Ben Carson: Let’s slash Big Oil to pay for ethanol

posted at 5:01 pm on May 10, 2015 by Jazz Shaw

Well this is certainly disappointing. With all of the newly emerging candidates running around the early primary and caucus states talking to anyone who will listen it gets difficult to keep track of them all. But there’s one bit of news out of Iowa from earlier this week which is definitely worth a quick rewind and a better look. Newly announced presidential contender Ben Carson was out talking to the Cornhuskers and the inevitable subjects of ethanol, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and subsidies for King Corn came up. The answer from the esteemed neurosurgeon was dismaying even compared to some of the other pandering we’ve seen previously.

He started out on a fairly good note:

Carson, in his first speech in the state as a candidate, was asked by a voter about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the federal mandate that fuel refiners blend a certain volume of ethanol and biodiesel into their gasoline and diesel supplies.

“I don’t particularly like the idea of government subsidies for anything because it interferes with the natural free market,” Carson said, according to The Des Moines Register.

Not bad. Subsidies in general are detrimental. If he’d only stopped there. But sadly, he didn’t.

Therefore, I would probably be in favor of taking that $4 billion a year we spend on oil subsidies and using that in new fueling stations” for 30 percent ethanol blends, he added.

How much wrong can you package into just one sentence? First of all… thirty percent blends? We’re fighting like mad to hold the line against E-15 as it is. I don’t even need to go back over all the reasons why yet again in this article. But let’s move on to the other half of that pitch.

He’s suggesting cutting subsidies for domestic energy companies in the oil and gas industry. Not for everyone, mind you. Just them. And then reallocating that money away from fossil fuels and into ethanol processing. Just five seconds before that Carson had been claiming that he didn’t want anyone interfering with the free market, but now he’s saying to cherry pick one specific set of companies in the energy sector, remove a subsidy from them, and then redirect it to benefit the ethanol industry? It’s difficult to imagine a more egregious example of the government picking winners and losers, with the winners just happening to be in the first caucus state.

Second, calling out the “subsidies for Big Oil” is the language of the Left, and as usual it’s complete horse hockey. As anyone who follows this topic knows, the subsidies received by oil and gas companies are not specific to them. They are precisely the same as subsidies given to almost anyone who sells anything, including Apple and Microsoft among so many others. In fact, you couldn’t just cancel the subsidies to the fossil fuel segment of the energy industry without rewriting the rules entirely just to exclude them. That’s a left wing, anti-energy talking point and Carson should be embarrassed to be saying it in front of an ostensibly conservative crowd.

If you want to have a discussion about removing all subsidies across the board, then fine. We’re all ears. Carly Fiorina has proposed the same thing and it’s a worthy topic of debate. But when you start talking about just picking the pockets of oil and gas developers and using it to pay for ethanol, you may as well be running for the Democrat nomination. Poor showing, Dr. Carson.


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Comments

Ben’s got this one BACKWARDS:

Let’s slash all ethanol mandates and subsidies to ZERO…and then enjoy plentiful, real energy.

Side benefit would be that all autos previously using gasohol would immediately get a 15%-30% boost in mileage because ethanol cripples pure gasoline’s energy content by that much!!

landlines on May 10, 2015 at 9:19 PM

Strangely, the only source of non-ethanoled gasoline in my area is also the cheapest.

LegendHasIt on May 10, 2015 at 9:38 PM

We’re broke. And even if we weren’t, I don’t see the point in subsidies from the federal or state governments. Whatever happened to buying in on the future yields of a crop? Good crop, both farmer and investor profit. Bad crop, the farmer’s loss is at least minimized.

If I knew Uncle Sam was going to cover whatever losses my insurer didn’t, I’d be tempted to be planting more acreage on even poor soil and wouldn’t even care if it yielded little-because I get paid anyway!

There’s certainly more than a little in skullduggery in all of this. Just another place where some unscrupulous individuals rip off Uncle Sam, because Uncle Sam has infinitely deep pockets, so he won’t miss a few billion here and there…right?

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 10, 2015 at 9:42 PM

He’s been hinting at a presidential run for a long while now. How does one announce for president without having thought through all of their policy positions?

The Bringer on May 10, 2015 at 9:59 PM

Joana will be along soon to tell us how this is exactly what republicans should be saying, you crazies just need to get over it or get out.

xblade on May 10, 2015 at 10:06 PM

Another foot in the mouth time for Carson. Being president of the United States is not for beginners. He should be running for some congressional office.

SC.Charlie on May 10, 2015 at 10:09 PM

Are all Republicans really just Democrats?

albill

They all want to legalize 20 million new democrats, and bring in millions more each year. That should tell you all you need to know.

xblade on May 10, 2015 at 10:20 PM

Wow, Ben Crony Cornson… Who knew?

drfredc on May 10, 2015 at 10:26 PM

Ben Carson is now dead to me.

Add him to the pile of GOPe corpses where Rubio, Cristie, Jeb, Huck, Donald, etc. are piled.

captnjoe on May 10, 2015 at 10:28 PM

He’s been hinting at a presidential run for a long while now. How does one announce for president without having thought through all of their policy positions?

The Bringer on May 10, 2015 at 9:59 PM

Because he does not. He is relying on advisors and they have it all wrong. Anyone who says he is conservative running for President will have to PROVE to conservative voters that they are. We can smell BS for miles. Just because Ben was a brain surgeon does not mean he has common sense. Ben needs to dump his staff and start over. There are plenty of conservative’s waiting to help.

redguy on May 10, 2015 at 10:57 PM

…oh geeeze…shut up Ben!

JugEarsButtHurt on May 10, 2015 at 11:03 PM

Sec. HHS, help to dissolve it.

Surgeon General

Schadenfreude on May 10, 2015 at 11:25 PM

Okay, now it’s official: Carson is no conservative and is as completely illiterate on economics as a Democrat.

Hate to see him sabotage himself so early, but only because most of the nuts who backed him will default back to Huckabee, who is just as bad but slicker about it.

Adjoran on May 10, 2015 at 11:41 PM

A PERFECT EXAMPLE of how misinformed people out of the mainstream are….. even Carson is not immune to stupidity.

ultracon on May 10, 2015 at 11:45 PM

And THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is what true shameless pandering looks like.

Remember that next time you think about accusing Rand Paul of pandering because he visited a historically black college.

TBSchemer on May 11, 2015 at 12:33 AM

The doctor is in..

hot water, that is.

Senator Philip Bluster on May 11, 2015 at 1:50 AM

This isn’t pandering.

30 percent ethanol proposals are just retarded at every level.

Doctoring is a learned skill, it’s not a sign of superior intelligence or competence in other areas.

Younggod on May 11, 2015 at 1:53 AM

Stick to brain surgery.

hepcat on May 11, 2015 at 2:17 AM

Ben Carson = Flash in the pan

Thanks for playing

workingclass artist on May 11, 2015 at 6:17 AM

Strangely, the only source of non-ethanoled gasoline in my area is also the cheapest. – LegendHasIt

Given the substantial ethanol subsidy involved, pure gas should always cost a bit more, usually 25 cents a gallon more.

I’d be a little suspicious of non-ethanol gas that is cheaper than pure gas. My first suspicion would be that they are selling corn gas as pure gas. Enforcement on ethanol content at the pumps is quite lax according my service station guy. But then, he charges 25 cents more for pure gas. : )

Toocon on May 11, 2015 at 6:29 AM

But, of course, let’s put food in our gas tanks instead of gasoline Not as if people around the world don’t want to pay higher prices to feed themselves.

Lee Jan on May 11, 2015 at 6:47 AM

How much wrong can you package into just one sentence?

A lot when you’re talking to a surgeon about economics. A little knowledge of a complex subject can be a dangerous thing, particularly when it’s in the hands of someone who’s an expert in another complex subject.

RadClown on May 11, 2015 at 6:50 AM

Any conservative who felt that Obama was unqualified to be president in ’08 and now supports Dr. Carson’s candidacy is a hypocrite. A good man, it appears, but woefully unqualified to run the country. Please, let’s leave hypocrisy to the libocrites.

