Mike Pence spends time talking to and listening to questions from farmers at Ethanol Forum. By Tom J. Bechman
First Governor Daniels assured corn farmers and movers and shakers in the ethanol industry that he was still a strong advocate for biofuels, even though some in Washington circles are backing away from supporting ethanol. Then John Gregg, the likely Democrat nominee for governor, shared some of his early thoughts about his run for office, and reaffirmed his support for biofuels and agriculture. Next came Mike Pence, the Congressman from eastern Indiana who is expected to be the Republican candidate for governor since Daniels can't run again due to term limits.
"Our state is on the verge of going from good to great," Pence told the audience repeatedly. He credited Daniels and Becky Skillman with having righted the shape both financially and in other ways, and said it was time to take the next step.
"Job creation must be job one for the next governor," he says. "It's time to seize the moment. This can be Indiana's moment to seize. We need to go from seeing that reforms are put in place so we can grow to now producing results. To make Indiana a place where people want to work, live their lives and retire, we must focus on job creation."
Ethanol is an important part of the infrastructure of the economy of this state, Pence added. Low-cost energy is part of Indiana's advantage, he says. He believes that going forward, 'we' should cultivate Indiana's new leading role in the ethanol industry.To keep ethanol strong, Pence believes the key is giving consumers choices. That may be more blender pumps that offer other blends besides just gasoline with 10% ethanol, or E-85 ethanol. He wants to see the benefits achieved so far through the growth of the ethanol industry continue, and believes consumer choice will be an important part of that formula.