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South Dakota Delegation Calls for More Consumer Fuel Choice
by Kelly Nyberg

At a June 30 press conference at the American Coalition for Ethanol headquarters, U.S. Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD) and John Thune (R-SD), along with Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-SD), called for increasing the use of mid-range ethanol blends.

Citing the nearly $2 billion that the United States currently pays each day for imported oil, the legislators say that providing more fuel options to the nation’s drivers is part of the solution.

“ We need to begin giving consumers a choice on blended fuel if we are going to decrease dependence on other countries ,” Johnson said. “The answer is long-term ethanol.”

“We believe drivers deserve more choices, such as E20, E30, and E85. Not only are they better for energy security and the environment, but these fuels don’t take such a bite out of their wallets as well,” said Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of ACE.

Jennings noted ACE’s long-standing efforts to promote ethanol blender pumps, which increase the use of ethanol and the availability of mid-range blends.

Representative Herseth-Sandlin says that the country as a whole needs to accelerate the timetable on biofuels. She recommends that automobile manufacturers should increase the number of flex-fuel vehicles being produced, noting that it only costs $100-$150 extra to make a vehicle with flex-fuel capability.

“This will do more to enhance consumer choice, and it doesn’t add a substantive cost,” she said.

The delegation discussed the fact that most of their colleagues in Washington are concerned about the issue of renewable fuels, but there is still some disagreement about how best to address the issue.

“We need to look at everything that is available to us. We will find a consensus, because everyone is concerned,” Herseth-Sandlin said.

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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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