President's Town Hall Remarks Questioned in Letter

RFA touts the effieciency and productivity of ethanol industry

Published on: Jul 11, 2011

The Renewable Fuels Association sent a letter to President Obama about the ethanol industry in response to what they felt was a question of the commitment of ethanol producers and advocates during the President's Twitter Town Hall.

"While much of our industry's research and development focus is on the next generation of feedstocks and biofuels, the existing grain-based industry has quietly made tremendous strides in its economic and environmental efficiency in recent years," wrote RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. "Given its rapid rate of innovation and evolution, it was concerning to hear you suggest during your Twitter town hall that American ethanol was behind the innovation curve. More troubling was your assessment that Brazilian ethanol is a superior, more efficient product than the one produced here at home."

The letter points out the U.S. ethanol industry is the largest in the world, producing more than 13 billion gallons of ethanol each year and reducing imported oil needs by 445 million barrels each year. Dinneen says not only is American-made ethanol the most cost-effective motor fuel in the market today, it also creates around 400,000 thousand jobs.

Dinneen notes ethanol production is showing tremendous energy benefits with current ethanol production producing up to 2.3 units of energy for every unit of energy used. He says ethanol producers are getting more ethanol-per-bushel of corn and using fewer BTUs and gallons of water in the process. He also says American ethanol producers get nearly 100 gallons of ethanol from one ton of corn compared to Brazilian sugarcane producers who get 25 gallons per ton.

Dinneen says that shows America's ethanol industry is setting the curve in technology innovation and now is not the time to question the industry's progress or efficiency. He says the U.S. ethanol industry should be a source of pride because it is a sparkling example of what made America great - the imagination to dream and the ability to make that dream a reality.