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Grassroots Voice: Moving Beyond the Status Quo
by Brian Jennings

Oil has been spilling from the Gulf of Mexico for more than 70 days now and ACE has been calling on Congress to make the most of this national disaster, an opportunity to break oil’s grip on U.S. consumers and unleash ethanol’s ability to help create a clean energy future.

While some have accused us of “opportunism,” t he oil spill disaster merely the most recent and vivid example of how America has been all too willing to look away while we continue to feed our oil addiction.

It is also a vivid reminder that conventional oil supplies are being tapped out and maintaining our current level of addiction forces us to hunt for scarce deposits in deepwater wells or in the Canadian tar sands. These unconventional sources of oil are expensive and incompatible with the goals of a clean energy future.

As President Obama routinely points out, we cannot keep doing what we’ve been doing and hope for a different result. His advice is fitting for U.S. energy policy. We can and should do better than the status quo.

Ethanol is the most affordable and clean-burning alternative to gasoline. More importantly, unlike other promising alternatives, we don’t have to wait for ethanol. It is here now as the only commercially viable substitute for oil.

As the federal government formulates an energy and climate plan in response to the Gulf spill, it should consider three policies that would help us pivot from our unsustainable oil addiction to a clean energy future:

· Congress should extend VEETC and the Small Ethanol Producer Tax Credit which provide consumers with affordable and clean biofuel. Bipartisan legislation (H.R. 4940, S. 3231) has been introduced to extend the credits and save the 112,000 American jobs that depend on them.

· EPA should approve the use of 15 percent ethanol in gasoline for all cars. Consumers would pay considerably less for fuel and new domestic jobs would be created.

· Congress should expand consumer fuel choice by enacting legislation to deploy more Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) and blender pumps that can dispense a range of ethanol-gasoline blends. FFVs can use any blend of ethanol and gasoline and would force petroleum to compete at the pump. Similarly, blender pumps empower consumers to choose the most affordable fuel for their car. To this end, ACE supports S. 1627, the Harkin-Lugar “Consumer Fuels and Vehicle Choice Act.”

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