Friday, March 10, 2006


Last night the Wisconsin State Senate voted down an alternative energy bill. The bill would have required gasoline in Wisconsin to contain at least 10% ethanol.

This issue, along with light rail, is a favorite target of scorn for right wingers throughout the state. They link both issues with their third favorite whipping boy, environmentalists. Their first is black people, the second, unionized public school teachers.

To me this vote reperesents the power of ideological reaction. Remember Wisconsin is a state where the agricultural economy still contributes significantly to overall production at a time when dairy farming is in decline as a result of competition from corporate farms and changing tastes when it comes to dairy (see Fat Kills below). And not only is the agricultural economy important we also have a budding ethanol indutry in the state.

From an environmental perspective I don't think that ethanol is the answer. Corn production as currently practiced is massively invested in the current oil/indutrial/herbicide/pesticide nexus. This being said you would think that mainstreet/Chamber of Commerce Republicans would at least be whoring for a local important industry. Not so in Wisconsin.

It looks like Kansas is just around the corner for us!

1 comment:

IFStone said...

Here in Minnesota, ethanol is a pet issue of Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty. So it is strange to see Repubs in a neighboring agricultural state take this position. Maybe to block Dem. Gov. Doyle from getting the credit??

Hey when did unionized public school teachers leapfrog feminists to take #2 position as favorite whipping boy of the right? I thought feminists had that spot. Or gays. Or George Clooney. Or Michael Moore. Or Planned Parenthood. Or Cindy Sheehan...
I guess we'll just have to say it's a 14,628-way tie.

I also have doubts about ethanol, but I figure it's worth seeing if the science evolves to a point where it doesn't actually cause more pollution and resource consumption than it eases.

Personally, I prefer windpower. That's why I have two giant Packer flags on my car tied down in such a way as to serve as sails. I don't even turn it on, just put it in neutral and gliiiiide.