Newt Answers Critics Over Ethanol Comments

posted at 2:55 pm on February 4, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

Newt Gingrich got himself in a bit of hot water in some conservative circles recently with his support of Ethanol subsidies. It drew the scorn of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, who implied that the former speaker might have more than a passing financial interest in propping up King Corn. On Thursday Newt took to the “letters” pages of the WSJ to fire back. In the interest of fairness, we should allow him to make his case.

Second, I am not a lobbyist for ethanol, not for anyone. My support of increased domestic energy production of all forms, including biofuels and domestic drilling, is born out of our urgent national security and economic needs. It is in this country’s long-term best interest to stop the flow of $1 billion a day overseas, in particular to countries hostile to America. Think of what $1 billion a day kept in the U.S. economy creating jobs, especially energy jobs which cannot be outsourced, could do. Hence, I have supported measures to increase domestic energy production throughout my career in public life.

For instance, in 2008 at American Solutions, we launched a petition drive that gathered 1.5 million signatures in support of lifting the moratorium on new offshore drilling in America. I also wrote a book, “Drill Here Drill Now Pay Less,” and co-produced a movie with my wife, Callista, “We Have the Power,” that argued for an “all of the above” energy strategy which would maximize all forms of domestic energy production.

Nevertheless, the Journal attempts to equate my career-long commitment to increased American energy production with the anti-energy agenda of President Obama. This is a laughable charge, especially considering I have been one of the most vocal opponents of the president’s energy policies since he took office.

In 2009, I testified before Congress against the Obama administration’s cap-and-trade energy-tax scheme. I have also spoken out against the administration’s move to use the EPA to regulate carbon and the new barriers to offshore energy development imposed by the administration since the Deepwater Horizon accident last summer.

There are many areas of energy policy that Newt Gingrich gets right, and he takes great pains in this letter to point them out. For those he should be applauded. Unfortunately, the reader is left wanting after reading this defense.

The meat of the subject is not whether or not Newt favors energy independence and stands opposed to the president’s drilling permitoreum. That’s never been in question as far as I know. The specific issue which the Wall Street Journal broached was his support of ethanol additives and subsidies. To this, Mr. Gingrich seems to offer short shrift, saying only that he’s in favor of an “all of the above” policy.

I’ve also been in the “all of the above” camp, but we have to be realistic about the science, and after many years and hundreds of billions of dollars, ethanol’s use as a major energy source has turned out to be limited at best and rife with unique problems of its own. Newt fails to address any of the specifics in his rebuttal.

By the same token, being perceived as having gone off the beam on one issue out of so many is hardly reason to throw the baby out with the bath water. But I would definitely like to hear more from him with specifics as to why he’s staying in the ethanol camp.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

W.T.F.

Geochelone on February 4, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Congrats on “Winning The Fail” Newt.

Kataklysmic on February 4, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Newt – so yesterday,, you’re almost like a week ago.

jake-the-goose on February 4, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Newt + San Fran Nan = Climate Change Alarmists:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi6n_-wB154

Sorry, but with Newt supporting ethanol, PLUS with his subscription to this non-existent threat known as global “warming”, PLUS with his support of Dede Scuzzyfluzzie in NY-23…he can kiss my posterior.

crushliberalism on February 4, 2011 at 3:02 PM

There is plenty of money ready to drill… companies ready to pay to help find more natural gas… investors ready to put capital behind shale oil production… Newt ever wonder why ethanol continues to require gobs of subsidies?

mankai on February 4, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Newt’s problem isn’t the statement by itself; it’s the statement as part of a long line of questionable statements and/or decisions that fall squarely into the ”WTF?” category. In an election where whomever the Republican nominee is going to be is going to have to consistently stay focused and on message in going after Obama’s weakest points, Gingrich’s history makes you afraid he’s going to get into one or two of those “WTF?” moments, where the campaign would have to take 4-5 days off from attacking the president’s plans and results to clarify what Newt really meant to say.

jon1979 on February 4, 2011 at 3:03 PM

All of the above is cop out. It means, I don’t have a clue or won’t speak the truth about all those crappy ideas the greenies have come up with to replace fossil fuels. Every single one of those all the above ideas have been proven useless or don’t work as advertised or are not practical. Drill Baby Drill works every time it’s tried.

