Last Wednesday the Senate approved a provision to dramatically increase requirements to use ethanol. “We must take steps to reduce our dependence on foreign countries,” said Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. I’d laugh if I wasn’t crying. The EPA long ago repudiated ethanol as a means of cleaning the air, so the corn-state lobbyist don’t try to play that card too much anymore. So we are left with the idea that ethanol helps reduce our dependence on foreign oil. But, manufacturing, transporting, and burning ethanol consumes nearly as much gasoline as it saves in our car fuel tanks, and it costs a heck of a lot more. See the full analysis here or a summary of it here.