Today, Ken G. Glozer presented his book, Corn Ethanol, over lunch at the Heritage Foundation. You can find the webcast to watch the event, here.

In his new book, Glozer lays out the history of corn-based ethanol in the US and evaluates the major claims made by its advocates. He concludes that federal ethanol policy has little to do with energy and everything to do with wealth transfer. 

Three decades of federal subsidies, trade protection, and, most recently, mandated ethanol blending, Glozer said remind him of “something you get out of a Soviet Politburo.” Federal ethanol policy is more reminiscent of a Soviet-style control and command economy, than of anything you would expect from the American market economy.

Glozer asserts that taxpayers and consumers are forced to pay over and over again for US ethanol policy, with nearly no benefits to show from it.

The Independent Women’s Forum recently launched its March Policy Newsletter on Misguided Renewable Energy Policies which contains a section on US ethanol policy as the prime example of the failures of having government meddle in energy markets in the form of subsidies and mandates.

Americans should keep the lessons from ethanol in mind when they hear politicians assert that it is imperative that we subsidize and mandate renewable energy in the United States. This is just another policy that screams of special interest politics and that will cost Americans dearly.

Cato’s Jerry Taylor makes a compelling case against green subsidies in this clip: