In the 1970s, Congress began providing federal assistance for the domestic production of ethanol. Since then, federal assistance has grown dramatically to include several significant tax incentives and other federal grant programs. While born of good intentions, federal subsidies have had less than satisfactory results. Ethanol-blended fuel is nearly a third less efficient than gasoline (ethanol burns at 68 percent the energy content of gasoline), has contributed to the increased price of corn (as well as land, feed, and other input costs), and can cause engine damage.
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