American jobs, American innovation, and America’s energy security are under siege by the oil industry that has made a top priority of repealing of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Despite raking in record profits and tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer subsides, Big Oil always wants more and they’re willing to do more than just price gouge at the pump to bolster their bottom line. One of the dirtiest industries is now trying to pollute the public discourse on biofuels including ethanol because they hate having to compete with cheaper, cleaner burning renewable fuels that saves consumers tens of millions of dollars a day that would otherwise be sent overseas.
Big Oil’s misinformation campaign against the RFS is not just a threat to our economy, but a threat to our national security and our environment. That is why VoteVets.org, the 360,000+ supporter veterans group, and Americans United for Change announced today that they’ve joined the counteroffensive against Big Oil’s lies about the renewable fuel industry’s job-growing, money-saving, environmentally-friendly record and plan to use every tactic at the groups’ combined disposal from paid, digital, and earned media; to events with grass tops renewable energy leaders and veterans in key states; to call programs designed to harness grassroots energy in support of an EPA RFS rule that puts the interests of our environment, our economy, our national security, and American consumers ahead of the greedy interests of Big Oil.
Jon Soltz, Co-Founder and Chairman, VoteVets.org: “For those who served, this is a really simple issue. It’s imperative that we, as a nation, move off of oil. The more oil we use, the more the world prices go up, and the more those oil-rich nations who target us, our troops, and our allies benefit. Ethanol is an important part of reducing our oil consumption, and that is good for our troops and our security. We will do everything we can to ensure that decision makers in Washington hear that message loud and clear, from our over 360,000 supporters.”
Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “The Renewable Fuels Standard – which was signed into law with wide, bipartisan support by President George W. Bush – has helped cut America’s dangerous dependence on foreign oil. Because of this commonsense law, we now get almost 10 percent of our fuel from clean and renewable sources. And talk about a value-added policy, from creating 400,000 American jobs that can’t be outsourced, to revitalizing rural communities, to innovating cheaper, cleaner renewable energy sources of tomorrow, to cutting down air pollution and carbon emissions, to making us safer by reducing reliance on oil from unstable foreign regions and regimes that hate us. It’s because of the RFS’s record of success that the Oil Industry has been waging such an aggressive, self-serving scare campaign against it. The oil industry will say anything to eliminate the cheaper, cleaner competition. Makes sense, since ethanol costs 60 to 80 cents less whole sale less than regular gasoline and saves consumers about $1 billion every week that would otherwise be sent overseas — money that is being invested here at home, making our economy stronger and our country more secure. But if the oil company lobbyists think their attempts to bury these facts in the sand will go answered in the coming weeks, they must be huffing gas.”
Myrna Heddinger, Mayor of Emmetsburg, IA, home of a corn ethanol plant and a future cellulosic ethanol plant on the same site that will begin production next year: “We live in Northwest Iowa in a small rural community of less than 4,000 people. We’re so excited to see growth of the cellulosic ethanol plant here and what it’s given to our community. It means so much for our local farmers. It lets them utilize every aspect of the corn or crops that they grow. The building of this plant has had a huge impact on our town. About 300 men employed out there on the building, looking for places to eat and live, and it has been a financial boon for the whole county. It also means future employment for the young people that we continue to try to draw back to the area. It’s also good for the truckers, because more semis and others kind of equipment will be needed for transport. We couldn’t be happier to have it here and hope that everybody will continue to support the RFS.”
Don’t Believe Big Oil’s Lies About Renewable Fuels: They’ll Say Anything to Eliminate the Cheaper, Cleaner Competition
FACT: Ethanol Creates Hundreds of Thousands More Jobs, Means Less Pinch at the Pump
- According to research conducted by economics professors at the University of Wisconsin and Iowa State University: In 2011, ethanol reduced wholesale gasoline prices by an average of $1.09 per gallon. Regular grade gasoline prices averaged $3.52 per gallon in 2011, but would have been closer to $4.60 per gallon without the inclusion of more than 13 billion gallons of lower-priced ethanol. Since 2000, ethanol has kept gasoline prices an average of $0.29 per gallon cheaper than they otherwise would have been. Based on the $0.29-per-gallon average annual savings, ethanol has helped save American drivers and the economy more than $477 billion in gasoline expenditures since 2000 – an average of $39.8 billion a year.
- Growth Energy: “The U.S. Department of Energy estimates for every one billion gallons of ethanol produced, 10,000 to 20,000 jobs are added to our domestic economy. According to the most recent available data by the DOE, ethanol saves American consumers more than $35 billion per year at the pump. In 2011 alone, the ethanol industry created and supported more than 400,000 new jobs across the country that cannot be exported or outsourced. In addition, ethanol production contributed $42.4 billion to the nation’s GDP and generated $4.3 billion in federal tax revenues. Ethanol production also plays a critical role in revitalizing America’s rural areas — some of the hardest hit by the economic downturn — by stimulating economic growth.”
FACT: Ethanol Has Almost No Impact on Food Prices
- RFA: “A recent study commissioned by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) examined the impacts of ethanol policies, including the RFS and now-defunct blender’s tax credit, on world crop prices in the 2005-2010 timeframe. Using a partial equilibrium economic model, the study found corn prices in 2009/10 wouldn’t have been any different at all with or without the RFS in place. Corn prices would have been just 3.3% lower, on average, in the entire five-year study period without the RFS and ethanol blender’s tax credit, the study found. The effect of the RFS and other ethanol-related policies on other crops is even less…The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute (FAPRI), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Michigan State University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are among the many other organizations that have similarly concluded the RFS has had only modest impacts on crop prices and no meaningful impact on retail-level food prices.”
FACT: Ethanol Benefits, Not Hurts the Environment
- RFA: Using ethanol in place of gasoline helps to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up 30-50% given today’s technology. Because ethanol is made from renewable, plant-based feedstocks, the CO2 released during a vehicle’s fuel combustion is “recycled” during the growth of ethanol feedstocks. Independent analyses comparing ethanol and gasoline show ethanol reduces GHG emissions from 30-50%. A study published by Yale University’s Journal of Industrial Ecology found that GHG emissions from ethanol produced at modern dry-mill facilities are “… equivalent to a 48 percent to 59 percent reduction compared to gasoline, a twofold to threefold greater reduction than reported in previous studies.” New technologies, additional feedstocks, and higher blends of ethanol including E85 all promise greater C02 reductions.
- RFA: In 2012, the 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol produced reduced greenhouse gas emissions from on-road vehicles by 33.4 million tons. That’s equivalent to removing 5.2 million cars and pickups (comparable to the number of registered vehicles in the state of Michigan) from the road for one year.