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Santorum Called for Federal Ethanol Mandate





Anyone turning on the news these days will be bombarded with reports about higher gas prices and how this effects every aspect of our economy. Governor Palin has made the further connection between energy independence and national security, a sentiment echoed by former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.

In fact, all of the candidates have voiced support for energy independence. Gingrich, most notably, has revived his "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" campaign from back in 2008, which called for a substantial increase of drilling opportunities by opening up areas currently closed off by federal law, encourage more exploration and innovation and offering tax credits "to accelerate maximum efficiency in energy use and to accelerate the replacement of inefficient systems with more modern, more efficient systems."  His goal is to bring gas down to at least $2.50 per gallon:

If we want less expensive gasoline, then we have to demand the policies that will increase the supply of oil and reduce its cost.

If we want a reliable energy policy that reduces our dependence on foreign dictatorships, then we have to demand greater use of American resources and American technology.

If we want these changes to come before we are blackmailed or bankrupted by foreign dictatorships, then we must demand that politicians cut through the red tape, change the bureaucracy, and get the job done.

Another presidential candidate had an energy proposal back in 2008 as well. Former Senator Rick Santorum’s ideas, however, went an entirely different direction. Rather than increasing production, his solution was to "reduce US oil appetite" in an article he wrote, titled, "Reducing U.S. oil appetite This is one cause that could be helped by smart mandates and taxing":

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.

Yes…that’s right. Santorum’s answer to the energy crisis…was corn. His response was to force car manufacturers to build vehicles that would rely on 85% ethanol…ie, a corn byproduct. (And yes, I’m aware that Gingrich supports ethanol (not mandating it, just exploring it as an option), an issue with which I strongly disagree with him.)

It seems an odd response from someone who says that on principle they don’t agree with the government meddling in the private sector, doesn’t it? So, he says he opposed the car company bailout because he didn’t like the government interfering in the private sector, but he’s A-okay with the government mandating all vehicles be ethanol-friendly?

With all due respect, Senator, I think this is the wrong way to go. Rather than "reducing our oil appetite", I believe as Governor Palin and Newt Gingrich do…that yes, innovation is coming, but that we must acknowledge the reality that we are a society wed to fossil fuels for the foreseeable future.

Our energy security depends on us acknowledging that reality. Either we open up our own exploration on our own land, or be bound to dictatorships and regimes that will use energy as a weapon against us.

We already have the left living in a fantasy world when it comes to our energy needs. They’re the ones who like to mandate things to try to shift society to their way of thinking. We don’t need folks on our side of the issue following suit.

 

PS.  How many people were aware that Santorum urged for a federal ethanol mandate in 2008?  I wasn’t until the other day.  It seems Governor Palin has once again been proven prescient in her call for continued vetting of all the candidates.

 

 



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