Kissmygrits on February 4, 2011 at 3:03 PM

bla bla bla…. Never again newt… never again.

lm10001 on February 4, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Newt=Epic Fail.

search4truth on February 4, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Remember the Couch… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaZFfQKWX54

The only person missing from this video was Dr. Phil.

USMCDevilDog on February 4, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Couches everywhere rejoice.

portlandon on February 4, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Only thing I want my corn in, is my “Crawfish Boil.”

USMCDevilDog on February 4, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Did I miss the defense of Gasohol production in that? Did I miss a denial that food burning raises the price of food, hurting the poorest. Did I miss a denial that the stuff does lower one’s gas mileage? Did I miss a denial that the stuff costs more energy to produce, then gives at the end?

More than 10 years past your sell by day, Newt. Retire already.

MNHawk on February 4, 2011 at 3:05 PM

“and co-produced a movie with my wife, Callista,…”

Anytime you have to bring up Callista…

… you know Newt stepped in it.

Seven Percent Solution on February 4, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Newt, a couch, and Nancy Pelosi. What’s not to like?

huckleberryfriend on February 4, 2011 at 3:06 PM

There are many areas of energy policy that Newt Gingrich gets right, and he takes great pains in this letter to point them out.

I wonder if Newt wrote that letter? I doubt it. It doesn’t sound like him.

portlandon on February 4, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Sounds like Newt is saying, “Hey I messed up, but I meant well” or something. Kinda like Romney… still Newt > Romney.

MeatHeadinCA on February 4, 2011 at 3:06 PM

I wonder if Newt wrote that letter? I doubt it. It doesn’t sound like him.

portlandon on February 4, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Anyone that thinks Newt didn’t write that without first consulting his advisers is crazy.

;)

MeatHeadinCA on February 4, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Funny the actual link does not take me to anything by Newt.

The head letter is a defense of GE’s current business model. A little irony in that.

MNHawk on February 4, 2011 at 3:08 PM

The fact that it takes more than a dollar of foreign oil to make one dollar of “American” ethanol, seems to have escaped him.

Rebar on February 4, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Newt, a couch, and Nancy Pelosi. What’s not to like?

huckleberryfriend on February 4, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Hey, at least he keeps it softcore. I’ve heard Maverick is ripping it up with Obama in the dumpster out back.

MeatHeadinCA on February 4, 2011 at 3:09 PM

“Ummmmm, what’s the question?”

pedestrian on February 4, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Why hasn’t New Gingrich spoke out about Egypt?!!11!!

portlandon on February 4, 2011 at 3:10 PM

My support of increased domestic energy production of all forms, including biofuels and domestic drilling, is born out of our urgent national security and economic needs.

Problem being with ethanol is that you are taking away food. If ethanol is any good, it should stand on its own, without subsidies.

rbj on February 4, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Why hasn’t New Gingrich spoke out about Egypt?!!11!!

portlandon on February 4, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Newt Gingrich sitting on a couch with an unveiled Nancy Pelosi is the reason Egypt is rioting.

MeatHeadinCA on February 4, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Problem being with ethanol is that you are taking away food. If ethanol is any good, it should stand on its own, without subsidies.

rbj on February 4, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Did you see MKH’s vid the other day? I wonder what Newt thinks…

MeatHeadinCA on February 4, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Everything substantive that could be said about this article has been said; however, I just wanted to comment. So…

fossten on February 4, 2011 at 3:14 PM

DeDe Scozzafava agrees 100%.

portlandon on February 4, 2011 at 3:14 PM

US ethanol policy is a blight on our country. We should not accept politicians who rationalize their way to supporting that destructive policy.

GaltBlvnAtty on February 4, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Will this old, hack DB EVER go away????

