WASHINGTON, DC — In response to a letter from several members of Congress requesting that the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and Related Programs undercut the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by prohibiting the instillation of blender pumps and the promotion of ethanol exports, Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, issued the following statement:
“This request stems from a flawed and inaccurate argument that has been disproven time and again that we must choose either food or fuel. The reality is that ethanol production produces both food AND fuel.
“The government is not creating an artificial market for ethanol, but the RFS is seeking to level the playing field and ensure alternatives to fossil fuels have market access so consumers are given a choice instead of a de-facto mandate to use petroleum based products. This request is neither helpful nor logical. It seeks to destroy a homegrown industry that is creating jobs, improving our environment and significantly reducing our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels. Furthermore, it has been a boon to the rural economy, providing certainty and some of the most profitable times for American farmers. To say the RFS is not working is delusional. The RFS is one of those rare pieces of bipartisan legislation that nearly a decade later has been successful in delivering on the results it was designed to achieve, helping diversify our energy portfolio and strengthen our economic, energy and national security.
“Furthermore, in typical Washington fashion – this is unnecessary legislation, as there is already a prohibition on USDA funding blender pump grants in the 2014 Farm Bill. The sponsors of this legislation are bent on trying to alter or damage the RFS as a favor to special interests. To claim that the RFS or ethanol production is driving up the cost of food is irresponsible and nothing more than fear mongering in attempt to fool the American public as to who is really to blame for rising food prices – Big Oil and Big Food. A 2013 World Bank study demonstrated that the primary driver of increased global food costs is the rising price of energy, not higher farm commodity prices or ethanol production. It outlined how crude oil prices are responsible for more than 50 percent of the increase in food prices since 2004.
“Additionally the USDA estimates that for every dollar an American spends on food, 82 cents pays for things other than the food commodity – including labor, packaging, processing, transportation, and energy. So if the farmer is not making the money for increasing food prices, who is? The answer is simple, Big Food and its drive for excessive profits.
“This request is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt by special interests to push their agenda through Congress. This request is a waste of time and effort and should be treated as such.”
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About Growth Energy
Growth Energy represents the producers and supporters of ethanol who feed the world and fuel America in ways that achieve energy independence, improve economic well-being and create a healthier environment for all Americans now. For more information, please visit us at www.GrowthEnergy.org, follow us on Twitter @GrowthEnergy or connect with us on Facebook.