Ethanol should not be reduced

Unfortunately, it appears as if the Minnesota Daily has fallen under the oil industry’s spell. A Dec. 3 editorial slammed ethanol and questioned its environmental benefits compared to gasoline.

The fact is that the oil industry has enlisted anti-everything environmental groups like the Environmental Working Group to attack farmers and bash ethanol.

It’s all part of the oil industry’s plans to repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), squash competition at the pump and strengthen its monopoly on the transportation fuels market.

Renewable fuels supporters might not have the deep pockets and political connections the oil industry enjoys, but we do have facts on our side.

According to a Louisiana State University study, the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to slash the amount of ethanol we blend in gasoline will increase gas prices by 5.7 cents per gallon. This would add up to a $10.3 billion windfall for oil companies.

According to the Renewable Fuels Association, using more gasoline and less ethanol would result in a 5.1 million metric ton increase in greenhouse gas emissions — the equivalent of adding 1 million cars to the road overnight.

Ethanol offers consumers a real choice at the pump and provides long-overdue competition for the oil industry. Now is not the time to give up on ethanol as a viable, homegrown alternative to expensive, dirty and foreign oil.

– Nick Peterson, University student


Would you rather get your fuel from the Alberta tar sands, a Middle Eastern country that hates the United States or a Minnesota cornfield?

I understand not everyone is going to choose a Minnesota cornfield like I would, but I think it’s important that we at least have the option of choosing a homegrown and renewable fuel.

If the Environmental Protection Agency and the Minnesota Daily editorial board get their way, we wouldn’t even have the choice.

The EPA has proposed slashing the amount of ethanol we blend in gasoline. In a misguided Dec. 3 editorial, the Daily editorial board endorsed the proposal.

I believe in a free market, and ethanol provides some long-overdue competition for oil companies on the transportation fuels market.

When I fill up my car, I want options. The American economy thrives on competition, and monopolies like the one oil industries currently enjoy harm consumers.

Since Minnesota has no fossil fuel resources of our own, much of our gasoline comes from the Canadian tar sands. Producing a barrel of tar sands oil emits two to three times the amount of greenhouse gas compared to a conventional barrel of oil.

Of course, we all know the dangers of relying on Middle Eastern oil to meet our energy needs.

I want a homegrown and local option at the pump. Ethanol gives it to me. If the Daily took a little time to cut through all the rhetoric and talking points put out by oil industries, it would also develop a better understanding of ethanol’s benefits when compared to foreign oil.

– Kevin Welter, University student