- The Washington Times - Friday, December 3, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The editorial “Gore turns his back on ethanol” (Comment & Analysis, Nov. 29) predictably rests its conclusions on misinformation and scare tactics. The editors suggest that increasing the use of ethanol in our fuel will increase food prices, damage engines and pollute our skies. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Exhaustive data have proved that engine performance and durability do not suffer from higher ethanol blends. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a blend of 15 percent ethanol (E15) has no measurable impact on vehicle drivability or durability and would lower tailpipe emissions compared to conventional gasoline for more than 43 million cars on the road. This decision is not a mandate. Approval of the “green jobs” waiver doesn’t force anyone to buy or sell E15 - rather, approval of the waiver will provide consumers with more choices on the fuels market.

The latest studies show that the impacts of indirect land-use change (ILUC) are significantly overstated. A study by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory show that ethanol had little to no impact from ILUC.

Countless studies, including the World Bank’s newest working paper, disprove the biggest criticism of ethanol by showing that the skyrocketing grocery bills of two years ago can be blamed on rampant market speculation and record fossil-fuel prices - not ethanol, as many have claimed.

The only reason the ethanol industry needs government support today is because we are denied access to the fuel market, which is controlled by the oil industry. Growth Energy’s Fueling Freedom Plan would redirect tax credits to build out an ethanol infrastructure, including “blender pumps” and a U.S. fleet of “flex-fuel” vehicles, to allow access to a fair and open market. As a result, consumers would have a real choice at the pump.

It’s great that The Washington Times editorial board wants to weigh in on our nation’s energy policy. However, it’s important for the board to do so based upon science. It’s time we ended America’s addiction to foreign oil, and we can do it with renewable, domestic ethanol.

TOM BUIS

Growth Energy, chief executive officer

Washington

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