Members of the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance say calls to reduce or even halt production of biofuels in the face of the U.S. drought are “pennywise, but… pound foolish.” The group is responding in particular to International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Director General Shenggen Fan’s call to stop producing corn-based biofuels through the following statement:
“Calls to curtail biofuel production and use because of one bad growing season in the U.S. is putting the cart before the horse. We don’t yet know how extensive the damage from the drought in the U.S. will be, nor do we know how farmers in the rest of the world will respond to stronger markets for their crops.
Biofuels have proven to be an effective way to help lift rural communities worldwide out of poverty. Stronger grain prices have spurred investments in agricultural production that are yielding more crops from the same acre of land. In turn, this is helping traditionally food and energy poor nations become more self-sufficient. Eliminating the market created by biofuels would be a setback to progress made in these areas and could very well increase poverty rates.”
GRFA went on to point out that investment “in domestic biofuel production is spurring innovation and evolution in the industry” and removing biofuels from the mix would just make the world more dependent on the finite supply of non-renewable petroleum.