Pain at the Pump: Is Ethanol the Answer?

Were you impacted by the May 1 demonstrations? It appears that in hindsight few were and, instead, the result may be even greater backlash against those who are demanding amnesty for all illegal aliens in the United States.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County, Arizona is going gangbusters again. He's enforcing the state's new anti-smuggling law. One hundred deputies and volunteer posse members comb the desert looking for illegal aliens and smugglers. They've arrested 120 so far and Arpaio says his jail can hold 10,000 prisoners. He's expanding the tent city jail to accommodate the new inmates. What he will not do is turn the people they catch over to Border Patrol agents, because he's concerned they will simply be let go on the infamous "desk tickets" or dropped off across the border only to sneak back in.

Speaking of Mexico: Remember our ally down south of the border, Vincente Fox? He plans to sign a bill legalizing the use of cocaine, heroin, LSD, PCP — you name it. Wait a minute. Wasn't he the guy who was supposed to be cracking down on the Mexican drug cartels that are dumping this stuff in America? So how does legalizing the personal use of drugs, thereby giving drug cartels a legal way to make more money, help stop drug cartels? And, while selling drugs or using drugs in public would still be a crime, there would be no prison penalties. Maybe this plan loses its logic in translation?

Let me bring up something that has been overlooked in all our ire about expensive gas: Congress plans to consider penalizing American oil companies that made enormous profits. While on the surface it sounds like a good knee-jerk reaction, when I began thinking about it — and all the oil companies that are not American — I began to question whether we weren't hurting ourselves while helping outsiders. We can penalize American companies, but have not control over the others. The price of a barrel of gas won't change because of it. Isn't our time better used trying to become independent of foreign oil?

Why not follow Brazil's model? When we all faced gas problems in 1970, Brazil vowed to become oil independent. They did it. How? Ethanol. What cars do they drive? Ones built by American companies that run on ethanol. If our car companies can build them already for Brazil, why not start doing for us? Everyone talks about "studying" and developing new sources of energy. Well, they've already done the work for us. Why not just follow their lead?

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Have a great day!

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