There are a lot of proposals being bandied about on Capitol Hill for how to reduce Americas alleged petroleum dependence. Nearly all of them are silly, according to Alan Reynolds of the Cato Institute, but the silliest is the notion that ethanol is going to be the countrys saving grace. He notes that the production of eight gallons of ethanol requires no less than seven gallons of gasoline:
Unfortunately, there is much less energy in 8 gallons of ethanol than in the 7 gallons of gasoline-equivalent needed to produce it. The Energy Department estimates the highway mileage of a Nissan Titan drops from 18 mpg to 13 mpg by switching to E85 (85 percent ethanol). That is why lavish subsidies to auto companies to produce flexible fuel vehicles are useless -- a disguised bailout at best.