Trump ups the ante in Iowa, calls for more ethanol blending in gas

posted at 12:41 pm on January 20, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

We must be getting close to a very tight finish in the Iowa caucuses less than two weeks from now. How can you tell? Donald Trump decided to step up to the plate and double down on ethanol mandates, calling for the government for force even higher levels of blending. (The Hill)

Donald Trump said Tuesday that federal regulators should increase the amount of ethanol blended into the nation’s gasoline supply.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Trump, a real estate mogul and the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ought to follow the ethanol volumes Congress set in 2007.

“The EPA should ensure that biofuel … blend levels match the statutory level set by Congress under the [renewable fuel standard],” Trump said.

The mandate is popular in Iowa, which hosts the nation’s first caucuses.

While I entirely disagree with this position (obviously) you can at least give Trump credit for consistency here. He bailed out on conservatives on the ethanol mandate issue pretty much the moment he entered the race. Now, however, facing a close challenge from Ted Cruz in Iowa, Trump seems to be turning up the heat and promising Iowa voters that he’ll use the Renewable Fuel Standard as an even larger hammer to bash the free market.

Speaking of Cruz, while he did write an op-ed in December which was a very big sop to the ethanol lobby, that didn’t seem to be enough for Terry Branstad. The Governor wasn’t exactly endorsing anyone yesterday, but he did make it clear that the one person he did not want to see taking the victory lap in Iowa was the Texas Senator.

Speaking with with reporters Tuesday at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit, Gov. Terry Branstad (R) said voters should oppose Cruz when they turn out to caucus next month, calling him the “biggest opponent of renewable fuels” in the presidential race.

“He’s heavily financed by Big Oil,” Branstad said, according to the Des Moines Register. “So we think once Iowans realize that fact, they might find other things attractive but he could be very damaging to our state.”

Cruz “hasn’t supported renewable fuels, and I think it would be a big mistake for Iowa to support him,” Branstad added. Asked whether he wanted to see Cruz defeated, Branstad said “yes.”

This might be a good time to bring up yet another uncomfortable fact which I think most of the candidates are getting wrong when it comes to the Renewable Fuel Standard, and I don’t think it’s intentional on their part. It’s a complex subject which we all learn a little more about every week, or so it seems. But when Ted Cruz (and others, though not Trump) talk about letting the RFS lapse in five years, that’s not what’s actually going to happen. Michelle Ye Hee at the Washington Post had a good, though extremely wonky piece a couple of weeks ago which truly deserves a read for anyone following this issue. Without action by not only the next president, but Congress as well, the RFS isn’t about to go away on its own. In fact, depending who is at the helm at the EPA, the mandated ethanol usage levels may actually go up after five years. That 2022 figure everyone keeps citing came from a table found in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The table ends at 2022, but that doesn’t mean the legislation does.

As you can see, the table stops at 2022. This is what most people are referring to when they say that the RFS is “set to expire” in 2022.

But this is misleading rhetoric. The mandate doesn’t go away at all. In fact, statutes require after 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency set the minimum levels through regulations. The EPA administrator must use six criteria to set the new standard beyond 2022, such as the impact of renewable fuels on the energy security in the United States and on the cost of gasoline for consumers.

The law also makes it clear that the new levels set by the EPA can’t be lower than the amount required for 2022. [Update: We had written that EPA can’t lower the amount beyond 36 billions of gallons of renewable fuel. But EPA does have the discretion to reduce the number because it has reset authority. EPA has not used this authority to date.]

This isn’t to say that Cruz is “wrong” on the subject (he was back out on the trail in New Hampshire this morning saying how the ethanol lobby is still attacking him) and that it couldn’t be phased out, but it’s not going to happen on its own. And it will require the next president to put people in place at the EPA who are willing to take the required actions to reduce levels. To make it go away entirely is going to literally require an act of Congress as well as the support and signature of the next POTUS. Just something to keep in mind as this debate moves forward.

trump-schlonged


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

Redstone on January 20, 2016 at 1:57 PM

The establishment undoubtedly favors trump over Cruz. The birther pile on was proof as is this article. Follow the establishment money, it sure isn’t going to Cruz.

voiceofreason on January 20, 2016 at 2:03 PM

Have you seen how Utah manages water?

Not. very. “conservative.”

mjbrooks3 on January 20, 2016 at 1:55 PM

To be truthful, I have not. However, I have seen how California and the federal government handle water here in California and it literally is a disaster. And the poindexter, neo-scientismists in our state legislature would like to severely curtail or eliminate all agricultural usage of water. Government has all the answers, right?

Neitherleftorright on January 20, 2016 at 2:04 PM

Trump’s ethanol-pandering is just the nose under the tent of his “progressive” mind-set. He is a say-anything marketing populist, capable of manipulating the gullible with soundbites.

I’m amazed at how some of the soundest commenters on this site don’t exercise their critical-thinking skills to see through Trump’s personal aggrandizement.

onlineanalyst on January 20, 2016 at 1:59 PM

It’s very surprising to me also.
I think it’s called brainwashing. All brainwashing starts out as an external influence..then, after a while, it becomes self-brainwashing via focus bias and attribution bias, among other things.

