Minnesota’s proud agricultural community plays a vital role in putting food on America’s table. Farmers should be recognized for meeting America’s energy needs as well. Ethanol is a renewable fuel that helps Americans save money at the pump, opens up new and needed markets for U.S. farmers, and burns cleaner than fossil fuels. As we face calls for transforming our energy supply, Minnesota should expand access to higher ethanol blends like E15 to create the most favorable environment for farmers and consumers alike.

E15 is a reliable energy option that meets the needs of people from every corner of the state. E15 is a consistently cheaper option at fuel stations across the county and can add up for folks who put on a lot of miles. E15 availability can also decrease U.S. dependence on foreign petroleum and source our energy here at home. It opens up a new market for farmers and bolsters local economies in the process. Additionally, by increasing access to E15 fuel in Minnesota, we can also work towards building a cleaner future for the next generation.

As a data analyst, business consultant, and member of the Minnesota Farmers Union, who works with ethanol plants all over North America, I have seen for myself the impressive efficiency Minnesota farmers and plant operators have gained over the past 15 years, reducing the environmental impact of farming and manufacturing, all while increasing economic activity and value. I have also had many opportunities to visit facilities all over the Midwest, where it’s plain to see the positive impact each plant has on local economies.

A future with more ethanol means a healthier, prosperous, and more energy independent Minnesota. I’m glad our local farmers and consumers across the state have the opportunity to benefit from a clean fuel source like E15.

Connie Lindstrom, Hallock, Minn.