Big Ethanol Is Questioning Your Patriotism


As you’ve probably noticed because of the slow posting, I’ve been traveling this week on business, and on my way from Bismarck to Fargo I caught sight of this monstrosity alongside the road:


Based on some web searches these billboards have been around for a while. It’s not clear who is running them, but whoever is responsible should be singled out for scorn and derision.

Not only is questioning the patriotism of would-be consumers of your product a decidedly unsound marketing strategy, but this sort of propaganda is inherently un-American.

Using ethanol doesn’t make you an American. America is not defined by any one product, especially not one inserted into the market place through mandates, subsidies and protectionism.

What is American is supporting free markets, which allow free people to make free choices in an open economic environment. Forcing Americans to subsidize a product they don’t want (judging by what happens to ethanol sales when the subsidies disappear), and then mandating its sales, is exactly what America isn’t supposed to be.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

Related posts

  • mickey_moussaoui

    No thanks. Their ethanol is bad for my American engines

    • Roy_Bean

      If you put in 2 gallons of 10% with every fill you will never have a frozen gas line and its cheaper than “heet”.

      • $8194357

        Heet isn’t subsidized, huh.

    • The Fighting Czech

      no problem, Sta-bil now makes a product to counteract the ethanol… so now, you can counter the effects of the 2 or 3 dollars you “save” on subsidized ethanol in your tank, with a 6 dollar bottle of Stabll!!! Only in America!!!!!

  • toomuchguvmint

    Washington, D.C. – The Environmental Protection Agency’s latest proposal to pump even more corn ethanol into the gasoline supply this year signals the need for a major overhaul of U.S. biofuels policy, said Environmental Working Group’s Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber.

    Under the proposal published today (Feb. 7), EPA would increase the amounts of biofuel that must be blended into vehicle fuels under the federal program known as the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS. The RFS mandates the blending of both conventional biofuels – corn ethanol – and advanced biofuels, including soy biodiesel and fuel made from plant materials, sugar and even municipal waste. In 2013, blenders would be required to use nearly 14 billion gallons of corn ethanol, which amounts to more than 80 percent of the overall biofuels mandate.

    With U.S. demand for gasoline shrinking and advanced biofuels still commercially unavailable, the requirement will divert more food and animal feed to make biofuels, Faber said, harming consumers and forcing farmers and livestock producers out of business. Flooding the market with corn ethanol also risks damaging engines that can’t run on higher ethanol blends while worsening the impact of corn production on the environment, he added.

    EPA’s proposed requirements come on the heels of a recent decision by a U.S. Court of Appeals that overturned the 2012 mandate to blend more than 8 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol. The court said that mandate was based on unrealistic production forecasts. No cellulosic ethanol is currently being produced in the U.S. on a commercial scale. Despite the ruling, EPA has proposed an increase of the cellulosic mandate for 2013 to 14 million gallons, citing an expected uptick in production from new facilities in the Midwest.

    “Enough is enough,” said EWG’s Faber. “Pumping more corn ethanol into an already saturated market hasn’t helped address our energy needs, nor has it spurred development of advanced biofuels; in fact, the opposite is true. The corn ethanol mandate hurts families struggling to pay their grocery bills, stifles competition and wreaks havoc on our rivers, lakes and streams. It’s a raw deal for consumers, motorists and taxpayers, but a boon to a handful of special interests. Until the Renewable Fuel Standard is reformed, Americans will continue to suffer the consequences of this misguided policy.”

    EPA’s proposal is open for public comment until March 25, 2013. It can be found here:

  • WOOF

    Path to Citizenship. “Be An American Use Ethanol”

    On a per capita basis the Germans and Finns
    drink much more ethanol.

  • $8194357

    ” drill for oil on American soil” !

  • SigFan

    I heard a report the other day that talked about E15 and how when the temperatures get cold enough it turns into a jelly like mess that absolutely will ruin a lot of engines. But maybe that’s Big Governments way of drumming up new business for Government Motors.

  • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

    We’ve allowed our culture to develop such a hatred of oil that we voluntarily burn food in our tanks-exactly the kind of folly that will contribute to the downfall of our economy and our nation.

  • Tim Heise

    I think I’ll stop buying gas with ethanol in it.

    • Wayne

      Stopped a long time ago.

  • Randy G

    When did paying $6.00 for a box of corn flakes become a prerequisite to be a patriot?

  • headward

    People are starving around the world and we’re burning the food in cars.

  • sbark

    For sure……..they should’ve used Chris Rock, Beyoncie’ or Charlie Scheen in their ad campaign………it would be the only way the low information consumers wouldnt complain.

  • reggy

    Stupid ethanol, only the right’s allowed to play the patriotism card!

  • Waski_the_Squirrel

    Questioning someone’s patriotism over an issue that is totally unrelated to loyalty to nation is a silly, emotional argument for silly, emotional people.

  • C. dog e. doG

    Be an American: drink more shine!
    – C. dog sniffs out silver lining

  • R David Adams

    How about: Be American, Dont burn Food for Fuel!