Mimzey on January 20, 2016 at 2:04 PM

Smart-set, arbiters of conservatism, have declared that it you believe in subsidies you are a fake conservative…

mjbrooks3 on January 20, 2016 at 12:49 PM

You don’t have to be a fake conservative to pander on ethanol subsidies. You’d have to be an idiot to think that ethanol subsidies are conservative. Rigging the game distorts the market. It makes losers win, and winners lose. Market corrections (such as recessions and depressions) are caused by market distortions, both natural and man-made.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 2:05 PM

I don’t know any details about such a story, so can’t comment, but if there is proof that he voted a certain way because of a bride, of course his stock goes way down

OrthodoxJew on January 20, 2016 at 2:00 PM

One last minor point…

… you might not live in a farm state, but I assume you eat food.

The US is a corn country (livestock, canola oil, etc, etc)

mjbrooks3 on January 20, 2016 at 2:05 PM

bazil9 on January 20, 2016 at 1:36 PM

Made me laugh. Darlin’ I try to believe we deserve better than any of them but I wonder.

Cindy Munford on January 20, 2016 at 2:02 PM

A laugh is always good. :)
We do deserve better and it’s not just Rubio.
Based on his time in the FL house and relationship with Jeb..I had concerns
but then I trusted and believed him during the debates. All Lies.
Yeah..He burns me up.
His past was a tell.

bazil9 on January 20, 2016 at 2:06 PM

Again, yes that’s true for the process. The position of ending it never changed.

anuts on January 20, 2016 at 1:57 PM

No, it isn’t the same.

100$ today is worth more than 100$ five years from now, hence interest.

You can think “he didn’t change anything” all you want, but rational observers will see it as a softening of his position to help him in Iowa, while keeping his toe somewhat on the other side and being able to play both sides of the fence.

It isn’t necessarily a bad move, it just fits his slippery, lawyer like persona which he actually possesses, not the ultra-pure Tru-Con warrior riding in on a white horse.

In the end he might be the best but obviously he shifts his positions frequently depending on the circumstances.

Redstone on January 20, 2016 at 2:07 PM

I’m done with them all.

besser tot als rot on January 20, 2016 at 1:16 PM

You may be done with them, but they’re not done with you.

Mimzey on January 20, 2016 at 2:07 PM

Look at all the positive coverage he has received from WSJ, National Review, Fox, etc., and that glowing description of him in the state of the union.

Redstone on January 20, 2016 at 1:57 PM

Rick Wilson just said that Trump supporters are all nazi sympathisers who are childless and masturbate to Japanese anime. – I’m not J/k!

He just called 42% of FL GOP – 1/2 of them over 60 with grand kids and 15% of them Jewish (a guess) Nazi’s who fap to cartoons made for millennials.

the lowest saddest disqus multi account troll would be banned for that on most sites.

http://www.breitbart.com/video/2016/01/20/gop-consultant-rick-wilson-to-msnbc-trump-supporters-childless-single-men-who-masturbate-to-anime/

The estab is in total meltdown.

BoxHead1 on January 20, 2016 at 2:07 PM

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 2:05 PM

One man’s conservatism is another man’s fake conservatism.

I do not support ethanol subsidies but it is light years from a deal breaker…

mjbrooks3 on January 20, 2016 at 2:07 PM

I think that is true when focusing on the word ethanol but not true when focusing on the real issue which is mandate (or subsidy, in this case). The idea is to move the $19 trillion indebted federal government away from subsidies in the practical. The principle is to move government toward the right again (out of the free market as much as possible).

anuts on January 20, 2016 at 1:52 PM

Even if you want to broaden the scope to all subsidies it still doesn’t compare in importance to the economic and national security threat that is our current immigration system. Trump is the only one willing to confront this suicidal policy.

And because Trump is making this allowance for ethanol mandates to curry favor in Iowa and perhaps set the trajectory for his nomination does not mean that he favors all subsidies and crony capitalism. A large part of his appeal is that he doesn’t need to appeal to the crony capitalists in the same way that other candidates do because he isn’t seeking their money.

Again, Trump is not perfect — far from it. It’s just that he is the most right on the most important issue facing our country — immigration. I wish Jeff Sessions were running, but he isn’t.

Sammy on January 20, 2016 at 2:10 PM

As Bart Simpson would say: “That’s not enough! I demand more asbestos! More asbestos! More asbestos!!”

HakerA on January 20, 2016 at 2:10 PM

Jazz two weeks ago:

“Don’t look now, but Ted Cruz just caved on ethanol”

Jazz today:

“Trump ups the ante in Iowa, calls for more ethanol blending in gas”

Jazz, two weeks ago you said the ethanol mandate was a big pet issue of your’s when you savaged Cruz’s position and took Cruz supporters to task over his “very different tone and essentially a quick spin around the dance floor with King Corn.” This article doesn’t support your stance 14 days ago, and as such you’ve lost all credibility on this issue moving forward. The consistent position would have been to write a stinging headline as you did with Cruz (which is still in the top 3 results of Google for Trump and Ethanol) and declare Trump persona non grata. But, as I said, that would require being consistent, and with this article you’ve proved that you’re anything but.

smfoushee on January 20, 2016 at 2:10 PM

LOL!!! The problem is, you don’t understand the concept of priorities.
While ethanol subsidies are an interesting talking point, they aren’t a huge priority. You are worrying about a minor thing as our country is burning. Do you find ethanol mentioned in any policy writeup among Trump’s positions? No? Why do you think that is?
Or is thinking not an important priority with you?
dominigan on January 20, 2016 at 1:30 PM

You see, I, and a lot of other people, apparently, have been his super interesting ability to think about more than one thing at a time.

