The state is accepting a $1.3 million federal grant to build more E85 stations along I-65. I am against this for several reasons.
1. E85 is not a viable replacement for gasoline. It costs more to produce. Vehicles need to be specially designed to use the fuel. Even many owners of flex-fuel cars and trucks end up choosing regular gasoline because they get better mileage with it.
2. If an energy source is economically viable, what consumers pay would be able cover the costs of production. Such a source would not need subsidies. If it is not economically viable, no one should bother with it.
3. Ethanol has its own environmental drawbacks. Farmers spread chemical fertilizers and pesticides on corn fields. These chemicals wash out into rivers and streams, and cause harm to fish.
Ideally, if the state does not need a grant for the purpose for which it was intended, it should decline the money. This of course goes against most politician's natural instincts. Many state officials have the attitude that if they don't get to waste this money, some other state will do it. Indiana should make a stand and set an example by declining unnecessary federal grants. If other states follow our lead, this will go a long way towards reducing the federal deficit.