Ethanol future in play – opinion

Ethanol has worked hard for its place at the pump, and for now the alternative fuel will keep it.


Ethanol future in play - opinionA challenge from petroleum companies sought to block the sale of E15, a fuel that’s 15 percent ethanol blended with petroleum. The U.S. Supreme Court decided not to consider the challenge, letting a lower court ruling stand that found the fuel had been adequately tested to be safe.

 The cost of petroleum fuels and concern about the environment compel continued research and development of alternative fuels. Ethanol, often made from corn grown here in the Midwest, has been in the market for some time. Although the fuel has its detractors, processors continue to make improvements to make ethanol about the most efficient alternative available.

Missouri has a mandate requiring all gasoline to contain at least 10 percent ethanol. Leaders in the corn industry suggest the oil companies soon will be pressured into providing fuels containing higher blends of ethanol.

The demand for ethanol has contributed to increasing grain prices, which has had positive impacts throughout regional rural economies.

The impact has been less positive for livestock farmers who face higher costs when buying feed for their animals.

Criticism from the petroleum industry about alternative fuels must be fielded with a discerning eye. At the same time, ethanol processors and corn growers must continue their due diligence in perfecting the product and providing honest information to consumers.

Ethanol has proven its validity to the court. Drivers, however, will have the final say.

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