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Ethanol is best alternative fuel

NASHUA, Mont. -- Ethanol. It's clean, renewable and grown right here in America. It has been proven that ethanol already has saved Americans billions at the gas pump. More than 70 percent of American gas stations sell E10 -- a blend of 10 percent...

NASHUA, Mont. -- Ethanol. It's clean, renewable and grown right here in America. It has been proven that ethanol already has saved Americans billions at the gas pump. More than 70 percent of American gas stations sell E10 -- a blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gas -- the maximum amount allowed by a regulatory cap.

American ethanol is becoming better, cheaper and more efficient all the time. It can be made from cellulose, a compound found in all plant matter, such as agricultural waste and algae. This gives ethanol the potential to replace fossil fuels entirely within our lifetimes.

More than 300 million gallons of planned cellulosic ethanol production capacity is waiting to come online but is stalled because petroleum has been given 90 percent of the market. If we don't increase the blend of ethanol in our gas soon, many of these projects will be canceled or postponed.

That's why Ethanol Producers and Consumers and other entities have asked the Environmental Protection Agency to increase the allowable ethanol blend level to 15 percent.

Here's a look at what E15 will do:

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n E15 will create more jobs, many in rural America. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that for every 1 billion gallons of ethanol produced, 10,000 to 20,000 jobs will be added -- jobs that wouldn't be outsourced to another country.

n E15 will lead to energy independence. Ethanol already replaces more than 660,000 barrels of petroleum every day. Most of that petroleum is imported from other countries.

n E15 will reduce greenhouse gasses. Ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emission by approximately 50 percent compared with gasoline -- and even more with next-generation cellulosic ethanol.

The EPA has extended its comment period and is accepting public input on the E15 decision until July 20. More than 11,000 Americans already have said "yes" to E15, but your voice needs to be heard.

Please log on to www.GoE15.com to let the EPA know E15 is the kind of solution our country needs right now. Let them know you want to break our addiction to foreign oil. Let them know you want to keep dollars and jobs in the U.S. rather than sending them oversees. Let them know it is important to rural America. Let them know it's time for E15.

Editor's Note: Ball is executive director of Nashua, Mont.-based Ethanol Producers and Consumers.

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