The Era of Big Government

It’s been back since around early 2001, but here’s some more:

Authors of the bill agreed to double the use of corn-based ethanol as a gasoline additive, a provision viewed as essential to building political support among farm state legislators. As part of that deal, producers of the additive MTBE, which has been blamed for groundwater pollution in many parts of the country, would gain immunity from product liability lawsuits and the substance would be banned nationwide as of 2015. The MTBE provision was a priority of Representative Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, and other lawmakers from Louisiana and Texas, where MTBE is produced.

… Lobbyists and lawmakers said the key to passage might be the Democratic leader, Senator Tom Daschle, who has pushed the ethanol plan to benefit corn growers in his home state, South Dakota, and across the Midwest.

… Republican tax writers were still working out some final details Friday, and no price tag for the tax incentives was available. But the bill was expected to provide $18 billion or more in tax breaks to promote greater use of coal in power plants, to renew interest in nuclear power, to encourage oil companies to drill in deep waters in the Gulf of Mexico and to expand the generation of power through wind, among other things.


UPDATE: I can’t disagree with Matt Y. ‘s assessment of Daschle:

I’m going to have to do more reporting on this Monday, but my understanding is that Tom Daschle is prepared to sell the country out on a really awful bill for the sake of ethanol subsidies.