LETTER: Standing up for ethanol
I am responding to Ari LeVaux’s guest column published in the Post’s editorial section on Monday, Aug. 5, “Some states recognize that corn ethanol is a bum deal.”
Much of the information given by LeVaux is old and outdated information about the corn ethanol industry. Plus, I doubt that LeVaux grew up in the Midwest where farming was almost a nonprofit business in this country for nearly a century. I helped start the farm-based ethanol fuels movement in this country in the 1970s, because I could no longer watch farm families face further economic hardships for years to come. I saw ethanol fuels as a new market for farm crops and a better economic future for farmers. I don’t know if LeVaux knows what it is like to see his family and neighbors suffer financially for many years. Well, I do. Thus, my motivation for promoting the farm-based ethanol concept for more than 35 years.
The energy crisis days of the 1970s helped bring farm ethanol fuels into the nation’s energy picture. Having home-grown renewable fuels bolsters national security. If we, meaning the Nebraska Ethanol Commission and many Midwestern states, had not pushed Congress hard for ethanol fuel legislation in the 1970s, we might not be talking about any type of renewable energy today.
Personally, I don’t like having regular commercial corn heavily drenched in chemicals in our food supply. The same goes for Monsanto’s GMO crops. So, these crops might as well be processed into ethanol fuels.
The states of Maine and Florida are not going to convince other states, especially agricultural states, to drop ethanol fuels. The farm-based ethanol fuels industry has been a great jobs creator for many economically depressed rural communities in the U.S. Subsidies or no subsidies, farm-based ethanol fuel made from corn or corn stalks needs to stay in our nation’s fuel pumps. America needs to invest more in a farm-based oil-free energy economy. No subsidies needed.
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