I'm not sure what the conversation around promoting corn-based ethanol went like, but here is my best guess:
US administration: So, the barrel's about dry...what else can I burn to keep my Hummer on the highway?
US policy maker: Corn. We have enough of it; and we'll give our farmers a sure-market.
US administration: Will my vehicle smell like a movie theater?
US policy maker: Yes
US administration: Make it happen
No thought about how it would affect the food supply, or the prices of food for the basic consumer. Read this article to get a better view of this half-measure measure.
Eating out at my favorite brunch spot on Sunday I was shocked to find the price up to $25/plate. This is a minor inconvinience, but the bigger picture is earth-shattering:- starving people around the world, (including the US) and we're putting food in our gas tanks.