Saturday, November 01, 2008

Republican running against Karen Clark in 61A


Thank you for contacting me. I believe that we as a society must break
free from our addiction to oil as soon as possible. But as you
inferred, I do not have much faith in government to accomplish this
objective. For example (in my opinion), the promotion of ethanol in
Minnesota through subsidies and mandates seems to be more of a favor to
the corn lobby than a viable energy solution. I am convinced that in
the long term, sustainable energy is inherently profitable. For this
reason I think the market will ultimately come up with a solution, but
only if it is left free from government intervention. The entrepreneur
who solves the energy problem will probably become the next billionaire.

Certainly, there are things that government can do to encourage this
process. We must end policies and subsidies that favor "Big Oil" in the
name of lower gas prices, and stop trying to preserve the existing
automobile industry. We must be more creative in designing cities and
communities that don't require everyone to have an automobile to get
around. We must end the moratorium on nuclear power in Minnesota. We
can also work to increase public awareness of the growing energy
problem, and to promote development of alternative energy sources, as
long as no specific strategy is mandated due to lobbyist pressure. And
as gas prices skyrocket while oil supplies run out, we must avoid the
temptation to put political (or other) pressure on other oil-producing
countries to favor the U.S. If we do these things, I believe that the
move to alternative energy sources will be a natural result of the laws
of supply and demand.

I hope this answers your question. I have added positions on a few
other issues to my website.

Thanks again -

- S. Andrew Sheppard

[ Note from Kevin: Andrew lives carfree, as I do. But he does not believe we should end our fossil fuel addiction at all. If we are to have a green and sustainable future, we will need government intervention to make that happen, and can do so without destroying the economy. A carbon tax could be enacted, allowing lower income and corporate taxes by the same amount would make the tax increase neutral. A carbon tax would end our addiction, saving Minnesotans from future oil shocks, and steer the economy to a greener path. Sheppard does not have my support in November. ]

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