If you’re of a certain vintage, you may remember. In winter, they began to “oxygenate” – that is, adulterate – gasoline with additives such as MTBE and ethanol, corn alcohol, in order (so they said) to lower tailpipe exhaust emissions. When that excuse went away – because older cars without computers that could not adjust their air-fuel mixtures and so ran lean (and hence – allegedly, produced lower emissions when burning Not Quite Gas ) went away, the new excuse became “renewable energy.” Now it was patriotic to burn corn instead of eating it – even if it took more energy to convert corn into alcohol and even if your car didn’t go as far on a tank anymore, because alcohol-laced fuel is less energy dense than straight 100 proof gasoline.
The Corn Lobby (that is, the agro-business lobby) is as powerful as the Israeli lobby – each firmly grasping one of Uncle Sam’s two testes, always applying just enough pressure to make sure he does what is required. Which means, passing laws that assure each of these interests receives what it wants. In the case of the corn lobby, what is wanted is for every American driver – hell, everyone who buys “gas,” (in quotes in the interests of accuracy, since what we are putting in our tanks is no longer, properly speaking, gasoline) for whatever reason, to pay tribute each time he fills up. The total sum is an incomprehensibly large number but the average person sees the tab every time he’s at the pump.