By Gary P Jackson
Ever wonder why Newt Gingrich supports ethanol subsidies, something Conservatives want eliminated?
Newt even used his speech at the Ronald Reagan Dinner on Friday night to talk up ethanol subsidies, at a time even Iowas realize it’s time to end them.
Back in May of this year, Newt started one of his “Big Conversations” about ethanol, claiming it was “good for the economy.” [snort]
From Eastern Iowa Government:
One of the keys will be an American energy plan that will include traditional forms of energy – coal, natural gas and nuclear, for example – as well as wind, solar and biofuels, including ethanol.
Ethanol is in a much different place than when he first voted for “gasohol” back in 1984, Gingrich said.
“My original goal was to help launch a biofuels industry because I felt we had a chance to increase the income not just to farmers, but if you go to these small towns, some of the best paying jobs are at the ethanol refinery,” he said.
Now the industry has matured and with the development of flexible-fuel vehicles it is competitive in a way different than it was 30 years ago, Gingrich continued. Ethanol can be produced for about 80 cents a gallon less than what the U.S. pays for overseas oil.
“So I take very seriously threats to undermine and destroy the ethanol industry both because it’s good for natural security and good for the economy and it’s particularly good for people in rural America,” Gingrich said. “If I have to choose to send money to Iowa or South Dakota or Illinois or to send it to Iran, Saudi Arabia or Venezuela, I pick sending it to American farmers to create American jobs to keep American money at home.”
Anyone who has spent any time researching ethanol knows it’s a junk fuel. It’s not as energy dense as gasoline. This means if you take an equal amount of gasoline and an equal amount of ethanol, the gasoline will do more work. Anyone who’s looked at the federally mandated window sticker on “flex fuel” vehicles will notice there are two sets of gas mileage figures. One for gasoline, one for ethanol. [E85]
Fuel mileage suffers significantly when E85 is substituted for gasoline.
Ethanol is also very corrosive, and destroys internal combustion engines over time. It’s so corrosive it can’t even be shipped through the extensive pipeline system in place. Instead, it must be trucked everywhere it goes.
Ethanol is one of the dumbest solutions as a motorfuel ever devised. Henry Ford figured this out in the days of the Model T. Back then, the quality of gasoline was no where near what it is today, and Ford was looking for a solution. He quickly figured out ethanol was a bad idea.
Between growing the corn, watering it, fertilizing it, harvesting it, processing it, and hauling it all by truck, ethanol creates far more pollution than gasoline and it’s production ever could.
And let’s not even talk about the immorality of using food for fuel. Corn is one of the world’s food staples, and thanks to this failed experiment, food prices around the world are up. Third world countries are hardest hit.
Oh, and ethanol is so economically nonviable, federal and state governments spend billions propping it up. Without government subsidies ethanol would go away because it’s simply too expensive. It can’t compete with any basic motorfuel in price. This at a time the federal government is over $14 trillion in debt!
We could go on all day discussing ethanol, but one of the best quick reads is Big Corn and Ethanol Hoax by Dr Walter Williams.
Knowing how hard Newt has pushed all of the so-called “green agenda” since the 1980s, when he sponsored the “Global Warming Prevention Act (H.R. 1078)” I decided to do a little digging.
You see Newt is a guy who is always for sale, and will sell out Conservatism, and the nation, in a heartbeat.
We’ve already looked at what is one of Newt’s worse betrayals, the selling of his soul to Freddie Mac for a mere $300,000.
UPDATED: It seems Newt actually got somewhere between $1.6 and $1.8 million to shill for Freddie Mac, not the original $300,000 Newt admitted he received.
Newt’s interference with Conservatives who wanted to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is one of the reasons nothing was done, and why our entire economy collapsed in 2008. And why Republicans were eventually blamed, and Obama got elected. So if you lost you’re money, are out of work, and don’t like Obama, you have Newt to thank.
A corrupt as he is, Newt’s voice carries weight, and gives cover to the democrats. Like it or not, Newt is a “Republican” [in name only] so when he backs the far left, as he always does, he gives aid and comfort to them. Makes it appear Conservatives are actually on board with whatever nonsense they are peddling.
Now on to ethanol. According to The Center for Public Integrity Newt has taken in hundreds of thousands of dollars as a consultant to Big Ethanol. [emphasis mine]
“I am not a lobbyist for ethanol,” Newt Gingrich declared in a mid-winter spat with the editors of The Wall Street Journal over his support for government subsidies for alternative fuel.
But Gingrich was a hired consultant to a major ethanol lobbying group—at more than $300,000 a year.
According to IRS records, the ethanol group Growth Energy paid Gingrich’s consulting firm $312,500 in 2009.The former House Speaker was the organization’s top-paid consultant, according to the records. His pay was one of the group’s largest single expenditures, as it took in and spent about $11 million to promote ethanol and to lobby for federal incentives for its use.
In a Growth Energy publication, Gingrich was listed as a consultant who offered advice on “strategy and communication issues” and who “will speak positively on ethanol related topics to media.”
Chris Thorne, a Growth Energy spokesman, said Gingrich was not hired again in 2010. The group was organized by ethanol producers from the Midwest in late 2008, Thorne said. Its members sought Gingrich’s counsel when it started because “they were people who were never involved in DC politics before, and they were looking for someone who knew how to get things done.” The organization’s IRS report for 2010 is not yet available.
Gingrich’s support of ethanol subsidies does not fit well with conservative, free-market theory, said Thomas Schatz, the president of the public interest group Citizens Against Government Waste. And as voters express concerns over the soaring national debt, many in Congress, from both parties, are questioning the value of the $6 billion tax credit.
