From:CHUCK GRASSLEY (Noreply@grassley.senate.gov)
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2010 18:57:39 -0500 (EST)
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“Common sense prevailed in the agreement reached last night on a tax proposal, including the fact that ethanol and biodiesel offer the most effective alternative to foreign oil and support hundreds of thousands of jobs in the United States.”

"Common sense" is a null referent - and what Senator Grassley refers to as “fact” is, in truth, only a political talking point. That ethanol and biodiesel directly support “hundreds of thousands of jobs” fails my credibility test.

“The federal legislation contains an extension of the ethanol and biodiesel tax credits and an extension of the ethanol tariff at current rates. The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill on Monday afternoon. The ethanol provision in this tax bill is an extension of current law. To leave it out of the tax bill would be a tax increase, which I don’t support.”

I see you spending taxpayer money to ensure ethanol/biodiesel producers have profits with which to pay lobbyists and make political contributions to fund your next election campaign.

“Americans spend $730 million a day on imported petroleum, and ethanol is the only renewable fuel substantially working to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Domestic ethanol displaces oil from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Nigeria. It now accounts for almost 10 percent of the U.S. fuel supply.”

An interesting question might be: How much of that $730 million/day that Americans spend is tax to support your spending addiction and government waste?

“The billions of dollars we spend on imported petroleum prop up unfriendly governments and dictators. An average of $84 billion is spent each year by the U.S. military to protect oil transit routes. Until there’s another alternative fuel doing as much to reduce oil dependence, it would be foolish to undermine the only green, domestic alternative to imported oil.”

Those billions also prop up friendly governments with democratically-elected leaders.

The last time I looked, the military budget was set by the legislature. If $84 billion is excessive, then the legislature has a responsibility to reduce that expenditure.

Saying that ethanol/biodiesel is "the only green, domestic alternative to imported oil" is false - and constitutes either a bald-faced lie or reveals an ignorance so immense as to demonstrate, in this reader’s opinion, a lack of due dilligence.

“I fought tooth and nail to secure the inclusion of both the ethanol and biodiesel provisions in the new legislative proposal. There were efforts by some congressional majority Democrats and the White House to weaken the tax policy for these alternative fuels. In fact, the current congressional majority allowed the blenders’ tax credit for biodiesel to expire at the end of 2009. Since then, 23,000 jobs in biodiesel have been lost nationwide. The new tax agreement would extend the biodiesel credit retroactively to cover all of 2010 and through the end of 2011.”

If biodiesel proponents could not present a business case adequate to attract investment and the undertaking is not viable without subsidies, then I question Senator Grassley’s motives in fighting “tooth and nail” to waste taxpayer money.

“We can’t risk a repeat performance with ethanol, where 112,000 jobs are at stake. Getting both of these tax provisions extended through the end of next year will boost jobs and investment in the alternative energy sector, exactly when the economy needs a real shot in the arm.”

Senator Grassley apparently expects that this tax bill will boost jobs and investment in the energy sector.

“Keep in touch.”

Somehow, I don’t think I’m the one who's out of touch. Senator Grassley, your credibility is fading.

[To follow up, the legislation failed to pass and there was no visible impact to either the “hundreds of thousands of jobs” or the “112,000 jobs” Senator Grassley said were at stake. I’ve concluded that either he’s reality-impaired or a person who is comfortable lying to anyone willing to listen.]

Copyright © 2009 Morris R. Dovey

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