Letter: Ethanol will help U.S. wean itself off oil

First Posted: 3/30/2011

The article Tuesday about the impact of gas prices on our economy and the fact that these increases benefit foreign countries is right on. This increased expense to consumers is not contributing to America's economic recovery, but the continued prosperity of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries nations. Transportation fuel costs are also directly related to higher food prices as they're a major portion of food costs, much more significant than farm input.This increased flow of monies overseas contributes to foreign nations' abilities to wage war against us. Attaining energy independence is crucial to our national defense and elimination of the need for our men and women to wage war in the Middle East.Fortunately, Ohio is doing something about it. With the pending resumption of operations at Lima's ethanol plant, Ohio will be producing about 500 million gallons of ethanol a year. This new Ohio industry has produced about $1 billion in capital investment, created more than 250 jobs, and is providing Ohio's farmers with an opportunity to sell their corn at its true value.The result is a high-performance fuel (ask NASCAR drivers with their use of E-15) that costs less than gasoline, which translates to lower prices at the pump. It also returns the most valuable components of corn, protein/fat, back to the animal feed supply.America can become energy independent, but we must heed all of these warnings and reduce our dependence on petroleum-based fuels. We must respond by leveraging America's technology and resources. Ethanol accomplishes this and provides the best near-term opportunity to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.Mark Borer is president of Ohio Ethanol Producers and general manager of Poet Biorefining, Leipsic.

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