The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

September 10, 2006

Voices: Talent flip-flop

Carl Bastin (Globe, Sept. 6) characterized U.S. Sen. Jim Talent's flip-floppy record on ethanol by saying that he has taken a "leading role on expanding the use of ethanol."

He cited Talent's support of last year's energy bill as evidence.

Senator Talent voted against various pro-ethanol measures in 1988, 1990, 1995, 1996, 2004, 2005 and 2006. These measures included voting against reducing taxes on ethanol-blended gasoline and the Missouri Qualified Fuel Ethanol Producer Incentive Fund, which would have given rebates to producers of ethanol in Missouri.

Last year's energy bill included pro-ethanol measures but also included $9 billion in goodies for oil companies that are now "struggling" with record profits in the tens of billions. They struggled so much that while you paid more in gas, they were able and willing to give their CEOs (in the case of Exxon) a nearly $400 million bonus.

Why is Sen. Talent jumping on the ethanol bandwagon now after years of opposition? The answer has more to do with politics and money than it does with wise and independent leadership.

Seth Jackson