Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Senate votes to continue throwing $6 billion a year down the ethanol rabbit hole

There are precious few occasions where I find myself in agreement with both Tom Coburn and Richard Burr, but today's Senate vote on ending ethanol subsidies was one of those occasions. Sadly, their amendment went down in flames due mostly to overwhelming support by Democrats, including Kay Hagan.

Shame on Kay for supporting this wasteful, budget-busting measure.

Kudos to Coburn, Burr and 33 other GOP senators who showed courage by not only rejecting this tax break but also by breaking with the Americans for Tax Reform and not requiring an offsetting tax break.

I hope that we can agree again under more successful circumstances.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is Ethanol a Solution, or a Problem?

Fred Gregory

Anonymous said...

I am tying this loosely to climate change. After all wasn't the idea that ethanol would curb greenhouse gases when substituted for the carbon based gasoline. The point of the below study, being that the more people know about science, the less they believe in global warming.

The Tragedy of the Risk-Perception Commons: Culture Conflict, Rationality Conflict, and Climate Change

Abstract:
"The conventional explanation for controversy over climate change emphasizes impediments to public understanding: Limited popular knowledge of science, the inability of ordinary citizens to assess technical information, and the resulting widespread use of unreliable cognitive heuristics to assess risk. A large survey of U.S. adults (N = 1540) found little support for this account. On the whole, the most scientifically literate and numerate subjects were slightly less likely, not more, to see climate change as a serious threat than the least scientifically literate and numerate ones. More importantly, greater scientific literacy and numeracy were associated with greater cultural polarization: Respondents predisposed by their values to dismiss climate change evidence became more dismissive, and those predisposed by their values to credit such evidence more concerned, as science literacy and numeracy increased. We suggest that this evidence reflects a conflict between two levels of rationality: The individual level, which is characterized by citizens’ effective use of their knowledge and reasoning capacities to form risk perceptions that express their cultural commitments; and the collective level, which is characterized by citizens’ failure to converge on the best available scientific evidence on how to promote their common welfare. Dispelling this, 'tragedy of the risk-perception commons,' we argue, should be understood as the central aim of the science of science communication. "

Fred Gregory