The energy correspondent for United Press International has rounded up an interesting cross section of opinions on the subect of ethanol. Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana wants to eliminate the middleman in a system where the U.S. sends food to a Third World country and buys oil from the same country. He says make the fuel from that food stock. Biofuel proponents like the economic benefits and potential of reduced dependency on foreign oil. Critics wonder about the inefficiency of biofuel and question whether if it's worth protecting against global market forces. No doubt there are economic gains to be realized with increased biofuel manufacturing, but experts warn biofuel production must match demand or it will be another form of corporate welfare. Schweitzer's proposal has been called extreme and protectionist by some analysts. Stopping food exports and lowering oil imports will affect food and energy prices around the world. One analyst says the transition away from foreign oil should be slow to avoid shocking the system.

[Source: Michael Stothard/UPI]

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