Gob on February 4, 2011 at 3:17 PM

covering his bum… that is all there is.

upinak on February 4, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Newt is a political opportunist. He’s also full of himself.

He was once of great use to the conservative cause. He still is of use but now less so.

dforston on February 4, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Burning food does not equal energy independence. Wasting dollars on ethanol is no different that sending them to Iran.

tmitsss on February 4, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Did you see MKH’s vid the other day? I wonder what Newt thinks…

MeatHeadinCA on February 4, 2011 at 3:13 PM

No I didn’t. Is there a link to it?

rbj on February 4, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Winning The Future

ouch

pseudonominus on February 4, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Any person who believes it’s a good idea to use tax dollars to support an industry that burns our food supply is a moron beyond comprehension that deserves only derision.

Only thing I want my corn in is my “Crawfish Boil.”

USMCDevilDog on February 4, 2011 at 3:05 PM

True dat, cher.

JSGreg3 on February 4, 2011 at 3:20 PM

I think we’d get more energy from the money subsidizing ethanol if we skipped a few steps and just burnt the money itself. You could power an entire city if you used 1 dollar bills.

Mord on February 4, 2011 at 3:25 PM

This is the burning question of the day…/

d1carter on February 4, 2011 at 3:31 PM

If you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance baffle them with your BS.

It’s SSDD with Newt.

marinetbryant on February 4, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Please, just leave – and take Huck with you.

SaintGeorgeGentile on February 4, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Ethanol = fail

even if you used all the crops in america just for biofuel, it would not even be close to meeting demand.

It’s the biggest flim flam scam since Dr. Terminus selling dragon whiskers in Pasamaquady.

johnnyboy on February 4, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Dear Newt:

You had me, then you lost me.

xxoo,

Your typical informed conservative voter

bogginator on February 4, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Where’s cornholebubba? I figure an ethanol thread is right up his alley.

darwin on February 4, 2011 at 3:47 PM


Ethanol and farm subsidies need to go.

The price of corn in 1994 was barely $2 per bushel.

Now it is over $6 per bushel.

End the CRP Program, and eliminate subsidies.

cntrlfrk on February 4, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Yeah, ethanol is a nice idea, but it just doesn’t work. Heck one of the reasons for the riots in the Middle East was rising food costs, because we’re burning corn instead of selling it to them to eat.

Iblis on February 4, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Dear Newt,

Please cancel all of your hotel reservations in Iowa. No one cares anymore.

Knucklehead on February 4, 2011 at 3:56 PM

you know if a third of the corn crop didn’t go towards the ethanol industry with all of the current corn crop projected to go towards ethanol thanks to W, Big Corn, Pelosi and Reid; his Pelosi bipartisan green house gas save the planet rut that he is in might make sense.
Even fuel economy standards at http://www.fueleconomy.gov shows that more ethanol leaves a lower EPA that make meeting the CAFE standards of 35 mph an uphill battle compared to all higher octane all gas consumption, hybrids, and diesel. E85 happens to have 6-10 mile per gallon deficit compared to all gas vehicles-
Consumer Reports show that hybrids are not cost efficient when a new $4000 battery has to be replaced, you know that lower costs matter unless you live in San Francisco or think that you can make a difference in saving the planet, LOL,. Get out of the rut Newt, but you must have caught something from Pelosi, because you have nothing new to offer.

mdetlh on February 4, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Biofuel used in the Philippines during WWII was a necessity.To support biofuels in the USA today is moronic! Ethanol damages engines and fuel lines, but it does help politicians who can’t get elected unless they push this very bad idea.

So, Newt, your answer was not directed at the issue of subsidizing corn crops in Iowa, Nwbraska, etc. Take a hike!

tomshup on February 4, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Methinks the Newt doth protest too loudly.

A full-throated defense against something he wasn’t charged with bespeaks that he knows he’s got wobbly legs on the ethanol question.

