Farmers reactions to E15 being approved by the EPA - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Farmers reactions to E15 being approved by the EPA

ALBERT LEA, Minn. (KTTC) -- Thanks to a new Environmental Protection Agency ruling, if you have a vehicle manufactured after 2000, you now have another choice at the pump. Instead of just a 10% Ethanol blend in your gasoline, you can now take advantage of a 15% blend.

Farmers in Southeastern Minnesota said an increase in Ethanol use is beneficial to all consumers.

"The ethanol industry is critical to national security. I look at our industry as reducing our intake of foreign oil in this country," said Brad Nelson, a farmer.

"E-15 is a good thing for the economy, both for farmers and for the American people because we're going to have less dependency upon foreign oil," stated Andy Bakken.

If a democracy is about freedom of choice, some Americans now have another.

"It'll be a choice for them instead of being required to blend in 10%. They can have a choice and maybe save a little money," explained Nelson.

While some opponents to the increase in Ethanol blend claim corn growers are the only ones benefiting, local farmers told us that isn't so.

"Even if we are making a little more money now, that money is staying local. It's benefiting our schools and communities, we're taxed on that," Bakken reminded critics.

In a report critics said Ethanol, a type of alcohol that's made from corn, is raising the price of animal feed and in turn meat. Bakken told us ethanol isn't what's raising grocery store prices.

"There's more demand for protein or animal meat overseas in countries like China or India. More demands, means more exports and the end-result is higher prices," explained Bakken.

Using a 15% blend of Ethanol in gasoline is just another step towards the state's goal of requiring the use of E-20 by 2013.


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