Martin O’Malley’s futile pander to Big Corn’s Renewable Fuel Standard.

Futile because Martin O’Malley’s not winning Iowa anyway. Or the nomination. Or a “Where Are They Now?” competition, come to think of it.  Seriously, what was the point of him pandering on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) last month?

On the Democratic side, Martin O’Malley indicated his support during his announcement tour in Des Moines this weekend. “It’d be my hope that we continue to keep a high, renewable fuel standard, and that we move into celluosic fuels,” O’Malley told a crowd of Democratic activists. “The best way to do that is to keep the standard high. When you lower it, it creates all sorts of uncertainty about policy and direction.”

I know, I know: a month is an eternity in political news. But with defunding the RFS now potentially on the table*, it’s kind of important to see how the politicians stand on this. Particularly Maryland, as there have been long-standing environmental concerns about increased biofuel production.  After all, was it not current Maryland Governor Larry Hogan who commissioned the report excerpted below?

The Environment and Natural Resources Transition Work Group… warned in its report that “recent initiatives to produce ethanol from feed grains such as corn may adversely affect Chesapeake Bay restoration” as it could “drive an increase in acreage planted in corn, which typically requires heavy fertilization with nitrogen, a key Bay pollutant.”

Or noted the inherent instability of the corn industry?

The governors of Delaware and Maryland are joining an effort to persuade federal officials to ease renewable fuel standards because of a severe drought that has led to a drop in corn supplies and a corresponding increase in corn prices… The governors warned that if the fuel standards are not waived, high corn prices could have a devastating effect on the Delmarva peninsula’s poultry industry and the local economy, with the potential of thousands of job losses.

Oh, wait, my bad: it wasn’t Larry Hogan at all.  Both of those came from… former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley.  Guess both the Chesapeake ecology, and the Maryland economy in general, have to take a back seat to a bunch of Iowa residents who don’t want to hear that a market-distorting government subsidy still remains a market-distorting government subsidy even when the government is distorting the market in ways that you personally like.

…It’s almost a shame that such a dramatic display of hypocrisy is being wasted on somebody like Martin O’Malley though, huh? I mean, it’s not like he had a political future for this news to blight in the first place. Oh, well, maybe he’ll get the Vice Presidential nomination. Or, hey, run for Senate! We can use that then, sure.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Basically, Barry Loudermilk wants to get a amendment defunding RFS added to the appropriations bill, and many people involved with Big Corn are now not very happy with Rep. Loudermilk.