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Mark Levin: Ethanol Is a ‘Complete Ripoff, a Complete Boondoggle’

Jose R. Gonzalez
By Jose R. Gonzalez | January 26, 2016 | 1:16 PM EST

On his nationally syndicated radio show last Wednesday, Mark Levin set the record straight on ethanol subsidies calling them a "complete ripoff, a complete boondoggle."

"In the end, even the most generous analysis estimates that it takes the energy equivalent of three gallons of gasoline to make four gallons of [ethanol]," he said. "It is a complete rip-off, a complete boondoggle. It is exactly the opposite of what we demand of our government. It is as establishment as it gets; it is as big government as it gets; and it is as anti-consumer as it gets.”

Here is a transcript of what Mark Levin had to say on his program:

“As ethanol and other biofuels require corn, sugar cane, additional crops to produce blends of gasoline, these essential crops are diverted from food production to energy production, and as demand for corn and sugar cane increases more farmers around the world respond by converting their fields from rice and wheat and soy to more profitable government-subsidized products like biofuels, like ethanol.

“Government policy played a significant role in driving up demand and prices, not only for fuel, but food, which has actually caused enormous damage to the Third World. And as for demand for corn increased in the United States, and since corn is one form or another is fed to most livestock, the price of beef, fowl, dairy products, all went up. A ripple effect occurs across the economic and global landscape.

“This isn’t ideology, this isn’t purism. This is fact. This isn’t an abstraction. This isn’t theory. This is economic reality. That’s why we’re conservatives. That’s why we talk about free market capitalism. Are we supposed to abandon it this election cycle? Well, if we abandon it, nobody’s going to defend it.

“Now here’s what even the Associated Press wrote several years ago. Ready for this?

“The AP:

“‘Ethanol is [much,] much less efficient [than gasoline], especially when it is made from corn. Just growing corn requires expending energy: plowing, planting, fertilizing and harvesting all require machinery that burns fossil fuel. Modern agriculture relies on large amounts of fertilizer and pesticides, both of which are produced by methods that consume fossil fuels. Then there’s the cost of transporting the corn to an ethanol plant, where the fermentation and distillation processes consume yet more energy. Finally, there’s the cost of transporting the fuel to filling stations. And because ethanol is more corrosive than gasoline, it can’t be pumped through relatively efficient pipelines, but must be transported by rail or tanker truck.

“‘In the end, even the most generous analysts estimate that it takes the energy equivalent of three gallons of gasoline to make four gallons of the stuff.

“It is a complete rip-off, it a complete boondoggle. It is exactly the opposite of what we demand of our government. It is as establishment as it gets; it is as big government as it gets; and it is as anti-consumer as it gets. The statists created this. The statists created this and all the detriments and unintended consequences that go along with it.”

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