It was positive to hear both candidates in a recent presidential debate mention ethanol and the role biofuels and the Renewable Fuel Standard plays in boosting Ohio’s economy and creating energy independence.
Ohio is a leader in biofuel production. According to a study released by Ohio State University, our state’s six ethanol plants have helped support over 13,000 jobs and pumped over $2.6 billion into the economy since 2008. These jobs span the state in plants, farms, research labs and construction. If you ask any corn farmer about biofuels’ impact, you’re likely to hear a positive personal story on how ethanol plants have improved his business.
Unfortunately, this progress is under attack. Opponents of biofuels have filed a waiver request with the Environmental Protection Agency to limit the Renewable Fuel Standard and ethanol use. If this waiver is granted, the negative impact on Ohio’s agriculture and ethanol industry will be overwhelming: less jobs, less Ohio investment and less opportunity for rural communities.
The Ohio Ethanol Producers Association strongly supports biofuels because we see the success it brings to Ohio every single day. Ending all the progress we’ve made now would be foolish.
(The author is president of the Ohio Ethanol Producers Association and general manager of POET – Leipsic.)