Thursday, January 31, 2008

Little Ricky’s A Real Gas On Alternative Energy

I had to take a minute and note this column from PA’s happily-now-former Senator Rick Santorum that appeared in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer where he beats the drum of energy self-sufficiency, so to speak…

Across Pennsylvania, farmers are also digging and planting corn and other crops that will be turned into ethanol that can replace gasoline in our cars. Most cars in America can't run on ethanol, however, so who is going to install ethanol pumps at the gas station without the cars to run on it? At this point I would say to all of my hard-core conservative friends: Hold on to your hats.

What we need is a government mandate! We need to mandate that all cars sold in the United States, starting with the 2010 model year, be "flex-fuel vehicles" - that is, they should be able to run on a blend that is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline (the so-called E85 blend), or even a coal-derived methanol/gas mixture. This mandate would cost a fraction of the new fuel economy standard with the added benefit of saving barrels more oil.
Sounds good, right? Shocked to hear Senator Man-On-Dog making sense for a change, aren’t you (and he also talks about clean coal technology in this state, and if there’s one thing we have plenty of in this state besides corrupt politicians, it’s coal).

Well, I would ask that you consider the following from this USA Today story from 2005 that tells us…

"It doesn't require presidential ambitions for United States senators to want an energy policy that benefits consumers and relies on American farmers, not the Saudi royal family," said David Wade, a spokesman for (MA Senator John) Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate last year and a potential contender in 2008.

A spokesman for (former Sen. George Felix “Macaca”) Allen, a possible White House challenger in 2008, said, "Virginia is looking for ways to transition from traditional crops."
The article notes that that put Allen in direct opposition to his Senate counterpart John Warner on this issue.

So where did Little Ricky line up?

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and Rick Santorum, R-Pa., also voted against the wishes of ethanol supporters. Both are seeking new Senate terms in 2006.
And Barack Obama made good use of that vote in the Iowa caucuses, as we know.

As Will Bunch says, see you in two weeks, Ricky.

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