- The Washington Times - Friday, June 24, 2011


In “Retire the kernel, release the gas” (Comment & Analysis, Tuesday) you overstate ethanol’s effect on food costs and ignore the substantial energy and economic gains ethanol has provided our nation.

The World Bank recently reversed its position on biofuels, stating that commodities speculation played a much larger role in high grocery prices in 2008 than did biofuels such as ethanol. The real culprit for high grocery prices is the high cost of oil, which affects the costs for manufacturing, packaging and transporting food.

Attempts to derail the ethanol industry only serve to pad the profits of nations in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. In fact, just a few weeks ago, forecasts showed that OPEC nations will collect more than $1 trillion this year from the same high oil prices that may cause a global “double-dip” recession. That news comes on the heels of a vote by Libya, Iran and Venezuela to tighten OPEC’s oil production, ensuring that American families will pay more at the pump this summer.

If the Feinstein-Coburn amendment to eliminate ethanol subsidies becomes law, it will keep the U.S. economy at the mercy of OPEC and do nothing to decrease our nation’s addiction to foreign oil.

This dependence forces our nation to compromise our national security and send more than $1 billion overseas daily. Forty percent of those costs go to nations that are either politically unstable or outright hostile to the United States.

Further, this dependence threatens more than 400,000 American jobs at a time when we can least afford to lose them, drives gas prices even higher and delays development of next-generation biofuels.

Growth Energy has long supported ethanol tax incentive reform. For more than a year, we have advocated a fiscally responsible phasing out of the tax incentive with our Fueling Freedom plan.

There’s a wrong way and a right way to do this. We’ll continue to fight for the right way.


Director of public affairs

Growth Energy


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