You've heard it before. "I have nothing against ethanol except"… and the speaker or writer names something that can delay our increased use of corn ethanol to power our cars and trucks. Why do they say that?
Jim Boyt, a long-time advertising man who has various ties to agriculture in Iowa, including as a farm owner, says it's time for farmers and other supporters of ethanol to stand up and be heard. "We need to spread the word about the good that ethanol as a renewable fuel is doing for our country, the economy and the environment," says Boyt, who resides in Des Moines.
He's launching a campaign to get farmers and landowners to purchase signs to post on their property near Iowa roadways, signs with catchy messages or slogans promoting ethanol on them. The idea is to educate the thousands of motorists who pass by every day on busy roadways. The signs are kind of like the old Burma Shave signs of many years ago. "On some rural roads it may only be less than a hundred cars per day that pass by," he notes. "On other roadways and highways, it may be a thousand or more. But they will all get the message."
Remember the old "Burma Shave" signs? They delivered a message
Boyt has come up with an example of such a sign that accompanies this article. It reads: "Ethanol"--"Helps Set Us"—"Free"—"From Foreign Oil"—"Dependency".
"Everyday we Americans send a billion to a half billion dollars out of our country for foreign oil," points out Boyt. "The average over the last couple of years is $300 billion a year, depending on the price of oil. Much of this money goes to people who do not wish us well." In the following article Boyt tells the rest of the story and explains why you should buy one of these signs or make a similar sign yourself and post it on your land next to a roadway. Here's his message and explanation as to why you should do this:
No foreigner can cut off our supply of our own home-grown ethanol and no lives are lost defending our corn fields and ethanol plants. The reason some people in the oil industry are against ethanol is that it works--at a price we can afford--and it is available NOW. Ethanol is real competition to gasoline and foreign oil. And the money stays here in America.
Ethanol production helps set us free from foreign oil dependency
With the stakes high, the obvious strategy of the oil industry and other naysayers is to delay, delay, delay. They keep the heat on EPA to delay approval of higher blends of ethanol. The critics propose all kinds of good-sounding alternatives, all of which have one thing in common, they aren't available now and may never prove practical.
The ethanol industry is investing heavily in research to find alternative feedstocks for ethanol and other liquid fuels for cars and trucks. Some may eventually prove practical. Meanwhile, ethanol from corn is the only fuel we produce today to help set us free from foreign oil dependency. Today, about 10% of our motor fuel comes from ethanol made from corn yet we have the capacity to increase the amount significantly with the ethanol plants we have now. We have the technology to build more state-of-art ethanol plants that very efficiently use corn, water and energy.
More flex fuel vehicles, blender pumps at gas stations are sorely needed
Brazil has shown us the way to freedom from reliance on foreign oil. Their cars and trucks are flex-fuel, running on fuel ranging from 100% gasoline to 85% ethanol. And the filling stations in Brazil use blender pumps so buyers can select the fuel they want, from no ethanol to 85% ethanol. Understandably, foreign oil interests are against flex-fuel vehicles and blender pumps, and they are very creative in delaying the adoption of this technology in the U.S.
With today's ethanol processes, a third of the corn kernel, including the protein, goes for animal feed. And, though we are producing more corn-based ethanol than ever before, we are doing it on fewer acres as corn yields per acre continue to increase and ethanol plants have become much more efficient. Meanwhile, feed, alcohol, food and industrial uses of corn remain constant.
How do we set ourselves free from depending on imported foreign oil?
So how do we help set ourselves free from foreign oil dependency? Here's Boyt's suggestion: First, the U.S. government needs to really raise the "blend wall" of 10% ethanol in gasoline. We need E15 and higher blends, he says. "The 10% blend of ethanol with gasoline that is now widely used in the U. S. was a political compromise, not a scientific decision."
Second, produce more flex-fuel cars and trucks. The extra cost, if any, is less than the cost of a remote ignition key; yet, it can save hundreds of dollars or even thousands of dollars over the life of the vehicle.
Third thing we should do in the U.S. is install blender pumps at gas stations so motorists can choose the percent of ethanol they want--or no ethanol at all in their gasoline, if they so desire. This will remove the concerns of the boat people and small engine people, who claim that ethanol can ruin those engines
You can help ethanol by buying one of these signs, or make your own
"When we finally get around to doing these things, the days of delay will be over and America's motorists will be back in the driver's seat. We don't need our armed forces to protect our corn fields and ethanol plants," says Boyt.
He adds, "There is something you and I and every farmer can do to spread the truth about ethanol now while the Iowa Caucuses draw reporters and photographers and others to Iowa. Put a series of these signs on your land along the roads serving your farm." These signs are available printed on adhesive backed vinyl 18-in. x 44-in. from FASTSIGNS in Des Moines for $99 shipping paid. Or you can make your own signs. "However, it is very important to do this now, while the eyes of America are on Iowa," says Boyt.
If you are interested in purchasing a sign From FastSigns in Des Moines, contact [email protected]. Or phone him at 515-224-1210.