Thursday, September 29, 2005

Do we have the right message?

As it stands now, the 2006 Republican message is going to be focused around border security. Granted border security is an issue I feel strongly about, I don’t think this is the issue to win over swing voters come November 2006.

By the 2006 elections, our party will have had control of the House, Senate, and White House for four solid years with some success. During the same time we’ve seen Bush’s approvals tank, record oil prices and the big I-word looming on the horizon. Not exactly the ideal environment for reelection.

Sadly, most Republicans treat the potential energy crisis as the elephant in the room (pun intended). The one Republican tackling energy head on is Gov. Pawlenty. He has been a strong advocate for ethanol-based fuels since being elected Governor. In fact, earlier this week, Pawlenty hosted the Governor’s Ethanol Coalition meeting here in Minnesota.

Our nation, and our state, only stands to benefit from widespread ethanol use. Besides strengthening our rural economies, it would reduce our dependency on foreign oil, which would do as much for national security as tightening our borders. Don’t forget that we’d need to find jobs to replace the one’s we’ve shipped to China and India.

But if the Republican leadership would rather gamble on border security than go with a sure thing, they’d better be prepared to lose a seat or two.


At 10:18 AM, Blogger Gary Dikkers said...

<< Our nation, and our state, only stands to benefit from widespread ethanol use. >>

Are your sure mandated ethanol has helped Minnesota?

Check the data the USDOT Federal Highway Administration keeps on motor fuel use in each of the 50 states.

I did and compared Minnesota fuel use to Wisconsin. Minnesota which has mandated ethanol, and Wiscosnin which is a similar state, but one where ethanol blended fuel isn't mandatory.

· In 2003, Minnesotans used 2.730 billion gallons of ethanol-blended fuels while driving 55.296 billion miles. Minnesota’s average fuel economy was 20.25 mpg.

· In the same year, Wisconsin drivers used 2.570 billion gallons of fuel while driving 59.615 billion miles. Wisconsin’s average fuel economy was 23.20 mpg.

Using ethanol blended fuels, Minnesota's average fuel economy was almost 14% worse than Wisconsin's.

That meant Minnesota drivers used 347 million more gallons of ethanol blended fuel, than they would have if their average miles per gallon was the same as Wisconsin's.

Mandatory ethanol may be helping somebody in Minnesota, but it's not helping Minnesota drivers. They have to spend more money for fuel because the state dictates they must use ethanol.

The really bad part of the deal is mandatory ethanol didn't even reduce their consumption of fossil fuel. At the higher Wisconsin fuel economy, Minnesota drivers would have burned less overall fuel, AND less fossil fuel than they did burning their mandatory 90/10 blend.

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Republican Minnesota said...

So you'd rather be dependent on oil from Saudi Arabia, home to most of the 9/11 hijackers?

At 11:24 AM, Blogger North Star Politics said...

There is no Republican issue to win over swing voters in 2006. You're the party of Tom DeLay!

At 11:40 AM, Blogger Republican Minnesota said...

And you guys are going to have a total sweep in 2006?!

At 12:28 PM, Blogger Toby said...

Why don't you guys go back to bitching about taxes? That's gotta be your safest bet. What other issues do you possibly have? Immigration isn't a big issue in Minnesota, and even if it was, I have a feeling your party will end up on the wrong side of the debate for most Minnesotans.

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Gary Dikkers said...

<< So you'd rather be dependent on oil from Saudi Arabia, home to most of the 9/11 hijackers? >>

Of course not -- it's just that ethanol is not the road to energy independence.

If you read my earlier comment more closely, you'll see the evidence shows Minnesota's policy of mandated ethanol use actually increased your driver's use of fossil fuels.

The more ethanol we make, the more the fossil fuel companies like it.

The entire ethanol industry is almost totally dependent on fossil fuels -- from the diesel fuel farmers use; to the natural gas petro-chemical plants use making fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides; to the natural gas ethanol plants burn milling and distilling corn.

At 7:38 PM, Blogger Lucy N said...

What is wrong with you people? This is no place for a policy debate. Let's get back to partisan hackery!


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