CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Earlier this month, the Cincinnati Republican signed up as the 19th co-sponsor of a measure that would open U.S. energy markets to more foreign imports. The move would aid Brazil's farmers and that country's growing ethanol industry by allowing a foreign competitor to gain access to American consumers.
Here's the bill, H.R. 6137 Title: To remove the additional tariff on ethanol. Sponsor: Rep Shadegg, John B. [AZ-3] (introduced 5/22/2008) Cosponsors (19) Latest Major Action: 5/22/2008 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
COSPONSORS(19), BY DATE [order is left to right]: (Sort: alphabetical order)
Rep Barton, Joe [TX-6] - 5/22/2008
Rep Upton, Fred [MI-6] - 5/22/2008
Rep Deal, Nathan [GA-9] - 5/22/2008
Rep Radanovich, George [CA-19] - 5/22/2008
Rep Bono Mack, Mary [CA-45] - 5/22/2008
Rep Rogers, Mike J. [MI-8] - 5/22/2008
Rep Myrick, Sue Wilkins [NC-9] - 5/22/2008
Rep Sullivan, John [OK-1] - 5/22/2008
Rep Burgess, Michael C. [TX-26] - 5/22/2008
Rep Blackburn, Marsha [TN-7] - 5/22/2008
Rep Gallegly, Elton [CA-24] - 5/22/2008
Rep Tancredo, Thomas G. [CO-6] - 5/22/2008
Rep Pearce, Stevan [NM-2] - 5/22/2008
Rep McCrery, Jim [LA-4] - 5/22/2008
Rep McCaul, Michael T. [TX-10] - 5/22/2008
Rep Kuhl, John R. "Randy", Jr. [NY-29] - 5/22/2008
Rep Issa, Darrell E. [CA-49] - 5/22/2008
Rep Herger, Wally [CA-2] - 6/3/2008
Rep Schmidt, Jean [OH-2] - 6/5/2008
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Currently, the U.S. levies a 54-cent per gallon duty on imported ethanol, plus a 2.5 percent tariff. The levies were put in place to protect the domestic ethanol industry, which is supposed to deliver a home-grown source of fuel to help free the U.S. from foreign energy producers. But some Republicans contend opening the U.S. market could mean lower gas prices for Americans. GOP talking points for the measure cite Brazil as a source for the imported ethanol: "We can continue to encourage domestic cellolusic and advanced biofuels to take the place of food-based ethanol here at home. Until those fuels are commercially available, it makes sense to increase our supply of ethanol needed in consumers tanks, especially from our friends, like Brazil."
The Republican talking points are available here.
Schmidt has already put her foot in her mouth once this month by dabbling in U.S. energy policy. She says China is drilling offshore oil wells near the Florida coast. So far, nobody has been able to find them. You can read about that flap and watch a video of the House speech in which she says, "the Chinese are drilling off the coast of Florida with their new energy partner, Cuba."
Meanwhile, the Republican claims that China is drilling near Florida are being debunked, and seem to have been a mirage on the distant horizon.