Midas on February 4, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Well, you ‘splained away Ethanol now want to take a shot at that Cap and Trade crap you pulled with Pelosi…yeah, didn’t think so

rgranger on February 4, 2011 at 4:09 PM

No Food for Energy… There are too many other alternatives. Even the lame-a** wind farm is a better use of land… you can still grow food under the wind-mills.
-

RalphyBoy on February 4, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Ethanol and farm subsidies need to go.

The price of corn in 1994 was barely $2 per bushel.

Now it is over $6 per bushel.

End the CRP Program, and eliminate subsidies.

cntrlfrk on February 4, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Hey neighbor!

I agree ethanol is a waste and I wrote editorials about that when they were thinking of mandating it.
I own ethanol stock and farmland but we have to be careful here.
$3.25 a gallon diesel and $2 corn don’t compute and will put lots o little guys out of work guaranteeing only corporate farms whom the curroptocrats love as they can control them better!

dhunter on February 4, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Typical pol, changed the subject…

Gohawgs on February 4, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Will someone please shut Gingrich up and send him home. The media trot him out because they know he’ll say something silly or embarrassing.

erp on February 4, 2011 at 4:16 PM

Takes more than a gallon of oil to make a gallon of ethanol. Ethanol oxidizes things made to run on oil.

Newt is a disaster.

Valiant on February 4, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Ethanol from corn is an energy LOSER. It takes almost as much energy from fossil fuels to plant and harvest corn and make ethanol from it as is obtained by burning ethanol. We’re MUCH better off selling the corn to foreign countries to get money to buy oil, with the fringe benefit that corn helps to feed the world’s hungry.

This doesn’t mean that all biofuels are wasteful. Brazil makes lots of ethanol from sugar cane, and obtains about 4 times more ethanol per acre as we do from corn. If somebody figured out a way of making ethanol (or some other liquid fuel) from agricultural waste, such as corn or wheat STALKS, there would be a net energy gain, since there would be no food loss, and the energy used to grow food crops would not be increased.

But the government shouldn’t be in the business of picking and subsidizing winners and losers. If crude prices went high enough, some biofuels could become cheaper, and an enterprising biofuel researcher could make lots of money. So could an offshore drilling company, or a shale oil extraction company.

Government has the right to ensure that such operations are environmentally responsible, and produce the minimum feasible amount of pollution, but it should not forbid the use of our own resources so that we have to pay people to pollute foreign lands to produce our fuel.

The Wall Street Journal is about economics more than conservative politics, and corn ethanol is a money-losing proposition, and they are correct to criticize Gingrich about it.

Gingrich needs to do his homework before he defends losing propositions like ethanol subsidies and jumps on a couch with Nancy Pelosi to push Cap and Trade, which couldn’t get through a Senate with 59 Democrats.

Do Homework. Open Mouth. Insert Foot.

Choose any two.

Steve Z on February 4, 2011 at 4:19 PM

dhunter on February 4, 2011 at 4:13 PM

I would agree to an extent, but it seems crazy we, the taxpayer, are paying the going rental rate (which is very high as well) for farmland to sit idle.

I don’t see how we can do both, and I think the farm community is about to burst a bubble, myself anyway.

With over 30 million acres in CRP, at least some could be released to raising corn, so feedlots aren’t feeding trash to cattle because they can’t afford corn, or can’t find it.

JMHO
,

cntrlfrk on February 4, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Even fuel economy standards at http://www.fueleconomy.gov shows that more ethanol leaves a lower EPA that make meeting the CAFE standards of 35 mph an uphill battle compared to all higher octane all gas consumption, hybrids, and diesel. E85 happens to have 6-10 mile per gallon deficit compared to all gas vehicles-

Not surprising. The heat of combustion of ethanol per gallon is about half that of gasoline.

An internal combustion engine is designed to convert the sudden expansion of a fuel/air mixture into useful work. Less heat released by burning = less expansion = less useful work = less miles traveled per gallon of fuel.

Steve Z on February 4, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Steve Z on February 4, 2011 at 4:19 PM

I haven’t run any numbers, but I suspect that if an ethanol plant was itself run entirely on ethanol, it would be a net loss: The plant would consume more ethanol than it can produce. That would be a great demonstration of the futility of the whole concept.

