- The Washington Times - Monday, January 3, 2011

Kate McMahon and Ryan Alexander’s Dec. 22 opinion column “Corn pork in the tax bill” (Commentary) is breathless in its unfair dismissal of what America’s ethanol industry has done and what it can do for our economy, environment and national security, given the chance to compete against oil in a fair and open market.

America’s ethanol industry creates a steady grain market for our nation’s farmers and plays a critical role in revitalizing America’s rural areas by stimulating economic growth. The ethanol industry supports more than 400,000 jobs that cannot be exported or outsourced. In 2009, ethanol production contributed $53.3 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product and generated $8.4 billion in federal tax revenues, resulting in a surplus of $3.4 billion for the federal treasury.

Ethanol is also better for our environment than gasoline refined from oil. Research published in Yale University’s Journal of Industrial Ecology shows that ethanol can reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by as much as 59 percent relative to gasoline. And ethanol delivers better value for the U.S. consumer on a dollar-for-dollar basis compared to gasoline.

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 and to allow access to a fair and open market. As a result, consumers would have a real choice at the pump.

However, this investment won’t happen overnight. In the near term, the one-year extension of the ethanol tax incentive will stabilize the marketplace, provide added certainty and give Congress the opportunity to consider longer term reform next year.

If we truly want to meet our nation’s energy independence, we must invest in the expanded use of clean, renewable fuels - like ethanol - in our fuel system.


Growth Energy, chief executive officer


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