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Good news: Dems admit ethanol mandate failed – Bad news: Trump promised to save it

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During the 2016 GOP presidential primaries, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took a political gamble leading up to the Iowa caucus when he called for major changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, including a call to end ethanol subsidies. Meanwhile, Donald Trump praised ethanol and called for raising the standard in an attempt to curry enough political favor in the Big Corn state to beat Cruz. Despite the reality that most of the corn used in ethanol production came from Iowa, Cruz beat Trump.

Created as a means to combat so-called climate change, the RFS required that ever-increasing amounts of ethanol be blended into gasoline. And despite documented evidence of ethanol’s damage to consumers and the environment, the RFS became little more than another taxpayer-subsidized, crony-capitalist, corporate-welfare program where the federal government picks the winners (Big Corn) and the losers (everyone else).

In a sort of good news/bad news announcement last week, key Democrats behind the biofuel push contained in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 announced that they had “made a mistake” with the ethanol mandate, and they introduced new legislation to fix it.

“The law hasn’t worked out as we intended,” said former California Congressman and Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Henry Waxman. Following a joint call with reporters, Waxman joined current members of Congress, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Sen Tom Udall (D-NM), to introduce legislation that will phase out corn-based ethanol. Speaking for the group, Welch said:

“We’ve now had more than a decade of experience with it, and it had the best of intentions. But it has turned out to be a well-intended flop.

“It actually doesn’t cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, it expands them. It’s had a significant impact on overplanting in fragile areas of the corn belt. It has had significant impacts on small engines. And it’s also had a significant impact on feed prices … and there is a lot of evidence it has increased the cost of food.”

So, that’s the good news. The bad news is that Trump promised to protect corn-based ethanol and he, along with a host of ethanol-loving Republicans from red state producers of corn, wants the RFS to stay.

It was just a few months ago that Trump caved to Big Corn when he overruled an effort by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to make major modifications to the RFS following heavy resistance from a gang of Midwestern Senators led by Chuck Grassley. And with his reelection campaign officially launched, Trump will be in campaign mode for the rest of his first term as he prepares for Iowa in 2020.

Trump promised in 2016 to protect ethanol mandates, a promise that he’s already bragged about keeping. And even though he’s demonstrated a propensity to break his promises when politically convenient, it’s very likely that Trump will continue to keep his ethanol promise to Iowa.

Not because it’s good for America, but because it’s good for his campaign.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that's politically-incorrect and always "right." His articles can also be found on RedState.com. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Matthew Frihart

    March 12, 2018 at 9:44 am

    I gotta say on this one, trump is wrong. Hopefully he’ll get more info and come around.

  2. Dogood

    March 12, 2018 at 10:12 am

    This is one promise I hope Trump doesn’t keep, but I’m afraid he will. Yet he’s deregulating as much as he can via executive actions.

  3. Larry Folds

    March 12, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Trump is only a little better than a democrat president. He has totally blown up the gun rights people in favor of gun control, not common sense control, just plain gun control. He has signaled the anti-gun lobby to go after the NRA and us, the gun owners. He told Feinstein to put her dream list of guns to ban and Marco Rubio is helping her. Cornyn is showing his anti-gun colors by depriving 18-21 year olds of their rights, may as well take their voting rights away if we can’t trust them to carry a gun even to go hunting. Roberts of KS is showing his anti-gun colors and on and on it goes all because Trump call them the cover to do it. FL and IL has already banned whole groups from purchasing weapons to defend themselves. Trump is a traitor and I will not support him in the future. Yeah, he made nice with the NRA but his dog whistle has already blown and now he tries to distance himself so he can have his cake and eat it too.

