Leaders of five major agricultural organizations and the head of the Renewable Fuels Association joined together Wednesday to try and dispel many of the accusations that have been levied against biofuels in recent months and emphasize the positive contributions of ethanol in particular.
“Instead of using ethanol as a scapegoat for increased food prices, we should be having a discussion about the business, economic and policy issues that are connected with the world of $130 plus per barrel oil,” said American Farm Bureau Federation president Bob Stallman. He said the country’s Renewable Fuels Standard passed by Congress in December was the “right thing to do and continues to be the right thing to do.”
Stallman was joined by Tom Buis of the National Farmers Union, in a rare show of unity for the two general farm organizations that are frequently at odds over policy issues. Buis listed his top six myths about higher prices being blamed on ethanol, including Mexican tortillas, pasta, rice, bagels, beer and movie theater tickets. “I’m tired of debating these myths,” said Buis. “The last thing we need to do on renewable energy is backslide again because 30 years from now we will be back talking again about our dependence on imported energy.”
Other farmer leaders from the National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, and the National Sorghum Producers participated in the conference call with members of the news media, fielding questions from reporters at media outlets ranging from Reuters to the Capitol Press in Idaho.