On Turkey Day, Biodiesel Board Gives Food (vs. Fuel) for Thought

John Davis

On the day that you sit down and have probably the biggest meal of the year, some of you might be thinking about how much higher your grocery bill is this year. While you really need to focus on the family and friends around you and how thankful you are for the blessings you enjoy, the National Biodiesel Board is making the point about how biodiesel and ethanol are not responsible for the hit to your pocketbook on Thanksgiving Day.

This op-ed piece from NBB CEO Joe Jobe says while some have blamed the rising cost of groceries on rising commodity prices (which they erroneously have blamed on biofuel production), that argument just doesn’t add up anymore:

The prices of corn, wheat and soybeans have dropped dramatically – about fifty percent from their prices this spring. However, Americans have continued to see their food prices rise, which contradicts the excuse. In fact, when adjusted for inflation, the price of soybeans – the oil portion of which is used to produce biodiesel – is at its lowest level since the Great Depression.

So did the price of the grain commodities fall because of decreased biofuels production? No. Biodiesel production has increased by more than 100 million gallons compared to last year. And Congress, in recent months, has taken extraordinary steps to encourage higher production of homegrown biofuels, recognizing their value to energy security as well as their proven environmental benefits. With agriculture commodities halved and American families hurting more financially than they have in decades, the prices of our groceries have not budged. Not five, not ten and certainly not fifty percent.

As an example, the piece goes on to point out that bread prices have actually increased over the past year, despite the fact that wheat prices have been cut to less than half of what they were last February. And farmers see only twelve cents of a typical $2.99 loaf of bread.

Jobe says the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has spent millions to promote the smokescreen of the empty “food vs. fuel” debate for its own greedy ends and concludes the op-ed saying, “The excuses just do not give us much to chew on.”

Well said. You can read the entire piece by clicking here.