Republicans pass anti-ethanol platform

By Kris Bevill | August 04, 2008
Web exclusive posted Sept. 3, 2008 at 10:23 a.m. CST

In a unanimous vote, the Republican Party passed its 2008 party platform Sept. 1 at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn. "This is a document that demonstrates a forward-looking, positive vision for America and is deeply rooted in the long-standing principles that make our party great," said Republican National Committee Chairman Robert "Mike" Duncan.

The 68-page document took a decidedly anti-ethanol stance, severing the party from the current administration's views on ethanol and biofuels. The new policy platform states the U.S. government "should end mandates for ethanol and let the free market work." The policy vows to continue the development of cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels, but did not specify what types of feedstocks or how the industry would be supported. Increased production of flexible-fuel vehicles (FFV) and electric vehicles were put forth as a way to "usher in a renaissance" for American automobiles.

As pertaining to increased energy independence, the Republican Party's official views have turned to increasing domestic oil drilling and the use of nuclear power and coal. Its platform declares that coal will play a "major role" in the United States becoming energy independent and that the party will work aggressively to increase the use of all forms of nuclear energy. The party supports "accelerated exploration, drilling and development" in order to obtain American oil and remains opposed to efforts that would block the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWAR) from domestic oil exploration and drilling.

Although the party opposes all ethanol mandates, it supports long-term tax credits for "renewable power sources" including solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower.