WASHINGTON – Today, Growth Energy released the following statement regarding Holly Gibbs’ recent report, “Mapping Land Sources for expanding Biofuel Croplands Across the Tropics” presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting:
We strongly agree with Dr. Gibbs’ conclusions that tropical forests should not be cleared to produce biofuels. Unfortunately, certain members of the media have mischaracterized Dr. Gibbs’ findings as a total condemnation of corn based ethanol but in fact, this study focuses on the direct negative impact that the deforestation of tropical areas has upon the environment.
The truth is, American ethanol produced from corn is a positive for the environment – the majority of production is done on in-use land, is the only green source of fuel available today, and as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln research has shown, the industry produces a fuel that is as much as 59 percent lower in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline.
Dr. Gibbs’ only mention of corn based ethanol references attorney Tim Searchinger’s theory of indirect land use change, which has been refuted by many scientists and not based in reality. Academics have declared it nearly impossible to draw broad conclusions across a large geographic region about the effects of a particular land use change on the resulting greenhouse gas emissions.
Deforestation continues to be an environmental challenge, but we should not peg the blame on American farmers who are using better, more sustainable methods to make ethanol a cleaner and greener fuel.
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 GrowthEnergy.org.