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Sarah Palin wants to terminate all energy subsidies, including ethanol

May 31, 2011 | 12:37 pm

Sarah Palin, former GOP vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor, accompanied by daughter Piper Palin, meets with people in view of the Liberty Bell at Independence National Historical Park

Sarah Palin was asked Tuesday about the sticky subject of ethanol subsidies, and she said that not only  should they be squelched but that all federal energy subsidies should be eradicated.

"I think that all of our energy subsidies need to be relooked at today and eliminated," Palin told Real Clear Politics at a coffee shop in Dillsburg, Pa. "And we need to make sure that we're investing and allowing our businesses to invest in reliable energy products right now that aren't going to necessitate subsidies because, bottom line, we can't afford it."

Ever the maverick, Palin was responding was in direct opposition to Mitt Romney, who last week in Iowa, came out in favor of government subsidies for ethanol, the fuel produced from corn and other farm products.

"I support the subsidy of ethanol. I believe ethanol's an important part of our energy solution in this country," Romney told a supporter from West Des Moines on Friday.

Neither former governor has officially stated his or her intention to run for the GOP nomination for president; however, Romney is expected to throw his hat in the ring later this week.

One former governor who has committed to running is Tim Pawlenty. In fact, it was in his statement announcing his candidacy that he also backed the elimination of ethanol and other energy subsidies. Unlike Palin, however, Pawlenty wants to take it slowly.

"The truth about federal energy subsidies, including federal subsidies for ethanol, is that they have to be phased out," the former Minnesota governor said last week.  "We need to do it gradually. We need to do it fairly. But we need to do it." 

Palin believes that the markets, not the $5 billion in government incentives, should determine what path the U.S. takes in regards to energy.

"We've got to allow the free market to dictate what's most efficient and economical for our nation's economy," Palin said Tuesday. "No, at this time, our country can't afford the subsidies."

-- Tony Pierce
twitter.com/busblog

Photo: Sarah Palin, former GOP vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor, accompanied by daughter Piper Palin, meets with people in view of the Liberty Bell at Independence National Historical Park on Tuesday in Philadelphia. Credit: Matt Rourke / Associated Press

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