Republican Change We Can Believe In

Sen. Bill Cassidy’s Bill Would Ditch Wasteful Ethanol Subsidy

As readers of this page know, I am extremely fair and balanced: I criticize each party if it does something wrong, and praise each if it does something right. If one of those parties happens to do wrong things close to all the time, well, that’s not my fault. But let us now praise a …


What foie gras and low carbon fuels have in common

Many of you may have heard of California’s ban on foie gras. The ban was signed into law in 2004 by that notorious hippie, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, but did not take effect until 2012. Fewer of you may be aware of the current litigation over California’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) program. Litigation concerning both …


The Subsidy Saga Continues

Two days ago, I criticized Democrats for failing to  support Tom Coburn’s proposal to eliminate the infamous ethanol “blender” subsidy, hiding behind procedural objections.  Well, it turns out either that they had a change of heart, or the procedural objections were real: The Senate voted 73-27 Thursday to kill a major tax break that benefits …


Nostradamus, I Ain’t

On Friday, I predicted that Senate Republicans would side with Grover Norquist against Tom Coburn and block repeal of one of the egregious ethanol subsidies now polluting both our tax code and our country. Well, so much for that: most Senate Republicans did the right thing and voted to remove the subsidy.  In this case, …


A GOP Ethanol Trap? Not Likely.

I hope I’m wrong.  Jon Chait reports that Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) will force a cloture vote on his proposal to eliminate the ethanol “blending” subsidy, which costs the government about $6 billion annually, is horrible for the environment, and is economically inefficient.  His take is that this represents an ideological skirmish between Coburn and …


GOP Environmental Policy FAIL

Last month, when discussing the egregious subsidies for ethanol that expire this year, I commented, “Here is a great test to see whether Republican anti-government and anti-spending rhetoric is any more than that.” Well, so much for that: Renewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen says they are thrilled with passage of the Senate tax package …


Actual Conservative Climate Change Policy!

After all the talk over the last two weeks, here it is: Fresh off a big victory over the GOP establishment on earmarks, conservative GOP senators are opening up a new front in the battle on government spending that could be similar to the earmarks standoff: They are calling on Congress to let billions in …


Biofuels Could Be Good for Your Health (Especially If You Live in New York, Chicago, or L.A.)

A recent study at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab indicates that biofuels may have health benefits: Although there are a number of uncertainties that must be addressed for a more accurate picture, these early results show that a biofuel eliminating even 10-percent of current gasoline pollutant emissions would have a substantial impact on human health in …