Newt Still Battling Lobbying / Ethanol Tales

posted at 12:15 pm on April 26, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

Officially his hat is still only dangling in the general vicinity of the POTUS ring, but Newt Gingrich is finding that the public can have a long memory when it wants to, and questions remain about his past activities. Conservatives in particular, with an eye toward Newt’s possible presidential aspirations, continue to have questions about his history with the ethanol lobby.

Newt Gingrich earned more than $300,000 consulting to a major ethanol lobbying group in 2009, according to the Center for Public Integrity.

IRS filings show that Growth Energy, a coalition of ethanol producers, paid Gingrich’s consulting firm $312,500 – one of the group’s largest single expenditures that year. But a Growth Energy spokesman told the Center that Gingrich was not hired again in 2010. (The group’s IRS report for 2010 isn’t available.)

The ghost of Gingrich’s brawl with the Wall Street Journal editorial board is once again being raised, along with his classic pronouncement, “I am not a lobbyist for ethanol.” To put this in more Clintonesque terms, I suppose that depends on what the definition of “am” is.

National Review’s Katrina Trinko also takes Newt to task, but goes on to point out that he’s not the only one who found room on their dance card for the ethanol lobby. Tim Pawlenty and Mitch Daniels have also taken a few steps in that direction. But to be fair, T-Paw has 100% walked back that position, admitting his mistake and indicating that additional study led him to change his position. In fact, during a chat we had with him at CPAC he referred to his ethanol dalliance as one of the “clunkers” in his past which he has owned up to and moved on.

Both US energy policy and the budget bending subsidies which flow in that direction with be huge issues in the 2012 cycle. Many candidates have the odd skeleton in their closet here and there, but this one may prove particularly troublesome for Gingrich if he’s seriously looking at a run for the nomination.


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Scozzafaloozapava and couch dancing with Nanzi.

Buh bye, sweet cheeks.

Bishop on April 26, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Newt Gingrich / Ron Paul 1712!

profitsbeard on April 26, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Newt is a SMART guy, but he’ll never get elected President…

Khun Joe on April 26, 2011 at 12:23 PM

I haven’t seen Newt lately. Where is he hiding?

Knucklehead on April 26, 2011 at 12:25 PM

I wouldn’t mind Newt being part of the discussion and adding to the debates…

… but that picture of him and Nancy holding hands on the couch sealed his fate for me.

Seven Percent Solution on April 26, 2011 at 12:25 PM

300 thousand? ROFL

Gorrelick got 70 mil from Fannie
Ron Brown got a 100 mil
Chertof is getting his own country for his deal on these DHS airport scanners.

I have a whole new reason to disrespect Newt. ” I don’t mind a parasite but I do object to a cut rate one.”

lm10001 on April 26, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Flat Tax, the end of subsidies, lobbyists, idealogues, corporate welfare and crony capitalists.

fourdeucer on April 26, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Actions speak louder than words. Palin is the only potential candidate who has demonstrated principles and integrity with regards to US energy production.

RINOs need to give up their crusade against her. Every one of their potential candidates has shown themselves as tainted and tarnished.

Perhaps that’s why Palin’s supporters are so “rabid”… we actually want a candidate that DOES WHAT THEY SAY, with principals, so no flip-flop is needed!

No more lip service from power-seeking liars!

dominigan on April 26, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Newt is the GOp’s Clinton. no thanks….

unseen on April 26, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Flat Tax, the end of subsidies, lobbyists, idealogues, corporate welfare and crony capitalists.

fourdeucer on April 26, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Is that from Stalins’ autobiography?

BobMbx on April 26, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Perhaps that’s why Palin’s supporters are so “rabid”… we actually want a candidate that DOES WHAT THEY SAY, with principals, so no flip-flop is needed!

No more lip service from power-seeking liars!

dominigan on April 26, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Plus she attacks Obama like No ONE ELSE:

http://nation.foxnews.com/sarah-palin/2011/04/26/palin-launches-blistering-attack-obamas-leadership

EXCERPT: Mr. President, your hesitation and vacillation in the Middle East breed uncertainty. It’s symptomatic of the puzzling way you govern. See, uncertainty is one of the factors over which you have control, and I would think you’d want to eliminate that additional element that helps breed problems like higher oil prices. Higher oil means exorbitant gas prices weighing down our economy. Consistency and strength – and greater domestic energy production – will help fix higher gas prices and help heal the economy. But only with leadership. These sorts of problems don’t fix themselves.

