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Ethanol industry positively impacting U.S. economy

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

To The Editor:

Today our country is in an economic mess with no solution in sight. If there is one thing that all parties must come together on, it is a strategy to create jobs in order to get this country back on track.

There is a simple solution right in front of us which has provided an unparalleled, value-added opportunity for agriculture and America. It has generated good-paying jobs, spurred economic activity, and provided rural youth a reason and an opportunity to find jobs closer to home.

This solution is the new and advanced ethanol industry which has developed over the past 10 years. After leaving a declining plastics manufacturing industry which Asia is now dominating, I joined an ethanol company and quickly learned that the common myths about ethanol are simply not true.

I'm amazed by the clean, energy-efficient technology associated with ethanol production, and the opportunity to produce more ethanol using the new, advanced cellulosic ethanol technology.

This year at the POET Biorefining-Cloverdale plant, we created 50 direct jobs and an estimated 240 other support jobs related to the ethanol plant start-up.

Every year we pay $300 billion annually to foreign countries for oil. Increasing access to higher-level blends of ethanol will reduce the role that foreign oil plays in our economy and will keep more dollars in the U.S. economy.

At 10 percent of our fuel supply, the ethanol industry contributed $53.6 billion to the nation's economy, generated $8.6 billion in federal tax revenues and supported more than 400,000 direct and indirect jobs that can't be outsourced. The ethanol industry is prepared to double this impact.

As a job creator, I strongly recommend that it is time to invest in homegrown, renewable energy that will put Americans back to work and get our economy back on track.

Dave Brooks

General manager

POET Biorefining

Cloverdale