Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Put up or Shut up

Us folks in the North County have an opportunity. Namely, we can put rhetoric into action and implement a solution or continue being part of the problem. American Ethanol looks to build an Ethanol refining facility just west of Santa Maria:

Citing a growing need in the energy industry, a Santa Maria-based company is proposing to bring corn by rail from the Midwest to be turned into ethanol in a 200,000-square-foot plant that would be built on vacant land two miles west of the city.

American Ethanol envisions a plant that would process 50 million gallons of the gasoline additive a year, with the possibility of expanding capacity to 100 million gallons.

If the project is approved, it would be the first ethanol plant in Santa Barbara County and one of only a handful statewide.

However, the proposal is just beginning a long process of review by Santa Barbara County, with the county Planning Commission scheduled to conceptually review it today and offer opinions on the early plans. The meeting starts at 9 a.m. at the Betteravia Government Center, 511 E. Lakeside Parkway in Santa Maria.

Put up or shut up folks! Either we can take a step and help ease the crimp in statewide refining capacity and thereby help reduce gasoline prices and take--albeit a small one--a step toward energy independence.

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