Integrity. Get some.

CivilDiscourse on January 20, 2016 at 2:11 PM

* have this

CivilDiscourse on January 20, 2016 at 2:11 PM

The establishment undoubtedly favors trump over Cruz. The birther pile on was proof as is this article. Follow the establishment money, it sure isn’t going to Cruz.

voiceofreason on January 20, 2016 at 2:03 PM

For months and months they said something different, often foaming at the mouth while doing so.

Of course they would prefer Rubio or ¡Jeb!, probably at best they want to butter him up and place handpicked advisors and people around him, assuming that he has a better path than Cruz.

Redstone on January 20, 2016 at 2:11 PM

Why not?

Mimzey on January 20, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Because he needs to win IA for Rs in the mid terms. Then he has another election. Meanwhile he has to go to war with the lobby each time the vote comes up. Plus, that he makes it 6 years is a signal that he is not serious in the first place. He’s signalling to IA that he is not really going to to do it. 6 years is an eternity in politics.

BoxHead1 on January 20, 2016 at 2:13 PM

My conservative principles dictate that:

the government should assist in what no citizen could possibly do himself…

ie – build a road, manage drinking water…give subsidies to corporate farms, take water away from farmers to save the Delta Smelt, the Snail Darter, Steelhead in rivers that are seasonal, subsidize sugar even though there is no real need to other than enriching some sugar farmers in Florida… etc, etc.

mjbrooks3 on January 20, 2016 at 2:02 PM

I added to your list. Remember, you are the one who stated, “You could make the case that farm subsidies guarantee a long term food supply for the populace.”

Those are government pork barrel programs. Farms live and die, by many things, but it isn’t the government’s (read taxpayers) job to subsidize farming. If it is then, let the government subsidize everything. It must be good.

Perhaps you misstated, because I do believe you have conservative leanings, but subsidizing farms or anything else is not what helps, it’s what hurts.

Neitherleftorright on January 20, 2016 at 2:13 PM

The estab is in total meltdown.

BoxHead1 on January 20, 2016 at 2:07 PM

Rush was ridiculing @TheRickWilson on his show today. First time I’ve heard Rick speak, via the clip Rush played. As I suspected, he has that adenoidal, estrogen-laden GOP Inc. cvck voice, like Gabe Malor, Rich Lowry, and Kevin D. Williamson. All that deer-huntin’, gun-ownin’ schtick is just over-compensation, as is their “conservatism” in general.

Joseph K on January 20, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Schad, buddy, wake up! Donald Trump will not die for our sins.

Aizen on January 20, 2016 at 1:01 PM

You don’t actually think Schad is a true believer do you? He is a self-styled cynic, above the fray.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 2:16 PM

I added to your list. Remember, you are the one who stated, “You could make the case that farm subsidies guarantee a long term food supply for the populace.”
Those are government pork barrel programs. Farms live and die, by many things, but it isn’t the government’s (read taxpayers) job to subsidize farming. If it is then, let the government subsidize everything. It must be good.
Perhaps you misstated, because I do believe you have conservative leanings, but subsidizing farms or anything else is not what helps, it’s what hurts.
Neitherleftorright

Why, it looks like you and I agree on something.

CivilDiscourse on January 20, 2016 at 2:16 PM

This is only possibly true:

it just fits his slippery, lawyer like persona which he actually possesses, not the ultra-pure Tru-Con warrior riding in on a white horse.

If this:

a softening of his position to help him in Iowa, while keeping his toe somewhat on the other side and being able to play both sides of the fence.

Redstone on January 20, 2016 at 2:07 PM

is factually accurate.

What do you base the claim on?

Mimzey on January 20, 2016 at 2:17 PM

Heard a great radio ad today by the Harvard and Princeton-educated Constitutional scholar Ted Cruz, in which he dropped his “g’s” like a champ, and said “ain’t” a lot, s’plainin’ and screamin’ about takin’ the country back from the two-party Washington cartel.

Very persuasive.

Joseph K on January 20, 2016 at 2:18 PM

Why, it looks like you and I agree on something.

CivilDiscourse on January 20, 2016 at 2:16 PM

On which part?

Neitherleftorright on January 20, 2016 at 2:19 PM

Neitherleftorright on January 20, 2016 at 2:13 PM

So if faced with a drought, let the soil turn to dust?

mjbrooks3 on January 20, 2016 at 2:19 PM

You don’t actually think Schad is a true believer do you? He is a self-styled cynic, above the fray.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 2:16 PM

Is that a joke?

Mimzey on January 20, 2016 at 2:19 PM

And because Trump is making this allowance for ethanol mandates to curry favor in Iowa and perhaps set the trajectory for his nomination does not mean that he favors all subsidies and crony capitalism.

It does mean he’s not opposed to subsidies on principle. And beyond a mere allowance, it’s a push for more. this is still cronyism but only for votes.

A large part of his appeal is that he doesn’t need to appeal to the crony capitalists in the same way that other candidates do because he isn’t seeking their money.
Sammy on January 20, 2016 at 2:10 PM

He’s a crony but only on the other side of the transaction. He admitted this in the first debate. He is seeking their votes.

anuts on January 20, 2016 at 2:21 PM

One man’s conservatism is another man’s fake conservatism.

