Can we stop the ethanol mandate?
There may be still time. To find out who your state senator is, you can go to this website. If your state senator is Scott Fitzgerald, his Madison phone number is (608)266-5660, his district phone number is (920) 386-0260, his fax number is (608) 267-6795 and his e-mail address is Sen.Fitzgerald@legis.state.wi.us.
Regarding the scheduling of the vote tomorrow, we have reaction from State Senator Lazich:
“This afternoon, the Senate Organization Committee scheduled Assembly Bill 15 for Senate Floor action Thursday, March 9, 2006. This bill would mandate the sale of gasoline containing ethanol in Wisconsin. It was my sincere hope this bill would not be scheduled for Senate action. I strongly urge my Senate colleagues to join me in voting against this mandate on consumers. The vote is NO on ethanol.”
“The ethanol mandate is just not right for Wisconsin. This issue has been debated for months, and we still have more questions than answers. There are just too many unknowns to be resolved before this bill should be enacted,” said State Senator Neal Kedzie (R-Elkhorn) in reaction to Assembly Bill 15 (AB 15) being scheduled for Senate action tomorrow. Kedzie continued, “This measure is not sound public policy, and we should not support a government mandate of any product; doing so would run counter to our free market economy.”
Kedzie, who serves as Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Transportation Committee, has been outspoken in his opposition to the ethanol mandate bill. One of Kedzie’s concerns centers on a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) study showing ethanol emissions will increase pollution twice as much as the NOx decrease of the current motor vehicle inspections and maintenance (M&I) program in Southeast Wisconsin. According to Kedzie, “The proponents of the bill recognize this and have now introduced an amendment that makes many promises, but delivers very little.”
While proponents of the ethanol mandate claim it will save consumers money, Kedzie points to the most recent Chicago Platt’s price survey system showing a grave disparity between the price of ethanol and the price of gasoline with ethanol on the rise, significantly outpacing gasoline price trends. Kedzie noted, “This mandate will give consumers less choice at the pump and may actually lead to higher prices and lower efficiency to already overburdened motorists.”
Kedzie concluded, “I share the common concern for aiding Wisconsin’s farmers. Unfortunately, this mandate has the potential to harm all Wisconsin residents to an extent that I cannot support.”