Mike Thompson Watch

Thompson Votes for Alternative Fuel Research
(February 12, 2007)

Mike Thompson voted for the Advanced Fuels Infrastructure Research and Development Act, HR 547, which passed by a vote of 400 to 3. This is the sort of bill everyone loves. It takes nothing away from anyone powerful. It is a feather in the cap of Representatives who want to score points with liberal constituents because it appears to help the environment. Yet it also appeals to the need to fundraise for both liberals and conservatives alike because it dumps federal money into research that will help projects that otherwise would be risky for investors. And it only dumps in $10 million, which is like Congress tossing a penny into a street musician's hat as it speeds by in a Rolls-Royce. So even the budget conscious, anti-tax people can't be bothered to oppose it.

HR 547 directs the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to initiate a research and development program to make bio-fuels (ethanol and bio-diesel) more compatible with present-day infrastructure. Fuel distributors and retailers may be spared from replacing old or building new infrastructure.

-- William P. Meyers

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