I do not support ethanol subsidies but it is light years from a deal breaker…

mjbrooks3 on January 20, 2016 at 2:07 PM

As I’ve said even today, not a deal breaker. But you’re dead wrong if you think that conservatism is some malleable construct that we can teach to do whatever tricks we want. It is the preservation of what is good. In the United States, good is defined as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 2:23 PM

So if faced with a drought, let the soil turn to dust?

mjbrooks3 on January 20, 2016 at 2:19 PM

That is what the government is doing now in California. You mistakenly believe that government is the answer, they are not. The water here in California is mostly controlled by Sacramento and Washington, D.C. primarily for the benefit of the San Francisco Bay Area and the metropolitan Los Angeles area. Now the environmentalist have gotten into the fray and are controlling water for various “endangered” species.

Sure, we need some government help with certain projects that cover vast areas and multiple agencies, but we don’t need them to control or artificially support farming or any other industry.

Neitherleftorright on January 20, 2016 at 2:24 PM

He LOVES farmers. Even though he probably never met a real farmer.

Guy is such a fake. ::rolls eyes::

rubberneck on January 20, 2016 at 2:24 PM

Heard a great radio ad today by the Harvard and Princeton-educated Constitutional scholar Ted Cruz, in which he dropped his “g’s” like a champ, and said “ain’t” a lot, s’plainin’ and screamin’ about takin’ the country back from the two-party Washington cartel.

Very persuasive.

Joseph K on January 20, 2016 at 2:18 PM

If you had seen it live he would have been striding the stage with his hands waving in the air like a harvard-debate-team-member Princeton-harvard-drama-club-member TV preacher.

Rush doesn’t get one thing – Immigration and globalism is what is driving Trump’s numbers.

Rush takes the same Estab line that it’s anger – though he says it’s justified anger – but it’s more specific in most cases than just anger. It’s “America 1st” which none of the others support.

Rush had the same blind spot with Rubio. Rush doesn’t really care about those issues.

BoxHead1 on January 20, 2016 at 2:26 PM

Calling for artificially inflating demand of a product isn’t being in favor of subsidies for that industry?

DrivelDiscourse on January 20, 2016 at 1:24 PM

No. The left uses that false “subsidy” accusation against tax breaks; I don’t like it there, and I don’t like it here.

A subsidy is a direct payment to a favored group, and the money is taken from another group.

A tax credit allows the entity to keep its own money. Ethanol tax credits ended in 2008. There may be a few credits still around for equipment, but they are insignificant.

There is currently an ethanol mandate. Use the correct language, or don’t post, unless you want to look like a refugee from Daily Kos.

But then again…

Dude supports Rubio. Don’t expect much.

besser tot als rot on January 20, 2016 at 1:25 PM

I’m disappointed in you. You’ve been making a lot of sense lately.

Joseph K on January 20, 2016 at 2:27 PM

Is that a joke?

Ditzey on January 20, 2016 at 2:19 PM

No. It would help if you actually read his posts.

Joseph K on January 20, 2016 at 2:28 PM

Joseph K on January 20, 2016 at 2:18 PM

An advocate for style over substance.
That explains a lot.

Mimzey on January 20, 2016 at 2:29 PM

Is that a joke?

Mimzey on January 20, 2016 at 2:19 PM

Irony perhaps, but an observation, not a joke. I don’t know what’s going on in his head, but I’m pretty sure he’s not drinking the koolaid.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 2:30 PM

Rush was ridiculing @TheRickWilson on his show today. First time I’ve heard Rick speak, via the clip Rush played. As I suspected, he has that adenoidal, estrogen-laden GOP Inc. cvck voice, like Gabe Malor, Rich Lowry, and Kevin D. Williamson. All that deer-huntin’, gun-ownin’ schtick is just over-compensation, as is their “conservatism” in general.

Joseph K on January 20, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Wilson on Twitter is going, “I exposed Limabuagh as a fraud”, as if anyone anyone would take the side of a Twitter doofus “consultant” who goes on CNN and makes a fool of himself daily over Limbaugh.

Redstone on January 20, 2016 at 2:32 PM

Rush doesn’t get one thing – Immigration and globalism is what is driving Trump’s numbers.

BoxHead1 on January 20, 2016 at 2:26 PM

I was surprised at how on the ball Rush was today. He gets it better than most. For a guy who doesn’t really need to give a
sh!t, he makes an effort to understand, which is why he’s number one.

He pays attention to his audience, and tries to get the various factions to at least understand the other.

Shocked to here Sam Francis’s name on Rush’s show today. MSNBC brought up an old essay (90’s) he wrote for Pat Buchanan that outlines the Trump strategy to a “T”. Rush pointed out that Angelo Codevilla said pretty much the same thing, albeit later.

Joseph K on January 20, 2016 at 2:35 PM

As I’ve said even today, not a deal breaker. But you’re dead wrong if you think that conservatism is some malleable construct that we can teach to do whatever tricks we want. It is the preservation of what is good. In the United States, good is defined as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 2:23 PM

This debate is similar to the Utopian fallacy.

A Utopia (liberal belief) is by definition impossible because no two people have the same concept of Utopia.

Same for conservative.

