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

Some people are concerned that University of California, San Francisco’s expansion at its Parnassus campus could cause an undesirable increase in the number of riders on Muni’s N-Judah line.<ins></ins>
Will UCSF’s $20 million pledge to SFMTA offset traffic woes?

An even more crowded N-Judah plus increased congestion ahead cause concern

A health care worker receives one of the first COVID-19 vaccine doses at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on Tuesday Dec. 15, 2020. (Courtesy SFgov)
SF to open three large sites for COVID-19 vaccinations

Breed: ‘We need more doses. We are asking for more doses’

San Jose Sharks (pictured Feb. 15, 2020 vs. Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center) open the season on Monday against the St. Louis Blues in St. Louis. (Tribune News Service archive)
This week in Bay Area sports

A look at the upcoming major Bay Area sports events (schedules subject… Continue reading

Tongo Eisen-Martin, a Bernal Heights resident, named San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tongo Eisen-Martin becomes San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate

Bernal Heights resident Tongo Eisen-Martin has become San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate.… Continue reading

Homeless people's tents can be seen on Golden Gate Avenue in the Tenderloin on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 16, 2020. (Photo by Ekevara Kitpowsong/S.F. Examiner)
Statewide business tax could bring new funds to combat homelessness

San Francisco could get more than $100 million a year for housing, rental assistance, shelter beds

Most Read