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Ethanol for Planes?

Corn-based ethanol has for decades been subsidized by taxpayers – in part because Iowa holds the first presidential caucuses, and candidates of both parties pledge allegiance to the alternative fuel.

Today, 98 percent of U.S. gasoline contains some ethanol.

Corn growers have justified the subsidies they’ve gotten since the 1970s on claims that they would reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and help the environment. But now, the left wants to ban gas cars.

So now, what are we going to do with all that corn?

The Biden wiz kids have come up with a plan to fuel planes with ethanol. They want to make ethanol used for aviation eligible for generous federal tax credits. Planes are the one transportation mode that can’t practically operate on electric power. The Biden administration is hell-bent on producing 3 billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel annually by 2030 and 35 billion gallons by 2050.

But how is this for irony? The same Biden administration that has shut down oil and gas pipelines across the country now wants to build 3,300 miles of pipelines crisscrossing Iowa, which would draw carbon dioxide from the factories that turn the state’s corn into ethanol and store it underground. But underground carbon sequestration is so energy intensive and may require more fossil fuels.

Of course, sustainable aviation fuel — made from waste oils, animal fats, and ethanol — will cost consumers. Virgin Atlantic calculates that the current U.K. mandate of a 10% ethanol blend on flights from Britain will raise the cost of a round-trip ticket to London by more than $50 and as the blending mandates get stricter, prices will rise even faster.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to just let the free market decide what energy sources we use?

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