Ethanol Subsidy Update

by jhwygirl

Thought I’d update a post I did last week, given that the Senate took another vote on ending ethanol subsidies – this one an amendment from California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

A 73 – 27 bipartisan vote moved forward a repeal of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit, to be included in the Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011.

Both Montana Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus voted in support of repeal.

~~~
Found this spreadsheet which shows that of all U.S. corn production, 28.7% ends up in our gas tanks.

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  1. Again, and this bears repeating, a vote for something that is sure to pass means nothing – that is, it says nothing about eier Tester or Baucus, as they are not under pressure. When they are under pressure, they usually stick it to us.

    • Ingemar Johansson

      Under pressure means re-election round the corner.

      Thirty pieces of silver, Mark.

      • It seems the price you guys are willing to pay for reelection is sellout of principle. When do you grow a set?

        • Ingemar Johansson

          Set descending as we speak Mark.

          If there ever was a time to pull the plug, it would be now. Governmental actions has caused and will continue to cause inflation.

          Farmers and ranchers ship has come in.

          • Was referring to the Democrats at this site, not you. Brain not engaged again.

            Inflation is a result of monetary policy, and not deficits the Fed likes a samll rate of inflation. I don’t see anything threatening right now. The 2008 collapse pulled $14 trillion out of the economy. The deficits don’t replace what was lost.

          • JC

            Inflation? Do tell.

            http://inflationdata.com/inflation/images/charts/Annual_Inflation/annual_inflation_chart.htm

            Give me the hard science on these numbers, BS.

            And don’t you think some moderate inflation might be a good way to get out of the liquidity trap we are in? A good way to ameliorate consumer debt in the mid range? The national debt in the long range? Or do you like paying for debt with a deflated or stagnant economy?

              • JC

                Ah, the chicken little approach to inflation.

                Index your commodities against gas prices, and you’ll find no inflation. That is, unless you are willing to let one price index (gas) predict inflation. Are you claiming that gas prices are the result of inflation? Or are they the result of geopolitics?

              • Ingemar Johansson

                JC I keep this little note book next to my computer which has about a dozen predictions. My track record is 90% so far, I did miss Rehbergs’s re-election by a point and 1/2.

                I’ll mark this one down in my book for a future reaffirmation.

              • JC

                I love the way you never answer my questions, yet claim victory. Here’s one more question: what exactly are you predicting?

              • Ingemar Johansson

                Not just a little inflation, hyperinflation. Accelerated implosion of SS and Medicare. States going bankrupt resulting in Greece type protests and riots. Armed confrontations involving Nation Guard in Democrat controlled urban areas.

                Chicken Little like predictions? Maybe. Chic Little didn’t have hundreds of thousands betting on it.

  2. ladybug

    Easy vote, not much corn produced here. Both men are eager to subsidize other equally crazy energy production using other forms of biomass. Incinerating dead pine trees, limbs, bark and slash to turn steam turbines ranks right up there.

  3. Jaywalker

    Of course, no action on the Multi-billions of tax breaks and subsidies for the oil industry. Heaven forbid their profits on the back of U.S. Taxpayers take a hit. The budget is balanced because ethanol has been cut..yippee. No leadership from the Senate…I mean they defeated the amendment and then passed the same amendment two days later because of procedure…ridiculous! They are playing games with small things, when the country is faltering because they are afraid to tackle the issues that forced the country into this situation.

    • First of all, question: Where to do you get that they defeated Colburn’s amendment last week due to procedure then passed Feinstein’s? More info on that…because as I see it, there must of been a change of heart with some senators – including Max Baucus who originally voted against Colburn’s amendment last week but changed his mind with Feinstein’s.

      Secondly – I don’t know….I’ve seen ethanol subsidy as a sacred cow that has been a perennial election issue yet neither side has been willing to touch. I think it’ll be interesting to see what the more reactionary I-want-to-get-reelected House will do, since those ethanol subsidies hit at some of the heart of conservative voter territory.

      And because it’s such a sacred cow, it might be a signal that truly “everything” is on the table.

      Maybe they’re just loosening up. Maybe we should write and pressure congress for ending tax cuts for big oil?

      • Rep. Mike Miller

        I would vote to end ethanol subsidies along with all government subsidies to energy. Let it stand or fail on its own two feet. When the time is ripe, alternatives to “conventional” energy will be developed.

        Can government “enhance” that development and speed it up – perhaps. Should it – not in my opinion.

        • We are in agree.

          What I would say is that we’ve impeded the market for alternatives at this point Mike – that’s troubling. America is letting one of the worlds – the worlds – newest industries pass us by for places like Germany and Spain and Holland and China.

          China heaving subsidizing its green energy manufacturing sector.

          The other impediment I see to taking oil and gas and coal off of the taxpayer’s cow is they’re like big huge spiders – it isn’t just oil and gas and coal – it’s railroads and heavy machinery – like caterpillar (an American company).

          Do you think it could be done cold turkey? Or should it?

        • Let me say – I’m not advocating for subsidy of alternatives. I think that they’ve faced an uphill battle of creating a new manufacturing industry because of the heavy subsidy of oil, gas and coal and their associated infrastructure.

          • Rep. Mike Miller

            Perhaps the subsidies could be reduced the same way that CI-7 in 1976 would have reduced fed spending in Montana. In other words, gradually wean them off.

            While I went from 2 packs of smokes per day to zero (cold turkey) in 1982 (I wasn’t going to pay $1 pack) I think that simply cutting off all subsidies cold turkey would not be in our best interest. Give them time to plan and adjust.

            Now if you said they would all be gone in 5 years all at once – fine. The planning time was given.

            I assume that you are aware of who makes the most money off of every gallon of gas sold – and it is not the oil companies.

  4. Jaywalker

    Here is a link to the story…it wasn’t necessarily a change of heart, but political gamesmanship. http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/166761-senate-to-vote-on-second-ethanol-amendment-on-thursday-

    I hope you are right that everything is on the table…as much as ethanol is a scared cow the oil industry has items written in the tax code since the 1920’s…talk about sacred cow. The Senate has already failed to pass legislation eliminating oil tax breaks this year. Bottom line, we are a nation addicted to oil…check that, cheap oil and we will do everything we can to make oil cheap again…even subsidizing it. Heck, even the Saudi prince recently said that oil needs to go back to $70 a barrel so the U.S. doesnt find an alternative.
    http://articles.cnn.com/2011-05-29/world/us.saudi.prince.oil_1_oil-prices-saudi-arabia-saudi-people?_s=PM:WORLD

  5. Ethanol is pork, nothing more. Our system of governance is severely defective in many regards, and virtually impossible to repair. One of the many defects is the two-senators-per state regime, which allows a few people who represent relatively few people to cordon off benefits and subsidies.

    Montana for instance, less than 1/300th of the population, has 1/50th of the power in a body where people representing less than 1/12th of the population can dictate policy for all of us.

    Fix that, ethanol will evaporate.

  1. 1 Federal Reserve Bank Official Recommends Reducing Mortgage Deduction « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] everyone is getting on the bandwagon of revenue increases these days – you’ll recall the Senate recently voted to kill ethanol subsidies (we’ll see where the tough-talking House goes with that one…), then GOP leaders in the […]




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