The key reason ethanol is added to gasoline is very simple. Most of it is derived (in the US) from corn. Iowa, the first State in the Presidential election primary calendar grows lots of corn.
(To be sure, the so-called “oxygenation” additives to fuel have some, emphasize some, utility in reducing local air pollution in congested urban areas. But there are huge, make that HUGE, downsides to ethanol. Including massive increases in the price of food).
Now it’s starting to look like it’s losing some of its clout.
Per the Associated Press:
“That rule of politics collapsed resoundingly in the 2012 campaign when five of the six top Republican candidates said it was time for such intervention in the private market to end.
“Now, Iowa’s senior political leaders are pondering how to shore up political support for the corn-based fuel at a time when its economic and environmental benefits are under attack .”