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Grassroots Voice: Grassroots Ethanol Prepares for Capitol Hill Visit
by Brian Jennings

When it comes to influencing policy in our nation’s capital, nothing tops the effectiveness of face-to-face meetings between Members of Congress and their local, grassroots constituents.

Some groups do not have real grassroots supporters, so they invent “astroturf” campaigns bankrolled by a large corporation and comprised of phony members and special-interest schemes.

One of ACE’s greatest strengths is our authentic grassroots membership, people from all over the country who not only support ethanol, but more importantly are willing to actively fight for policies that make our industry stronger. ACE has united farmers, bankers, teachers, equipment dealers, investors, industry suppliers, and ethanol producers in our grassroots coalition, and we have deputized them to take action in support of ethanol over the years.

One of our most successful strategies to mobilize grassroots support for ethanol is through our annual “fly-in” to Washington, DC.

I am pleased to announce that ACE is organizing another fly-in, the “Biofuels Beltway March,” to be held on March 22-23. This event in the nation’s capital will include meetings with key Members of Congress and Administration officials who have authority over the policy issues that matter most to us. Please contact our office for more information or to sign up to participate in this important event.

There has never been a more urgent time to make grassroots ethanol voices heard on Capitol Hill – consider the critical policy issues facing the ethanol industry:

  • VEETC – the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit – expires in 2010 and needs to be extended.
  • EPA is still weighing whether to approve up to E15 for all cars.
  • A bill is pending to provide more FFVs and blender pumps, and this legislation is needed to help us get meaningful choices such as E20 and E20 and avoid lurching from the E10 blend wall to the E15 blend wall.
  • Ethanol critics continue to wage misinformation campaigns about ethanol’s land use and food price impacts.

Your grassroots voice and presence in DC puts a real-life face on these issues. Moreover, the diversity of ACE members – ethanol producers, farmers, bankers, electric cooperatives, equipment suppliers, etc. – demonstrates that support for ethanol is far-reaching and that ethanol policies provide a meaningful return on investment.

Because policy issues have profound influence over the success of ethanol, we need you to turn out in force to stand up and fight for ethanol policies. Ethanol opponents are working the halls of Congress to distort our industry’s reputation – your participation in the Biofuels Beltway March is essential to set the record straight.

I hope to see you in Washington, DC next month.

 
© American Coalition for Ethanol, all rights reserved.
The American Coalition for Ethanol publishes Ethanol Today magazine each month to cover the biofuels industryís hot topics, including cellulosic ethanol, E85, corn ethanol, food versus fuel, ethanolís carbon footprint, E10, E15, and mid-range ethanol blends.
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