U.S. Ethanol: Biofuels Aren’t to Blame for Food Crisis

Washington, DC – Growth Energy, the coalition of U.S. ethanol supporters, released a statement in response to an attack on clean-burning, renewable biofuels published in today’s opinion page of the Washington Post. The piece was authored by Tim Searchinger, who uses the op-ed to defend his ‘indirect land use scheme,’ which would penalize U.S. farmers and U.S. ethanol producers for the carbon released by farmers in other countries.

Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, released the this chart and said:

“Ethanol is both a food and a fuel business. What is ignored in this piece is that every ethanol plant in the country turns out animal feed as well as fuel – we only take the starch out of the corn kernel but put all the protein, fiber and oils right back into the food supply as ‘dried distillers grains.’ Even then, ethanol’s use of the global grain supply is a fraction.

“The notion that ethanol is causing today’s food crisis ignores reality: the reality of the market, the reality of global trade agreements, the reality that other countries have their own domestic farm policies, and the reality that Wall Street’s rampant speculation is driving up food prices. All of these facts are well-documented and well-researched in reports by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory – which found corn ethanol’s contribution to indirect land use change as ‘minimal to zero’ – and the University of Nebraska, and even in Harper’s Magazine, which published a very-well reported story on how Wall Street drove up the last commodities bubble.

“There is only one commercially-viable alternative to this country’s dependence on foreign oil, and that is domestic ethanol. Every day, foreign oil is getting riskier, costlier and dirtier to extract. On the other hand, with cutting edge technology and innovation, domestic ethanol is getting cleaner, smarter and more abundant.”

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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.