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Editorial: Ethanol mandates are good policy

There has been a lot of wind and energy pumped out of Denver and St. Paul during the recent Democratic and Republican national conventions. However, whether either party can successfully tap all this wind and energy remains to be seen.

Wind, oil and other energy sources have drawn increased interest in recent months, especially in light of the recent $4 price of gasoline. Ethanol has increasingly being blamed for a variety of ills: such as higher food prices, world hunger and other concerns.

Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens took his national energy policy plan to both the Democrat and Republican conventions. Pickens' policy calls for increased wind energy and natural gas to help wean America from imported oil.

While Pickens supports more off-shore drilling, he realistically states that such new drilling will not solve America's energy problem. Solving the energy challenge is going to take a number of different solutions.

Ethanol is just one of those solutions. And it is one of the alternative energy sectors that has been developing and working, especially in Minnesota.

The Republication Party platform adopted this week officially opposed ethanol mandates, such as that used in Minnesota. This is the first time a major political party has adopted a position against publicly funded ethanol incentives.

This is a poor position for the Republican Party.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., agrees, stating this week that his party "got it wrong" on this issue.

Energy is not a Republican or Democrat issue, it is an American issue.

Since the oil embargo of the 1970s, America has failed to adequately address the country's increasing dependence on foreign oil.

America will be far better off developing all energy options available -- including ethanol, wind, nuclear, and others -- instead of curbing alternative energy options.

Opposing ethanol mandates that help develop the fledgling ethanol industry will curb the energy sector's development.