Columnist Tim Carney observes in the Washington Examiner that whether or not they trim ethanol subsidies will provide an early test for how serious Republicans in Washington are about reducing the cost, size and intrusiveness of government. The same applies here in Michigan.

Carney writes, "Republicans talk about ending wasteful government intervention. Congressional Democrats say they want to protect the environment. And Barack Obama claims he's looking for bipartisan cooperation and reform. All of these goals would be served by rolling back ethanol subsidies."

Ditto again for Michigan, where the Legislature has been busy as beavers in recent years introducing and creating all kinds of subsidies for a fuel that both environmentalists and energy experts now concede is harmful to the environment, does not relieve America's dependence on fossil fuel, and has woeful unintended consequences, including increasing hunger in lesser developed countries. The bottom line on ethanol is that it appears to be just a destructive way of giving subsidies to politically powerful farm interests.

Here is a list of ethanol-related bills that passed the Michigan Legislature in recent years and were signed into law.

Here is a list of ethanol-related bills that were introduced showing the names of primary sponsors, including ones that did not become law.

The lists are generated by keyword searches at MichiganVotes.org, so they include some bills and laws that are not primarily about ethanol subsidies.