Cross posted at Daily Kos
America’s energy independence starts here at home, with renewable fuels, wind and solar power, and other homegrown resources.
That’s why Congress enacted renewable fuel standards that mandated the amount of biofuel that must be mixed with gasoline sold in the United States to reach 7.5 billion gallons by 2012. Today, there are currently 170 ethanol biorefineries in the United States with 34 more under construction. In Iowa alone we will have 41 biorefineries once those under construction are completed.
These standards are and will continue to be vital to the growing biofuel industry, which has been so successful since the inception of the renewable fuel standard that the United States is on pace to exceed the 7.5 billion gallons mandated and achieve an ethanol capacity of over 11 billion gallons by 2012.
While most Americans believe we need to become energy independent, John McCain wants to simply “drill baby drill.” At his convention, McCain called for an end to ethanol mandates. He wants to kill the very mandates that are leading our nation towards sustainable and renewable energy and away from foreign oil dependence.
Furthermore, the GOP platform itself (written for John McCain) calls for an end to ethanol mandates.
John McCain and his GOP platform are so far out of touch, that even his Republican colleagues condemned his assault on renewable energy. According to a DTN article last week (subscription only), Senator Saxby Chambliss said he was “disappointed” in the GOP platform’s provision because he believes the United States needs to continue all forms of energy production, including ethanol.
Senator John Thune said, “It was a big mistake for the Republican Party to include [the provision to kill ethanol mandates]. It’s evidence the Republicans aren’t always right.”
And a fellow member of Iowa’s Congressional delegation and my colleague in the Senate, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa noted the inconsistencies of Senator McCain’s position.
Grassley noted that, while McCain has called for no subsidies for ethanol, he has also said he is “against shipping more money overseas” through oil purchases. “You can’t have it both ways,” Grassley said. “If you want a new industry, it is going to take some government incentives to get it started.” The oil industry started with subsidies, Grassley said, “and those subsidies are still in place.”
On this point, Senator Grassley and I agree. You can’t have it both ways.
You can’t be serious about renewable energy and then call for killing one of the pillars of our renewable energy policy.