The recent announcement Enid will be the site of Oklahoma's first ethanol plant is great news, not just for Enid but all of northwest Oklahoma. Obviously, any time your community is chosen for a $71 million project that will provide 33 jobs it's a good thing. This is the type of project we need to help diversify our economy and our job base.

The plant will turn 50,000 bushels of Oklahoma-grown milo and corn into ethanol, which is a clean-burning fuel and fuel additive. It will produce 50 million gallons of ethanol a year.

The plant also will produce approximately 160,000 tons of distillers grain, which is a high-protein feed used by the livestock and dairy industries, and eight million cubic feet of carbon dioxide daily, to be utilized for carbonation of soft drinks and in tertiary oil recovery operations to rejuvenate some old Oklahoma oil fields.

The announcement was the culmination of a long process. This decision was not made lightly, and it was not made in haste.

Officials with Enid/Garfield County Development Alliance and Oklahoma Farmers Union deserve a pat on the back for their efforts. Oklahoma Farmers Union created Oklahoma Farmers Union Sustainable Energy (OK FUSE), which partnered with Chaparral Energy to former Oklahoma Ethanol L.L.C.

Officials with the development alliance worked hard to sell Enid as the best location.

Plenty of individuals deserve praise, too.

Rep. Mike Jackson, R-Enid, worked in the Legislature to create tax incentives for ethanol producers.

Enid resident Mike Frickenschmidt is a member of OK FUSE and Oklahoma Ethanol L.L.C. boards. He worked hard on the effort.

Terry Detrick, of Ames, is vice president of Oklahoma Farmers Union, chairman of OK FUSE and a director and manager of Oklahoma Ethanol L.L.C. He, too, worked hard to bring the plant to fruition.

A lot of hard work by a lot of people went into the process. We believe their decision to pick Enid was the right choice.



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