Letter: Ethanol: Dream big

Source: By Orrie Swayze, Argus Leader • Posted: Sunday, June 19, 2016

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Historical reminder to dream big: A September 1985 AP news story described a ‘rural democrat led sharp turn’ in South Dakota legislative business policy direction. A summer study legislative committee recommended that a one cent tax/gallon on S.D. pipeline imported fuels would be a ‘good business investment’: Revenues were directed to subsidize building a huge S.D. ethanol industry creating thousands of jobs and expand livestock production. Expectantly, that would also create hundreds millions of additional value for our agricultural /related business resources and lower fuel costs several to 50 cents a gallon:

Fantasy? Hardly, because that S.D. good business plan brought Broin’s to the Scotland plant, or Poet’s birth place, plus S.D.’s billion gallon ethanol industry. Remarkably, S.D.’s ethanol plant building boom spread across the Midwest and continues to lower your fuel costs up to 50 cents/gallon and add millions to business activity across S.D. and other states. Tragically, S.D.’s big vision leadership role for our corn ethanol industry has faded into a ‘one and done’ small vision.

Let’s revive S.D.’s leadership for big vision, good business policies by putting state-owned non-flex fuel vehicles on E30 and utilize remaining pipeline tax revenues assuring all S.D. auto owners’ access to lower cost ethanol’s premium blend E30. We will double corn ethanol demand, enabling free enterprise principles to add thousands of jobs, hundreds of millions of new wealth and business activity across rural economies again.

Fantasy? Hardly. Historically, other states followed the S.D. ethanol plant building boom and E85 blender pump installations. Most importantly, auto makers followed the S.D. created nation’s first, legendary E85 flex fuel auto (1988 Corsica, with E85 painted on the doors) by producing their own versions. Little doubt, S.D. leadership can lead auto makers/auto owners to embrace ethanol’s premium blend E30 for so called non-flex fuel vehicles.