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These are perilous times in the U.S. Corn Belt. We now know that unemployment is high in northern Indiana after the White House spotlighted it.
Written by Harry Fuller, Contributor

These are perilous times in the U.S. Corn Belt. We now know that unemployment is high in northern Indiana after the White House spotlighted it. On top of that: ethanol is taking a financial beating. Seems you can't quite force folks to drive, and if they drive, how are you going to make them burn ethanol-laced fuel? 2010 is the first year for federal biofuel mandates to kick in and it seems unlikely that the industry will meet the "requirements" let alone consumers consuming the stuff. Last fall a federal court denied an attempt by Texas's governor to hold up the ethanol mandate. I suspect such a suit would meet a different fate this year. The U.S. is not alone in this quandry, Australia also rushed into the arms of the ethanol lobby, only to find the romance going sour. Wonder if anybody thought about turning the ethanol plants toward something potable? Fuel of a sort might be handy for those of us depressed by the depression.

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