The Ethanol Papers - Paperturn manuscript - Flipbook - Page 28
burdensome taxes on alcohol right after the founding of the United States. The
burdensome taxes became onerous in 1862. Alcohol was priced out of the market by the government. When the taxes were finally lifted for a short period after
1907, alcohol began to compete with gasoline, and virtually all objective scientists agreed it was a better fuel than gasoline." I then added that government
interference culminated with the national prohibition of alcohol, which ended the
I also wrote, "Consumers never had the opportunity to vote on which fuel they
wanted; there was never a national referendum. And in the years since the repeal of prohibition the public has never been told the truth about petroleum oil
fuels, nor has the public been allowed to vote to discontinue petroleum oil subsidies." Ethanol was never given a fair chance.
On the point regarding thanking fossil fuels for our high quality of living, I wrote
that any thanks owed were owed to the machines (and their inventors); alternative fuels were used and could continue to be used. The internal combustion
engine wasn't invented because there was excess gasoline and diesel fuel lying
around, but that gasoline and diesel fuel was developed because there was a
glut of virtually tax-free cheap petroleum oil.
This response seemed to have caught Rob off guard. He replied, "I am very
interested in the gasohol (ethanol) argument and taxation that you refer to... I
have not studied it as much as you have. I need to."
Frankly, Rob's forthright reply caught me off guard; but it was a welcome
change to the stonewalling or silence that I usually get in response to these
We continued our exchanges, and after providing Rob with answers to his questions, he wrote "Okay, I am finally getting educated. This is something I did not
sufficiently understand when I wrote my treatise, Oil, Gas, and Government:
The U.S. Experience (1996)...I have written notes in my treatise and will remember this going forward."
Rob then kindly asked if I would present my thesis, in less than 1,000 words, in
a more formal manner that he would post on his MasterResource.org website.
The following is my position (in 1,163 words):