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Grassroots Voice: "RFS Discussion Brings the Facts into Focus"
by Brian Jennings

This month the EPA will decide whether or not to waive a portion of the Renewable Fuels Standard, as requested by the Governor of Texas on behalf of food processors and meatpackers. Because press time is well in advance of the EPA decision (expected around July 25), I’m predicting the outcome.

Despite a flood of dishonest data from our critics – not independent data mind you, but the sort of data they paid for – EPA will deny the Texas request and keep the RFS intact.

The RFS waiver provision was intended to mitigate unforeseen and catastrophic situations, not to guarantee ongoing steep profits for food processers. Indeed, large livestock feeders and food processors have long been the benefactors of low-cost corn, enabling them to turn nifty profits. The fact that ethanol helps contribute to higher corn prices, which overall is good for rural America and taxpayers, creates significant heartburn for them.

EPA will maintain the RFS because the overwhelming preponderance of factual evidence from independent third parties indicates that ethanol plays a small role in food prices, but makes a big difference in keeping fuel prices from going even higher. Removing ethanol from the market wouldn’t reduce food or feed prices, but would increase fuel prices.

But a word of caution – EPA’s announcement denying the RFS waiver won’t exonerate ethanol in the eyes of the media, because the PR attack machine of our opponents is well-funded and prepared for a very long battle, and they will be focused on purchasing new negative headlines.

The one headline they can’t buy will be the announcement from EPA maintaining the RFS, so it will be the ethanol industry’s job to help spread the good news. There are a number of steps that you, as grassroots advocates, can take in support of ethanol.

· Write a letter to the editor, or contact your state or federal representatives, as part of ACE’s “Join the Revolution” campaign. Visit Ethanol.org and click on “Take Action.”

· Host a Town Hall Meeting to promote the benefits of ethanol in your local community.

· Post comments on the Internet. Compliment positive ethanol articles to keep the word going, and set the record straight on the negative ones.

· Make sure your state’s political party platform contains policies that support ethanol.

· Contribute money to and vote for policymakers who support ethanol.

We won’t be able to entirely declare independence from the lies and deceit about ethanol this month, but with your help we will make good progress.

 
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The American Coalition for Ethanol publishes Ethanol Today magazine each month to cover the biofuels industryís hot topics, including cellulosic ethanol, E85, corn ethanol, food versus fuel, ethanolís carbon footprint, E10, E15, and mid-range ethanol blends.
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