Since the 1970s, the U.S. government has been subsidizing the production of—or mandating the consumption of—corn ethanol. Promoters of the fuel have made many claims about the alleged benefits of corn ethanol, including its lower cost, its ability to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, and its ability to reduce America’s dependence on imported oil. None of these claims is true.
- Americans have spent a total of $170 billion on federal corn ethanol subsidies and mandates.
- Corn ethanol emits more greenhouse gases than conventional gasoline.
- Corn ethanol, which satisfies the equivalent of only 3 percent of U.S. oil demand, has no noticeable effect on America’s “energy independence.”