You can be a gay conservative, you can be a conservative that enjoys marijuana…

mjbrooks3 on January 20, 2016 at 2:35 PM

An advocate for style over substance.
That explains a lot.

Ditzey on January 20, 2016 at 2:29 PM

So does prescription pill abuse.

Joseph K on January 20, 2016 at 2:36 PM

Joseph K on January 20, 2016 at 2:35 PM

I should ahve listened today – I’ll tune in now.

BoxHead1 on January 20, 2016 at 2:37 PM

Neitherleftorright on January 20, 2016 at 2:24 PM

I’ll cry uncle…

… but I have thought about it long and hard: you can make the case that in order to ensure proficient and vibrant food production – subsidies serve a purpose.

(((with apologies, of course)))

mjbrooks3 on January 20, 2016 at 2:37 PM

What I don’t get is that Trump is blatantly pandering with govt welfare and is a-ok with it, but Trump supporters don’t think he’ll pander with wind, solar, healthcare, etc etc. Isn’t that what we all hate about the Dems and the establishment – that they’ll give away our money for votes??

Free Indeed on January 20, 2016 at 2:38 PM

Plus, that he makes it 6 years is a signal that he is not serious in the first place. He’s signalling to IA that he is not really going to to do it. 6 years is an eternity in politics.

BoxHead1 on January 20, 2016 at 2:13 PM

When you speak of “signals”…where do these come from? If they are not plain spoken language, how is one to determine that what they “read” from the “signals” is accurate?

Mimzey on January 20, 2016 at 2:39 PM

So does prescription pill abuse.

Joseph K on January 20, 2016 at 2:36 PM

Thats just silly nonsense. You’re signaling that you have no actual argument to make.

Mimzey on January 20, 2016 at 2:40 PM

What I don’t get is that Trump is blatantly pandering with govt welfare and is a-ok with it, but Trump supporters don’t think he’ll pander with wind, solar, healthcare, etc etc. Isn’t that what we all hate about the Dems and the establishment – that they’ll give away our money for votes??

Free Indeed on January 20, 2016 at 2:38 PM

This is an ultra left site but they list the tweets.

Who else has been as good on AGW

http://ecowatch.com/2015/10/19/donald-trump-climate-change-tweets/

Here’s one from Trump from 2014

This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps,and our GW scientists are stuck in ice

BoxHead1 on January 20, 2016 at 2:42 PM

Plus, that he makes it 6 years is a signal that he is not serious in the first place. He’s signalling to IA that he is not really going to to do it. 6 years is an eternity in politics.

BoxHead1 on January 20, 2016 at 2:13 PM

The “phase out” was the only problem I had with Cruz’s plan. Either you make it stop while you are in office and cease to exist, or it’ll just come back again with the next guy – like wind subsidies do now. HOWEVER, Cruz is the only guy who has flat out stated he is against ethanol mandates and he’s been getting beaten up for it ever sense. If it was juts a wink, wink ploy, he would juts do what Trump is doing and go all in. No need to piss all the farmers off if you don’t believe it anyway.

Free Indeed on January 20, 2016 at 2:43 PM

The establishment undoubtedly favors trump over Cruz. The birther pile on was proof as is this article. Follow the establishment money, it sure isn’t going to Cruz.

voiceofreason on January 20, 2016 at 2:03 PM

Not convinced. I think what we’re seeing is this. The usual power brokers are starting to come to terms with the fact that one of the GOPets isn’t going to secure the nomination, so they’re looking at these two strange creatures remaining and they are making their first, awkward boy-virgin fumblings toward trying to figure out which one they should support and try to establish influence with.

They hate both of them, but Cruz is more familiar to them. However, they just got stung one or more times backing a losing horse (read, wasting good money on a bad bet), and they don’t want to repeat that. Trump looks like he’ll take it, so the temptation is to curry favor there, but he is both independently wealthy and a loose cannon, so they can’t be sure if their money is buying them anything. On the other hand, they know what their money would be buying with Cruz, and they don’t like it.

So they sit there, about to have to eat one of two poop sammiches and they’re trying to figure out which one will be the least unpleasant.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 2:43 PM

Wilson on Twitter is going, “I exposed Limabuagh as a fraud”, as if anyone anyone would take the side of a Twitter doofus “consultant” who goes on CNN and makes a fool of himself daily over Limbaugh.

Redstone on January 20, 2016 at 2:32 PM

He’s claiming that Rush supports the “alt-right” Nazis and KKK’ers now. LOL!

Sam Francis ended up on the dark side, but he possessed a brilliant analytical and polemical mind, worked for Heritage, an early expert on terrorism, wrote for the Washington Times for ages. He kept his more extreme views quiet until Dinesh D’Loser threw him under the bus for appearing at an American Renaissance conference.

Paleocons like Francis and Paul Gottried were writing about the managerial state and the uniparty, and exposing the rot in GOP Inc., while Ted Cruz was still figuring out amnesty for the Bush administration.

Joseph K on January 20, 2016 at 2:44 PM

BoxHead1 on January 20, 2016 at 2:42 PM

Ok, he’s against AGW, that’s great. But it still doesnt address vote buying with subsidies and programs.

Free Indeed on January 20, 2016 at 2:45 PM

A subsidy is a direct payment to a favored group, and the money is taken from another group.

