Statement from Growth Energy-Environmental Working Group’s Study on Investment in Renewable Energy

Today, Growth Energy released the following statement regarding Environmental Working Group’s study on federal investment in renewable energy that was released on January 9, 2009:

“Our nation’s wise commitment to renewable energy is an investment that future generations will be glad we made. And while there are many promising technologies out there, ethanol is available and reliable now. Wind and solar hold great potential, but are in the early stages of development and not able to power cars today. Ethanol is providing solutions and making a real difference in creating jobs, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping improve the environment.

“The reason that federal government support for ethanol is greater than that of other renewable energy sources is not because ethanol is taking a bigger piece of a small pie. Every renewable energy source receives government support and ethanol has simply grown the fastest.

“The return on investment from ethanol to the American people is enormous. In 2007 alone, the ethanol industry created more than 200,000 new jobs, contributed $47.6 billion to the nation’s GDP and generated $4.6 billion in federal tax revenues. The jobs created by ethanol producers cannot be outsourced to other countries. In addition, the demand for ethanol means that farmers are now able to make a decent living from growing crops and rely less on government subsidies. Direct support payments from the Farm Bill will be approximately $8 billion less than expected due to higher prices for agricultural commodities.

“Dollar for dollar, taxpayers reap more energy per tax credit for ethanol. In a recent comparison, reported that a consumer would receive 3,412 BTUs in a KWh of renewable solar energy for each tax credit per federal dollar. This is a return on investment of 2,609 BTUs per federal dollar. For clean, green ethanol, a consumer receives a whopping 84,000 BTUs per gallon of renewable energy for each tax credit per federal dollar. This is a return on investment of 168,888 BTUs per federal dollar for ethanol.

“Any honest discussion of subsidies needs to also include the massive subsidization of the oil industry for nearly 100 years. Oil companies are slated to receive more than $32.9 billion in tax benefits, royalty relief, and research and development subsidies from the federal government over the next five years. According to the Government Accounting Office (GAO), the U.S. has spent more than $130 billion over 32 years in government subsidies to the oil industry, despite the fact that oil has been around for more than a century.”

About Growth Energy

Growth Energy is a group committed to the promise of agriculture and growing America’s economy through cleaner, greener energy. Growth Energy members recognize America needs a new ethanol approach. Through smart policy reform and a proactive grassroots campaign, Growth Energy promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of ethanol in gasoline, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating American jobs at home. More information can be found at