Increase ethanol in fuel standard

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: December 26 2013 | 1:27 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 1:18 am in
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The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a rule that could damage Linn County’s economy. By reducing the amount of ethanol in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is siding with oil companies over many of our neighbors.

In my time as Linn County supervisor, I have seen the ethanol industry help Cedar Rapids through recovery and prosperity. Linn County is home to multiple companies in the renewable fuel industry. Our local economy also affects many of the surrounding areas.

The EPA’s planned reduction is not because of ethanol production, but because of lies being told by Big Oil. Big Oil claims that renewable fuels will increase gas prices, but we in Iowa know better. We know that ethanol is a renewable fuel that brings millions into local economies, and is responsible for thousands of jobs. Ethanol is also a threat to oil companies because it is significantly cleaner than regular oil. The fact that we can create a clean fuel, entirely at home, threatens companies who depend on foreign oil.

I was at President Barack Obama’s first campaign event in Iowa, it was right here in Cedar Rapids at Kennedy High School. I was one of the first elected officials to endorse him. At that event, Obama expressed his support for ethanol and renewable fuels. I urge the EPA to follow what the president said during his campaign and support Iowa communities by increasing the amount of ethanol in the renewable fuel standard.

Lu Barron

Linn County



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