Is Sen. Chuck Grassley the most powerful Republican in Washington right now? Possibly! He's leading the war on dragons, and given his vocal opposition to health care reform, the Obama administration knows that winning him over would be a major coup.
But first, a note regarding Brazilian ethanol, which is the type of ethanol that's completely hairless…
Mr. Obama’s nominee to be Ambassador to Brazil, Thomas Shannon, had made the political mistake of saying at his nomination hearing that it would be "beneficial" for the U.S. to lift the 54-cent-gallon U.S. tariff on ethanol from Brazil. That’s a perfectly sensible observation, since the import tariffs, on top of an ad valorem tariff of four to seven cents a gallon, keep sugar-based ethanol from Brazil and the Caribbean from competing with less energy-efficient U.S. corn ethanol.
This observation is perfectly sensible if you are not Chuck Grassley, who hails from the corn-oriented state of Iowa and who is no nail. Upon hearing this gaffe Chuck put a "hold" on Mr. Shannon (headlock, I'm assuming?) until the Obama administration wrote him a letter promising they would never ever dream of repealing this precious tariff, at which point Chuck "lifted his hold" on Mr. Shannon (spanked his butt?) and everyone lived happily ever after.
Except you, if you eat food…
Trade protections and government mandates for ethanol leave American consumers holding the bill in terms of higher food prices—up to 10-15% higher, according to a Congressional Budget Office report.
Whatever. Obamacare's going to kill us all soon enough, so I guess we won't need to worry about eating.
Tags: Brazil, Chuck Grassley, Energy & Oil, Food, Health Care