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By Staff | Oct 28, 2011

Energy, agriculture and the economy are central to America’s interests, and they are central to the ethanol industry. So it’s no wonder that as politics heat up, we’re hearing more than ever about ethanol. Unfortunately much of what we’re hearing is misguided and some constitute outright lies.

Ethanol is agriculture, and this threatens not only the ethanol industry, but farmers everywhere. It is time for farmers to fight back.

First, let’s be clear; the ethanol industry has one primary vision, and it’s a simple one:

A driver pulls up to a fuel station pump. He hits a button selecting how much ethanol he wants to use. He fills up and drives away.

That’s it. Open competition without the subsidies. Just let the driver pick.

In light of the nation’s debt crisis, the ethanol industry proposed a reform plan to use the majority of the remaining tax credit money to help alleviate America’s financial problems and use the rest to help build thousands of flex pumps nationwide.

The oil industry, on the other hand, fought at every step as Congress debated oil tax breaks, and those remained intact.

Unfortunately, the scenario is usually presented the opposite way in the media, with the fallacy of Big Oil seeking fair competition and the ethanol industry seeking advantages through subsidies.

I’m asking America’s farmers to stand up and support an industry that you helped build and that in turn played a major role in redefining commodity values. With increasing corn yields, a vibrant ethanol industry is essential to keep those commodity values strong.

What we need today is the trusted voice of the farmer talking about the economic opportunities ethanol has provided for rural America. The public needs to hear about the great things happening today because of grain ethanol production and the great things around the corner because of cellulosic ethanol production.

We need advocates for flex fuel vehicles that allow any blend of ethanol to be used. We need to encourage installation of pumps to dispense different blends. These pumps will not only clear the ethanol market, but will clear the over-supplied commodity markets for decades to come.

Make no mistake. There are coordinated and well-funded attacks on the ethanol industry. Our critics are primarily interested in:

  • No competition for fuel.
  • No competition for corn.

The ethanol industry is one of your largest customers. We rely on your hard work and understanding of the land to continue to get more corn from existing acres. And we need your help as Big Oil and Big Food seek to maintain the status quo: Big Oil’s monopoly and much lower grain prices.

You can help in this battle by joining Growth Force at www.growthforce.org.

American agriculture can be one of the strongest voices in America when farmers unite for a cause. It’s time to direct the full force of that voice toward the people stifling farmer-grown, American-made fuel.

While our country today is mired in debt and an addiction to foreign oil; we can be the leaders of a clean, economical and home-grown solution: ethanol.

Broin is chief executive office and chairman of POET LLC, a private manufacturer of bioethanol, based in Sioux Falls, S.D. in 2007, it was classified as the largest ethanol producer in the U.S., creating 1.1 billion gallons of the fuel annually.

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