As Mitt Romney is finding out to his dismay, Republicans have just as much of an appetite for green energy pork as do Democrats these days.When Romney recently voiced his opposition to a $5 billion tax credit for wind energy projects, a number of Republican senators from wind-energy producing states in the West and Midwest set themselves at odds with their own candidate, according to the Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Romney’s opposition has thrown Republicans into disarray. Sen. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa) and other wind-state Republicans are big supporters of the wind tax break, which has grown in popularity within the GOP as wind energy gains a toehold in many GOP leaning parts of the country.
This cuts against the grain of the usual narratives of red vs. blue, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Everybody wants a taste of other people’s money. Conservative, subsidy hating, Republican senators don’t hate all subsidies. It turns out that “wind state Republicans” want green energy subsidies that benefit their states. Ethanol too has its GOP backers.Unfortunately, subsidies and pork-barrel projects are a key part of our politics that has been around since the dawn of the republic. Realistically, we are never going to get rid of all of them. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.