Given the recently introduced bill, I was hopeful that Senator Thune might be able to see that the ethanol experiment (that is, existing ethanol subsidies/tariffs) is hurting more than it is helping. My hopes have hereby been dashed:
A federal subsidy of 45 cents a gallon for blending ethanol into gasoline and a 54-cent per gallon tariff on imported ethanol will both expire automatically at the end of the year without Congressional action. A bill introduced in April by Charles Grassley, Republican of Iowa, and Kent Conrad, Democrat of North Dakota, would extend the measures until 2015.
“Ethanol has proven its value as a homegrown, renewable fuel and, in light of the hundreds of billions of dollars shipped abroad as a result of foreign oil dependence, ethanol is a relative bargain,” Mr. Grassley said in a statement accompanying the letter.
The letter was signed by 16 senators, including Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, and John Thune, Republican of South Dakota.
Presidential chances aside, I believe is time for Thune to consider that cost cutting which might affect one of his favorite things is prudent and necessary. (Not to mention that he might want to consider that if Al Franken is for something, he (Thune) should be considering diligently if wants to be on the same side of the issue.)
Almost no one who has become dependent on given subsidies–or welfare, or any other direct taxpayer-funded monies–wishes to see them go away. And, yes, I understand that Thune was elected in part for his support of ethanol. Perhaps it is time for him to admit, in the face of mounting evidence, that he will no longer support this unnecessary and detrimental program of wealth redistribution and that he will work for the long-term interests of all of his constituents.