Latham writes letter to Obama asking for ethanol support - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Latham writes letter to Obama asking for ethanol support

WASHINGTON, DC (News Release) - Iowa Congressman Tom Latham on Wednesday issued a call for the federal government to allow increased amounts of ethanol to be blended into gasoline, echoing a similar statement from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack earlier in the week.

Congressman Latham sent the following letter urging President Barack Obama also to support the initiative:

March 11, 2009

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I am writing to urge your strong support of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's position that the federal government should move quickly to increase the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline. In the spirit of Secretary Vilsack's position on this issue, I strongly encourage your strong support of raising the regulatory cap on ethanol blends beyond the current 10 percent limit.

As you may know, Iowa leads the nation in ethanol production and accounts for 26 percent of the production capacity. Ethanol is critically important to the Midwest's economy as the industry stimulates job growth and contributes to the quality of life in rural areas that had suffered years of economical stress. In fact, by raising the limitation, tens of thousands of jobs can be generated and several billion dollars can be added to our economy.

Ethanol's environmental benefits are an important part of reduced tailpipe emissions and recent studies indicate that corn-based ethanol reduced green house-gas emissions by as much as 62 percent relative to gasoline. It is my hope that by raising the regulatory cap on ethanol blends we can, in turn, further reduce harmful emissions in the years to come.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandated 36 billion gallons of ethanol to be blended into the domestic fuel supply by the year 2022. Unfortunately, the regulatory limitation will prevent this mandate from being fully implemented. Now is the time to move forward by increasing the base fuel blend to 15 or 20 percent ethanol.

Therefore, raising the cap on ethanol blends only makes sense for the environment, our economy, reducing our reliance on foreign oil and the healthy growth of the American renewable fuels industry.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this important matter.

Tom Latham
Member of Congress

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