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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

It's back! Ethanol bill heads to senate Thursday--speak up

Ethanol, Going Green, Unintended consequences, WISCONSIN

UPDATE: The Ethanol bill is on the Senate floor right now. Reportedly, Senator Jim Sullivan is on the fence regarding this bill. Please let him know what you think. If passed, the bill goes to the Assembly. There Assembly Speaker, Mike Huebsch is said to also be on the fence.

I heard that Senate Bill 380, commonly referred to as the Ethanol Bill, made it out of State Senate committee with a 4-1 vote. State Senator Ted Kanavas cast the only NO vote on the measure. (Thank you, Ted.)

The bill now heads to the Senate possibly as early as this Thursday, January 31st.

"This bill generally subjects a refiner to a penalty if the percentage of renewable fuel sold by the refiner, beginning in 2009, is less than a percentage set in the bill. The percentage of renewable fuel sold is determined by dividing the total volume of wholesale sales of renewable fuel in a year by the refiner’s five year rolling average volume of wholesale sales of all motor vehicle fuel, other than diesel fuel, and multiplying by 100. The percentage begins at 10 percent and increases to 25 percent in 2025 and thereafter." (Emphasis added)

Like so many of these Going Green bills and measures, they sound good but are NOT environmentally friendly--nor are they practical or economically feasible. Ethanol is not an efficient fuel*. In fact, many scientists believe it takes more energy to produce ethanol than it provides.The miles per gallon with ethanol are not as high as without ethanol.

The only thing Green about this renewable fuel bill is when you follow the money to the ethanol manufacturers and corn growers.

If contacting your state representatives about ethanol mandates seems familiar, it is because we defeated this once before back in 2006(?)

Sometimes I feel like we are playing that old arcade game called Whack-a-Mole with these bad bills that keep returning. (Whack-a-Mole is a game where the player takes a mallet and tries to hit a plastic mole who pops out of various holes in the game play field.) But call or email we must; it is only weapon against oppressive legislation like this. 

Contact your representatives:
State Senator Jim Sullivan, Democrat, 5th District
Sen.Sullivan@legis.wisconsin.gov  608-266-2512,  866-817-6061

State Senator Theodore Kanavas, Republican, 33rd District

Sen.Kanavas@legis.wisconsin.gov  608-266-9174, 800-863-8883

State Representative Leah Vukmir, Republican, 14th District
Rep.Vukmir@legis.wisconsin.gov  608-282-3614

Representative Rich Zipperer, Republican, 98th District
Rep.Zipperer@legis.wisconsin.gov  608-266-5120 

Governor Doyle
608-266-1212, 414-227-4344

Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald (Assembly Majority Leader), from Horicon. Counties: Columbia and Dodge
Rep. Michael Huebsch (Assembly Speaker), from West Salem. Counties: LaCrosse and Monroe
Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (Senate Minority Leader), from Juneau. Counties: Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Jefferson, and Waukesha

With gas prices rising, people naturally are looking toward purchasing more fuel efficient vehicles. The free marketplace is addressing fuel efficiency and experimental fuel vehicles. We don't need to mandate the use of such an expensive carbon footprint fuel like corn ethanol.

And let's not forget that taxpayers (us) subsidize the price of each gallon of ethanol blended gasoline. From the Competitive Enterprise Institute:

"Motorists pay 51 cents less in federal gasoline taxes for every gallon of ethanol purchased, and Wisconsin pays ethanol makers 20 cents for every gallon produced. If ethanol were such a great deal for consumers, it would not need market-distorting tax breaks and subsidies, much less a market-rigging mandate, to compete with conventional gasoline."

 Be sure to read The Ethanol Fallacy in February 2008's Popular Mechanics issue.

* "Among the various ethanol sources, sugarcane is by far the most efficient in both land and energy use. The ethanol yield of sugarcane per acre is roughly 650 gallons, whereas for corn in the United States it is 350 gallons, scarcely half as much. The net energy yield of 8 for sugarcane offers an overwhelming advantage over that of the 1.5 for corn."

Links: Betterbrookfield, Brookfield7, Fairlyconservative

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