Chris Hayes has a blockbuster scoop up on The Nation: “Pulp Nonfiction,” about how the U.S. government will pay the paper industry up to $8 billion this year to emit more carbon dioxide.

Yeah, you read that right.

The horror begins, as it so often does, with well-meaning efforts by Congress to encourage biofuels. The $244 billion transportation bill signed into law in 2005 contains a $0.51/gallon tax credit for “mixed fuels” — that is, “taxable fuel” like gasoline or diesel mixed with an “alternative fuel.”

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Funny story. See, for years the paper industry has relied on a biofuel derived from the process of removing fiber from wood. It’s called “black liquor.” The fuel runs the process — a nice little closed loop.

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But oops! It’s not “mixed.” So, since 2005, the industry has been adding diesel to the fuel in order to qualify for the tax credit.

So they’re emitting more greenhouse gases and pulling down billions of dollars in taxpayer money.


Read Hayes’ piece for the gory details.

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