Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist recently sent a letter to Maine State Representative Beth O'Connor [R-Berwick], thanking her for her work in passing LD 839. This resolution, "To Study Motor Fuel and Fuel Additives and To Explore Alternatives to Ethanol Motor Fuel,"  prompts the Maine legislature to write a letter to leaders in Washington, seeking an exemption from federal ethanol mandates. In thanking Rep. O'Connor, Mr. Norquist wrote:

"Using ethanol for fuel has been around long enough for Henry Ford to have dubbed it the “fuel of the future.” The fact is, however, that despite years of government assistance, ethanol has still failed to catch on as a viable alternative to gasoline. Disparities in the amount of energy contained within ethanol means that, even as the price of gasoline has risen above that of ethanol, it will still cost consumers more to drive a mile on E-85 ethanol than gasoline. Its corrosive properties have led to mounting evidence of its role in engine trouble, and prevent it from being transported through existing pipelines.

As you rightly noted in your presentation of the Resolution, the ethanol mandate means this year that 36 percent of the nation’s corn crops will be dedicated to ethanol production, up from 14 percent in 2006. This has brought higher food costs to already struggling American families. Burdensome tariffs prevent the importation of cheaper, cleaner, sugar cane based ethanol that would not have the same adverse effect on our food supply.

Despite thirty years of tax assistance, protective tariffs, and mandates for purchase, ethanol’s existence is largely predicated on government policies. Thank you for leading the charge against ill-advised federal mandates and politically motivated corporate handouts."

Click here a copy of the letter.