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LETTER: The many benefits of ethanol

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To the Editor:

I'm a big believer in the benefits of ethanol.

I've used it in my vehicles, lawn mower and snow blower for many years. In fact, my reliable 1998 V6 Buick has burned nothing but ethanol-blend fuel since I bought it with 15,000 miles. That car has now racked up 330,000 miles and still runs smoothly at the Opportunities Farm near Lennox, where it's used as a farm car.

E10, gasoline blended with 10 percent ethanol, has been a standard go-to fuel for

consumers. E15, a 15 percent blend approved for all vehicles 2001 and newer, is even

cleaner burning and costs less. Unfortunately, an antiquated federal regulation bans the sale of E15 during summer.

It's time for year-round sales and here's why.

• E15 would provide a lower-cost option to deal with gasoline prices approaching a four-year high. Retailers in 30 states currently offer E15 for at least eight months each year.

• The ethanol industry provides a $4 billion annual boost to our state's economy. South Dakota has 15 major ethanol plants that produce more than 1 billion gallons of ethanol annually, and a 16th plant is under construction. Those plants provide a vital market for our corn and thousands of quality jobs in rural communities.

• It's good for the environment — ethanol is a cleaner fuel.

At a time when U.S. farm income stands at a 12-year low, growth opportunities for homegrown biofuels should be a priority. President Trump has committed to year-round sales of E15 and support of the Renewable Fuels Standard. We need our congressional delegation to continue to put pressure on the president and the EPA to follow through.

Ethanol has a successful track record and it's time to make E15 available year-round. Best of all, we can support South Dakota farmers when they need it most.

Jim Woster

Sioux Falls