Originally Posted by d
ethanol is likely not economically viable even at current gas prices, and perhaps not at all. it's pure politics.
Ethanol subsidies increase the profitability but don't make it profitable in itself. The subsidy existed for years but produced no ethanol because it was not economic with the low cost of oil. With oil rising by leaps and bounds, it is becoming ever more profitable at roughly 1 bu corn to 2 gal gas, taking into account the lower energy content of ethanol. If gas increases $1 gal, expect corn to increase $2 bu.
There are crop subsidies that have kept food prices artificially low. These are disappearing now since ethanol is economic. Eliminating those subsidies would slow ethanol but not lower food prices. Politics are bad, but in this case, economics is worse.