Ethanol a step in right direction

Published 9:47 pm Saturday, February 25, 2006

By By ANDY HAMILTON / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) wants Americans to begin moving away from gasoline. The goal of the newest bill proposed by Upton is to ease America's dependence on oil by requiring all gasoline to have a 10 percent ethanol blend by 2012.
Upton announced the new bill at a Citgo gas station in Niles on Thursday morning and 24 hours later, some members of the area were ready to respond.
May Herman of Niles said she thought the proposed legislation was a good start, but wondered if a larger step could be taken.
Increasing the amount of ethanol would require the use of more corn, and Grace Singer of Niles questioned whether or not the country's farmers could keep up with the requests.
Sean Hall of Buchanan said an increased need for corn would be a huge boost to area farmers. His neighbors who farm are often left with fields of untouched corn because the cost to harvest the crop exceeds the earnings, he said. Hall said his only concern with the proposed fuel mixture would be the ability to operate older vehicles, but Upton has said all vehicles currently on the road can use 10 percent ethanol without risk or complications.
Another Buchanan resident, Tami Vogel, echoed Hall's concerns of the affects the altered fuel would have on older cars.
Upton has said H.R. 4774 would decrease the country's annual gasoline consumption by over 300 million barrels.