From the halls of Washington and the Ohio Statehouse, the future for ethanol is bright.
It’s potential and significance was made evident after listening to both Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland’s State of the State Address and President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address. I was happy to hear the officials’ plans for implementing renewable-fuels production in our state and throughout our country.
OCGA will monitor both Gov. Strickland’s and President Obama’s progress in the coming months and will also continue to provide information about opportunities to develop infrastructure for a growing industry. Promises are one thing; action is what OCGA is looking for.
Here are some of the key comments in both speeches.
“We are taking the vital next steps to advance our energy economy,” Strickland said, citing the creation of the Energy Gateway Fund to invest in fuel cells, solar, wind, energy storage and the like in the Buckeye State.
Ethanol’s influence is far-reaching in terms of its economic, environmental and energy-security benefits. Strickland and Obama are well aware of these benefits.
- In 2009, the U.S. ethanol industry supported nearly half-a-million jobs.
- Research shows a 35 to 46 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions and a 50 to 60 percent reduction in fossil-energy consumption because of the use of ethanol as a motor fuel.
- The production and use of 10.6 billion gallons of ethanol in 2009 displaced the need for more than 321.4 million barrels of oil and saved American consumers and taxpayers more than $32 billion.
“Providing incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future, because the nation that leads the clean-energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy, and America must be that nation,” Obama said.
To ensure our progress, both leaders noted that Ohio and the country at large must be proactive and resolute.
“We’ve made it this far, this fast on advanced energy because we pursued smart, responsible policies and we made smart, responsible investments,” Strickland said.
Obama concurred, “But to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives. That means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country. It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development. It means continued investment in advanced biofuels and clean coal technologies.”
My conviction in ethanol as a premier biofuel is greater than ever. OCGA will continue to advocate ethanol as a domestic, green-energy source and will also campaign to increase the allowable limit of ethanol-blend fuel at the pump.
I hope both our state and nation continue on the path of advancing ethanol for everyone’s benefit.
‘Til next time,