Likewise, I’d like to see a solar panel factory powered entirely by the same solar panels it produces. I suspect it can’t be done. Solar panel manufacturing requires basically melting rock into molten lava. Solar panels are a net energy sink.

ZenDraken on February 4, 2011 at 4:31 PM

I think that Buuussshhhhhhes intention was to make ethanol out of grass, switchgrass specifically.

This makes some sense as it is a self sustaining minimum maintenance plant that could be grown in otherwise hard to farm areas. Trouble is with subsidies for corn ethanol not much research or development is going into alcohol from grass.

maybe we should send some envirowackos to prison where they can learn to make moonshine from bread and then enlighten us on how that production would translate to alcohol from Grass.
Start with Ken Salazar and OBlahBlah!

My former boss said alcohol was for drinkin not for engines. Unfortunately I drank my share and Mrs. dhunter cut me off. Alcohol that is!

dhunter on February 4, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Way to avoid the ethanol question, Newt. As far as I’m concerned, “all of the above” does NOT include taxpayer money and government coercion. Subsidies do not create wealth. The billions that buy foreign oil create more wealth than subsidies simply because the private sector spends efficiently to remain in business whereas the government mandates then throws money at it. Newt is sooo 90′s!

cartooner on February 4, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Making food into fuel is dumb dumb dumb dumb…. we need to stop it now. It’s bad for America and Newt should know better.

roux on February 4, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Newt should give a speech at the upcoming Miami Boat Show and proclaim his love affair with ethanol. I doubt he would survive the experience. The introduction of ethanol in the gas supplies for the boating industry has cost boat owners tens of millions of dollars in major repairs. Ethanol ate gas tanks, fuel lines and released nasty sludge into marine motors, the result were catastrophic. Entire gas tanks, motors, fuel lines, etc. had to be ripped out and replaced. In many instances, boaters spent five and six figures repairing their boats, or they spent nothing and sold their boats for next to nothing.

David in ATL on February 4, 2011 at 4:34 PM

cntrlfrk on February 4, 2011 at 4:27 PM
I hear ya and agree ethanol subsidies should end. If that were to happen farmers would plant more to beans or popcorn or whatever crops. Just sayin if all grassland is given to production we had better have some awesome trading going on or crop prices will plummet making planting and harvesting unsustainable. Once the little guys are driven out and the big boys take over watch them lobby the Congr-ass for higher prices.

Not sure the answer here but usually a free, unsubsidized market is best!
Marketing corn for oil might be the ticket if we had some marketers!

dhunter on February 4, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Well, you ‘splained away Ethanol now want to take a shot at that Cap and Trade crap you pulled with Pelosi…yeah, didn’t think so

rgranger on February 4, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Yep, the bathwater that butt-ugly baby is sitting in has been polluted by a lot more than ethanol subsidies so, contrary to Ed’s call in the OP for patience on our part, maybe the sooner we throw little Newtie out along with all that wretched scum he’s been soaking up to his eyeballs in, the better for the planet it might actually be.

leilani on February 4, 2011 at 4:43 PM

What Bull! I am not laughing. He has been trying to gain Democratic support since he left the House.

burt on February 4, 2011 at 4:45 PM

If this was Free Republic, I would post the pic of Nancy and Newt sitting on the couch. Right here.

kevinkristy on February 4, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Newt + San Fran Nan = Climate Change Alarmists:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi6n_-wB154

Sorry, but with Newt supporting ethanol, PLUS with his subscription to this non-existent threat known as global “warming”, PLUS with his support of Dede Scuzzyfluzzie in NY-23…he can kiss my posterior.

crushliberalism on February 4, 2011 at 3:02 PM

I think that about sums it up. Concise and on-point! I like the username too!

Levinite on February 4, 2011 at 4:48 PM

IMO Newt’s campaign is “Losing the Present” and won’t be “Winning the Future.”

