Reason Foundation

Reason Foundation

Ethanol Subsidies Cost Taxpayers $8 Billion This Year

New video examines the financial and environmental costs of ethanol

August 11, 2008

Los Angeles (August 11, 2008) - Politicians are going crazy for ethanol, touting it as a cure-all that will reduce both pollution and our dependence on foreign oil. But a new video shows ethanol subsidies are costing taxpayers a massive $8 billion this year and that as much as 60 percent of the increase in world food prices can be blamed on biofuel subsidies.

"Ethanol is bad for taxpayers, bad for the environment, and horrible for the world's poor," Nick Gillespie, editor of, declares in the video.

We are paying more for beef, milk, and eggs because the ethanol craze has increased demand for corn, driving up prices and diverting corn that used to go towards food products and feeding livestock. "We are in the midst of a world food crisis. Several million people are on the edge of starvation because we are turning food into fuel. The amount of corn that it takes to produce a 20 gallon tank of ethanol could feed one person for an entire year," Reason magazine Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey says.

And those far-reaching environmental benefits that politicians promised? It turns out they were wrong. "Ethanol is much worse for the environment than gasoline," states Bailey. "As some studies suggest, you put more energy into producing ethanol than you get out of it when you burn it."

Full Video Online

The video, Silly Senator, Corn is for Food! is online at An archive of's Drew Carey videos can be found at

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Chris Mitchell, Director of Communications, Reason Foundation, (310) 367-6109

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