Missouri’s ethanol industry got a boost today as pro-ethanol Republican gubernatorial candidate Kenny Hulshof defeated Sarah Steelman, who had vowed to cancel the state’s new ethanol mandate. Hulshof will now face Democratic candidate Jay Nixon, who also purports to support ethanol.
As you might remember from my earlier posts (especially on July 23), ethanol had become a key issue in the Republican side of the governor’s race when Steelman sided with Big Oil in opposition to Missouri’s 10 percent ethanol in nearly every gallon of gas sold in the state. The airwaves were filled with commercials with Hulshof and Steelman criticizing each other for their stances on the green fuel.
Despite her unenlightened attacks against ethanol (including the false charge that it is the main reason for food price increases, which we have shown time and time again that skyrocketing oil costs are the real culprits), Missourians were smart enough to see through Steelman’s petroleum-fueled smokescreen and voted for Hulshof, a corn farmer who has a first-hand interest in ethanol.
The vote was close, with Hulshof winning by just a few percentage points, and it shows just how much in the balance any ethanol mandate would be. And that shows how much we’ve got to keep up the fight to make sure everyone knows the truth about ethanol: it saves money, it conserves non-renewable oil, and it just makes sense for our energy independence.