The Microsoft founder reviews a book called Energy Myths and Realities: Bringing Science to the Energy Policy Debate, by Vaclav Smil, published by the American Enterprise Institute:
Smil is appropriately tough on the ethanol crowd. This is one energy approach that is unlikely to ever have a significant impact due to fundamental problems. The fact that the U.S. has subsidized this activity at a cost of $5 billion to $7 billion per year – even as it raises the cost of food – is incredible. The U.S. won't allow foreign ethanol to get the same tax credit, which suggests that the policy is not really focused on the energy benefits of ethanol. A large lobby, which now extends even beyond the corn farmers, manages to keep the policy intact.