Growth Energy, the leading voice for U.S. ethanol supporters and producers, released the following statement in response to Former President Bill Clinton’s remarks to farmers and Agriculture Department employees today:
“We appreciate that President Clinton understands the important role American ethanol plays in reducing our dependence on foreign oil and strengthening our national security. President Clinton’s concerns are well-intentioned, but we would point him toward recent studies like “Land Availability for Biofuel Production,” published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology in January. This peer-reviewed study demonstrated that biofuel crops grown on already-available farmland could produce up to half of the world’s current fuel consumption — without negatively affecting food crops.
We have a surplus of food in this country. In fact, the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates reports that the size of the 2010 corn crop is the third largest on record, proving the tremendous capability of American farmers to meet our growing demand for food, feed and renewable fuel – even during challenging growing conditions. If there are hungry people in the world, it’s not because of production. In fact, overproduction in the United States has helped put farmers in poorer nations out of business as cheap American grain floods their markets. Ethanol consumes that surplus grain, preventing it from being dumped overseas, and helps put farmers in other nations back into business.
There are over a billion acres of previously-tilled farmland in poor nations that can be brought back into production as ethanol makes farming this land cost-effective. Ethanol does not create food shortages, but instead gives these nations a way to get their own sovereign farming economies back on their feet so they can feed themselves.”