It seems over-zealous regulators and outright opponents have dragged out the issue as long as they can, and finally had to give up and allow us to pump an additional 5 percent of alcohol into our gas tanks.
The final hurdle was approval of a "Misfueling Mitigation Plan" which will primarily amount to placing a sticker warning you that it is illegal to pump gasoline with 15 percent alcohol into vehicles older than 2001, and the fuel may harm other types of moters, plus paperwork and a survey for the dealers.
Considering the political, economic, environmental and military implications of attempting to maintain our national oil supply, it is hard to see justification for discouraging the use of ethanol.
As proponents point out:
* No fuel blend has been tested as thoroughtly as E15 -- it's been under study for three years.
* E15 will reduce our dependence on foreign oil by 7 billion gallons annually.
* E15 will create up to 136,000 American jobs that can't be outsourced.
* E15 will improve our environment by producing 59 percent fewer harmful emissions.
"Today, the last significant federal hurdle has been cleared to allow consumers to buy fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol (E15)," said Tom Vilsack, U.S. Agriculture Secretary.
"Today's action proves yet again that renewable biofuels are are not a dream of the future, but are a reality, and are making a difference today."
Ethanol production adds value to the crops produced here, as well as giving us more energy security.
Yes, increased alcohol fuel isn't for every vehicle, and the decreased cost at the pump is offset somewhat by slightly poorer mileage.
But the advantages for our national economy and security more than offset those disadvantages.