Done That on February 4, 2011 at 4:50 PM

So Newt basically says, even if the science is wrong, and
Ethanol is useless, I still support it?
Or does he say, I change my mind, I made an error, now that I see the actual facts, Ethanol should not be promoted.
Like any bureaucrat, he doesn’t answer a question that puts his judgment into question.
Newt, all we want is a straight answer…

right2bright on February 4, 2011 at 4:50 PM

In a cnbc.com post, Kudlow makes a case that very high inflation in the grain market has led to hunger of the subsistence poor of Egypt which in turn was a spark that brought on the crisis. Inflation in the grain market is of course related to our several interferences with the corn market.

burt on February 4, 2011 at 4:54 PM

IOW, he’s covered all his bases quite skillfully. I find that less than inspirational leadership.

paul1149 on February 4, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Burning food does not equal energy independence. Wasting dollars on ethanol is no different that sending them to Iran.

tmitsss on February 4, 2011 at 3:18 PM

At least we’re keeping the wasted dollars at home, instead of giving it to foreigners!! /Newt

AH_C on February 4, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Newt, all we want is a straight answer

No, we want him to retire.

burt on February 4, 2011 at 4:56 PM

I understand ethanol is only viable when gasoline hits $10 a gallon. Until then, use of corn for fuel jacks up the world-wide price of food, starving the poor. In support of ethanol, we’re truly vulnerable to the “Republicans eat babies” charge. Not to mention the widespread environmental impact of growing corn just to burn it later.

A Depression-era anecdote. There was a debate in a Kansas town on the outlook of corn prices in particular and the occupation of farming in general in Dust Bowl Kansas. The side with a sunny outlook spoke eloquently with his allotted time. When he was done, the speaker from the other side silently took several ears of corn and threw them into the pot-bellied stove used to heat the debate hall. Without him saying a word, he won the debate. They knew then what we should know now. If you use corn as fuel, you’ve already lost.

Paul-Cincy on February 4, 2011 at 4:58 PM

God gave us Corn for making bourbon and sour mash, not for riding around in cars. If he wanted us to burn it in cars he would have made us drill for it. So there!

hip shot on February 4, 2011 at 5:02 PM

But I would definitely like to hear more from him with specifics as to why he’s staying in the ethanol camp.

You can like Newt Gingrich or hate him (and pretty much everyone does) but no one can say he is a moron.

He is perfectly capable of reading the WSJ article. And if he had a defense to their specific complaints, of course he would have presented it.

No one accused him of being a Communist. What he was accused of is a rather pathetic attempt at pandering. It’s obvious that he offered no explanation, quite simply, because he has none.

It’s like the old saying: “If the law is on your side, argue the law. If the facts are on your side, argue the facts. And if neither the law nor the facts are on your side — pound on the table.”

Newt is pounding the table like crazy.

logis on February 4, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Newt:

STILL WRONG ABOUT ETHANOL BOONDOGGLE!!!

landlines on February 4, 2011 at 5:12 PM

His retreats to his “American Solutions” or the most recent book he and his latest wife have written have become trite and tiresome.

GaltBlvnAtty on February 4, 2011 at 5:15 PM

translation: go against the powerful corn senators and it’s a losing strategy

fudgypup on February 4, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Newt may have some good ideas, but basically, his timing honks the big one. Telling his cancer ridden ex-wife he was gonna dump her as she layed in a hospital bed, eagerly joining in a televised event while Billy Jeff flat out lied to him and played him like a fiddle, and, after taking a few years off, jumping on the whole ‘save the planet’ and ‘let’s feed machines our food instead of people’ clown parades.

One thing he’s proved beyond a doubt is that he has virtually no second career as a weather forecaster, unless he wants to go work for Jim Hansen in Manhattan clamoring about the end of the world as we know it, and how he feels fine.