Count Mahdrof on May 11, 2015 at 6:50 AM

And he adds one more reason I can’t vote for him unless the only other choice is a (D)

I really like the guy, but I can’t support his bid for President. Too many non-conservative and/or misinformed, opinions.

If he was the candidate, the best I can say is that I’d be voting against the (D) … but not voting for him.

*sigh*

At least he’s honest in his opinions. Ethanol, really? That’s been a scam from day one. Can’t store it very well, gets worse mileage, damages engine components. And heaven help you if you leave your motorcycle sit for a month or two with it in the carbs….that’s a $$ repair.

Or your generator. Or anything else that gets started every now and then.

ProfShadow on May 11, 2015 at 7:08 AM

And this is exactly the reason Carson will never make it. The Ethanol scam has been going on for years. If the taxpayers didn’t give it support to the tune of about fifty cents a gallon, the product would have died long ago. Those who believe Ethanol is great are the same ones that believe in Global Warming.

casaler on May 11, 2015 at 7:21 AM

This is one way to do it wrong.

22044 on May 11, 2015 at 7:23 AM

Corn is Food!

workingclass artist on May 11, 2015 at 7:30 AM

I think Mr. Carson is campaigning for Cabinet Secretary of such n such.

locomotivebreath1901 on May 11, 2015 at 7:56 AM

So disappointing, I understand not have knowledge on every subject, but this one is one of the top 20.

Every state has a different “blend”, these blends have been the ruse used by the oil companies as one of the reason to keep the prices high.

The ethanol lobby must be stronger than I ever imagined.

But oil company subsidies? Come on, even he, when he doesn’t understand, defaults to the leftist agenda…

right2bright on May 11, 2015 at 8:05 AM

Hard to decide whether to vote for a good man who is ignorant or one of the many corrupt ones in office with their finely honed deceit skills and deadly agendas.
Let’s see now—stay at home or throw darts…stay at home or throw darts…stay at….

Don L on May 11, 2015 at 8:09 AM

He’s still evolving and is not a stupid man. He listens to others who are experts in their field. He’ll come around once he sees the bigger picture.

Cherokee on May 11, 2015 at 8:10 AM

OMG….another pandering politician

Who’d a thunk it.

Guess he works on brains but lacks common sense in his.

You are off my list!

txdoc on May 11, 2015 at 8:15 AM

The doc should have stuck to doctoring. Maybe he should have considered doctors without borders if he wanted to get out of Baltimore.

Kissmygrits on May 11, 2015 at 8:34 AM

I said 6 months ago when we read here that he was smoother than cream cheese and fresh as a baby bunny that all he had to do was open his mouth and start talking. This is why you run someone with a record. A governor. Not named Bush.

Marcus on May 10, 2015 at 5:34 PM

Christie, Romney, Kasich, Snyder, Both Bush’s, Wilson, Roosevelt, Clinton, Carter, Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Pawlenty all governors and all either horrible presidents or will be horrible presidents. Being a governor is vastly overrated.

Lincoln & Washington were never governors and arguably they were two best president’s we ever had.

Conservative4Ever on May 11, 2015 at 8:40 AM

Once again, if it’s Jeb or Mitt or Marco, or any of the other “electable” candidates, I’ll sit out the election. I’ve learned the GOPe game, and I’m not playing any more. One more “electable” candidate, and I’ll start voting Democrat, until the GOPe starts to listen.

Wino on May 10, 2015

I’ll never vote for another RINO for the rest of my life, however I’ll never vote for a Democrat either. I’ll only do a write in my favorite conservative. I understand where you are coming from on the GOPe, but I just couldn’t pull the lever for a Dem.

Cruz2016

Conservative4Ever on May 11, 2015 at 8:56 AM

Yet another issue Carson will evolve on then stab us in the back. This guy is a weak establishment type.

Mr. Arrogant on May 11, 2015 at 9:12 AM

If I needed brain surgery Dr. Carson would be my man.
President?
I don’t think so.

Tommyhour on May 11, 2015 at 9:36 AM

Ben Carson, my lawn equipment hates you.