Joseph K on January 20, 2016 at 2:27 PM

Mandate, subsidy, semantics. Yes, I know exactly what it is, and it IS a subsidy. It’s also government interference in the market. Artificial inflation of a product’s value for a favored group in order to garner them more money. Please tell me it’s not.

Do you think that inflated value there is not devaluing another group? Are you really claiming to be the knowledgable one here?

CivilDiscourse on January 20, 2016 at 2:47 PM

That’s suppose to be the latest and greatest. Remember that this is probably from the same group that said that there was a finite amount of petroleum and that’s why we needed renewables. Regardless, better to burn coal than corn. Starving people somewhere would appreciate it.

Cindy Munford
on January 20, 2016 at 1:21 PM

Mrs. Munford, did you know China invented the burning of coal as fuel? All the way back in the Shang Dynasty, about 1,000 BCE, at the latest. China also apparently invented the use of natural gas and gas pipes (made of bamboo) a few centuries later during the Zhou Dynasty.

(Joking, but true ;) )

DarkCurrent on January 20, 2016 at 2:47 PM

…subsidies serve a purpose.

mjbrooks3 on January 20, 2016 at 2:37 PM

So, to be clear, you believe it is good for the government to take money from others to give to farmers to ensure food production? How does/would that work?

How does money help when there is drought to grow anything? How does money help when a farmer greedily farms his soil over and over with the same crop in order to get his subsidy and then the ground loses it nutrients? When the ground is lying fallow, because of overuse based on a subsidized crop, how does that help with food production?

Farming is a difficult job, it is a boom or bust job, but we have tried to eliminate the bust and what have we gotten? Corporate welfare farming is taking over our cropland. Who loves migrant workers more than corporate welfare farms?

I’ll leave you alone now, but remember there are more unintended consequences with government intervention in marketplaces than there are solutions.

See also Centralized Planning.

Neitherleftorright on January 20, 2016 at 2:47 PM

When you speak of “signals”…where do these come from? If they are not plain spoken language, how is one to determine that what they “read” from the “signals” is accurate?

Mimzey on January 20, 2016 at 2:39 PM

I am going to end ethanol mandates when I am elected – full stop
would be a statement you wouldn’t have to guess about.

Cruz isn’t even mentioning his revised ethanol plan now , is he?

BoxHead1 on January 20, 2016 at 2:47 PM

Ok, he’s against AGW, that’s great. But it still doesnt address vote buying with subsidies and programs.

Free Indeed on January 20, 2016 at 2:45 PM

It addressed your concerns about wind and solar.

BoxHead1 on January 20, 2016 at 2:48 PM

What I don’t get is that Trump is blatantly pandering with govt welfare and is a-ok with it, but Trump supporters don’t think he’ll pander with wind, solar, healthcare, etc etc. Isn’t that what we all hate about the Dems and the establishment – that they’ll give away our money for votes??

Free Indeed on January 20, 2016 at 2:38 PM

I agree. The odd thing is that a argument has been made that you can never cut subsidies so why try, and anyone who claims it for a goal is simply a fake? People who make this argument are making an argument in favor of “politics as usual”, and they don’t realize it. What exactly is so different about the farm subsidies compared to any other government program of wasting dollars? Why would those be any different?
These people are making a case in favor of the GOPe and the liberal policies.

Mimzey on January 20, 2016 at 2:48 PM

Chicken Little rants…

Seems likely Trump is parsing words here. “Enforce the standard” doesn’t necessarily mean he agrees with the standard, only that laws and standards should be followed. If the standard is changed (or eliminated), the change should also be ‘enforced.

In other words, this may be mostly about following the law and not ruling by executive order and regulation.

IMHO, Chicken Littles running around ranting about how everyone should parse someone else’s statements should be ignored in favor of searching out what really going on.

There seems scant evidence presented here about how Trump actually feels about increasing or decreasing or eliminating the ethanol mandate. It would be nice to have that cleared up, especially for those of us who’d like to see energy policy generally returned to market forces.

What we don’t need is more Chicken Little energy policy — there’s plenty of evidence that Chicken Little is at the core of most of the crony green distortions in our energy policy.

drfredc on January 20, 2016 at 2:50 PM

Mandate, subsidy, semantics…

DrivelDiscourse on January 20, 2016 at 2:47 PM

George Orwell would be proud of you.

Joseph K on January 20, 2016 at 2:51 PM

Free Indeed on January 20, 2016 at 2:45 PM

They all “buy” votes. Cruz is trying to gain anti globalist votes by pandering and changing his views 180deg. If he could buy those votes with pork he would. His TPP position before last month was bought and he was the seller.

BoxHead1 on January 20, 2016 at 2:52 PM

So they sit there, about to have to eat one of two poop sammiches and they’re trying to figure out which one will be the least unpleasant.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 2:43 PM

oorrrr, they will just support the one who has a track record of being easily bought and knows “how the game works and likes it as it is”.

Mimzey on January 20, 2016 at 2:52 PM

What I don’t get is that Trump is blatantly pandering with govt welfare and is a-ok with it, but Trump supporters don’t think he’ll pander with wind, solar, healthcare, etc etc. Isn’t that what we all hate about the Dems and the establishment – that they’ll give away our money for votes??

