April 28, 2004

Internet Tax tied to Ethanol Use

Not the kind for consumption, the kind used for "renewable" fuel... And guess who is spearheading this - little Tommy Daschle. From Agriculture News: bq. Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle tried to add language doubling U.S. use of ethanol on Tuesday to an Internet tax bill, plucking the most popular piece out of a long-stalled energy bill. And, as if the Internet tax was going to be a reality -- Bush's stated policy was that he wanted a moratorium on it until at least 2007 -- he has stated that he wants every household in the USA to have high-speed internet access by that time. bq. Energy Committee Chairman Pete Domenici responded by trying to attach a slimmed-down package to Daschle's amendment, setting off a round of finger-pointing over who was delaying the energy bill. bq. Under Senate rules, a vote on Daschle's amendment would not occur until Thursday, although Domenici, New Mexico Republican, said his approach might prevail sooner. bq. Majority Leader Bill Frist planned to file a separate motion later on Tuesday to limit discussion on Domenici's amendment, setting the stage for a vote on Thursday, a Frist spokeswoman said. bq. Earlier this year Domenici abandoned a $16 billion comprehensive energy bill in favor of cheaper legislation that would boost electric grid reliability and repeal Depression-era rules limiting utility mergers, among other things. The cost of the fuel can be borne now -- what we are having serious problems with is the physical infrastructure and this is what needs to be addressed. Domenici's amended plan was the one to go for but it got nixed via the petty partisanship that is the hallmark of the current Democratic party. The technology industry may be in the dumpster these days but it is still a tens of billions of dollars/year machine and something that would hurt the online retailers and the VoIP market would get lots of letters written to the various representatives in Washington. The big joke here is the fact that it takes more fossil fuels to grow, harvest, ferment, distill, purify, transport and store the ethanol than you get out of it when combusted. The much vaunted "alternative energy source" is actually an energy sink. Not a big one but a sink nonetheless. Posted by DaveH at April 28, 2004 10:41 PM