WASHINGTON—More than 120 military veterans working and investing in the ethanol industry sent a letter to President Trump last week, urging him to include a prominent role for ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in his “America First Energy Plan.”

According to the letter, “many of us have witnessed firsthand the dangers of our reliance on oil imports from hostile and unstable parts of the world. We share your belief that the United States can and must do more to insulate itself from the negative impacts associated with oil import dependence and OPEC manipulation. Your continued commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard and pledge to ‘end restrictions that keep higher blends of ethanol from being sold’ are among the strategies that will help free our economy from the influence of OPEC oil ministers once and for all.”

The veterans signing the letter work in 18 different states—from California and Oregon to Ohio and Wisconsin—and represent 41 businesses or organizations directly involved in the U.S. ethanol industry. They served in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy.

Reacting to the letter, RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen offered the following statement:

“The U.S. ethanol industry is honored to employ so many veterans, and we applaud their efforts to encourage President Trump to prominently include ethanol and the RFS in his energy plan. Driven by the RFS, dramatic growth in ethanol production has played a crucial role in boosting domestic fuel supplies and improving our nation’s energy security. Last year alone, the 15.3 billion gallons of ethanol produced by our industry displaced an amount of gasoline refined from 540 million barrels of imported crude oil.”