Big Oil's campaign to crush the renewable fuels industry comes ... to Iowa?! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business, Economy & Finance
Written by Jeremy Funk   
Friday, 17 January 2014 13:25

SEE:  Quad City Times, Jan. 16: ‘Group: Oil industry takes fight against ethanol to Iowa’ : The oil industry apparently is taking its fight against the Renewable Fuel Standard to what might seem an odd place: Iowa.  The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association is complaining that an oil industry trade group, the American Petroleum Institute, has launched automated telephone calls to Iowans, claiming renewable fuels are responsible for pushing up food prices and damaging car engines.”

Response from Jeremy Funk, Communications Director, Americans United for Change: “You know Big Oil has more money than they know what to do with when they start conducting paid communications in Iowa trying to convince people who know the economic benefits of renewable fuels better than anyone that they’re wrong. And what a surprise: the same oil shills who lie shamelessly about not taking any taxpayer subsidies are now lying about renewable fuels’ impact on car engines and food prices.  Would NASCAR have driven over 5 million miles on ethanol if it damaged car engines in any way?  Of course not. And a chorus of leading ag academics have studied renewable fuels’ impact on food prices at the grocery store extensively and concluded there simply isn’t one.  Big Oil has gotten a little too ambitious this time with their greedy scheme to crush the Renewable Fuel Standard and eliminate their cheaper, cleaner competition.  They may have instead stirred up a hornet’s nest of rural Americans who don’t want their livelihoods and choices at the pump taken away to go out of their way to tell the EPA: Save the RFS.”

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 Does NOT Harm Your Gas Tank

§  U.S. Energy Department: The Energy Department conducted its own rigorous, thorough and peer-reviewed study of the impact of E15 fuel on current, conventional vehicle catalyst systems. The Energy Department study included an inspection of critical engine components, such as valves, and did not uncover unusual wear that would be expected to impact performance. Rather than using an aggressive test cycle intended to severely-stress valves, the Energy Department program was run using a cycle more closely resembling normal driving. The Energy Department testing program was run on standard gasoline, E10, E15, and E20. The Energy Department test program was comprised of 86 vehicles operated up to 120,000 miles each using an industry-standard EPA-defined test cycle (called the Standard Road Cycle). The resulting Energy Department data showed no statistically significant loss of vehicle performance (emissions, fuel economy, and maintenance issues) attributable to the use of E15 fuel compared to straight gasoline.

§  NASCAR: NASCAR announced November 12, 2013 that it surpassed more than five million competition miles across its three national series on Sunoco Green E15, a biofuel blended with 15 percent American Ethanol made from American-grown corn. The five million miles have been accumulated across practice, qualifying and racing laps dating to 2011 when the biofuel was introduced to the sport. … In 2011 NASCAR entered into a groundbreaking partnership with Sunoco and the American Ethanol industry, launching its long-term biofuels program to reduce emissions of the fuel used across its three national series. The transition to the biofuel reduced on-track carbon emissions and teams report an increase in horsepower.

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