(facepalm)

Ward Cleaver on May 11, 2015 at 9:57 AM

Pseudoscience and pseudoeconomics – in one convenient package.

Stick to health care, Ben.

dissent555 on May 11, 2015 at 10:05 AM

Crap, this makes my vote that much easier…Ted Cruz!

kirkill on May 11, 2015 at 10:18 AM

Watching Step’n’Fetchit shuck and jive to make the white people smile gets real old real fast.

Tom Servo on May 11, 2015 at 10:19 AM

Ben Carson is now dead to me.

captnjoe

I agree, I am so disappointed

E9RET on May 11, 2015 at 10:56 AM

One of the favorite targets of get-rich-quick schemers and bunco artists has always been doctors…. doctors who largely appear to believe that because they are good at one fairly technical field that requires a long period of schooling and a substantial knowledge base, they are equally as good in other fields.

Sadly, Dr. Ben seems to belong to that group of the easily misled.

And I don’t really buy that “poorly advised by his advisors” meme. Why; if he is an intelligent and literate adult, has he not already formed well thought out opinions on issues of import to this country, which he tells us he would like to lead?

If his thought out opinions on broad issues of the 2nd A, AGW and green energy subsidies ARE what he has stated, then I am unimpressed with his reasoning ability.

I think these opinions are in fact quite in line with his emotional universe, which leads me to think there is a progressive lurking in Dr. Ben’s soul, but he just can’t identify it.

Dolce Far Niente on May 11, 2015 at 11:16 AM

… if you leave your motorcycle sit for a month or two with it in the carbs….that’s a $$ repair.

Or your generator. Or anything else that gets started every now and then.

ProfShadow on May 11, 2015 at 7:08 AM

I think it’s part a “Broken Windows” economic strategy.

Droopy on May 11, 2015 at 11:41 AM

Ben Carson has forgotten that one man, no matter how brilliant, cannot be an expert in all fields, and needs to rely on advice from others who are experts in other fields to avoid such blunders as a politician.

Ben Carson, who has devoted his life to medicine, can be forgiven for his ignorance of the petroleum industry. But he should not be so arrogant as to believe that he knows better than everyone else what is best for America’s energy resources without having done some research, or hiring someone to do it for him.

Four billion dollars per year in “subsidies” mean very little to an industry that processes 5 billion barrels a year of crude oil at $50 to $60 per barrel–less than 2% of costs. And America does not grow enough corn to produce enough ethanol to raise the ethanol content of gasoline to 30%. Does Carson want to force American farmers who currently grow other crops to convert to corn for ethanol, even if the soil and climate are better suited to other crops?

Ben Carson, to his credit, has performed amazing surgeries on patients from third-world countries. But would he seriously want to force America’s farms to grow corn for ethanol only, and be unable to export food which helps feed millions of people overseas?
Where is his compassion for starving people in third-world countries?

Steve Z on May 11, 2015 at 11:49 AM

Pandering to the corn-wholers in Iowa.

Joe Mama on May 11, 2015 at 11:58 AM

What Dr. Carson has made abundantly clear is that he is a doctor and has no business in the political arena. Between gay bashing and now ethanol support he has shown that he hasn’t even bothered to think about these issues before opening his mouth. Ethanol for cars is one of the biggest boondoggles in our history.

inspectorudy on May 11, 2015 at 11:58 AM

I will wait another day or so for him to walk back that dumb-ass statement? If no walk-back, he goes on the long list of smart “stupid” people. Looks like the only person left I can vote for is Walker. And even then I can’t be sure if it will be today’s Walker or last years “open borders” Walker? We’re screwed.

Alabama Infidel on May 11, 2015 at 12:01 PM

Aloha! As in goodbye!

Saw a few minutes with Fox News yesterday and he mentioned consulting with experts on taxation. After this revelation, I’m pretty sure none of those experts consulted were Tom Sowell….who should have been somewhere on his list, for the obvious reason of his proven expertise in economics….plus, a similar ethnic background doesn’t hurt. Or maybe he doesn’t agree with Tom Sowell, to his detriment.

tomshup on May 11, 2015 at 12:17 PM

As an encore, I expect he’ll come out and tell us globull warming is real.

earlgrey on May 11, 2015 at 12:21 PM

There’s a long line for ’16-next!

