Debatable Facts Require a Principled Stand

I’m not an investigative journalist. I don’t have the time around farming, which I love more than writing. Although, as my tired old bones cause me to put a pipe on a wrench handle more often, I look toward the day when I can write about facts I discover myself rather than rely on the claims of my enemies. For the record, my enemies are lobbyists.

In the “big oil” versus bio fuel debate, for example, I read an Associated Press (AP) article claiming environmental hazards from ethanol. I’ve also read much about the benefits (environmentally) of ethanol from owners of ethanol plants and politicians who recognize the value of big oil as a villain. We could easily suppose AP does favors for big oil. We could also presume corn growers like Bill Northey and ethanol producers like Charles and David Koch have some influence on media and politicians in Iowa. But those are just suppositions and presumptions made by my enemies.

So I think it is best to take at face value the supposed facts presented by either side. Both sides are just playing the system the best way they can to win booty in the piracy of politics. There might be some who actually believe ethanol will save us from dependance on foreign oil, assuming trade (which is the only proven path to world peace) is a bad thing. And there might be some who think it is the U.S. government’s responsibility to insure oil companies never pay the true cost of a product enabled by empire.

Those who do have faith in the positions taken by big oil or ethanol devotees are suckers taken in by propaganda. The great debate about which is the better fuel centers on anything except how that debate should be won. In the world of science new discoveries can change things overnight. So basing policy (defined as government positions that cost and control us) on detailed facts or theories can prove to be a mistake the day after it was considered indisputable.

That is why it is so important that the market decide. The owners of oil infrastructure or bio fuel production should be the ones who bear the cost of getting their product to market and not a penny should be coerced from taxpayers for those purposes. That is how the risks and rewards borne by producers and beneficiaries should direct us to the proper mix of energy products.

The very idea of a Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) should make patriotic Americans grab their torches and pitchforks and storm the castle. The mere mention of our brave soldiers defending foreign governments and oil companies should have us sending back our tax forms signed “no thanks!”

Government setting sales targets or defending Americans outside our borders are both illegal according to our Constitution, besides being impractical and wasteful. Those who decry ideals as being a hindrance to progress should take notice: The Constitution is ultimately a practical document. By preventing government “investment” and requiring a congressional declaration to go to war, it was designed to restrain a government that can be manipulated by thieves and con artists.

I cannot favor an RFS or our military directed to defend big oil at taxpayer expense. A government which is used to do the opposite of its intended purpose (defending individuals from force and fraud) needs to be reigned in.

If I were an investigative reporter, I would seek out the connections between the beneficiaries of energy policy and the policy makers. I don’t have time, but I can recognize when my rights are being violated by big oil and the bio fuels lobbies.

By the way, there is a chance coming up for each of us to defend our property. Rock Island Clean Line may try to use eminent domain for land to put a power line across Iowa. Eminent domain, by definition is the practice of taking land without the owner’s consent. Fair market value can only be legitimately determined by the agreement of both parties. Don’t get caught up in details. Take a stand.

Tuesday, December 17th at 7:00 pm in the Latimer Community Center.

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