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Why Obama Doesn’t Want Gasoline Solutions: He’s Up to His Eyeballs in Ethenol

From the paper that still can’t get over the idea that Hillary Clinton won’t be the next President, the NY Times: [1]

When VeraSun Energy inaugurated a new ethanol processing plant last summer in Charles City, Iowa, some of that industry’s most prominent boosters showed up. Leaders of the National Corn Growers Association and the Renewable Fuels Association, for instance, came to help cut the ribbon — and so did Senator Barack Obama.

Then running far behind Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in name recognition and in the polls, Mr. Obama was in the midst of a campaign swing through the state where he would eventually register his first caucus victory. And as befits a senator from Illinois, the country’s second largest corn-producing state, he delivered a ringing endorsement of ethanol as an alternative fuel.

Mr. Obama is running as a reformer who is seeking to reduce the influence of special interests. But like any other politician, he has powerful constituencies that help shape his views. And when it comes to domestic ethanol, almost all of which is made from corn, he also has advisers and prominent supporters with close ties to the industry at a time when energy policy is a point of sharp contrast between the parties and their presidential candidates.

In the heart of the Corn Belt that August day, Mr. Obama argued that embracing ethanol “ultimately helps our national security, because right now we’re sending billions of dollars to some of the most hostile nations on earth.” America’s oil dependence, he added, “makes it more difficult for us to shape a foreign policy that is intelligent and is creating security for the long term.”

Nowadays, when Mr. Obama travels in farm country, he is sometimes accompanied by his friend Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader from South Dakota. Mr. Daschle now serves on the boards of three ethanol companies and works at a Washington law firm where, according to his online job description, “he spends a substantial amount of time providing strategic and policy advice to clients in renewable energy.”

Mr. Obama’s lead advisor on energy and environmental issues, Jason Grumet, came to the campaign from the National Commission on Energy Policy, a bipartisan initiative associated with Mr. Daschle and Bob Dole, the Kansas Republican who is also a former Senate majority leader and a big ethanol backer who had close ties to the agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland.

Well, look; As I say the Times is still in the tank for Clinton. More, they have to live in the state where she holds court. So, this is not too far out of the realm of the expected, and is the only way you’ll ever see the Times passing along info that makes any Democrat look less than electable.

That point aside, we now have a fair reason for Obama’s stance on things of late. Why, for example, he’s less than thrilled of more oil becoming available. Why he’s against domestic drilling.


Fellow Swamp Stomper, Sister Toldjah notes the same story [2], and says:

Karl at Protein Wisdom [3] points out that Daschle’s ties with ethanol special interests are even more extensive than the NYT reports, and so, for that matter, are Barack Obama’s.

Of course, this isn’t a surprise to those of us who have payed close attention [4] to Barack Obama’s double-speak [5] throughout the primaries and caucuses, as well as his general election flip flops [6], but it is refereshing nevertheless to see the NYT writing about it, even if they don’t go as in depth as they should have.

That’s certainly correct, but I maintain it’s remarkable that they dare mention it at all. Make no mistake; She may have no chance at winning, but she still looms large over Obama’s chances.

And isn’t it interesting that these should be in the tank for ethenol?  It took 5 years to get processes online to make ethenol, and ship it, and will likely take another 5 to get enough distillaries online to make an appreciable dent in the energy needs of America. Yet the stated reason for not not drilling for oil domestically is that it’d take ten years.


I’ll leave you to work on that for a moment.