Free Indeed on January 20, 2016 at 2:38 PM

I agree. The odd thing is that a argument has been made that you can never cut subsidies so why try, and anyone who claims it for a goal is simply a fake? People who make this argument are making an argument in favor of “politics as usual”, and they don’t realize it. What exactly is so different about the farm subsidies compared to any other government program of wasting dollars? Why would those be any different?
These people are making a case in favor of the GOPe and the liberal policies.

Mimzey on January 20, 2016 at 2:48 PM

Yes. This. THIS is why it’s always baffling to me when Trumpers trumpet Trump’s conservative bona fides.

CivilDiscourse on January 20, 2016 at 2:53 PM

George Orwell would be proud of you.

Joseph K on January 20, 2016 at 2:51 PM

I’ll wait for you to tell me how it’s effectively different; otherwise, I’ll assume you’re in favor of government welfare when it suites your candidate and serves your favored group.

CivilDiscourse on January 20, 2016 at 2:55 PM

This debate is similar to the Utopian fallacy.

A Utopia (liberal belief) is by definition impossible because no two people have the same concept of Utopia.

Same for conservative.

You can be a gay conservative, you can be a conservative that enjoys marijuana…

mjbrooks3 on January 20, 2016 at 2:35 PM

It’s a framing issue. There are no actual conservatives, only people who believe, speak and act conservatively with consistency. But there is nobody who is incapable of having a non-conservative impulse. Pimping ethanol is not a conservative impulse.

The gay, pot-smoking conservative is not a mythical beast. I knew one who ran a Rush Limbaugh-focused BBS back in the days before the internet was available to anyone outside of CompuServe, academia, or the military/industrial complex. The pot-smoking bit is speculation on my part. Excellent guy. Anecdotal but interesting.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 2:56 PM

Yes. This. THIS is why it’s always baffling to me when Trumpers trumpet Trump’s conservative bona fides.

DrivelDiscourse on January 20, 2016 at 2:53 PM

You should be baffled, given that Trumpers don’t Trumpet Trump’s conservative bona fides.

It’s like being baffled because your couch won’t play fetch or your microwave sing “Over the Rainbow”.

Are you a gamma, delta, or epsilon?

Joseph K on January 20, 2016 at 2:57 PM

Joseph K on January 20, 2016 at 2:57 PM

Those sundials are running on your explanation of why a mandate isn’t a subsidy . . .

CivilDiscourse on January 20, 2016 at 2:59 PM

You should be baffled, given that Trumpers don’t Trumpet Trump’s conservative bona fides.

It’s like being baffled because your couch won’t play fetch or your microwave sing “Over the Rainbow”.

Are you a gamma, delta, or epsilon?

Joseph K on January 20, 2016 at 2:57 PM

It reminds of Nigel Tufnel going “…but these go to 11!”.

No matter how may times repeated it simply will not sink in.

It is apparently too difficult of a concept to understand.

Redstone on January 20, 2016 at 3:01 PM

^ Because you know that effectively, it is. Mandate, subsidy, tax credit = welfare from the government. Period.

CivilDiscourse on January 20, 2016 at 3:01 PM

I’ll wait for you to tell me how it’s effectively different; otherwise, I’ll assume you’re in favor of government welfare when it suites your candidate and serves your favored group.

CivilDiscourse on January 20, 2016 at 2:55 PM

I risk excommunication for agreeing with you, but how a pay-off is structured is immaterial to the bottom line. Whether a party is given money or a refund, or if they simply aren’t required to pay what they would normally pay, what matters is if that transaction impacts the bottom line in the same way. In the end, it will sometimes result in a business staying in business when the market would have killed it, or a business that doesn’t receive the benefit being killed or shedding jobs when it otherwise wouldn’t have. So some losers win, and some winners lose.

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 3:14 PM

ok – if they go beyond E10 … who is going to pay for the repair of my classic 89 car’s engine rebuild?

WaldoTJ on January 20, 2016 at 3:22 PM

Oil is $25/barrel and dropping, Iran just got brought into the oil markets (thanks Obozo, I’m sure the money they will make will be used to increase freedom, rights and equality….) and N. Dakota’s oil boom is tumbling down like a house of cards….. So trump wants to increase ethanol subsidies??

Um…..

KMC1 on January 20, 2016 at 3:27 PM

Immolate on January 20, 2016 at 3:14 PM

Be careful, Immolate; you’ll anger the masses. You’re right, of course, but I’ll pretend to disagree with you so that the commentariat doesn’t turn against you.

Jerk! :-)

CivilDiscourse on January 20, 2016 at 3:30 PM

ok – if they go beyond E10 … who is going to pay for the repair of my classic 89 car’s engine rebuild?

WaldoTJ on January 20, 2016 at 3:22 PM

The same people who pay for all the small engine arbitrator rebuild kits. No one. It’s a sacrifice you must make for Gaia.

Mimzey on January 20, 2016 at 3:38 PM

Ok, I just made up my mind. Between Trump and Sanders, I’m voting Sanders. At least you know what your getting with a Socialist.

V-rod on January 20, 2016 at 3:41 PM

Ok, I just made up my mind. Between Trump and Sanders, I’m voting Sanders. At least you know what your getting with a Socialist.
V-rod on January 20, 2016 at 3:41 PM

Well, I for one hope you resist the urge cast your vote solely out of spite.

anuts on January 20, 2016 at 3:53 PM

Why are we burning our food?

Galtian on January 20, 2016 at 4:03 PM

Down twinkles to Trump’s pandering in Iowa!

