MAY 24, 2006
Hillary Clinton has been accused of “transparent pandering” by leaders of Iowa’s Republican Party for suddenly endorsing the use of ethanol after publicly opposing it for years.
Could the sudden change have anything to do with the fact that, as a farm state, Iowa would benefit tremendously from corn-based ethanol consumption and the state just happens to host the caucuses that kick off the presidential nomination process?
The fact remains that Clinton was one of 26 senators who opposed the energy bill passed by Congress last year mandating the use of 7.5 billion gallons of bio fuels, mostly ethanol, by 2012. This week, the New York Democrat did an about face and called for $1 billion for research on making ethanol from plant cellulose and fibrous. In other words, materials found in corn stalks, wheat straw, grass and wood – everything farm. She also suggested a tax credit for pumps that she previously opposed.
The director of Iowa’s Republican Party, Cullen Sheehan, was not fooled by Clinton’s sudden change of heart and said that “Iowans remember her anti-ethanol past and are looking for strong leaders who won’t run from their record and change positions whenever it’s politically expedient.”
Both Clinton and her husband claim to be environmentalists, yet ethanol is not as environmentally safe as most people believe. Studies have proven that, although oxygenates such as ethanol may reduce the emission of carbon monoxide, they can also increase nitrogen oxides that lead to smog pollution. Ethanol blended gas can also increase the emissions of a variety of toxic pollutants.
Hillary used to bring up such points when she opposed ethanol. Now that she endorses it, those facts are conveniently left out of her speeches. So, it appears that Explore For the Truth says it best with its headline: “Hillary is just blowing smoke.”
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