Maybe it’s time to take closer look at ethanol


Farmers have a legitimate beef with the Trump administration when it comes to trade policies that have resulted in higher tariffs on the soybeans, cotton and other crops grown in the United States.

Their grumbling, however, about the Environmental Protection Agency possibly backing off on ethanol mandates is unreasonable because these mandates are bad policy to begin with.

Converting food into fuel drives up the cost of corn, which hurts those who raise catfish, chicken, cattle or other livestock — and ultimately consumers.

It encourages land to be put into production — not just here but around the globe — that shouldn’t be.

It creates about as much environmental damage as it supposedly mitigates.

For decades, corn farmers in Iowa and other parts of the Midwest, though, have used their oversized political muscle to get presidents of both parties to cave on ethanol.

If the Trump administration is quietly standing up to this lobby, perhaps there’s a good reason.