Monday, March 12, 2007


Generally lost in the news about the U.S.-Brazil ethanol talks is the fight they will prompt in Congress. For example, check out the way in which the issue is being reported by what seems to be the farmer equivalent of the Associated Press:

The Renewable Fuels Association is not opposed to the agreement, although Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, said, "We'll be watching very closely to make sure that someone doesn't morph this into a mechanism or a tool for sucking U.S. taxpayer dollars to Brazil or other countries."

President Bush already very curtly rejected the idea of reducing the tariff on ethanol (“It’s not going to happen”) and I have to wonder whether any significant deal on ethanol will happen given the domestic political interests involved. Since he can’t be re-elected, Bush is in a good position to ignore them, but the effect it would have on an already reeling Republican Party might be too much to risk.


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