Fate of the Union

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Love him or loathe him, President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday touched on an important and utterly essential principle that ought to guide our government: What is best for the country?

That’s because our national politics are currently swirling around a narrow, selfish mentality of what’s in for me? Today?

On almost any issue, various factions spend all their time and all their capital on a singular quest to secure funding for their projects, their needs or their constituencies, rather than looking beyond right here and right now.

Ethanol is a perfect example.

We know that growing corn to be refined into a liquid fuel that has to be distributed across the country via a system of pipelines and storage tanks and trucks is not the solution to our dependence on fossil fuels. Heck, depending on whose data you favor, ethanol production may not be creating ANY net energy at all.

But we also know that our addiction to massive, costly imports of foreign oil is neither smart nor sustainable, and domestic ethanol is a valuable stopgap on the way to a renewable energy future.

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