Ethanol Not a Threat to Grassland Conservation: Growth Energy

WASHINGTON – Today, Tom Buis, the CEO of Growth Energy, released the following statement regarding the article “Bioenergy and Wildlife: Threats and Opportunities for Grassland Conservation,” which was published in the October, 2009 issue of BioScience:

“The members of Growth Energy strongly agree with the authors that maintaining conservation land and wildlife habitat are important goals for our nation. The good news is that these goals can be met while ethanol continues to create U.S. jobs, cut greenhouse gas emissions and move America closer to energy independence. With rapidly increasing crop yields and a billion tons of available biomass in this country, we can generate enough feedstock for ethanol production without plowing another acre of new land.”

“Market watchers forecast American farmers will produce 13 billion bushels of corn this year – a yield increase of 7 percent over last year, planted on 5 million fewer acres. The productivity of the American farmer continues to give us more grain from fewer acres.

“Further, while the authors of the study mentioned distillers grains (DGS) in passing, they underplayed the impact this high-quality feed product has in reducing overall acres planted for livestock feed. Since ethanol is produced only from the starch in the corn kernel, all of the fat, protein and micro-nutrients are returned to the feed supply. This year alone, DGS will displace the need for more than one billion bushels of corn or 3 million planted hectares.

“The same is true for cellulosic ethanol. A study from USDA and the Energy Department found a billion tons of biomass available in the U.S. for processing into 85 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol. That is four times what is called for in the Renewable Fuel Standard – and could significantly reduce the amount of petroleum-refined gasoline burned as transportation fuel. The member companies of Growth Energy are leading the nation’s production of these fuels from garbage, crop waste, wood chips and algae.

“Finally, the RFS already includes safeguards that protect conservation land. For a fuel to qualify for the RFS, it cannot come from new land.”



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