Letter to the Editor: Wall Street Journal

Posted on: July 26, 2010 in Ethanol

To the Editor:

Seeking even-handedness from the editors of The Wall Street Journal is like expecting a mama grizzly to forsake her cubs. While it is true that ethanol does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions quite as significantly as not burning oil, US ethanol production has few equals in reducing oil dependence and creating domestic economic opportunity.

The CBO report on which the WSJ ties its anti-ethanol star this time provides no context. It doesn’t mention the permanent tax subsidies the oil industry receives, although a report in 2005 CBO report found, according to The New York Times, “that the oil industry investments were taxed at an effective rate of 9 percent, significantly lower than the overall rate of 25 percent for businesses in general and lower than virtually any other industry.” These and other multi-billion dollar tax breaks are permanent subsidies that rob the federal treasury of tax revenue that is ultimately, along with nearly $1 billion daily, provided to foreign governments to keep America addicted to oil.

Nor does the CBO report that nearly 400,000 Americans are employed directly and indirectly by America’s ethanol industry. These jobs provide increased household incomes and new tax revenues for hundreds of small communities all over America.

The well being of rural America has never been top of mind for The Wall Street Journal. This editorial is typical. Eliminating investment in ethanol and other renewable fuels will result in reducing domestic ethanol production, increase unemployment, and increase America’s dependence on imported oil from OPEC members like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela whose policies are often at odds with ours and ethanol from Brazil, where rainforest destruction happens with regularity.

Bob Dinneen
President and CEO
Renewable Fuels Association

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