President visits South Dakota ethanol plant

Bush pledges support for development of ethanol industry as part of national energy security
By | May 01, 2002
President George W. Bush delivered words of praise and support for the U.S. ethanol industry April 24 before a crowd of about 1,000 at Dakota Ethanol, LLC, in Wentworth S.D., 35 miles northwest of Sioux Falls. Speaking from a stage set up in the ethanol plant's grain storage buildings, Bush left little doubt about his support for renewable fuels.

"I said when I was running for president, I supported ethanol, and I meant it," the President told the cheering crowd. "I support it now because not only do I know it's important for the ag sector of our economy, it's an important part of making sure we become less reliant on foreign sources of energy."

Dakota Ethanol General Manager Dean Frederickson told Ethanol Producer Magazine that he had less than a week to prepare for the President's visit. Frederickson said Secret Service agents arrived in Wentworth six days before the President, in order to scope out the area and inspect the ethanol plant.

"That's why you should always keep your ethanol plant extra clean, Frederickson quipped, adding sincerely, "We were honored to host the President's visit. It wasn't much work at all (to prepare)."

The President's visit, to a large extent, was a show of support for Rep. John Thune (R-S.D.), who is campaigning for the Senate seat held by incumbent Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.).