CPAC Panel: Ethanol Regs Aren’t Helping Corn Belt Economies

by Andrew Follett

Members of the Conservative Political Action Conference panel “Energy Rationing: The Tragic, Unintended Consequences,” argued the federal ethanol mandate isn’t benefiting the regions of the country it’s supposed to.

Panel members stated that ethanol mandates are one the most obvious examples of the government spending lots of money for very little effect.

“It is hard to know all the effects you’re going to have in public policy,” Dr. Randy Simmons, an economics professor at Utah State University, said during the panel. “We didn’t expect the effects [of ethanol mandates and subsidies] when we first started to study them.”

“They gave a tax credit and a tariff [to ethanol] which cost taxpayers a whole lot of money,” Simmons said. “We asked if the Corn Belt is really better off since implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard [RFS]. It’s not.”

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