Little Boomer on May 11, 2015 at 12:24 PM

We are whittling it down, Cruz, Walker, Carly (don’t fall into the liberal trap, she has to prove or disprove herself)…it’s been a tough 10 days for Republican candidates.

Rand, than Christie, Huck, now Ben…but that is what this vetting is for.

Who has not seriously stumbled, so far…Cruz, Walker, Carly…

right2bright on May 11, 2015 at 12:25 PM

The RFS is such a bad, stupid policy, I really can’t support any candidate who supports it.

mbs on May 11, 2015 at 12:26 PM

What Dr. Carson has made abundantly clear is that he is a doctor and has no business in the political arena. Between gay bashing and now ethanol support he has shown that he hasn’t even bothered to think about these issues before opening his mouth. Ethanol for cars is one of the biggest boondoggles in our history.

inspectorudy on May 11, 2015 at 11:58 AM

He has to know the “top 20” items on a political agenda…

Now if he was Cruz, they would have asked him where his favorite fried chicken is from, and what his favorite rap star is, and like someone said, invite Bernie Sanders into the race using “jive” talk…

But still, a candidate has to know the top 20…

right2bright on May 11, 2015 at 12:27 PM

What’s the big deal? Tomorrow he’ll talk to people in the oil industry and promise to increase their subsidies. Just say whatever you need to get elected, look like you know what you are doing and pray that if you do get elected you can keep even one tenth of the promises you made. Unless your Obama. If your him you just break the law every chance you get, watch the dems support you, the republicans cry about you and the middle class bear all the burdens of your screwed up policies. Cynical? Yes. The truth? Absolutely.

bandutski on May 11, 2015 at 1:10 PM

If you won’t stand for something (conservative values) – then you will fall for anything, Dr. Carson.

You are not the right choice for a conservative nominee for POTUS.

ChuckTX on May 11, 2015 at 1:35 PM

Dr. Carson needs to bone up on his fuels. What he should be talking about is why aren’t there more CNG and diesel vehicles?

Neitherleftorright on May 11, 2015 at 2:34 PM

Egads! This is terrible to hear from Dr. Carlson. 10% ethanol is already hard enough as it is on gas powered lawn equipment and motorcycles. 30% would literally rot the engines out completely.

Heftyjo on May 11, 2015 at 2:39 PM

Ben, Ben…we hardly knew ye…

clandestine on May 11, 2015 at 3:26 PM

unless and until Dr. Carson recommends that everybody get their heads examined I’m going to reserve judgement…

clandestine on May 11, 2015 at 3:28 PM

Carson has now moved from 3rd tier, to 4th. It really is quiet sad that Carson has surrounded himself with such bad advisors – he is going to destroy whatever credibility he has.

Pork-Chop on May 11, 2015 at 7:51 PM

It’s Iowa, the nightmare state that makes fools out of Republicans every 4 years.

cimbri on May 11, 2015 at 8:55 PM

I used to own a Flex-Fuel vehicle. With E-10 it got about 10% less mpg with E-10 than regular, and with E-85 performance was so bad I only tried it once. It delivered 25% less mileage than E10. E-0 is the fuel for me.

Dasher on May 11, 2015 at 9:27 PM

A nice man. A good man. A smart man.

Get the hook!

ncjetsfan on May 11, 2015 at 11:33 PM

the progress made on renewables under obama is a fantastic start, and the next president will build on it.

too bad for Carson he doesn’t yet realize that he has to lie to the rubes about it (and everything else) to get their vote. he can’t actually admit it and still get the dummies to vote for him. for all his brains, he’s naive about the reality of the modern republican base.

everdiso on May 12, 2015 at 11:52 AM

Sometimes Brains cannot be fixed is the motto of the story!

Such a dumb shit!

Ethanol is a costly JOKE –

It ruins engines and needs subsidies to exist!

It as dumb as wind and solar!

He would be better off with his fingers in brains than serious economics!

Obamatrix on May 12, 2015 at 6:12 PM