In 1999, John McCain was critical of the corn industry. As you know, Indiana is fifth in the nation in corn production. McCain was a critic of corn and agribusiness subsidies, that inflated our nation's farm market. McCain even went as far as saying that the whole farm subsidy is pork for big business. Needless to say, McCain did not have many friends in states like ours and Iowa in 2000.
Fast forward to 2008. McCain has seen the light when it comes to corn subsidies, especially toward producers of corn ethanol. The mainstream press calls this a flip-flop, and the act of someone pandering to the press and electorate. I disagree. Two big issues have developed since the halcyon days of 1999. The first, is the growing concern over global warming.
McCain's policies pre-9-11 made sense in a time when oil was abundant and cheap, we were not the victim of Islamic fundamentalist terror, and killer hurricanes fueled by global warming were not destroying American cities. Now, the need for being both a good steward of our environment and gaining independent energy security are vital.
McCain supports a transition into clean fuels. He supports a local alternative to foreign oil. And for Indiana, that means ethanol. The Hoosier economy, as well as the Midwest, can be the next big source for energy, as was Pennsylvania for coal and Saudi Arabia for Oil. The difference of course, is that our source of fuel is renewable.
Call it a flip-flop if you want, but the world has changed, and so must our thinking. McCain is a dynamic individual who knows that if the old way no longer works, we must change course. And so, support of corn ethanol producers should come as no surprise in the wake of 9-11.
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