September 5, 2008

The party platform isn't always the party line

Although the Republican Party called for an end to ethanol mandates in its national platform this week, that doesn't mean a whole lot. In fact, how many delegates do you believe actually read the platform? So few, in fact, that there was confusion among delegates who were asked where the language was that called for an end to the Renewable Fuels Standard. (It's under the "Supporting our Agriculture Communities" header on page 30.)

The platform also calls for an increase in biofuels under an energy independence header on page 33. Go figure.

(Do most people know there even is a platform? And how many will forget it in a week - or already have?)

In either case, party platforms are generally written to reflect the positions of the candidate - and it is no secret that the Republican Presidential candidate opposes the ethanol mandate, so there you have it. (According to this article, major livestock industry organizations played a role in putting pressure on Republican leaders to include the position in the platform - sourcing Jerry Kozak, president of the National Milk Producers Federation.)

In either case, a number of other Republicans who have supported the ethanol industry were quick to point out they disagreed. This includes Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman - just checkout this sidebar in the Journal Star.

And since what was in the platform was basicallly ignored, I think it's safe to say people know it's just a piece of non-binding paper.

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