PUBLIC VOICE: Taking ethanol message to Washington

Farm Forum

I traveled to Washington, D.C., in May to meet with Congressional officials to highlight the important role ethanol plays in reducing our dependence on foreign oil and revitalizing the American economy.

I joined Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis for a series of meetings with bipartisan Congressional delegations from South Dakota, Vermont, Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maryland, Connecticut and Massachusetts. 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 15 percent ethanol.

We emphasized how the RFS has bolstered Aberdeen, Brown County, South Dakota’s economy by encouraging the growth of thse American ethanol industry.

America’s energy independence, economic prosperity and communities like ours are moving forward thanks to the renewable fuels industry. 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.

During these meetings, we met with Senate and Congressional staffers and clarified misinformation on the ethanol industry, and reiterated how the RFS has helped Glacial Lakes Energy.

We stressed that our nation’s fuel supply needs to change from E10 to E15 for several reasons: help lower the cost of gas 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. During this time of skyrocketing gas prices, ethanol is the only tool our nation has 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 and to get E15 and other ethanol blends into the marketplace. American consumers deserve a choice at the pump.

H. Oscar Schlenker

Board of Directors Member of Glacial Lakes Energy