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.
This has been explained by Newt. He does not support ethanol because it is cost effective energy. He supports ethanol because of national security implications.
He wants America totally weaned from foreign oil that does nothing except provide power and wealth to enemies who hate us.
The cost of keeping armies and navies and air force wings in the Middle East or close by the Middle East is enormous. Any energy we produce makes that military expenditure grow smaller.
The security we gain goes beyond the value of a BTU of energy.
That's what I meant when I said what gets you elected isn't what makes you qualified for the office.
I got a news flash for you. Ethanol INCREASES dependency on foreign fossil fuel, because it takes more fossil fuel calories to produce ethanol than you get back out of it. Ethanol as a motor fuel is nothing but a big fat taxpayer funded boondoggle to reward a small segment of the populace at the expense of the rest of us.
Your buddy Newt is, as one of the other posters put it, a whore. I remember when he first whored himself by changing party affiliation from Democrat to Republican because he was paid to do so by then head of Southwire corp, Roy Richards.
First, the net energy ratio of corn-based ethanol (useful energy divided by the energy required to produce a unit of ethanol) is at best 1.25 but in practice a lot worse. Some have calculated a ratio less than one, meaning that it takes more energy to produce ethanol from corn than the energy content of the fuel.
Also, as with any new industry there are efficiencies gained in production. Next, there are new methods and products gained. Finally, there is similarity to other production that is gained.
Current research on cellulose ethanol rather than just corn ethanol will permit the entire plant to be used. This newer method could result in a better fuel ration.
Next, any research on ethanol will benefit methanol. Methanol can be had from coal, and is one form in which clean coal can be used in alcohols. This would be a huge gain.
As always, forward looking by Gingrich is ahead of the naysayers.
State-controlled media will choose our candidate. Again.
A Gingrich bashing thread.
That’s a change. Not.
Not by anyone who has looked at the enthalpy of the entire process. It is now and ALWAYS will be a net energy loser. No process variations are even theoretically possible that allow you to violate the first and second laws of thermodynamics. The only way it could make sense is if we would build another hundred or so nuclear plants to provide the energy needed to produce enough ethanol to provide a significant energy independence, and then ethanol would be an energy carrier for nuclear.
Newt is now, has been in the past and probably always will be a whore without any findamental principles (unless you count the liberal stuff he did with Pelosi) who does whatever he's piad to do.
And the ‘ethanol subsidy’ - which is a actually a tax credit for ‘blenders’ (oil companies) - ends in a couple weeks anyway!
I think I’ll just write in “Mickey Mouse”, and vote for Republican Senators and House members, and pray for four years of gridlock.
As our use of subsidized ethanol has increased so has our dependence on foreign oil. The way to oil independence is to produce oil and improve oil technology as evidenced by oil production from shale in North Dakota. Yet we continue to invest in boondoggles that do not produce one bit of demonstrable energy independence.
Actually, the use of fuel corn has caused the price of corn to increase. The increased fuel price has cut corn subsidies for under-priced corn. Prior to the corn-fuel demand, corn averaged about $2 a bushel. Many small operations found that a price below which they could profitably operate. Now, they’re getting above $5 a bushel, and we are keeping American farmers in business who otherwise would be out.
Additionally, what isn’t factored into the equation is the multiple uses of the corn used to produce the ethanol. After the fermentation, quite a bit of solid product is left that is STILL sold for feed and other uses.
I’m not sure this story is fully told yet.
It’s obvious you don’t like Gingrich and that I do. I don’t know that we’ll ever come together on this, but I know that we’ll agree on defending America, supporting our troops, and retaining our rights. We’ll just disagree sometimes on how best to get it done.
Have a great day, from occupied ga, and keep up the criticism. You prevent us from being complacent and force us to look up facts.
You do a great service. Thanks.
I think fossil fuel is the best fuel available right now. I’m a long-time advocate of coal.
At the same time, I firmly believe in developing alternative fuels, and this nation has a history of government being involved in the R&D end of that.
Nuclear, for example, would NOT have come about in a timely way except for the government program that split the atom.
There are huge possibilities in biomass, wind, hydro, geo, solar, and in the same way as the gov’t helped in many ways in the opening of the west, in the trans-continental railroad, and in the development of waterways, I see nothing that violates conservatism in the government being involved in R&D in projects TOO BIG for an individual, a community, or a corporation to undertake.
Because they aren't Thinking Conservatives, they are Lemming Groupies.
And since the government still controls the technology, we came to a dead stop on improvements in nuclear power generation some decades ago.
There are not huge possibilities in hydro. Read 'The Cadillac Desert', we've exhausted the possibilities for sizable dams in this country. Smaller dams aren't that economical. There are also problems in scaling wind, solar and biomass.
None of these alternatives are 'too big' for a corporation to take on. They are only too risky for a corporation to take on in a large scale manner. Only the government is stupid enough to do something that risky at large scale.
wind, geo, solar, and biomass and hydro can be worked on one tower at a tie, one plant at a time, one dam at a time without worry too much about scaling it up. Once you have a MW of solar, you just need more land to get to 1000MW.
Or, if you want to use lots of small generators, you just need to figure out how to circumvent the losses involved in coordinating those generators. But this can be tested in a college lab, it doesn't need 1000x1MW in generators for proof of concept.
Nukes are the best choice for greatly increasing our energy output at reasonable cost. And there's lots of possibilities out there for increasing the safety of nukes, most of which are not the product of government sponsored research.
Yes, ethanol subsidies are at the top of EVERY voter’s list of concerns. And yes, radical left sites like TPM are where ALL conservatives should get information and advice on which GOP candidate they should support or not support. /sarc
Ironically, I was just debating a liberal about this very thing. Don’t be fooled. You have to read this article:
Don’t stay ignorant to the Big Government ‘investment’ lies and you won’t fall for Newt’s tricks. He’s not that smart or forward thinking, he lacks self-control, and he lays down with liberals/liberal policies for personal gain.
I probably know him better than you do. But... It's good having a discussion without personal insults that so many on this site feel that they have to add. Have a great day.
national security implications - LOL.
It's when they subsidize things as if they are ready for market but are not proved to be effective that I disagree.
Most of the so called green products are simply not ready for prime time and should not be touted as if they are.