May 11, 2016

Growth Energy Responds to Negative Opinion Piece Published in Argus Leader from Oil Industry Insider

By Tom Buis, co-chair of Growth Energy

The RFS is a win for the environment

Last week, the Argus Leader published a piece entitled My Voice: Corn ethanol mandate harmful to environment without disclosing any background on the group fronting the attack or making any attempt to fact check the claims. In light of this, a few facts are important to mention.

First, the oil industry and its instruments, like American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF), have long tried to deny consumers a choice for fuel, and hoodwink the American people about the merits of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Yet they have failed at every attempt because the RFS and ethanol are American success stories that are moving our country forward. The RFS is driving innovation and providing market access for future fuels. The myths contained in the piece are aimed at smearing ethanol and the RFS by giving a mouthpiece for the oil industry a platform to sound off.

The piece is littered with inaccuracies and blatant disregard for facts. It ignores the evidence that ethanol blends are increasingly popular choices for consumers who demand a 21st century fuel for 21st century cars. E15 and higher ethanol blends are better for the environment and the air we breathe because they emit fewer emissions than other toxic alternatives and cost consumers less at the pump.

The RFS has been the single most effective policy in reducing harmful emissions in the U.S. and lowering imports of dirty fossil fuels. A study supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and from the Argonne National Laboratory found that ethanol cuts greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 34 percent compared to regular gasoline, and next generation biofuels have even greater effect, reducing GHG emissions by an average of 108 percent or more. And notably, a number of recent studies from just last year highlight the fact that ethanol increasingly benefits our environment, whereas oil is only becoming more harmful for our environment.

To claim that ethanol “emits more potent greenhouse gas than gas” is laughable. The oil industry has the benefit of great resources they can spread around, and we know hiding behind front groups is a favorite tactic of the oil industry. The ACCF is just the latest group relying on Big Oil funding to spew anti-ethanol propaganda.

We are proud that ethanol is an environmentally friendly fuel and confident in the mountain of scientific evidence that shows ethanol usage lowers greenhouse gas emissions and replaces toxic, cancer-causing fuel additives. We’re working to move America forward, and the forces behind ACCF and countless other front groups are attempting to push our nation backwards.

The RFS was enacted with three goals in mind: to decrease oil imports and dependence on foreign oil, increase rural incomes and farmer profits, and reduce harmful fossil fuel emissions. On all three counts, the RFS has succeeded and alleging otherwise ignores reality.

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