The American public and the administration continue to astound me.
I know we don't tax oil imports: American's would have a fit if we attempted to use oil tax-revenues to address the fact that we buy our energy from some of the most "evil" regimes in the world… Better that all the cash goes to places like Saudi Arabia (where public hangings provide Friday night television entertainment) than into American research institutions...
But guess what we do tax? Renewable and more environmentally friendly ethanol:
Thanks to pressure from Midwest farmers and agribusinesses, who want to protect the U.S. corn ethanol industry from competition from Brazilian sugar ethanol, we have imposed a stiff tariff to keep it out. We do this even though Brazilian sugar ethanol provides eight times the energy of the fossil fuel used to make it, while American corn ethanol provides only 1.3 times the energy of the fossil fuel used to make it. We do this even though sugar ethanol reduces greenhouses gases more than corn ethanol. And we do this even though sugar cane ethanol can easily be grown in poor tropical countries in Africa or the Caribbean, and could actually help alleviate their poverty.
Yes, you read all this right. We tax imported sugar ethanol, which could finance our poor friends, but we don’t tax imported crude oil, which definitely finances our rich enemies. We’d rather power anti-Americans with our energy purchases than promote antipoverty.
And people wonder why the rest of the world doubts our moral authority. We have neither authority nor morals.