Ethanol: Fueling America, Feeding the World

April 14, 2011

Growth Energy, a leading ethanol association, sent a letter on April 12 to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee about its upcoming hearing on the renewable fuel.  The text of the letter, which outlines ethanol’s importance to the country, can be found below.

Dear Chairman Boxer and Ranking Member Inhofe:

As the leading trade association for America’s ethanol producers and supporters, Growth Energy welcomes your examination and oversight of the US biofuels industry. While we are extremely disappointed not to be a participant in tomorrow’s hearing, we want to raise a few key issues that we hope will be discussed.

Today’s modern ethanol industry is a far cry from what is depicted by our critics. There are over 100 plants across 26 states creating a transportation fuel that is a net energy gain, producing 2.3 btus for every single btu put into production — that is better than twice the rate of return on gasoline, which is a 1-to-1 btu ration.  Every day, ethanol production becomes more energy efficient, less water-intensive and more environmentally friendly.

While today’s flawed energy policy mandates that we import oil that is costly, dirty and risky, ethanol is the only viable alternative that is available, affordable, clean and creates U.S. jobs. We believe if the committee considers the facts and not the rhetoric of our fiercest critics, you will see that we are both fueling America and feeding the world. Some of the questions that deserved to be answered during your hearing:

1. As seems to be ignored by the media, what impact has skyrocketing prices of oil had on the price of food?

2. What have been the profits of the world’s largest food makers in the past year?

3. What do you believe is a better alternative for our environment — waiting another 40 years for the perfect solution, continued drilling, refining and pumping of oil shipped from halfway around the world, or simple fermentation of corn starch into ethanol?

4. Does anyone actually believe that #2 yellow corn (that which is used to produce ethanol) is edible? Can you boil it or pop it?

As you will see in the attached report, “Food versus Fuel” is a fallacy perpetuated by an orchestrated campaign against ethanol, financed by the very companies profiting from high grocery store prices. Once the facts are revealed, you will see that today’s modern ethanol industry both fuels America and feeds the world.

Thank you for holding this important hearing and we look forward to working with committee on these important issues.


Tom Buis
CEO, Growth Energy

cc: Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Members
Download Letter
Download “Food versus Fuel” Report