Indy Ethanol Fallout

Cindy Zimmerman

Several different groups are pressuring the Indy Racing League to rethink its decision to partner with Brazil for ethanol to fuel the Indy Car Series.

Among them is a conservative, free market group called American Future Fund (AFF) which launched a radio ad which urging Hoosiers and others to call the IRL and tell them to continue using American ethanol in its race cars.

“It’s amazing that amid all the progress we have made toward energy independence, the IRL decides to set us back,” said AFF Communications Director Tim Albrecht. “It’s mind-boggling as to why the league would take this action in an economic downturn. This is a slap in the face to American farmers and workers.”

“Our hope is that local citizens will stick up for what’s right, and demand the IRL rescind its deal with Brazil,” continued Albrecht. “This is a matter of energy independence and keeping our jobs here at home. The IRL may turn its back on the people of Indiana and the Midwest, but AFF will steadfastly stand with America’s energy producers.”

Indiana corn growers are also calling on the IRL to continue using domestically-produced ethanol. “We encourage the citizens of Indiana to make your opinion known to the IRL if you feel this decision was a mistake and not in the best interest of our country, Indiana farmers, and the local economies that benefit from the growing ethanol industry in our state,” said Mike Shuter, president of the Indiana Corn Marketing Council.

The actual contract has apparently yet to be signed, but IRL officials have said the Brazilian deal calls for them to use a US ethanol supplier for the first year of the multi-year agreement. The Ethanol Promotion and Information Council, through its producer members, has been the fuel sponsor of the Indy Car Series for the past three years but decided not to renew the contract for the coming season.

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