As dead horses go, the concept to use foodstuffs to feed energy voracious machines at the same time other folks are pointing out that the species homo sapiens could be mere degrees of difference away from famine and starvation in many areas around the globe has got to be one of the most galactically stupid ideas any biped on this planet has ever dreamed up. For who, or what benefit? So some mathematically challenged emo-driven activists can sleep better at night? Really? So a relatively small number of midwestern farmers can audible hear the “cha-ching” background soundtrack as they plant not even nearly enough crops to make up the demand difference on the steros installed in the multi million dollar combine harvesters that the market distorting subsidies and polices payed them to buy? For Chuck freaking Grassley to face happy contented crowds on the backroads of Iowa?

Sure, why the heck not! Forget the overall impact this has – because there’s no point in shrieking “someone is gonna DIE” about all this, as it’s a bit late for that, and people (but not the correct people already have. And don’t look to even Media geniuses such as Anderson “why are they hitting me?” Cooper or Shep “outrageous sensationalism” Smith to connect the dots on what could be considered the secondary fallout of unrest caused by the overall resultant rise in global food prices. Yeah, you think that great intentions filled all those sacks stamped with “Aid provided by the People of the United States” that pop up on pieces about the tragedy of famines in progress were filled with the same great intentions that are claimed when the decision was made that such a significant total of caloric energy was best used to help power the minivan taking the kids to soccer practice instead? Not to mention the BONUS aspect that it senselessly drives up costs for everyone, specifically those, aside from Americans with just gobs and gobs and GOBS of disposable income for whom such crap is basically transparent (yeah, there are literally legions of those. Yeah right)

This idiocy, among actually a rather short list of incompetence and total idiocy of similar magnitude literally does rise to ‘crime against humanity’ proportions.

But, like a majority of dunderheaded political decisions, the most important point to a lot of the idiots driving this train has nothing to do with realizing a policy is wrong, but making sure that, especially if it doesn’t work, to just ‘try harder’ or prescribe more of the same recipe for failure, so no one looks bad. Because appearances matter WAAAAAAAAAY more with these jackholes than results or consequences.

Wind Rider on February 4, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Ethanol is a prime example of a subsidized product, purporting to be a ‘solution’. Instead of acknowledging that it’s a wash, the vested interest double down on stupid if for no other reason that to protect fragile political egos.

GarandFan on February 4, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Growing food is dependent on large amounts of energy. Diverting corn to ethanol while preventing the development of our energy resources has a double effect on food inflation.

Newt should decide where his priorities lie: with the poor of the world or with big agribusiness and his ideologue PSA buddies.

Laurence on February 4, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Second, I am not a lobbyist for ethanol, not for anyone. My support of increased domestic energy production of all forms, including biofuels and domestic drilling, is born out of our urgent national security and economic needs.

We’re sitting on top of hundreds of years of fossil fuels including coal, and they want us to put up windmills and grow corn instead. To me, that’s the bottom line. The way things work, we’ll be buying the windmills from China and selling the ethanol to them as well, especially if they’re willing to pay more. Ah well…same goes for the fossil fuels as well I suppose. Reminds me of how the Soviet Union sold so much vodka to foreign markets that there were shortages of the stuff over there. It’s all about making money and keeping your buds happy, not the American people.

Who are these elitists trying to kid?

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 4, 2011 at 5:52 PM

the ethanol policy is very misguided and certainly not visionary. Epic Fail would be a better term in my mind.

I’ve been a Newt supporter for years, but the luster is gone. I think he peaked a decade ago. You can’t go back.

r keller on February 4, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Who are these elitists trying to kid?

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 4, 2011 at 5:52 PM

The voters, just long enough for them to vote in ’12.

gryphon202 on February 4, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Gingrich is damaged goods and needs to stay on the couch with Nancy, then he can go Scozzafava himself.

Dandapani on February 4, 2011 at 6:30 PM

I really liked Newt. Loved his speeches. I attended one and got into a conversation afterward with him. He really liked my companies plan to save the govt money.

He only wanted $250k to review it completely.

Sure, he isn’t a lobbyist.

barnone on February 4, 2011 at 6:35 PM

He only wanted $250k to review it completely.

Sure, he isn’t a lobbyist.

barnone on February 4, 2011 at 6:35 PM

What, did I read that right, 250,000 to Review your plan?

