The Corner

Corn, Pork and Obama

Investors Business Daily joins the attack on Obama’s ethanol policy:

If Obama wants energy independence through alternative fuels, why doesn’t he back imported sugar-based ethanol? This old-style politician knows it isn’t grown in the Midwest and Brazil has no electoral votes. Barack Obama says he represents change. He also criticizes John McCain for trying to drill our way to energy independence to add to the profits of Big Oil. But it’s Obama who’s playing politics by trying to plant our way to energy independence, buying votes with alternative fuel subsidies that benefit ethanol producers such as Archer Daniels Midland. ADM is based in Illinois, the second-largest corn-producing state. Not long after arriving in the U.S. Senate, Obama flew twice on corporate jets owned by the nation’s largest ethanol producer. Imagine if McCain flew on the corporate jets of Exxon Mobil. Corn-based ethanol gets a 51-cents-a-gallon tax subsidy that will cost taxpayers $4.5 billion this year. McCain opposes ethanol subsidies while Obama supports them. McCain opposed them even though Iowa is the first caucus state. Obama, touted by Caroline Kennedy as another JFK, was no profile in courage in Iowa. That subsidy was cut to 45 cents a gallon in the new farm bill, but more money was pushed toward other biofuels such as switch grass. The Democrats can’t wait for offshore oil or ANWR, but they can wait for switch grass. The tariff on imported ethanol was extended. Neither candidate voted on the bill, but Obama said he supported it. McCain said as president he would have vetoed it.

If it’s intended to cut the nation’s energy bill, Obama’s ethanol policy makes no sense, if it’s intended to secure the nation’s energy supplies, Obama’s ethanol policy makes no sense, if it’s designed to improve the nation’s relationship with a major Latin American trading partner, Obama’s ethanol policy makes no sense, but, if, on the other hand, it’s just another example of good old porkbarrel politics, Obama’s ethanol policy makes a great deal of sense. Interesting, that.

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