News & Ideas


Ethanol debate should be about facts

Absolute Energy CEO Rick Schwarck replies to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial Board about a recent RFS editorial.

Rick Schwarck, CEO of ACE-member Absolute Energy, LLC, recently set the record straight about ethanol with the editors of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by sharing links to independent data – inviting readers to make informed conclusions.  Here is an excerpt of his response along with the third-party links.

“Your recent editorial about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s stance on the Renewable Fuel Standard”  makes inaccurate and tired claims about ethanol.  The discussion about ethanol shouldn’t devolve into a ‘he said, she said’ type of debate.

The Argonne National Labs doesn’t editorialize; they do research and publish facts.  Here’s a basic primer for anyone with questions about ethanol http://www.wired.com/2011/06/five-ethanol-myths-busted-2/.

The World Bank is another respected entity.  They indicate most of the poor people on the planet are involved in agriculture http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/agriculture.

The best way to tackle poverty around the world is to raise peoples’ incomes.  For poor farmers in a country like Ethiopia, for example, that means raising the price they get for the crops they produce.  Google the GDP of Ethiopia or any developing nation and see how these agriculture-dependent countries have progressed over the last ten years, the same time period the U.S. ethanol industry has created a profitable worldwide market for corn.

http://www.bing.com/search?q=Ethiopia+GDP&form=PRUSEN&mkt=en-us&refig=d8ea298f2c714d25a9d2853f50d1fc5a&pq=ethiopia+gdp&sc=8-12&sp=-1&qs=n&sk=&cvid=d8ea298f2c714d25a9d2853f50d1fc5a

Certainly countries like Ethiopia still have a long way to go, but if the U.S. walks away from ethanol and the RFS, the world price of corn will fall below the cost of production.  As a result, farmers in developing countries won’t be able to raise corn, they will slip further into poverty, and they won’t be able to feed their families.

Finally, corn-based ethanol is more affordable than gasoline.  See for yourselves.

http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/energy/ethanol/cbot-ethanol.html

http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/energy/refined-products/rbob-gasoline.html

Unlike oil, ethanol isn’t subsidized (the ethanol tax credit ended 4 years ago, update your arguments please).  No soldiers overseas or in body bags are needed for us to get our product to market.  I am proud to be part of it and appreciate Governor Walkers support.”


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