Slate: Worst part of oil spill could be return of Big Ethanol

The BP oil spill has reminded us that whether we love ethanol or hate it, it's still loads better than crude oil. Or at least that's what the corn ethanol lobbies would have us believe, according to Slate.

With ethanol plants closing left and right, about 1.4 billion gallons of additional distilling capacity under construction, and with the EPA still not giving the green light to E15, the ethanol-is-better-than-oil-spills message is being pushed hard. Matt Hartwig, communications director for the Renewable Fuels Association, sums up the ethanol lobby's main talking point: "The Gulf of Mexico disaster serves as a stark and unfortunate reminder of the need for domestically-produced renewable biofuels."

An upsurge in oil-spill, ethanol-focused advertising slogans may also be a sign of rising lobbying efforts in the nation's capital by the industry. One example seen in a Washington D.C. Metro station that reads, "No beaches have been closed due to ETHANOL spills. ... America's CLEAN fuel," was paid for by Growth Energy, and ethanol industry lobby group.

In a crisis like the oil spill, politics and panic can rule the day. Let's just hope policy makers remember the false promise of corn ethanol before dumping a few billion dollars into resuscitating it. Any of our readers feel like starting an ABG lobbying group on K Street?

[Souce: Slate | Image: r-z – C.C. 2.0]

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