From ATR’s Federal Affairs Manager Chris Prandoni in a Big Government op-ed: “After a decade of experimenting with mandates, tax credits and tariffs, a national consensus has been reached that ethanol is just not worth it. Late to arrive at this conclusion are farmers, their Congressional representatives, and presidential candidates eager to win over primary voters—a coalition that has made it nearly impossible to begin unwinding the various policies designed to prop-up ethanol. Supplementing the ethanol mandate is a tax credit and tariff on ethanol imports. For too long Republicans have hid behind opposition to the ethanol tax credit while quietly supporting the ethanol mandate. The Fuel Feedstock Freedom Act—or more plainly, opposition to the RFS—should be the litmus test for real conservatives. It’s time for conservatives to make ethanol a thing of the past, just like they did Democrats’ huge majorities in 2010.”
From The Hill, Bernie Becker writes: “Earlier this year, the anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist spoke before a crowded room of House Republicans, imploring lawmakers to stand up to President Obama’s rhetoric on taxes. The idea of the Americans for Tax Reform president — who was, after all, a White House favorite for much of George W. Bush’s presidency — addressing a receptive audience of Republicans might not be far from a total surprise. But Norquist’s drawing power among Republicans could be higher than ever before, coming at a time when the conservative grassroots Tea Party movement is also trying to hold Congress’s feet to the fire.
Bernie Becker, Erik Wasson, Peter Schroeder and Vicki Needham write for The Hill: “Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who is expected to get his ethanol vote on Tuesday, spent Monday taking it from both sides. As our friends at E2-Wire reported, top Senate Democrats are planning to whip against Coburn’s amendment to end a credit that provided roughly $5.4 billion in 2010 in large part because of the procedural method the Oklahoma Republican used to force the vote. On the right, Grover Norquist continues to call Coburn’s push a testing grounds for future votes on revenue increases. In a statement Monday, Norquist touted his Americans for Tax Reform’s work with Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) to find an offset for Coburn’s proposal. ‘Coburn had to twist himself into a pretzel to force a vote that mentions ethanol and raises taxes,’ Norquist said.”