“At $6 billion, that is real money, even here in Washington,” Schatz told iWatch News.
“Not only is this tax credit expensive and unnecessary, it has produced many unfavorable consequences including higher food prices, lower fuel efficiency and increased incidences of engine damage in motor vehicles,” CAGW says in a report on its website.
Gingrich’s spokesman, Rick Tyler, did not reply to an email or to two voice messages left on his telephone. The former House Speaker, a leading conservative theorist, writer and speechmaker, is currently pondering a run for president.
Gingrich has worked as a booster of alternative fuels, and warned about the dangers of climate change, even as his political committee has continued taking large donations from the fossil fuel industry.
In 2008, Gingrich appeared with then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a public service advertisement about the dangers of global warming.
“Our country must take action to address climate change,” Gingrich said, sitting by Pelosi’s side, in an ad produced by former Vice President Al Gore’s organization, the Alliance for Climate Protection.
Ethanol is “very, very important from an environmental standpoint…if you’re concerned about global warming, not supporting ethanol makes absolutely no sense, and if you’re concerned about carbon loading of the atmosphere, supporting ethanol is a major step in the right direction,” Gingrich told a Growth Energy event in January 2009.
When conservative critics objected to Gingrich’s alliance with Pelosi and Gore, the former Speaker defended his stand, saying it was sound strategy.
“There is a big difference between left-wing environmentalism that wants higher taxes, bigger government, more bureaucracy, more regulation, more red tape, and more litigation and a Green Conservatism that wants to use science, technology, innovation, entrepreneurs, and prizes to find a way to creatively invent the kind of environmental future we all want to live in,” Gingrich wrote on his blog. “Unless we start making the case for the latter, we’re going to get the former. That’s why I took part in the ad.”
Reading the last few paragraphs makes me physically ill. Ethanol is not good for either the environment or the economy. The only one making out from ethanol are the producers and Newt!
You can more of the report here.
Notice how Newt claims to want a “conservative solution” to the issue rather than fight against the Big Government “green” agenda in the first place?
In other words surrendering rather than standing up for Conservative principles of Liberty, Freedom, and small government.
I used to think it was because he was a coward. But looking at patterns, I think it’s because he’s on the take.
What Newt is really saying is Big Government is fine as long as HE is the one running it.
It may also be that Newt actually believes global warming is real. After all he was pushing legislation to some how stop it. If that’s the case, Newt’s sanity, as well as his lack of integrity, must be questioned.
Nothing wrong with being a lobbyist …. I mean “consultant” …. to any industry or individual. That’s the American way. But when you consistently work for those who are engaged in efforts that are destroying the nation, while claiming to be a “conservative” you are a liar and a con artist and you are hurting the Conservative cause.
A lot of people are swooning over Newt these days because, let’s face it, the Republican presidential field leaves a lot to be desired. Conservatives need to open their eyes. Newt is NOT one of us, and never has been. He’s been pretending to be one of us for some time, but he’s just another life long politician who will do and say anything to get elected.
Look at his actions since leaving office, and look at what he is saying now that he’s running for President.
The guy has flip-flopped more than Mitt Romney!
Newt is an expert at Sounding like a Conservative, but if you look at his decades long political career, you’ll be hard pressed to find many Conservative actions.
Since 2000, you won’t find any.
Oh, you’ll find him TALKING Conservative, but every ACTION he has taken has been in support of the far left.
Anyone can give speeches. Anyone can say all the right words. On the campaign trail in 2008 Barack Obama gave many lofty speeches and said all of the right words his audience wanted to hear.
We all know how that turned out.
Many people want Newt as our nominee simply because they’d love to see a debate between him and Obama.. Hell, so would I! But sadly, I understand that Newt’s words are meaningless. His words and his actions don’t match up. Never have.
The Newt, the conservative, you hear on the campaign trail is a fictional character. He doesn’t exist.
In reality Newt supports many of the things Obama and the rest of the far left does. He’s only talking “conservative” because it’s an election year. Nothing in Newt’s past suggests he says what he means or means what he says.
What’s really unforgivable is Newt is pushing a proven junk fuel [and getting paid handsomely to do it] when there is an actual alternative fuel that is cheap and simple:
We have 1.69 QUADRILLION cubic feet of natural gas in the arctic alone. The technology to run internal combustion engines on compressed natural gas [CNG] is decades old and very mature. We could switch the fleet over to CNG swiftly and relatively inexpensively.
Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors have been making CNG powered cars, trucks, and buses for decades. With computer aided fuel and engine management systems they have even been able to create duel fuel vehicles that can run on either gasoline or CNG. An incredible breakthrough. There are tens of thousands of these duel fuel vehicles in daily use all across the United States.
Natural gas is cheap, abundant, and as clean of a burning fuel as there is. It’s as close to a zero emissions fuel as you’re ever going to get. Remember, it burns clean enough we can use it to cook with.
If you ever go into a closed warehouse and see forklifts that are powered by internal combustion engines, you’ll note they are fueled by either CNG or propane. That’s because of the near zero emissions they produce. A gasoline powered unit would suffocate the workers at some point.
Oh, and CNG powered engines produce so little carbon, the oil stays clean, and engine wear is almost non-existent. Engine life is extended greatly. I speak from personal experience on this.
Natural gas is the miracle fuel people claim to want.
And yet, Newt Gingrich is still shilling for ethanol, the worst possible solution that exists. At least we now know why.
Think Newt won’t be as easily bought off if he’s sitting in the White House?