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Newt Gingrich Bows Down To King Corn

If there were any real doubt left that Newt Gingrich were running for President, I think these recent comment by Newt Gingrich in Iowa would remove them:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich today dismissed the “big city” critics of corn-based ethanol and suggested the biofuels industry will be able to “stand on its own” without federal subsidies once all autos are “flexible-fuel” vehicles.

Gingrich was the keynote speaker at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Summit in Des Moines. “If we kept $400 billion a year at home that is currently going out of the United States to buy energy, we would be dramatically better off,” Gingrich said. “And, frankly, I would rather have the next building boom in Des Moines than in Dubqi so I think we ought to have a policy that focuses on it.”

Gingrich attacked critics of ethanol, saying a recent Wall Street Journal editorial on the subject was “flat out wrong.”

“I don’t mind people having an honest argument about ideology, but they ought to at least use facts that are accurate,” Gingrich said. “…This is an interest group fight in which a number of very sophisticated, big interest groups have set up a myth and are busy actively propagating the myth, but the truth is it hurts the farmer.  It hurts rural America and it’s fundamentally unfair to America’s future.”

Gingrich called for new federal regulations to ensure every vehicle made in the U.S. is able to run on ethanol or methane. Gingrich told reporters after his speech that he does not support extension of the federal tax create for ethanol fuel “beyond this year.”

“If they’re prepared to insist on a flex-fuel vehicle and every car in America’s capable of buying ethanol, I think the industry can stand on its own,” Gingrich said.

In other words, force everyone to buy newer, more expensive cars so that ethanol, which has been a boondoggle from the beginning, will become mandatory in every tank of gas. Iowa loves it. Iowa has the first caucus in 2012. Get the picture?

Yep, Newt’s running alright.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. sam says:

    ‘Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich today dismissed the “big city” critics of corn-based ethanol and suggested the biofuels industry will be able to “stand on its own” without federal subsidies once all autos are “flexible-fuel” vehicles.’

    I think that’s called a “forward bailout”.

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  2. SV says:

    This isn’t new. He’s been knee deep in that flex-fuel mandate world for a few years now.

    That said, flex fuel cars only cost $100 or so more. You’ll see everyone cuddle with King Corn before this is over.

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  3. john personna says:

    “That said, flex fuel cars only cost $100 or so more. You’ll see everyone cuddle with King Corn before this is over.”

    The corn and ethanol subsidies are huge, but there are also opportunity costs here.

    These are huge and expensive non-solutions.

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  4. SV says:

    “These are huge and expensive non-solutions.”

    Agree. Just pointing out the cost of the car relative to the rest isn’t much.

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  5. wr says:

    So when a Democratic congress says you can’t buy an incandescent bulb because they are energy wasteful, that’s fascism.

    When a Republican wants to forbid Americans from buying cars that don’t burn ethanol, that’s freedom!

    God, I love the Tea Party.

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  6. The refusal of Republicans to go after farm subsidies is one of the biggest points of evidence that all their talk about reducing government spending is all smoke and mirrors.

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  7. Steve Plunk says:

    This Republican and supporter of Tea Party goals cannot and will not support Newt unless he changes on this subject. The issue only becomes an issue in Iowa and we all know why, to win the caucuses.

    Rank and file Republicans know these subsidies are wasteful and the Tea Party knows it as well. If the Tea Party will put military spending on the table they will certainly put Big Corn on notice.

    I’m afraid the Libs around here are putting words in the mouths of others. They know not of what they speak.

    BTW, flex fuel? Think natural gas. Though not a true flex fuel it is our best option for motor vehicles.

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  8. An Interested Place says:

    “I’m afraid the Libs around here are putting words in the mouths of others.”

    Such as?

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  9. Geezer says:

    So I guess I can sue Newt for the damage to our chainsaws, tillers, leaf-blowers, lawn tractors and lawn mowers for the damage from ethanol.

    None of the small engine equipment is set up to handle 15% ethanol. Not only that, but ethanol soaks up water like a sponge and small equipment usually sits with the gas in it for a while. Really good combination. NOT

    Any lawyers out there want to take on a class action on this?

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  10. [...] Newt Gingrich Bows Down To King Corn (outsidethebeltway.com) [...]

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