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To the editor:

It has been over 40 years since the oil embargo of October 1973. Four decades later we are still exposed to oil price hikes and high gas prices at the pump because we overwhelmingly rely on one source of fuel.

In 2005, as a country we imported over 60 percent of our crude oil needs. That number has been reduced to around 35 percent in 2013. This reduction has come from a number of factors including increased domestic oil production, increased efficiency of our vehicles, as well as an increase in the blending of renewable fuels into our fuel supply.

In 2013, we blended over 13 billion gallons of American-made ethanol into our fuel supply. Had we not displaced those 13 billion gallons of gasoline, we would have been forced to import over 40 percent of our crude oil needs.

The cost of importing this oil is expensive. In fact, the U.S. spends over $100 billion per year on military operations securing the safe delivery of oil from the Persian Gulf. Wouldn’t this money be better spent elsewhere?

There is a solution in place today that can greatly reduce our dependence on these foreign fuels. E85 is a 100 percent American biofuel that is produced right here in Minnesota. In fact, it is produced just 50 miles from Alexandria, and it is available in Alexandria for a guaranteed $1 less than gasoline all summer. The money spent at the pump on higher level ethanol blends will stay at home in our own economy, supporting local jobs and farms instead of potentially leaving for good.

Every dollar you spend is a vote for how you want the world to be, and who you want to control it. Think about that the next time you fill up.

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