Ethanol is crucial to our national security

By Jeff Oestmann, CEO of East Kansas Agri-Energy
Des Moines Register

As a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, it is no surprise to me that so many former servicemen and women end up working in America’s ethanol industry. It’s a good fit for us. In fact, nearly 20 percent of the employees at East Kansas Agri-Energy, where I serve as president and CEO, are veterans of our armed forces.

After serving our country in uniform, we have chosen to work in the renewable fuels industry because it allows us to continue honoring a commitment to make America stronger and more independent. We take great pride in knowing we work in an industry that improves our nation’s energy security, economic vitality and environmental quality each and every day.

That’s why I, along with scores of other veterans who work and invest in the ethanol industry, sent a letter to President Donald Trump recently, urging him to include a prominent role for ethanol and the Renewable Fuels Standard in his “America First Energy Plan.”

Released on Inauguration Day, the president’s plan highlights the importance of reducing America’s reliance on imported crude oil, especially from the OPEC cartel. It calls for strengthening domestic energy security by eliminating the regulatory barriers that constrain U.S. energy production.

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