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Grassroots Voice: "It's All About the Oil"
by Brian Jennings

While we’re making progress combating the PR attacks against ethanol, some media still harbor a middle-school crush on the “food vs. fuel” misinformation perpetuated by ethanol haters.

Therefore, I have spent time traveling the country to clear the air with the facts, and as I set out for yet another media meeting, it struck me how far-reaching our reliance on oil is.

Think about it – oil is in everything we eat, touch, and see. Everything.

Indeed, my trip to defend and promote ethanol recently in front of a newspaper editorial board was instead largely dominated by oil.

But your letters and the support of groups like ACE have helped. I am pleased to report that even reporters and editors are starting to come to grips with the facts about ethanol and recognizing that the win-at-all-costs tactics of Big Oil and Big Food to keep us down are misplaced.

More careful balance is provided in most reports today about the factors affecting food prices, which is a function of not only the ethanol industry fighting back, but also because the critics of ethanol have made some blunders exposing their desperation.

For instance, the media has revealed that Governor Perry of Texas formally sought a waiver of the Renewable Fuels Standard only after he met with Bo Pilgrim, owner of the large-scale poultry producer Pilgrim’s Pride and vocal ethanol critic. Apparently Pilgrim also donated $25,000 to the governor’s campaign and paid $9,000 to fly Perry to DC to a press conference criticizing the RFS.

Pilgrim evidently feels that he and other food processors are entitled to cheap corn forever. Because he has profited so handsomely from cheap corn in the past, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to dismantle ethanol policy – a ploy which will backfire.

Moreover, the OPEC president recently asserted that the “ethanol intrusion on the oil market is responsible for 40 percent of the recent oil price increases.” Even reporters can do math, and they know that because ethanol adds to the fuel supply, it is helping keep fuel prices from going even higher.

And a recent poll indicated that by a 2 to 1 margin, voters want to see ethanol use grow.

Yes, the media and others are finally recognizing what the facts reveal and how voters really feel – that the fuel cost savings of ethanol are several times larger than any food cost increases from ethanol.

© American Coalition for Ethanol, all rights reserved.
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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