It’s unbelievable to me that you spent last week in campaign mode, gallivanting around the country to start raising the billion dollars for your reelection bid that is still 19 months away “while Rome burns.” Our economy is in the tank; jobs are as scarce as ever; you’re asking Congress to let you incur even more unsustainable, immoral, freedom-stealing government debt; and many of our brave men and women in uniform are shaking their heads in disbelief over your befuddled military directions. Yet instead of working with Congress and a wise multitude of advisers to fix some problems, you choose all this campaigning, already? As was recently asked: When do you ever just “roll up your sleeves, unplug the teleprompter” and do the job of governing and administrating for which voters hired you?

I know, I know, granted you will be even busier very soon. After all, golf season kicks into high gear shortly. NBA and NHL brackets await. Summer vacations and that all-consuming campaign whistle stop tour will no doubt slam you. But I would ask, while the rest of us are also busy working, saving, planning ahead, fighting to protect our Constitution, and trying to keep up with where and why you’re spending our Department of Defense funds – I’d ask that you find time to tell Americans the truth about the state of our union and what you are doing to find solutions to our challenges. Please start with explaining Libya.

unseen on April 26, 2011 at 12:31 PM

I haven’t seen Newt lately. Where is he hiding?

Knucklehead on April 26, 2011 at 12:25 PM

I wonder if this wife trusts him not to wander.

a capella on April 26, 2011 at 12:32 PM

The fact is:
There should be three grades of gasoline, just three and no ethanol.
The each of the three should be close to being just pure gasoline, with some additives from each of the companies for marketing purposes…but the major distinction being the Octane rating.
We need to streamline gasoline refining, and make it consistent and economical.

right2bright on April 26, 2011 at 12:34 PM

I wonder if this wife trusts him not to wander.

a capella on April 26, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Once a cheater, always a cheater.

Knucklehead on April 26, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Yeah, let’s not create our own energy production, instead, let’s turn our food into energy.

rbj on April 26, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Perhaps that’s why Palin’s supporters are so “rabid”… we actually want a candidate that DOES WHAT THEY SAY, with principals, so no flip-flop is needed!

No more lip service from power-seeking liars!

dominigan on April 26, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Since those principles apparently include higher taxes on domestic energy producers, it’s a good thing that there’s almost no chance that she’ll be President in 2013 then.

Hollowpoint on April 26, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Newt has a whole cemetery in his closet! It was recently when Newt stated his “energy policy” as a federally run “all of the above” initiative which still includes “investment” in “clean fuels” blah, blah, blah. Hearing that he shilled for the ethanol lobby isn’t surprising. Please, Newt don’t get up, stay there on the couch with Nancy.

cartooner on April 26, 2011 at 12:44 PM

I haven’t seen Newt lately. Where is he hiding?

Knucklehead on April 26, 2011 at 12:25 PM

He’s busy meeting with his accountant, trying to figure out how much money he can make in speaking fees and consulting fees after his facade of a campaign is over.

Hollowpoint on April 26, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Gingrich, Hickabee and Trump should just go away. The 2012 election is too important to let these retreads keep making the same political overtures substantiating nothing. Bishop nailed Newt in his opening post. Scuzzi-fatty and his couch-smoozing with San Fran Nan should exile him back to Georgia where he belongs. Hickabee’s total disregard of victims by allowing over a 1000 pardons in his time as governor and perversion of the legal system by his daily leniency demonstrates a weakness that makes him unfit to lead outside the state of Arkansas. Trump is just Trump…nuff said.

volsense on April 26, 2011 at 12:46 PM

I haven’t seen Newt lately. Where is he hiding?

Knucklehead on April 26, 2011 at 12:25 PM

He believes in man made global climate change. How smart can he be.

