I see Cong. Todd Akin, in whose district I grew up and who is now an announced challenger to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), has become the second Republican to drop off the odious TBooneDoggle legislation to create a Fourth Ethanol (on top of corn squeezins’, wind and solar), for natural gas.
That leaves about 80 Rs to go. Meanwhile, Tim Pawlenty has to his credit ensured that any pandering on ethanol — which necessarily traps one into supporting the now even bigger wind and solar disaster — will come at some post-Iowa cost to his counterparts. That’s not enough, yet is rare enough as to be noteworthy and worth strong support.
Now, I also see McCaskill having come out with some numbskullery indicating we might see a robust debate on these particular ways Washington is bankrupting us, ‘green’ crony capitalism (think not only Archer Daniels Midland, but Solyndra and GE and other rent-seekers who, like TBoone, picked up Enron’s mantle and its ‘green jobs’ lobbying agenda).
Per WaPo, (disdaining the substance of opposition to a new, huge subsidy black-hole we’re talking about for the opportunity to yell “Koch!”…how, precisely, is this paper considered prestigious journalism?), to the Dems and particularly the ‘moderate’ McCaskill, the only waste is money going to the end of actually producing reliable and cost-effective energy.
Were this argument speaking of actual subsidies, versus, e.g., non-selective manufacturing tax credits available to all (in part to offset our second-highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world, which is the problem), this would be half right: companies that don’t need subsidies to survive shouldn’t get them. And companies that do need subsidies to survive shouldn’t get them.
Asked at a news conference earlier this week about the apparent contradiction, Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) explained that not all subsidies are created equal.
“Just because you don’t agree with one tax subsidy doesn’t mean you don’t agree on any,” Schumer said Tuesday at a news conference with McCaskill on repealing oil company subsidies. “There’s broad support in our caucus for incentives for solar and wind, and many people support natural gas, as Claire said, because we have an abundant supply here at home.”
“Because we have an abundant supply here at home”? Huh. Oddly, we have an abundant supply of coal and oil here at home. And, well…
McCaskill noted that “every senator has a different view about what we should be doing with the tax code in terms of incentivizing behavior in the marketplace,” and that some lawmakers feel strongly about increasing tax incentives for alternative forms of energy as a way of decreasing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
Ah. Must be “because of” all of that electricity we produce with oil. Or wind and solar powered cars. Or something. By “alternative forms“, I think she means one form, Mr. Pickens’ gas, unable to compete with oil as a transportation fuel if extremely valuable as a feedstock in so many other sectors of the economy, where it does have terrific advantages.
So terrific that, when natural gas prices spiked, Alan Greenspan found few greater threats to the economy to warn us about (as we now know, he was so fixated that he missed at least one…). So what better idea than to follow the industry’s desire for a federal program to artificially drive that price back up?
Who’s afraid of a debate on whether ‘all of the above’ really means no lines drawn to exclude the asinine? Possibly not Todd Akin, or Claire McCaskill. If Akin’s move to get off the TBooneDoggle is indicative of some deeper thought he’s given to the larger issue and the danger of these insidious schemes, and he holds his ground, that’s very good news for us all.