Friday, May 16, 2008

GOP Legislators Haul Out Hackneyed Ideas

A sure sign elections are brewing: A group of GOP legislators trotted out some tired old partisan ideas about reformulated gas to try and appear thoughtful and progressive on energy and conservation.

Here. too.

Stop it.

Why? A friend sends a 2000 news story about the same old partisan bilge. (text below)

And suggests that if Republicans want to do something useful about energy costs in our region, they could support transit and other clean air initiatives.


Wisconsin Lawmakers Sue E.P.A. Over Gas
Published: June 30, 2000
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A group of Republican state legislators in Wisconsin sued the Environmental Protection Agency today over clean-air regulations that they said had brought high gasoline prices to southern Wisconsin.
The lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court here, asserts that the agency failed to consider the price consequences of requirements for a new formulation for cleaner-burning gasoline.

The suit seeks suspension of the rules, which went into effect on June 1 in areas with particularly bad air quality. The lawmakers said the air quality problems in Wisconsin that had been the basis for imposing the rules had significantly improved.

Scott R. Jensen, speaker of the State Assembly, said the reformulated gasoline was costing consumers in some areas of the state 25 to 50 cents more per gallon.

Officials of the environmental agency had calculated the additional cost of the ethanol-blended gas at 1.2 cents a gallon.

The Wisconsin lawmakers said temporary waivers to the reformulated gasoline had been granted to St. Louis, the home of Representative Richard A. Gephardt, the House Democratic leader, while southern Wisconsin had not had its needs addressed.

A spokesman for the E.P.A., Dave Cohen, said the agency was ''very concerned'' about gasoline prices in Milwaukee and Chicago, but was hesitant to grant a waiver.

Gasoline prices in the Milwaukee area reached more that $2 a gallon but have fallen in recent days. The average price on Wednesday for unleaded regular was $1.86 a gallon.

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