During a speech in Dike Wednesday afternoon, Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean touted a plan that he said will restore rural communities. Dean says his policies will return the virtues of capitalism and competition to American agriculture while rewarding environmental stewardship. Dean says we must reverse out-migration, and he says government-matched savings accounts could help rural families buy a home, pay a school loan or start a business. He proposes “micro-enterprise” tax credits to help build or grow small businesses. The former Vermont governor says rural communities would be helped by requiring 10-percent ethanol in gasoline and boosting demand and production of soy diesel. Dean says ethanol and bio-deisel are good for the environment, good for national security, and great for rural economies. Dean gives some numbers that he believes will back up his argument. Dean says requiring “E-ten” could cut carbon-dioxide emissions by a third, cut our dependence on Middle Eastern oil, and he says every billion dollars of oil imports we replace with domestic ethanol means ten- to 20-thousand new American jobs.
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