Are you serious what was that consulting fee?

That dipstick isn’t worth 250,000 unless he was gonna use his insider influence to get you some dough.

dhunter on February 4, 2011 at 6:50 PM

“The chief cause of problems is solutions.”

~~ Eric Sevareid (American journalist)

RedPepper on February 4, 2011 at 7:48 PM

You’re pathetic,

Mr. Gingrich,

You don’t have an ounce of class,

You’re a chubby slimy weasel and you’re rude, and crude, and crass,

Mr. Giinnnnnngrich !

Hey Newtered ! Take that new book of yours and…….

Shove it up your aaaaaaaaaaaaa***********!!!!

cableguy615 on February 4, 2011 at 8:04 PM

God gave us Corn for making bourbon and sour mash, not for riding around in cars. If he wanted us to burn it in cars he would have made us drill for it. So there!

hip shot on February 4, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Now that’s what I call shootin’ from the hip ! :)

cableguy615 on February 4, 2011 at 8:06 PM

I would take Newt over Obama. Consider your choices wisely.

mike_NC9 on February 4, 2011 at 8:37 PM

What people really want are markets limited for farmers so that they can have lower food costs, effectively a subsidy for themselves, while complaining about ethanol subsidies, which generally go to oil companies, anyway, or farm subsidies which ethanol has virtually eliminated.

It portrays that they feel the grain is actually theirs, a public assets. They send the message that farmers are prohibited from developing new markets.

People don’t seem to understand or accept that farm program designed to produce huge surpluses of grain are more for their benefit than for farmers: Econ 101–when you want more of somthing govts subsidize the production—Agric and Big Oil have both done a great job of whats been asked of them.

Now the Home Mtg. Int. deduction—-that is true welfare, we dont now need additional houses with 11% vacant, its a direct cost to the Treas. with no return to society as does Agric. and Energy with cheap supplies of both for decades.

sbark on February 4, 2011 at 10:48 PM

I haven’t forgotten Grassley grinning like the Cheshire Cat when ethanol subsidies were being announced and promoted during the gas crunch. Politicians will be.

viking01 on February 4, 2011 at 11:03 PM

I would take Newt over Obama

I voted for McCain and I would vote for Newt but that you be the extend of my activity in the election. The best thing about voting for McCain or Newt is that you don’t feel let down when they lose.

Laurence on February 4, 2011 at 11:10 PM

I voted for McCain and I would vote for Newt but that you be the extend of my activity in the election. The best thing about voting for McCain or Newt is that you don’t feel let down when they lose.

Laurence on February 4, 2011 at 11:10 PM

I think the worst thing that we can possibly do is join the “anyone but Obama” crowd. That’s like asking, “Do you want to plunge over the cliff at 25 MPH, or 100MPH?”

gryphon202 on February 4, 2011 at 11:18 PM

HEY NEWT: stand your ground. if you listen to the GOP elitists at the WSJ, you’ll lose the farm vote just as McCain did in 08. Additionally, these short sighted Republicans would have cost the US economy billions$ in foreign currency brought on by higher grain prices. Corn and grain that we export to the world. One of our last profitable exports. DD

Darvin Dowdy on February 4, 2011 at 11:39 PM

So Newt is in favor of every wacky green idea that comes down the pike as long as a watt of electricty is produced? Billions for wind mills, wind turbines, wave turbines, solar and biofuels etc. with no thought to their costs or even to alternatives? Can anyone really be in the “all of the above” camp when you think about all the ways greenies have found to waste money? I don’t mind alternative fuels or even a small subsidy to get started, but endless, unlimited subsidies are just insane. At some point, we have to say thanks but no thanks, come back when you have a better product. And burning our limited supply of food for energy when we have perfectly good untaped oil fields is one of those products.

Fred 2 on February 4, 2011 at 11:48 PM

Until they open up drilling and start building I’m for “none of the above”. I want something that is proven before I start giving in to fairy tales. Phuk em

darwin-t on February 4, 2011 at 11:54 PM

Comment pages: 1 2