By Dan Shapley
Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle is talking about the future of America, and it looks like Saudi Arabia. At least, when it comes to energy production, it does. The Midwest governor is bringing a message that the United States can be the geopolitical center of the world's new energy economy if it invests now in ethanol and other renewable fuels. While the future of corn as the staple of renewable fuel is hotly debated -- given the pollution it causes to grow, the cropland it takes from food and the relatively small energy gains it offers relative to petroleum -- Doyle isn't the only corn-state promoter of the popular row crop. Whatever the source of the fuels of the future, Doyle's message is on target with the majority of Americans and their politicians: the homegrown renewable varieties have the potential to simultaneously reduce our reliance on foreign and sometimes hostile states, while reducing pollution that causes smog, acid rain and global warming, according to a story in the June 16 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.