Sunday, December 2, 2007

Making Cleaner, Sustainable Energy is No Laughing Matter

Can we ever really trust the media? "Trust in media keeps slipping" (USAToday), from a few years ago shows that American public has lost confidence in the media to get the facts straight.

So it's no surprise when we continue to see recent media reports regarding renewable fuels that are one-sided, contain mis-truths, or are just outright wrong.

The corn and renewable-fuels industry in Iowa responded to an article in the Des Moines register:

No American should take our energy needs lightly. On behalf of Iowa's corn and renewable-fuels industries, we must point out that David Elbert's Nov. 18 Down to Business column, "Corn Ethanol Goes From Being a Hero to a Scapegoat," missed key facts, used out-of-date data and referred to our No. 1 alternative-energy source as a joke.

Elbert presented a laundry list of anti-ethanol propaganda, but missed getting any perspective from Iowa. Where was the perspective from an Iowa ethanol plant on efficiencies? Where was the Iowa livestock perspective, and where was the Iowa farmer talking about improvements in corn growing?

Cornell University's David Pimentel's attacks on ethanol continue, even though his arguments on energy efficiency have been refuted by experts from the USDA, the Department of Energy and Argonne National Laboratory.

Today's ethanol plants have greatly increased efficiency and now use only three gallons of water to produce a gallon of ethanol, while it still takes eight gallons of water to make a gallon of gasoline.

Jean Zeigler's comments from the United Nations were beyond irresponsible. Genocide and war crimes are crimes against humanity. Finding solutions to global energy problems and feeding the world is anything but a crime against humanity. Texas oil interests have proposed a hold on the farm bill and balked at including renewable fuels like ethanol. That should speak loudly about who's joking around.

Providing a domestically produced renewable fuel, lessening our dependence on foreign oil sources and adding money to Iowa's economy are simply not subjects to laugh at. We take very seriously growing corn and converting it to ethanol.

- Craig Floss,
CEO, Iowa Corn,

- Monte Shaw,
executive director, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,

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