Tommy_G on April 26, 2011 at 12:47 PM

unseen on April 26, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Sarah does tell like it is doesn’t she? I love her. Palin/West 2012. BTW, Glenn is having Col. West on his radio show Thursday and wants to ask him if he would run for president. Glenn really thinks a great deal of Col. West.
L

letget on April 26, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Newt: nobody cares.

Go away.

Please.

Just. Go. Away.

Bruno Strozek on April 26, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Is that from Stalins’ autobiography?

BobMbx on April 26, 2011 at 12:30 PM

I don’t know, would you let me know what part of a flat tax or a progressive tax more closely resembles Stalins philosophy.

fourdeucer on April 26, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Plus she attacks Obama like No ONE ELSE:

http://nation.foxnews.com/sarah-palin/2011/04/26/palin-launches-blistering-attack-obamas-leadership

unseen on April 26, 2011 at 12:31 PM

BOOOOMMMMM SHAKA LACKA…!!!

Seven Percent Solution on April 26, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Since those principles apparently include higher taxes on domestic energy producers, it’s a good thing that there’s almost no chance that she’ll be President in 2013 then.

Hollowpoint on April 26, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Why would that be the case? Did the US Constitution change recently to mimic Alaska’s Constitution with regard to resource ownership?

powerpro on April 26, 2011 at 12:51 PM

BOOOOMMMMM SHAKA LACKA…!!!

Seven Percent Solution on April 26, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Hey, That’s Brian Wheelers / Trail Blazer lingo!

We lost last night. I didn’t hear it much =(

portlandon on April 26, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Gingrich, Hickabee and Trump should just go away. The 2012 election is too important to let these retreads keep making the same political overtures substantiating nothing.

volsense on April 26, 2011 at 12:46 PM

I dislike the Huckster for the same reasons as most of you, but strictly in terms of his chances to win, it might be hard for him to justify not running.

He was a close 3rd behind McCain and Romney in 2008, and with Mitt wearing the Romneycare albatross around his neck and no clear frontrunner, like it or not, he’d probably be a strong contender. He remains popular in IA, and with social conservatives who may end up feeling neglected with the main focus being on fiscal issues.

But yeah; Gingrich and Trump are two of several vanity candidates this time around.

Hollowpoint on April 26, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Since those principles apparently include higher taxes on domestic energy producers, it’s a good thing that there’s almost no chance that she’ll be President in 2013 then.

Hollowpoint on April 26, 2011 at 12:42 PM

ROFL….a severance tax tied to the price both increase and decrease of that price is not a “higher tax” on oil companis. If the price of oil goes down the oil companies pay lower taxes. So ACES could be said to be a tax cut on oil compnaies when the price of oil falls.
So which is it. Is ACEs a Tax increase or Tax cut? Or is it a severance tax that gives the people of AK a share of the increasing price during boom times and protecting the oil industry during bad times?

And it does all that at the same time it promotes exploration during both bad and good times.

But you know you got your little talking point so why let facts get in the way.

Oh yeah and ACES allowed Gov Palin to leave her state with a $12 billion surplus in a state that has no income tax, no sales tax and no state property taxes.

unseen on April 26, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Why do so many feel the need to preface any criticism of Newt with a mention of “what a smart guy” he is? Newt is not that smart.

steebo77 on April 26, 2011 at 12:58 PM

letget on April 26, 2011 at 12:48 PM

West is starting to grow on me. I saw his speech the other day to a women’s group he was talking about Sparta and how the spartan warriors were only that way becasue of the spartan mothers. It was a very very good speech. West is a student of history and seems grounded by that history.

unseen on April 26, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Why do so many feel the need to preface any criticism of Newt with a mention of “what a smart guy” he is? Newt is not that smart.

steebo77 on April 26, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Well compared to OTHER POLITICIANS he seems smarter then most of those scum. It is the problem of judging in comparision to other idiots. The smartest idiot looks smart.

unseen on April 26, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Even skeptical believe in anthropogenic global warming… just that the effect is so minor, it’s not worth worrying about. So I don’t hold espousing AGW against Newt, I just question his government for doing that PSA with Pelosi. It lent the alarmists credibility they don’t have or deserve.