  4. Steve in Missouri

    March 12, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    The corn or grain alcohol mandate not likely to be overcome. Going by these enormous ethanol factories in corn growing areas on roads and highways, they are enormous buildings and grain storage bins on the plains. I had gone by them in Kansas, but they are all over in the corn growing areas, they have turned farm communities into factory, industrial centers. I’m sure it will be enormously difficult to change now that it’s been instituted on a widespread scale.
    Definitely politics, and electoral college politics are involved. Thousands, if not millions of jobs are involved.
    International fuel alcohol programs are widespread as well. I think Brazil has an enormous sugar cane industry, nearly 600 million tons of sugar cane, much of it converted to ethanol to supply vehicle fuel, while biomass is used to produce electricity.
    Even with that, due to sugar being produced from the sugar cane and being more cost effective than alcohol, Brazil has at times imported ethanol for vehicle fuel from the US.

    • Charlie Peters

      April 9, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      Ethanol Waiver for Clean Air & Clean Water

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Politics

Sen. Dean Heller is a perfect manifestation of the Trump conservative

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As we learned in the aftermath of Rep. Mark Sanford’s (SC) GOP primary loss to Katie Arrington after he was targeted for elimination by Donald Trump for having the audacity to criticize him while being “unhelpful” to his campaign, conservatives are being systematically snuffed out, politically speaking, from the Republican party and are being replaced by a re-branded version of conservatism where unconditional loyalty to Trump has replaced principles.

The fallout from this reality is twofold. First, it severs all ties the GOP once had with Reagan-styled conservatism where it was understood that government can never be the solution to our problems because government is the problem. Second, it opened the door for Trump’s Nationalist Populism to fill the void created when the GOP abandoned the conservative ideals of limited government and free-market capitalism, along with watering down fiscal and social conservatism.

While there are many examples of what this looks like, there is perhaps no greater example of re-branded conservatism than Sen. Dean Heller (NV), the GOP establishment candidate endorsed by Trump.

When Heller made his decision to run for re-election last year, he proved to be the epitome of what a Trump conservative looks like when he defended Planned Parenthood during an appearance at a local town hall, saying:

“I will protect Planned Parenthood.”

“I have no problems with federal funding for Planned Parenthood.”

Since his primary victory—a job made easier after Trump conservative Danny Tarkanian dropped out to run for Congress at Trump’s request—Heller has been doubling down on his Trump loyalty pledge. For example: with Trump’s trade war heating up, Heller recently appeared on FOX News Trump TV to declare that he would give Trump “a wide berth” when it comes to imposing tariffs, which means he will put Trump ahead of his Constitutional responsibilities.

In his TV appearance, Heller also pledged to run on Trump’s tax cuts because, according to him, it has meant $2,500 more a year in Nevada paychecks, despite a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report showing that average wages are down since the tax law was passed. The tax cuts have proved to be a windfall for corporations, however, so maybe Heller can run on that as we get closer to November.

As I wrote earlier this week, this embrace of Trump’s faux conservatism has given us casualties outside of the Republican party, and Heller once again proves my point. Despite his current pro-abortion position—I say current because he’s been on both sides of the abortion issue depending on how close he is to an election—Heller recently received the full endorsement of the National Right to Life.

The only “conservative” part of the Trump conservative is the use of the word, proving once again that the GOP is no longer home of the conservative movement.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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Democrats

Family separation battle will save DACA and lead to citizenship for illegals

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The latest outrage du jour by the Washington Establishment comes from the news that children are being temporarily separated from their parents as they try to enter the country illegally.

In her latest presentation of the gospel according to Nancy Pelosi, the part-time Catholic and full-time idiot, blasted “all people of faith in our country” for depriving DREAMers of the “respect they deserve” and for “taking babies away from mothers and fathers.” Meanwhile, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers (R-OH) issued his call for an end to family separations at the border.

In the Senate, GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) called for an end to the “zero tolerance” immigration policies. On the other side of the aisle, Democrats rushed to the border to grab a handful of election-year photo ops to document what former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro called “state-sponsored child abuse.”

Melania Trump, in addition to four former first ladies, shared how they “hated” to see families separated and called on America to “govern with heart.”

The outrage over family separation is coming from both sides, but it’s fake. These reactions are nothing more than election-year grandstanding by politicians in both parties who have no interest at all at fixing the immigration problem.

