As a California Expatriate and new resident of the Des Moines Iowa metro area, you can imagine my surprise that Iowa has become a "Hot bed of venture capital activity" (some may even say speculation) centered around the Ethanol industry. Leave it to me and my unquenchable thirst for new new thing to start a site called Ethanol Alley
My years spent on the Digital (or Tech) Coast (Southern CA) and traveling to Silicon Alley (NYC) and Silicon Valley (Northern CA) got me thinking. We need a catchy slogan here in the beautiful Midwest now that it actually might be "cool to live where the corn grows."
The Ethanol Alley consists of the corn growing and ethanol producing area in the middle of the United States typically deemed fly over country by left and right coasters. Now, as venture capitalists and other entrepreneurs figure out what the airport code is for Des Moines (It’s DSM), I’m feeling quite good about the prospects for our state and for my participation in this market place.
My goal in starting the Ethanol Alley Weblog is to create a cohesive one-stop shop for industry experts, venture capitalists, legislators, and citizens alike to get straight talk and insightful content about the coming storm of activity surrounding the production of Ethanol. It may seem like a far fetched idea right now, but I believe that we can become nearly energy independent in 25 years. Why shouldn’t we strive for this? This is America and its time we embraced a challenge like this. God knows we have the available land to grow the crops that when fermented produce Ethanol. If you’ve flown lately (and Rich Karlgaard can confirm this), you’ve probably noticed there’s not a lot going on down there for much of the trip.
President Bush’s mention of Cellulose based renewable fuels during the State of the Union Address said it clearly, "We’ll also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn, but from wood chips and stalks, or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years."
What a noble goal. 6 years! This is nearly unheard of in a Presidency. Most initiatives are far lengthier and unattainable. This is something tangible and could become President Bush’s most impactful legacy.
Let this be the "Space Race" of our time. Let us "Defeat the Evil Empire" of relying on others for our energy supplies. Let’s get busy engineering fantastically high yielding crops and improving the ethanol refining process. Heck, I don’t care if Ethanol costs as much as gasoline (for now). However, I’ll take corn sweetened pleasure that every piece of that fuel molecule was born, raised, harvested, and processed in my home town, in middle America.
This is not a left or right issue. This is about our Independence.
Let (energy) Freedom Ring