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Veteran’s Day – Honoring Those Who Have Served

November 11, 2010


As a veteran, my military service ended 10 years ago. Hard to believe it has been that long, but the memories will never fade. My ten years of service are full of memories, those of the years of living overseas, the cultural experiences, the travel and ultimately the sacrifice. It is hard to put into words any of those, but in today's military, just 10 years later, much has changed.  Today is a day for the country to reflect on the past, the present and the future. A day when we show our support for those men and women who have defended our country and our way of life, along with those that still do today.  Freedom is not easy, nor will it ever be, but there are simple choices that we, as a nation, can make to eliminate some of these fights.  Choices to use more domestic products and in particular, domestic fuels. The U.S. ethanol industry has the capacity to produce nearly 14 billion gallons of domestic renewable fuel annually, or more than 10% of our fuel supply.  The Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) calls for this to grow to 36 billion gallons by 2022 and we believe it will continue to grow beyond this floor. In 2009 production of ethanol reached 10.6 billion gallons in the U.S. By using our country's homemade fuels, we were able to reduce the demand for imported oil by 364 million barrels, saving $21.3 billion! As the U.S. ethanol industry continues to grow and produces billions more gallons, our dependence on foreign oil will continue to decrease. Domestic fuel production also brings jobs and stronger economic stability. Supporting 400,000 jobs across the nation, the U.S. ethanol industry not only helps our fuel needs, but provides hard working Americans with jobs in all sectors of the economy.  By using ethanol blended fuels like E10, Americans have also been able to save money at the pumps, an average of about $200-400 per year. On the other hand, it costs about $100 billion per year for the U.S. Military to protect supertankers from transporting foreign oil through the dangerous maritime straights of the Middle East to the United States, putting our troop's lives on the line to fuel our addiction. USDA's Secretary Vilsack recently said, "Sixteen percent of our population is rural, but 40 percent of our military is rural." The ethanol industry also supports rural America, by purchasing a large amount of corn supply from local farmers surrounding the ethanol plant facilities. On this day, and all others, give thanks to those that have served and are still serving today.  I will close with this quote, taken from a POW/MIA bumper sticker: "For those that have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."