Foreign Oil Funds Terrorism SD VFW
Click read more for keloland story & picture of billboard "Foreign Funds Terrorism"
When ethanol proponents were blending half E85 and gasoline in their standard autos as expected our oil intimated culture shunned such behavior as against the law thus un-American. We wondered if we could get the VFW involved? I had read some national VFW resolutions saying they liked made in the USA energy supplies to break our dependence on foreign oil.
About that time a very successful, unconventional, advertising consultant called with this billboard idea. He had called corn and ethanol groups and they logically thought this is not our call. But someone dropped my name.
The advertising consultant Stan Cotton and I knew we needed the VFW to support this project if it was going to go anywhere. I had a membership card and did not know any of the leadership or members but I had experience communicating with 'get to the point' war zone veterans. I met with Rick Barge at Sioux Falls VFW headquarters and explained what the bill board campaign was about. He was very skeptical at first until I asked him: "Do you guys just write pretty resolutions about energy security at the national convention and then come home to just play bingo?" That was the right question to ask Rick
With seed money from Jeff Broin we grew that into for bill boards all over Sioux Falls and other areas of the state for a short while because a major sign company took a liking to the idea. They said if we would supply the prints for the billboards they would put them up for free on signs that were sitting idle or unsold. And importantly Touch Tone Energy or our major regional electricity supplier signed on and put this lighted , representative billboard along I90. 911 still was fresh on the minds of Americans and no one felt comfortable talking about it. I am sure the signs broke some ice enabling more comfortable conversations about reality. Click read more to see first bill board and press story.
The real beginning of blender pumps? That was the start and soon Rick Barge and the VFW lead a drive for energy independence on the hottest, windiest Jul 4th ever in an effort to put a stick in the eye of the 'you can't do that' taboo against half E85 in standard autos. Approximately 15 families participated with press coverage about. They filled their standard autos with half E85 (E40) and drove the 100 mile route to Brookings and back. The standard Autos averaged nearly twenty three miles per gallon. I still have all the gas receipts as proof.