Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Wall Street Oil Journal

The Wall Street Journal ran an ethanol article earlier this week. As usual, they trotted out all of their reasons why ethanol doesn't work for them. The Big Oil industry, with hundreds of lobbyists and millions in political and advertising monies, clearly is on the offensive to kill off competition to its industry.

So it was nice surprising a SHOCK to finally see a major media outlet correctly report the "myth" that the corn lobby gets subsidized with tax credits for ethanol. Guess what? It's the oil companies that get the money:
The U.S. gives oil refiners an excise-tax credit of 51 cents for every gallon of ethanol they blend into gasoline. And even though it's the oil industry that gets this subsidy, the industry dislikes being forced to use a nonpetroleum product.
However, the article also had numerous distortions and mistruths. The American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest had this to say about the article:
To the Wall Street Journal Editor:

The American Lung Association’s position on ethanol as a gasoline additive was incorrectly stated in the Nov. 28 article, “Ethanol Craze Cools As Doubts Multiply.”

Lauren Etter’s page one article states: “The American Lung Association expressed concern about a form of air pollution from burning ethanol in gasoline.” However, these concerns are centered on mid-level ethanol – gasoline blends containing more than 10 percent ethanol being used in vehicle engines that are not specifically designed for high ethanol blends. We and other environmental organizations recently urged lawmakers to subject mid-level ethanol-gasoline blends to the same thorough emissions analysis and public review any fuel should undergo before receiving U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approval as a motor fuel.

Used without proper context in an article that broadly covers criticism of the ethanol industry, it appears that the American Lung Association is a critic of all forms of fuel ethanol. This is not true. The American Lung Association recognizes that alternative fuels can play an important role in the reduction of fossil fuel use and that they can vary significantly in their impact on lung health because of their composition and application.

For example, the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest has led a nationally-recognized E85 (an ethanol-based alternative fuel that can be used in flex-fuel vehicles) program since 1998. We remain a strong supporter of E85 and biodiesel, both of which have been tested and approved as cleaner-burning alternatives to traditional petroleum fuels.

We have received many calls from concerned individuals, corporations and news media regarding our organization being cited in the Wall Street Journal article, wondering if our position on ethanol has changed. It has not, and I ask that a clarification of this be published in the “Corrections & Amplifications” section as quickly as possible.


Harold Wimmer
Chief Executive Officer
American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest
Chicago, IL

Subscribe to updates by Email

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Food and Fuel

Good and Balanced Food and Fuel News!

No comments: