Springtime brings a sense of change, new life and a definite breath of fresh air. Though it may not be cold weather or the length of the season that has seemed to make the air around you stale this year, the change in scenery is just as welcome as years past. And while the temperatures warm and you make your way back outdoors again, ethanol is bringing you another breath of fresh air and a much needed change.
In March, Growth Energy submitted the Green Jobs Waiver to the Environmental Protection Agency to lift the ethanol blend limit from 10 percent (E10) up to 15 percent (E15). It is a simple change that could create approximately 70,000 – 140,000 green jobs that can’t be outsourced. Revitalizing our rural economies, these job opportunities are just the breath of fresh air our nation needs. And that’s not the only benefit this change will offer.
By lifting the blend limit, our nation can also achieve greater energy independence and cleaner emissions. Ethanol is already replacing billions of gallons of gasoline, but a move to E15 will allow America to avoid the importation of another seven billion gallons of gasoline. It is also better for the environment because ethanol offers a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional gasoline. A recent study released by the University of Nebraska – Lincoln showed that as a result of modern technology and innovation, today’s ethanol plant reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions by up to 59 percent compared to gasoline. Moving to E15 will also help to ensure that grain prices stay above the cost of production, something we have only seen a few times in the last 40 years.
And while ethanol works to make these changes for our nation, we continue to battle mistruths in the media proliferated by those willing to stop at nothing to protect our reliance on oil. The future success of our industry depends on the strength of our collective voice. Recently, we have been getting the facts out through our Growth Energy Co-Chairman, General Wesley Clark, Board Member, Jim Nussle and industry friend Newt Gingrich by driving a significant media and public relations campaign based on the truth about ethanol and agriculture.
Another powerful tool to inspire change has been created through Growth Energy’s grassroots advocacy called the eTeam. It was created so that every individual can have a voice in the discussions that are taking place today surrounding critical topics that relate to ethanol such as American jobs, a cleaner environment and of course, national security.
By joining the eTeam, members will be notified of hot topics and asked to take an active role by writing letters to editors, commenting on blogs or newspaper articles, contacting or writing your local/state/national representatives and even participating in community activities. Of course, instructions and talking points will be provided.
If you’re like me and frustrated with the treatment of agriculture and ethanol in the press, I urge you to join the eTeam by signing up on Growth Energy’s web site to participate in these grassroots activities which will strengthen our voice and help get the truth out about ethanol. Your knowledge and actions can help set the record straight when it comes to the tremendous benefits of ethanol, and motivate leaders to embrace a green, ag-based revolution.
With your help, ethanol can significantly change our nation and our world.