"I would rather subsidize ethanol than buy oil from people who don't like us. Whatever fuel we can produce at home is better than what we have to buy from abroad. It creates jobs here. It produces jobs here. It produces taxes here. It doesn't go out the door, never to be seen again. I'd damn near rather use anything other than foreign oil, be it wood chips, switchgrass, or wadded-up newspapers.
"In the late 1980s, I was in a meeting with half a dozen senators when I expressed my doubts about ethanol. I couldn't believe the U. S. government was subsidizing a fuel that actually costs more than its worth. Afterward, my good friend Senator Bob Dole took me out into the hall.
"'People up here aren't stupid,' the Kansas senator told me. 'They understand what you're saying, and you're wasting your time telling them something they already know.'
"'OK, what else?' I asked.
"'There are twenty-one farm states in the United States, and they have forty-two senators, and they're all together on ethanol,' he said. 'So don't think your going to explain to us that we don't need to subsidize ethanol.'
"'OK, I understand. We're going to have ethanol.'"
-T. Boone Pickens, The First Billion is the Hardest: Reflections on a Life of Comebacks and America's Energy Future