Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No corn ethanol??

No corn ethanol? That is one of the planks in Sam Rasoul's energy platform. Cluck!
Mr. Rasoul held a press conference outside JMU's Integrated Science and Technology Center today. It was a warm and sunny day, so the solar panels in the background were probably working at full capacity. Perhaps 25 or so folks showed up along with the local TV and newspaper. Three candidates for Harrisonburg city council briefly spoke.
If you've scratched around in previous posts, you know CCC likes wind and solar. This bird is also intrigued by T. Boone Pickens' recent ideas. So, what does Mr. Rasoul have in mind?
He began by laying out the problem much as Mr. Pickens has done - in the early 70s we imported about 25% of our oil; today it is almost 70% costing over $33 million per hour. He calls his plan "Zero Petrol by 2050" and suggests a man-on-the-moon commitment from the federal government to make it happen. Good energy policy, he noted, is also good economic policy. Key points he made for the long term:
  • Incentives to the auto industry to encourage hybrid and other efficient vehicles
  • Cellulosic ethanol which is more efficient to produce than corn ethanol and helps hold down the price of coarse cracked corn
  • Government purchasing of fuel efficient vehicles to boost the market and set an exmple
  • Government supported R&D in new technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells.
Rasoul does recognize that in the short term oil will continue to drive our economy. He supports the "Responsible Oil and Gas Lease Act" which pushes companies to begin exploring and drilling on 68 million acres of currently leased federal land. One would think the soaring oil prices would be encouragement enough, assuming there are sufficient oil and gas deposits there.
CCC wishes he'd talked a little more about wind and solar, especially since wind turbines are planned in parts of the 6th District and there were solar panels in the background. Perhaps that will be a greater emphasis as his ideas evolve.
Equally interesting will be watching coverage of this event on TV3 and NBC29 which have only recently begun covering this race. Tomorrow's DNR could also be interesting - but will it be "fair and balanced."

3 comments:

Belle Rose said...

The DNR's coverage was pretty good and the pic of the solar panels was great. But why does Mellott feel compelled to give any ink (digital or otherwise) to the independent's fledging campaign? Pecks along with the incumbent. Fly a few miles south and nobody knows it exists.

Seems Rasoul's stand on corn ethanol is getting positive clucks in the hen house. Rasoul calls for cellulosic ethanol production that would free up corn for food and be more efficient to produce.

Passing Through said...

Where would we be getting this golden sugar? (Eyes Puerto Rico) Best make it a state before we start raping it, eh?

Anonymous said...

The real issue here is (and what DNR failed to recognize) a month earlier DNR reported Rasoul espousing alternative energy, NOW HE WANTS TO DRILL? Not to mention the FEC reports, which I'm sure his press conferences were orchestrated as a diversionary tactic.

I notice Belle Rose uses "fledging" to describe this or that. Would the correct word be "fledgling" when describing a campaign. I really don't know, but would like to.

I really thought I would see Cliff Garstang's name on that FEC quarterly for the Rasoul supporters, and many more local bloggers, for that matter. Bicaaaw.