Mr. Obama, Tear Down that Wall!!


(Watertown, South Dakota)  The Urban Air Initiative (UAI) called on President Obama to take action to remove barriers to the market for ethanol by echoing the words of Ronald Regan, who once called on Soviet leader Gorbachev to Tear Down that Wall!

In a full page ad running in almost every newspaper in the state this week, UAI seized on the President’s visit to the state and fashioned a message that stressed the many benefits of ethanol but also reminded the President he has the ability to remove the so called blend wall by directing his Environmental Protection Agency to do so. President Obama is speaking at a commencement today and completes his personal stop at every state in the union, something only four other presidents have done.

UAI President David VanderGriend said there could not be a more appropriate place to bring both the benefits and the challenges of ethanol to the President’s attention. South Dakota is one of the leading ethanol production states in the country. “We have an opportunity to improve air quality, reduce carbon emissions, create jobs, and continue our revitalization of the economy if given access to the market”, said VanderGriend. “Perhaps of most importance is the positive impact on human health and the fact that we can save lives by replacing the most harmful components of gasoline”.

VanderGriend and other UAI officials said the single most effective thing the President can do is direct EPA to allow all ethanol blends to compete in the market by removing an artificial barrier which is the interpretation of vapor pressure regulations. “Blending ethanol above 10% actually lowers vapor pressure and when splash blended–that is, simply adding ethanol to finished E10 gasoline– we begin to significantly improve fuel quality and protect public health.”

The UAI ad uses a powerful image of a gas pump smashing a wall and lists a range of benefits that ethanol provides.

“Here in Watertown we’ve used 10, 20, and even 30% blends of ethanol for many years with no issues. We want the President to see firsthand how the renewable fuel standard and American agriculture are moving our country forward,” said VanderGriend.

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