A test for Republicans in the lame duck: Kill the ethanol boondoggle

An early sign for me that Barack Obama was no good-government reformer, clear-eyed empiricist, or scourge of the special interests was his full-throated support for expanding ethanol subsidies. Obama consistently attacked John McCain during the 2008 campaign for McCain's history of opposing ethanol subsidies.

Now, one of the earliest tests of the Republicans' seriousness about cutting government waste will be their handling of ethanol subsidies that are set to expire this year. Will Senate Republicans filibuster the renewal of these costly, distorting, wasteful subsidies? If the buck gets passed to next year, will House Republicans kill them?

For some good background, see Ron Bailey's blog post at Reason.com today:

This year the U.S. vehicle fleet will burn about 13 billion gallons of ethanol, the vast majority of which is made by fermenting corn. Just in time for the upcoming mid-term elections, the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month bowed to pressure from the ethanol lobby and farm state congressional delegations and increased the amount of ethanol that can be blended into gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent. The ethanol lobby is now in full mobilization mode to protect the billions in subsidies which are set to expire at the end of this year. On the other hand, environmentalist organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council are fiercely arguing for letting the subsidies expire.

Beltway ConfidentialUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Muni’s K-Ingleside trains will resume service after a long hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
K-Ingleside train to return on May 15

Announcement comes on the heels of pressure from Supervisor Myrna Melgar

Demonstrators march from Mission High School towards the San Francisco Police station on Valencia Street. (Jordi Molina/ Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Vigil, march honors those killed by police

Deaths of Daunte Wright, Roger Allen and others prompt renewed calls for defunding

A Recology employee stands at the comapany’s recycling facility on Pier 96 in 2016. (Jessica Christian/2016 S.F. Examiner)
Nuru scandal: Feds charge second former Recology executive with bribery

A second former Recology executive is facing charges for allegedly bribing ex-Public… Continue reading

Kiana Williams
Stanford’s Kiana Williams drafted by WNBA champion Seattle Storm

Kiana Williams is going from one championship team to another. A senior… Continue reading

Talika Fletcher, sister of Roger Allen, is consoled at a vigil to honor her brother, who was killed by Daly City Police on April 7, on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Supporters march for SF man killed by Daly City police

Struggle over fake gun ends in shooting of 44-year-old Roger Allen, DA says

Most Read