President, Barack Obama, has been touring through the Midwest the last couple of days talking about rural economic development. On Wednesday, he toured an ethanol plant in Macon, Missouri and stressed the important role that ethanol and other biofuels have in boosting rural communities.
“There shouldn’t be any doubt that renewable, home-grown fuels are a key part of our strategy,” said President Obama.
With nearly 400,000 employee’s nationwide working in the ethanol industry alone, those good paying jobs are extremely important in rural areas where 20% of the nation’s population live.
The President made sure to note that he is no stranger to ethanol.
“I may be President these days, but I used to be a Senator from Illinois. I didn’t just discover the merits of biofuels like ethanol when I first hopped on the campaign bus. I believe in their potential to contribute to our rural economies and our clean energy economy used to be a senator from Illinois. I believe.”
President Obama went on to say that now is the time to reduce our dependence on imported oil.
“For decades we have talked about doing this, for decades we have talked about how that dependence on oil from other countries threatens our economy, but usually our will to act kind of rises or falls depending on the price of gas at the pump,” he said.
The President also acknowledged that ethanol has benefits beyond being an economic booster.
“I believe in the potential of what you are doing right here to contribute to our clean energy future.”