Skip to comments.Gingrich, Backed By Ethanol Lobby, Supports Subsidy
Posted on 12/09/2011 3:02:10 AM PST by 1010RD
The worlds largest ethanol producer is one of Newt Gingrichs biggest donors, reports USA Today. A long-time supporter of the controversial subsidy, Newt is also the only GOP candidate to unequivocally support ethanol subsidies.
The political action committee of ethanol producer Poet and its employees including CEO Jeff Broin have donated $20,000 to Gingrichs campaign. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, this makes Poet and people connected to the company the second largest donor to his campaign.
But the ties go deeper. Broin also serves as the chairman of ethanol lobbying firm Growth Energy, the same firm that hired Gingrich as a consultant in 2009. From 2009 until early 2011, Growth Energy paid Gingrich $575,000. It was one of many gigs that earned Gingrich millions in the years after he left Congress.
Its a tradition that every four years, candidates come to Iowa to swear allegiance Iowa corn growers and the ethanol subsidy a 45 cent tax break for each gallon of ethanol blended with gasoline. But this year is an exception because the party, under increasing influence from the Tea Party, has pivoted on the subsidy. This summer, many Republicans in Washington voted to end the $6 billion-per-year ethanol subsidy. Though it ultimately survived, subsidies have become a rallying call for fiscal conservatives looking to cut waste and Tea Partiers who dont want government picking winners and losers. No other candidate is as uncompromisingly for the subsidy than Newt. Mitt Romney, who has been vague on the issue, most recently says that while he initially supported the subsidy, should not go on forever hardly a comforting position for Iowa farmers. Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul have all come out against the subsidy.
While Iowa voters still like it, its no longer a popular position and one that Newt will have to justify going forward.
This was evident in an interview with Glenn Beck on Monday, where Newt sparred with his host on this issue. Beck called the subsidy crony capitalism and a cause of out-of-control spending. Newts response, a response he has given many times, was to stress that ethanol helps America become energy independent. In addition, he told Beck, government investment isnt always bad likely an even harder sell to the Tea Party crowd: Weve always believed that having a strong infrastructure and having a strong energy system are net advantages because theyve made us richer and more powerful than any country in the world, he told Beck. The Erie Canal was built that way.
Newts pro-ethanol view, however, hasnt hurt him yet in Iowa or elsewhere as he continues to rise in the polls.
I agree with you in most cases about R&D money. I don’t think solar, wind, etc., are such huge undertakings that they are beyond the capacity of individuals/corporations to undertake on their own.
Except that while we have wasted billions of dollars given to the likes of Solydnra we have completely ignored R&D is such things as fuel formulation and surface deposit production which have had, as “disruptive technologies” had a difficult time making it to market even though they would bring dramatic improvement. In effect government focus on “green energy” for a “green economy” combined with its war on hydrocarbon fuels has blocked improvement that could have long since made us independent of foreign oil. Indeed, even in nuclear, the dominance of a few large companies focused on large scale plants has thwarted the promising area of smaller nuclear plant development even though we have in our navy much know how in that area so that Japan and others have gotten ahead of us in that area and we even refused an offer from them to demonstrate small scale nuclear in Alaska as a loss leader for free. Similarly with regard to hydro, we have shunned the enormous promise of low head hydro which offers the duel advantage of clean, cheap power and better flood control in order to save such things as the “snail darter” which is ridiculous. Even in large scale nuclear we have not pursued commercialization of better options that we have uncovered in government research. In short the DOE in particular has not just been ineffective it has blocked progress.
It It's not. Erick Erickson wrote yesterday at Redstate that we should seriously consider a brokered Republican convention due to the weakness of the GOP field. I am rapidly coming to agree with this conclusion.
Yes, let us useful idiots at Free Republic ensure a Romney candidacy, and therefore another four years of 0bama.
We have three crappy options: Mitt, Newt, Barry. You choose which ones to attack. Idiots are going to attack Newt, now that Cain is gone and Palin didn’t enter the race. And then we get Mitt. Great. Idiots.
what exactly does that mean?
Good post. Thanks.
What it means is that no candidate has a majority of delegate votes at the convention, so the nominee is then decided through horse-trading with delegates released from their previous obligations.
The HUGE weakness to this type of convention is that it leaves the door open for Romney, which is a fate worse than death both to me and to the GOP.
The advantage, and it may be all conservatives have, is that it’s possible a real conservative candidate might emerge.
OK and agreed. I’m disturbed by Newt’s shifting views, although it’s not unusual for a politician. I hesitate to say that just anybody’s better than Obama
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