Ethanol is a product that would not exist if Congress didn't create an artificial market for it. No one would be willing to buy it, yet thanks to agricultural subsidies and ethanol producer subsidies, it is now a very big business - tens of billions of dollars that have enriched a handful of corporate interests - primarily one big corporation, ADM. Ethanol does nothing to reduce fuel consumption, nothing to increase our energy independence, nothing to improve air quality. (see article)
Knowing that this does not go over well in Iowa, McCain has changed his tune. In the same article he is quoted as saying the following in August of 07
I support ethanol and I think it is a vital, a vital alternative energy source not only because of our dependency on foreign oil but its greenhouse gas reduction effects. (see same article)He later clarified that he does not support ethanol subsidies but seems to have retracted this as well. My gut on this is he still thinks (more likely vehemently believes) ethanol subsidies are a bad idea and would fight them from behind the scenes were he elected president. No doubt he will avoid the issue in the future, especially if he wins the election, but McCain is known for being stubborn and I am guessing he would let his stubborn side take over a some point.