I found Troy Marshall's Jan. 11 article, "Should We Just Accept And Adapt To Ethanol?" a well-written commentary that provides an objective approach from a perspective outside the Corn Belt.
I agree that corn-based ethanol is not a long-term solution to the energy shortage; we would be better served with expanded drilling in our own significant oil reserves. However, ethanol does have an important role as an oxygenate for clean air standards and on that basis deserves support.
I would disagree that government policy toward ethanol (i.e., the subsidies) is a "a gigantic move toward government control of the marketplace." As Marshall alludes to earlier, there are also subsidies of the oil industry, many of which have been in place for decades. Yet I would hardly consider the government to be in control of the petroleum marketplace.