Newt’s very intelligent and well read. He speaks very well. He can corral legislators. His accomplishment with reforming welfare changed the way we this country works. It was a profound achievment. You can’t discount that.

theCork on April 26, 2011 at 1:03 PM

No thanks Newt….I still have the image of you sitting on the couch with the wickedest witch of Oz….

hawkman on April 26, 2011 at 1:03 PM

PIMF: Even skeptical scientists

theCork on April 26, 2011 at 1:04 PM

unseen on April 26, 2011 at 12:57 PM

I wonder how you keep from getting dizzy after your 1000 rpm spinning.

It was a tax increase, period. She should be held to the same standard as any other governor that votes to increase taxes.

Clearly, making sure that residents of the country’s biggest welfare state get their annual check was more important than incentives for oil exploration and production.

Hollowpoint on April 26, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Just. Go. Stay. Away.

Bruno Strozek on April 26, 2011 at 12:49 PM

FIFY

Western_Civ on April 26, 2011 at 1:23 PM

You can’t spin those facts.

Knucklehead on April 26, 2011 at 1:22 PM

You apparently continue to believe that you’re allowed to though right?

As you conveniently forget that Governor Palin was following the Alaskan Constitutional mandate regarding resource ownership so you can push your narrative.

Keep trying, fool. The facts speak for themselves regardless of how much you try to make this a negative.

powerpro on April 26, 2011 at 1:32 PM

I’m sorry for calling you a fool, Knuck. I just get impatient with people who forward a narrative while ignoring facts that put actions into context. It wasn’t a windfall tax as Obama wanted. It was an action that forced the oil companies to comply with the Alaskan Constitution.

powerpro on April 26, 2011 at 1:42 PM

It was a tax increase, period. She should be held to the same standard as any other governor that votes to increase taxes.

Clearly, making sure that residents of the country’s biggest welfare state get their annual check was more important than incentives for oil exploration and production.

Hollowpoint on April 26, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Clearly making sure the OWNERS of AK’s oil gets a good deal for their product is more important that adding a couple cents per share profit to the shareholders.

Also Please explain how when the price of oil falls that tax increase becomes a tax cut like in 2009. As far as incentives for oil exploration and production ACES has both. I would suggest you read Conoco’s fiscal statments and not their Press releases.

unseen on April 26, 2011 at 1:42 PM

You can’t spin those facts.

Knucklehead on April 26, 2011 at 1:22 PM

BP? Is that the same BP that donated heavily to Obama and cut corners on their rig in the Gulf that caused the massive oil spill?

Conoco’s financial statements (notice these are legal documents that the compnay must report the truth on not PR releases put out to get a tax cut) filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission provide a rare view into North Slope oil profits. The Conoco filings give Alaskans a chance to see how the company’s investments in the state measure up against Conoco’s Lower 48 and international oil and gas fields. Other big North Slope producers either don’t break out their Alaska operations in SEC filings or do so in much less detail than Conoco provides.

The new SEC filings show how important Alaska is to Houston-based Conoco’s global business. Last year, Conoco earned a $1.54 billion profit from Alaska oil and gas production, about 30 percent of its worldwide profits.

The company lost $37 million on its Lower 48 production last year, but those numbers don’t jibe well with Alaska because most of the Lower 48 production is from natural gas rather than oil and natural gas prices plummeted last year.

How much money is the company paying in taxes? The results for 2009 aren’t available yet but in 2008, Conoco paid $3.4 billion in taxes in Alaska. Its Alaska profits for the year were $2.3 billion.

UP OR DOWN?

Depending on whose numbers you use, Alaska’s oil industry is either perking along or on a downward slide.

Taxes are just one factor. Global oil prices are an even bigger one. When prices dropped last winter, oil companies around the world began a budget-cutting spree. In Alaska, Conoco cut 80 jobs last year.

Industry employment is one area in which people argue over the numbers.

On one hand, the number of oil industry jobs has been at record levels in 2008 and 2009. But the number of those jobs started slipping in the middle of last year, registering the first decline in about six years, according to Alaska Department of Labor statistics. Still, oil industry employment remains higher than it was when the legislators approved the tax reforms. And state economists predict employment this year will remain at “above-average levels.”

