Ethanol supporters make their voices heard in Washington

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Farm Forum

Aberdeen — H. Oscar Schlenker, a Board of Directors Member of Glacial Lakes Energy, traveled to Washington, D.C. on September 14-17 to meet with Congressional officials to highlight the important role ethanol plays in reducing our dependence on foreign oil and revitalizing the American economy.

Schlenker joined Growth Energy leaders, CEO Tom Buis and Co-Chairmen of the Board General Wesley Clark (Ret.) and Jeff Broin for a series of meetings with bipartisan Congressional delegations from Virginia, Kentucky, Florida, Arkansas, New Hampshire and South Dakota. American ethanol supporters discussed the current state of the industry and stressed the importance of protecting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), our nation’s most successful energy policy to date, and increasing market access for E15, a fuel blended with fifteen percent ethanol. Schlenker emphasized how the RFS has bolstered Aberdeen, Brown County and South Dakota’s economy by encouraging the growth of the American ethanol industry.

Not changing the RFS Standard and increasing access to E15: “Our message on Capitol Hill was clear – the RFS is working and there is no need for Congress to repeal or reform this successful energy policy. I was pleased to join several other ethanol supporters in Washington to meet with Congress about our nation’s energy security and future. America’s energy independence, economic prosperity and communities like ours are moving forward thanks to the renewable fuels industry,” said Schlenker. “These face-to-face meetings with our lawmakers are an important opportunity for them to hear directly from their constituents about the issues that matter most.”

Furthermore, Schlenker expressed their concern with the proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which significantly reduced the RFS volume obligations for 2014. Biofuel supporters noted that the rule, in its current form, would freeze innovation and investment in next generation biofuels, reduce production of conventional biofuels, harm our environment and jeopardize savings to consumers.

During these meetings, Schlenker met with Senator’s Tim Kaine, (D) Virginia, Mark Prior, (D) Arkansas, and Tim Johnson (D) South Dakota and Virginia Representatives J. Randy Forbes, (R), Rob Wittman, (R), Morgan Griffith, (R), Gerald Connolly, (D), and Representatives Brett Guthrie , (R) Kentucky, Frederica Wilson, (D) Florida, Michelle Lujan Grisham, (D) New Hampshire, clarified misinformation on the ethanol industry and reiterated how the RFS has helped Glacial Lakes Energy, He stressed the importance of enhanced infrastructure to offer consumers higher blends, such as E15. Higher blends give consumers a choice to use homegrown American biofuels that are less expensive at the pump, help reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, and help bolster our local communities and economies.

“It’s crucial that our representatives in Washington understand the benefits of ethanol – that it creates jobs in South Dakota, keeps gas prices down and contributes to our rural economies,” said Schlenker. “During this time of high gas prices, ethanol is the only tool our nation has right now to help reduce prices at the pump. It’s essential that we work with our lawmakers to take the steps necessary to maintain the RFS, ensure that its volume goals are not reduced by the EPA and to get E15 and other ethanol blends into the marketplace. American consumers deserve a choice at the pump.”