Ethanol is a big deal in South Dakota. The state US House and Senate delegations continue to tout corn-based ethanol as a means to gain independence from foreign oil. I struggle to buy in to ethanol as the centerpiece of US energy policy--mostly because I am leery to trust farm subsidy type of investments.
I do not know enough to be able to speak definitively about ethanol--and the discussion is rather one-sided here in South Dakota. To speak suspicion about ethanol sets one up for a fight. I know this because ethanol probably saved one of the towns I served: Hudson, South Dakota. Leave it to a Seattle paper to call for a balk at ethanol development in the stories it chooses. I could find just as many persuasive articles about opportunities with ethanol.
I believe we live in the center of a propaganda in relation to energy policy, and the key players do not operate like they deserve any trust: the oil lobby and the farm lobby? For all the posturing about smaller government that comes from farming and oil magnates and workers, there are fewer industries outside of farming and oil that suckled more at the teat of a bloated government.
As gasoline prices rise (you won't catch me acting like Chicken Little over this development) the debate over ethanol will only escalate--I can't believe everything I hear.