Score One for Common Sense and Less Government

Senate Votes 73 Aye 27 Nay to End Ethanol Subsidies and Tariffs.

Oh my: Senate votes to end ethanol subsidies, 73/27


Yesterday’s vote failed for procedural reasons but they cleaned it up today and nailed down a remarkably bipartisan consensus. Eyeball the roll:
38 Democrats, 33 Republicans, and both independents voted yes, with no
votes coming mainly from plains-states senators eager to keep the
campaign cash flowing. When you’ve got both senators from California and both senators from Oklahoma on the same side of an issue, you’re working magic, my friends.

The vote also could have ramifications on future votes to
reduce the deficit. Much of the GOP conference supported Feinstein’s
bill even though it does not include another tax break to offset the elimination of the ethanol tax credit.

As such, the vote could also represent a setback for influential
conservative Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR),
who said a vote for the plan would violate the anti-tax pledge most Republicans have signed unless paired with a separate tax-cutting amendment

Feinstein’s amendment to an economic development bill would quickly
end the credit of 45 cents for each gallon of ethanol that fuel blenders
mix into gasoline.
The credit led to $5.4 billion in foregone revenue
last year, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The amendment also ends the 54-cent per gallon import tariff that protects the domestic ethanol industry.

Count me as one (of many) who never saw much sense in making fuel from food, and even less sense in subsidizing the process while effectively prohibiting the import of ethanol.  When one considers that ethanol actually reduces the energy per unit mass of vehicle fuel, and the deleterious effects on the fuel systems of older vehicles, the whole arrangement fails to make any economic sense.

Can we now move on to lifting the ban on incandescent light bulbs?  Perhaps even an end to the mandate for low flow toilettes?  One can but hope.

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