Indiana Corn Growers respond to an anti-ethanol ad in a news release posted on the site yesterday.
In response to a multi-million dollar ad campaign from mega oil companies that has begun airing on Indianapolis TV stations, farmer leaders from the Indiana Corn Growers Association call the attack ads misleading distortions of the positive contributions of renewable fuels.
The so called “Smarter Fuel Future” coalition is behind the ads, which uses junk science and anti-agriculture rhetoric to call for an end to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a federal law passed in 2007 aimed at reducing American dependence on foreign oil.
“Hoosiers should not fall for these misleading ads,” said Indiana Corn Growers Association President Herb Ringel, a farmer from Wabash. “These ads are deliberately misleading consumers by attacking cleaner burning fuels like ethanol. We need less dependence on foreign oil and more homegrown energy.”
There are numerous falsehoods in the oil attack ad. The ad claims renewable fuels double greenhouse gas emissions and “threatens” air quality. But studies show the RFS has actually cut carbon emissions by 589.33 million metric tons. The RFS emissions decreases are equivalent to removing more than 124 million cars from the road over the last decade, improving air quality.
Professor Wally Tyner of Purdue University’s Climate Change Research Center says ethanol and biofuels reduce greenhouse gas emissions and benefit Indiana.
“When the RFS program was created, it had three main objectives: reduce dependence on foreign oil, enhance rural economies and incomes, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It has accomplished all of those things,” Tyner said. “The EPA analysis clearly shows that corn ethanol reduces GHG emissions, and next generation biofuels will reduce them even more.”
The anti-ethanol ad also claims the RFS raises food costs. Just last week, the Congressional Budget Office released a report stating fully implementing the RFS would not dramatically increase food prices.
“With average corn prices lower than they were in 2007 when the RFS went into effect, it is hard to believe that these groups are still trying to make the claim that keeping the RFS intact will have a dramatic impact on food prices,” said Ringel.
The ads were paid for by the American Council for Capital Formation. One of the main financial backers of the Smarter Fuel Future project, which created the ad, is the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers Association, made up of multi-national oil conglomerates like BP, Chevron, Citgo, ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, Phillips 66, Shell Oil and Valero.
“The reason we have the RFS is American consumers said they wanted homegrown, renewable fuels and this hasn’t changed,” said Ringel. “Hoosiers know we need less dependence on foreign oil and more production of cleaner burning, homegrown energy. That’s why Indiana farmers and consumers support renewable fuels.”
Indiana ethanol plants produced almost one billion gallons of ethanol in 2014, which directly reduced the consumption of oil. Ethanol supports more than 4,000 jobs in the state in an industry that contributes more than $3.5 billion in total economic activity and revenue to Indiana, especially in rural communities.
Supporters of clean energy have responded to the Big Oil attacks with their own ad. You can view it here.