Oil industry spending in Alaska has increased since the 2007 passage of the tax-law rewrite called the Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share act, dubbed ACES, according to the state Department of Revenue. That’s mostly due to new projects like Exxon’s Point Thomson field rather than new investment at the major older fields such as Kuparuk and Prudhoe Bay.

But at the same time, drilling activity declined somewhat, with companies filing fewer permits and drilling fewer holes last year. State officials say those trends don’t seem to correlate well with the passage of ACES — the decline in drilling began some years earlier.

Read more: http://www.adn.com/2010/02/02/1121858/conocos-alaska-profits-drop-in.html#ixzz1KeW4wS1d

unseen on April 26, 2011 at 1:47 PM

unless there is a new statment from Palin, last I heard she is Pro-ethanol also……

she at least hasnt indicated she wants to tear down an industry with 400k jobs, repays the Govt 3-1 for every dollar, supplies equililent oil as Saudi imports, repleaces MTBE which was a groundwater problem, was built by farmer owned co-ops vrs Fed funded windtowers.

but ya…..lets rips that industry apart, but leave the 1040 Home Mtg Int. Deductions that is a pure drain on tax revenue, especially since there are millions of extra empty houses not needed, nothing like have a pure uneeded tax subsidy for a population that is used to have subsided well under food, clothing and energy prices for decades…..

might as well pamper them some more…….they would really whine if ethanol shut down and gas jumped another 60 cents a gallon real quick……..

sbark on April 26, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Newt’s candidacy is like a broken down clown car.

HondaV65 on April 26, 2011 at 1:54 PM

sbark on April 26, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Sorry – but there are other options to MTBE other than taking FOOD and turning it into gas. And by the way – gas that makes your car get fewer miles per gallon; burn hotter, and forces you to pay more in maintenance and repair parts.

I have a 2002 (Pre-Ethanol) Harley Davidson and a 1984 HondaV65 – and my life has become SO MUCH simpler since I found a PURE GAS station that sells NO ETHANOL.

HondaV65 on April 26, 2011 at 1:57 PM

I haven’t seen Newt lately. Where is he hiding?

Knucklehead on April 26, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Under a rock? Isn’t a newt something like a gecko that doesn’t sell car insurance?

Methinks there will be lots of GOP candidates saying “I used to be for ethanol before I was against it.”

Steve Z on April 26, 2011 at 2:29 PM

unless there is a new statment from Palin, last I heard she is Pro-ethanol also……

she at least hasnt indicated she wants to tear down an industry with 400k jobs, repays the Govt 3-1 for every dollar, supplies equililent oil as Saudi imports, repleaces MTBE which was a groundwater problem, was built by farmer owned co-ops vrs Fed funded windtowers.

might as well pamper them some more…….they would really whine if ethanol shut down and gas jumped another 60 cents a gallon real quick……..

sbark on April 26, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Sbark needs to get his facts straight. A gallon of ethanol only yields half the energy of a gallon of gasoline, so that taking the 10% ethanol out would increase gasoline mileage by about 5%, which would be worth about 20 cents a gallon at today’s prices.

In order to produce a gallon of corn ethanol, almost as much fossil fuel energy needs to be burned (both in cultivating corn and converting it to ethanol) as the energy obtained by burning the ethanol, so if no net energy is obtained, why not SELL THE CORN AS FOOD and get some money back from overseas, while corn-based food becomes cheaper for American consumers?

While MTBE (methyl tert-butyl ether), which had been used as an “oxygenated fuel” to reduce air pollution, did show up in drinking water, this was merely a symptom of a larger problem–leaking underground gasoline tanks. Most other compounds in gasoline are insoluble in water and float on top of aquifers, whereas MTBE is soluble in water to 5%. If the leaks in the tanks are fixed, this would mean less gasoline losses and more gasoline available to be sold, and at today’s prices, service stations would have a greater incentive to fix leaking tanks.

Ethanol subsidies have made made a new class of people beholden to the Government: corn farmers. Which candidate has the guts to admit that they were a huge mistake, when the first caucuses are held in corn country in Iowa?

Steve Z on April 26, 2011 at 2:56 PM

anyone who want to use tax payers’ money on the ethanol scam is automatically disqualified as a GOP presidential candidate.

NORUK on April 26, 2011 at 7:17 PM