Brownback's Shenanigans

Tonight, the Senate is voting on amendments to the insurance industry goodie bag just rammed through Congress. Many amendments will relate to the insurance deform itself. Many are even commendable, not just because they might foul up the legislative process, but because, well, giving child molesters access to Viagra on the government dime is a self-evidently bad idea to anyone still legally permitted on school grounds. However, one amendment, introduced by Sam Brownback, is neither germane to what’s going on nor particularly sensible. It’s Amendment 3637, which relates to the auto industry – and more specifically, flex fuel vehicles.

Flex fuel vehicles, for those unfamiliar, typically run on E85. That’s otherwise known as fuel that is 85% ethanol – ethanol being that corn gas that wouldn’t get the time of day without massive federal assistance; a federal boondoggle to rival all federal boondoggles.

The Brownback amendment would mandate that “not less than 80 percent of the automobiles manufactured or sold in the United States … operate on fuel mixtures containing 85 percent ethanol, 85 percent methanol or biodiesel.”

This has been on the ethanol industry’s wish-list for some time, and they’re pushing hard to get this mandate one way or another. Conservatives should resist this junk science nonsense. Throwing a wrench in the gears of the Democrats’ maneuvering tonight is worthy and commendable, but as with the individual mandate in health care deform, this kind of thing should not get conservative support. Especially when it ties in with a government-created and sustained porkfest like the great lie of ethanol.