Yesteryear’s Iowa

Soon-to-expire tax cuts for the wealthy might be sexy, but soon-to-expire ethanol subsidies are really going to complicate things for the Fondu Republicans, aka the teabagger set.

Greg Sargent of the Washington Post has gotten a hold of a letter being circulated on Capitol Hill. Authored by Senators Diane Fienstein (D-CA) and John Kyl (R-AZ), the letter draws a bi-partisan line in the sand: “Let the subsidies expire.”

We are writing to make you aware that we do not support an extension of either the 54 cent-per-gallon tariff on ethanol imports or the 45 cent-per-gallon subsidy for blending ethanol into gasoline. These provisions are fiscally irresponsible and environmentally unwise, and their extension would make our country more dependent on foreign oil.

Subsidizing blending ethanol into gasoline is fiscally indefensible. If the current subsidy is extended for five years, the Federal Treasury would pay oil companies at least $31 billion to use 69 billion gallons of corn ethanol that the Federal Renewable Fuels Standard already requires them to use. We cannot afford to pay industry for following the law….

Really? Says you. Is free government green for the agricultural sector really on the block? The presidential politics of this thing that have always cemented the giveaway are worth watching if anything does change. Pandering to the big farm states will kick into high gear, but will a fictional concern over deficits lead to real environmental progress?

What the ethanol does that mean?