Let’s hope they’ll do the right thing quickly

Published 11:54 pm Thursday, March 2, 2006

By Staff
This week Rep. Neal Nitz (R-Baroda) introduced a plan which he hopes to not only rebuild Michigan's economy, but also help its residents save money at the pump.
Encouraging auto manufacturers to produce vehicles which are able to use biodiesel fuel and encouraging the addition of ethanol will eventually help our state's farmers.
His proposal also takes in account the variance in miles per gallon by offering a reduction in tax, to equalize the fuel's cost.
Just the other day our U.S. Rep. Fred Upton was also in Niles to introduce legislation which would see more ethanol in our tanks.
Though these measures may be coming late, they are better than not seeking solutions at all. Dependency on foreign oil must end. If would be good to see Michigan as a leader in making requirements which would eventually reach that end.
What needs to happen is for our legislators to keep politics out of their decisions and the efforts to become bipartisan.
We wish Upton and Nitz success with their proposals.
Drivers also have to be open to new fuel combinations and new vehicle models designed to use renewable fuels, presently, biodiesel and ethanol.
According to Nitz, biodiesel is a cleaner burning diesel fuel made from natural renewable sources such as soybean oil. Ethanol is a clean burning high octane fuel primarily produced today from corn kernels.
Nitz's plan, focuses on an 85 percent blend of ethanol or E85 and a five percent blend and up of biodiesel or B5.
Unfortunately, only four gas stations in Michigan are presently equipped to deliver E85. Incentives are also built into Nitz's plan to help stations pay for conversions or new pumps.
As GM and Ford make more vehicles with E85 capacity, Michigan needs to be one of the leaders in making this conversion and helping to have it happen quickly and in a convenient way for consumers.