Sherman1864 on January 20, 2016 at 4:05 PM

Trump is a PSYCHO!

MCGIRV on January 20, 2016 at 4:53 PM

Ups the ante? Is that what we are calling bald-faced pandering these days?

How popular do you suppose that ethanol subsidies are outside of Iowa? Is Trump going to push sugarcane subsidies when he gets to Louisiana? How often AFTER the Iowa caucus do you think the filthy loudmouth is even going to talk about these subsidies?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it all the way through November. Trump is a great campaigner but he’s a complete loser when it comes to being a serious candidate with substantive well-reasoned and consistent position. The filthy bastard will say or do anything for the polls. He will betray every one of his howler monkeys if and when it is convenient to his agenda. And the howlers are too damned stupid to understand what is going on here.

Happy Nomad on January 20, 2016 at 12:55 PM

Yep.

I would add one thing. I hope Ted Cruz jumps all over this, flat out accused Trump of pandering for votes, reiterates his phase out subsidies plan and stays strong. And if Cruz then wins Iowa, we might, just might have a prayer in this country.

idalily on January 20, 2016 at 7:01 PM

If I were a presidential candidate in Iowa I would have no compunction at all lying to the rent-seeking corn farmers in order to win the caucus. Then if I were elected President I would turn right around and wipe out the subsidies.

You think Trump is above doing something like that?

Bat Chain Puller on January 20, 2016 at 12:55 PM
I hope you’re right – after the election he could wait a year or so and simply say that the dynamics have changed, we need to support our national free market oil industry and be free of middle east imports..price fixing..etc. 10-20% more gas based products in every gallon of gas..etc..

That would work for me.

celt on January 20, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Why would a crony capitalist liberal like Trump do something like that? You Trump supporters must smoke weed. You’re all high.

idalily on January 20, 2016 at 7:04 PM

Know I will disagree with Trump at times..now is one of them.
All candidates always whore themselves for ethanol.

bazil9 on January 20, 2016 at 1:23 PM

Cruz didn’t, the fantasies of Trump supporters notwithstanding.

idalily on January 20, 2016 at 7:13 PM

Smart-set, arbiters of conservatism, have declared that it you believe in subsidies you are a fake conservative…

mjbrooks3 on January 20, 2016 at 12:49 PM

Interesting that all of these former Romney supporters all of a sudden have purity tests. I can think of another populist that they would reject, click here

Brock Robamney on January 21, 2016 at 2:18 AM

Cruz didn’t, the fantasies of Trump supporters notwithstanding.

idalily on January 20, 2016 at 7:13 PM

Uhhh.. Yes he did. He is supporting them for 5 years

Brock Robamney on January 21, 2016 at 2:21 AM

Trump is required to solve every problem known to man, including ethanol, of all things. Meanwhile Cruz flip flopped on ending ethanol requirements and will keep them well into his projected 2nd term as president.

cimbri on January 21, 2016 at 3:28 AM

Trump is fully committed to saying absolutely anything to get elected.

And once elected, he will promptly go back to being a cronyist Democrat.

TallDave on January 21, 2016 at 4:26 AM

How much are the Trumpkins going to love him when they have to walk everywhere, once their cars no longer run, thanks to E15?

Ward Cleaver on January 21, 2016 at 9:37 AM

Cruz didn’t, the fantasies of Trump supporters notwithstanding.

idalily on January 20, 2016 at 7:13 PM
Uhhh.. Yes he did. He is supporting them for 5 years

Brock Robamney on January 21, 2016 at 2:21 AM

No, he didn’t. He is supporting the phasing out of them over 5 years, at which point, they will be GONE. His plan is quite sensible, since it gives those people who benefit from the subsidies time to regroup and stop being dependent on them. Unfortunately, that’s the only way you’ll get rid of entitlements.

Trump, on the other hand, wants to INCREASE them. I have yet to see a Trump supporter explaining how that’s a good idea. Or how that is evidence of Trump’s ability to be trusted. Face it, Trumpers, your man is a LIBERAL, a Repoublican-In-Name-Only, aka: a RINO.

idalily on January 21, 2016 at 10:04 AM

Hey, Trump, Skip the ethanol which is evil for car motors, and get rid of GMO/GME corn so we can once again buy it without the poison. Iowa can grow good corn but seem to have fallen for the Monsanto garbage money. Because of ethanol, the corn grown in Mexico and other countries for the GMO corporations has caused deaths, deformities and because other foods are not being grown, deaths from hunger! I like so much about you, Trump, but this to buy votes is not a good idea.

Roselle on January 21, 2016 at 11:03 AM

idalily on January 21, 2016 at 10:04 AM

That’s a far cry from ending them. He will dangle that carrot presuming he wins the election, and in his second term, it will be ended as fast as the sequester. Subsidies will never go away, so go buy a flex fuel car and cash in on the fuel savings

Brock Robamney on January 21, 2016 at 11:13 AM

Face it, Trumpers, your man is a LIBERAL, a Repoublican-In-Name-Only, aka: a RINO.

idalily on January 21, 2016 at 10:04 AM

Ok thanks. But guess what, we don’t care. He has 35% support among very conservative, 35% among somewhat conservatives, 35% among moderates, and 20% Democrats. Face it, he will be President

Brock Robamney on January 21, 2016 at 11:17 AM

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