As I wrote last week, the GOP-controlled House is already working on an immigration bill that makes DACA permanent and provides a pathway to citizenship for approximately 1.8 million DREAMers. House Speaker Paul Ryan made sure to point out that this legislation also includes a provision ending family separation.

Yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced that he will introduce a bill that ends family separations at the border, which in an amazing bit of coincidence comes at a time when his Democrat opponent for the US Senate, Beto O’Rourke, also called for the separation policy to end. Cruz’s proposal enjoys the unanimous support of Senate Democrats.

For the record, this “for the children” approach to illegal immigration is how we ended up with DACA in the first place. Also note, as this article shows, that Trump is lying when he blames Democrats for the family separation fiasco.

The family separation issue is being used as a primer for the eventual surrender on immigration. And for those who believe that Trump won’t support this surrender, consider this: he allowed Melania to openly oppose his immigration policy, and he recently announced that he’s open to anything that Congress puts on his desk, even if it means doing the opposite of what he promised to get elected.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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Opinions

It isn’t Never-Trump or Always-Trump destroying conservatism, it’s Sometimes-Trump

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One of the craziest—or should I say laziest—accusations leveled against me by Trump’s die-hard loyalists whenever I dare to call him out for breaking a campaign promise, getting caught in a lie, or promoting unconstitutional non-conservative ideas, is that I’m a liberal. Sometimes, they go so far as to accuse me of working for George Soros.

As I’ve said many times in response, I don’t work for Mr. Soros, but since money’s been a little tight at the Strident Conservative lately, if anyone has his number, I’d appreciate it if you’d send it my way.

It’s a sad reality that these pathetic taunts are what passes for political discourse in the Age of Trump. Gone are the days when differences could be civilly discussed based on facts instead of emotion.

Another sad reality of this behavior is that it’s a sign that the end of conservatism is near, as Trump’s small army of loyal followers attempt to rebrand conservatism by spreading the lie that he is a conservative and, using binary logic, accusing anyone who opposes him of being a liberal.

This rebranding effort has had an impact. Last week, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel warned Republican hopefuls that anyone who opposed Trump’s agenda would be “making a mistake.”

McDaniel’s threat was issued following the GOP primary defeat in South Carolina by conservative Mark Sanford after he was personally targeted by Trump himself. Sanford’s crime? Disloyalty to the NY Liberal.

Another source of damage to conservatism has come from evangelicals and the so-called conservative media. In the name of self-preservation, they choose to surrender their principles by promoting the lie that Trump is a conservative. Some of these voices have taken to labelling conservatives who oppose Trump as Never-Trump conservatives, or worse, branding them as liberals and/or Democrats, as was recently written in a piece at TheFederalist.com:

“Trump may be an unattractive and deeply flawed messenger for contemporary conservatism. But loathe though they might be to admit it, what’s left of the Never-Trump movement needs to come to grips with the fact that the only words that currently describe them are liberals and Democrats.”

Then there are those who have adopted a Sometimes-Trump attitude about the president, where everything Trump does is measured using a good Trump/bad Trump barometer. While it has become fashionable for Sometimes-Trump conservatives to stand on their soap boxes condemning both Never-Trump conservatives and Always-Trump faux conservatives, I believe that this politically bipolar approach to Trump is the greatest threat of all to Constitutional conservatism in America.

Sometimes-Trump conservatives have accepted the lie that it’s okay to do a little evil in exchange for a greater good. Though they may fly a conservative banner, their lukewarm attitude about Trump is much like the attitude we see in the Laodicean church mentioned in the Book of Revelations (3:15-16).

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

Trump is a double-minded man unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). When lukewarm Sometimes-Trump conservatives choose to overlook this reality, they end up watering-down conservatism to the point that it has no value or power to change America’s course.

As lukewarm Sometimes-Trump conservatives point to the Always-Trump and Never-Trump factions as the reason for today’s conservative divide, remember that it’s the unenthusiastic, noncommittal, indifferent, half-hearted, apathetic, uninterested, unconcerned, lackadaisical, passionless, laid back, couldn’t-care-less conservative imposters in the middle who are really responsible.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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