Representative Fueling Idea

By: Sabrina Wu
By: Sabrina Wu

The cure for huge gas prices may lie in Wisconsin's cornfields. That's according to a state representative from the area who'd like to see a certain percentage of ethanol in our state's gasoline.

"Right now if were using more ethanol, the price at the pump would be even less than it is right now." Jerry Petrowski (R) - 86th Dist. said.

Ethanol is a product of corn that is blended with gasoline to help it burn cleaner. Petrowski adds that using more ethanol would decrease our country's dependence on foreign countries.

"If we are using ethanol that comes from here in Wisconsin from corn," Petrowski said, "We will not be using crude oil that comes from a variety of places."

Petrowski says one thing that's held back the construction of more plants is the misconception that they produce foul smells. This is a misconception Petrowski says he hopes to help correct. Extended Web Coverage

Ethanol Facts

Consumer Benefits

  • U. S. consumers use more than 16 billion gallons of high performance, cleaner burning ethanol-blended gasoline each year.

  • Ethanol increases oxygenate supplies, reducing the need for MTBE imports and helping to reduce consumer costs.

  • Ethanol is a high-octane blending component used by many gasoline marketers -- helping to keep this important class of trade viable and creating competition for the major oil companies.

  • Since the petroleum refining industry is running at near capacity, the ethanol industry helps extend our petroleum supply, thereby helping moderate fuels costs to consumers.

Economic Benefits

  • More than $3 billion has been invested in 57 ethanol production facilities operating in 20 different states across the country.

  • The ethanol industry is responsible for more than 40,000 direct and indirect jobs, creating more than $1.3 billion in increased household income annually, and more than $12.6 billion over the next five years.

  • The ethanol industry directly and indirectly adds more than $6 billion to the American economy each year.

  • The demand for grain created by ethanol production increases net farm income more than $12 billion annually.

  • Increases in ethanol production offer enormous potential for economic growth in small rural communities. USDA has estimated that a 100 million gallon ethanol plant could create 2,250 local jobs.

Environmental Benefits
  • Ten-percent ethanol blends reduce carbon monoxide better than any other reformulated gasoline blend, more than 25 percent.

  • Ethanol is low in reactivity and high in oxygen content, making it an effective tool in reducing ozone pollution.

Source: (American Coalition for Ethanol Web site) contributed to this report.

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