hand I was once honored to shake.
Moving on: The Trump Administration has promised to expand the ethanol mandate. It’s a stupid idea, and should be ended, not expanded. Excerpt:
Already guaranteed a share of the energy market through the Renewable Fuel Standard, a regulation which mandates that fuel used for transportation contains a certain amount of renewable sources like ethanol, Big Corn is reaching out for even more.
This is a problem, as the ethanol mandate has never come cheap. Indeed, it’s hugely expensive, both economically and environmentally. University of California-Davis researchers determined that the mandate has raised corn and soybean prices 30% and 20%, respectively. Higher prices for food and feedstock are bad news for consumers and farmers raising chickens, cattle, turkeys, and other livestock.
The mandate has also produced undesirable environmental side-effects. The National Wildlife Foundation found that it resulted in the “conversion of 1.6 million acres of grassland, shrubland, wetland, and forestland into cropland between 2008 and 2016.”
Complying with the mandate is hugely expensive for American refiners as well. Naturally, those costs are passed on to consumers — sometimes costing them more than $1 billion a year. The Energy Policy Research Foundation and others estimate it has driven up gasoline prices 6 to 9 cents per gallon.
The article is well worth the read, and it’s a great illustration of why the Imperial government (or, for that matter, any other level of government) shouldn’t mess with markets. Left alone, markets aren’t perfect – nothing is – but left alone, markets generally get things right in the long run. And, besides, ethanol isn’t for fuel – it’s for drinking!
But the article, well-argued as it is, misses the biggest point. I leave it to you, True Believers, to discover one thing for yourselves; examine this document, supposedly the law of the land above and beyond all others, and show me where the Imperial government has been granted the power to do this kind of meddling. Go ahead; I’ll wait right here.
Back? OK, good. Didn’t find anything, did you? Neither did I. Probably because it isn’t in there.
I’d claim to be surprised, but you and I all know that isn’t true. The Imperial Congress and most of our Presidents have been wiping their asses with the Constitution since about 1860, and that trend has just been getting worse. This policy is no exception.