Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What's my line?

As an avid news watcher, I really enjoy it when a group or interest realizes that it has to say something even though they are realizing over time that they are on the wrong side of the issue.

Yesterday, I noted the next big news story -- Wisconsin's Minimum Markup Law and its impact on alternative fuel prices. Now the retail petroleum industry is struggling to choose its message.

This morning they blasted Doyle for "suspending" the law and trying to "eliminate" the law.
Obviously their PR person was writing faster than the brain was moving since most folks who have minimal understanding of how the checks an dbalances of government work could tell you that Doyle can't do either of those two things. The most he can do is direct the DACPT on how to interpret and enforce the law. Only the Legislature can suspend/eliminate it.

So now the retail petroleum lobby has a new tactic -- official apathy. They state there will be no impact on prices from this move by Doyle. Then one retailer/wholesaler states that this will actually drive up the price on ethanol blends due to increased demand. Huh? If the price on normal ethanol blends (not E85) went up, that would make them more expensive than straight petroleum based gas -- and no one would buy them, duh.

Now will the demand for E85 go up and thus the price? Maybe once we get more engines made to handle it (Ford and GM have announced plans on doing this). But I think that might just be a good thing -- for energy usage, for the environment, and for the Wisconsin economy.

Back to the news watcher fun -- lest one think this is another Doyle vs Business fight, the very Republican Senate Majority Leader, Dale Schultz, claims that Doyle is doing this only after being pressured to by Schultz's office. I can hardly wait to see how the GOP and WMC try to choose sides on this!


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