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Fueling freedom


Fri, Jul 23rd, 2010
Posted in Commentary

The BP oil spill disaster - a catastrophe that has led to untold damage to the economy, wildlife and the environment along the Gulf Coast - opened our eyes to what can happen when there is a lack of serious regulation. This, however, is not the only issue that deserves further investigation - the lucrative tax breaks the oil industry receives should be put under a congressional microscope as well.

The New York Times investigated the oil industry's subsidies and reported in early July that they totaled $4 billion annually, adding "an examination of the tax code indicates that oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process."

Over the next decade, the Obama administration wants to cut $20 billion in tax breaks the oil industry currently receives. Many of which have been in place since 1916.

Can we rein in our insatiable appetite for fossil fuels?

We can and we have, but American consumers do not choose their fuel. Their fuel is chosen for them, both through Big Oil, which controls the infrastructure that moves fuel to the market, and by regulation that gives oil a huge advantage in the marketplace.

Certain political and opinion leaders would have the public believe that domestic ethanol cannot compete on the free market, and that without subsidies and tax credits, ethanol could not survive as an industry.

In fact, ethanol has yet to reach its full potential precisely because it has been blocked from the market. What government support has been provided to ethanol is in the form of making it available to Americans - but even that is capped at no more than 10 percent of blended gasoline, essentially meaning the U.S. has a policy that mandates that 90 percent of all transportation fuel be gasoline refined from oil.

If American consumers were able to choose their fuel, most would choose the fuel that helps create U.S. jobs, reduces carbon emissions and helps strengthen national security. And that fuel is domestic ethanol, America's renewable, homegrown fuel.

In a fair and open market - one in which ethanol is an option for consumers - ethanol will succeed.

Why Americans have not been given an option?

There are three fundamental reasons why Americans have not been given the opportunity to choose their fuel in a free market:

1. Access to America's automobile fuel market .....
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One moment, please... Health care reform?

Fri, Jul 23rd, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone number 507-251-5297

I've been meaning to offer some thoughts on the passage of the health care reform bill, but the steady distraction of an earwig invasion has taken my attention elsewhere ..... 
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Tim Walz deserves praise, not attacks, for his leadership on DISCLOSE Act

Fri, Jul 16th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Last January, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned decades of law, giving corporations the power to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence U.S. elections. After the Court's ruling in the "Citizens United" case, there are no restrictions on forei ..... 
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One Moment Please - The next election

Fri, Jul 16th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone number 507-251-5297

As July creeps by in the unassuming resemblance of a mid-summer nights dream, politicians plot and plan like General Petreaus on a victory voyage scheduled for an early ..... 
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Congressional hearings are not about the witness

Fri, Jul 16th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Even before Tony Hayward, the embattled CEO of BP, appeared in front of a House investigative subcommittee on June 17, everyone knew why he was there. It was not to apologize for the Gulf oil spill or to explain his company's behavior - though all o ..... 
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Who's to blame for the oil spill?

Fri, Jul 9th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

rsauer@fillmorecountyjournal.com

The gulf oil spill disaster has too many parents to do DNA testing to sort it all out. It is tragic, not just for the poor people in the Gulf States, for the whole country. Assigning blame has sucked all the a ..... 
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Each of us can help sooth The beast threatening our economic future

Fri, Jul 9th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

kreisner@fillmorecountyjournal.com

Ever rising health care costs and an aging population are driving so-called "entitlement" program expenses through the roof, growing much faster than even a robust economy. Over the past decade the cost of t ..... 
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It's tough to give Americans what they want

Fri, Jul 2nd, 2010
Posted in Commentary

The Gulf oil spill has laid bare a series of shortcomings in the government's ability both to prevent and to respond to such a crisis, and the result is spiraling public frustration. But it might not hurt for members of the public to save a little o ..... 
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Online article comments at fillmorecountyjournal.com

Fri, Jul 2nd, 2010
Posted in Commentary

All online comments are unedited and presented as published by the original author.

In response to a commentary titled: Catastrophe, published in the Journal on June 28, 2010

Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Article comment by: Fr ..... 
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