Cloudy Mornings Often Turn to Sunny Afternoons

By Bob Dinneen | November 13, 2007
Despite the abundance of hot air blowing around Capitol Hill on any given day, the view from the dome can sometimes become a bit obscured. This isn't a result of abnormal weather patterns or the remnants of an anti-war rally.

Rather, the haze that often surrounds Capitol Hill comes from those seeking to obscure the facts and spread misinformation and doubt in amounts sufficient to prevent progress and change. I certainly don't have to tell you that the ethanol industry is the current target of such efforts.

Indeed, as numerous media outlets have reported, the petroleum industry is actively recruiting and working with livestock and food processing groups, bastions of progressive thought like the Cato Institute, and even some environmental groups to, at the very least, slow the growth of domestic renewable fuels. Ultimately, their goal is stopping renewable fuels such as ethanol in their tracks.

Despite the barrage of misinformation and the attempts to muddy the waters surrounding a new energy direction in this country, the American people have seen through the fog. Dare I say, I think I see a ray of sunshine?

In a recent national poll, three out of four Americans said they wanted to see the increased use of domestic renewable fuels such as ethanol. In even greater numbers, 87 percent of Americans said the federal government should actively support the development of a domestic renewable fuels industry.

Numbers like that are hard to ignore. As you read this, Congress may have already passed an energy bill that expands and accelerates the renewable fuels standard. It is more likely, however, that the negotiations are still ongoing and Congress is facing a very real choice.

Choice No. 1 includes moving America toward a more sustainable energy future by transferring our dependence on foreign oil to a reliance on domestically produced renewables such as ethanol.

Choice No. 2 is a reaffirmation of the status quo, relegating our children and grandchildren to an ever-increasing addiction to foreign oil and the consequences that come with it.
With a resounding voice, the American people have spoken. The weight of public opinion falls squarely on the side of renewable fuels such as ethanol. Whether the concern is foreign oil dependence, reducing greenhouse gas emissions or improving economic conditions, Americans believe that renewable fuels offer us a way to address those concerns.

While the clouds of misinformation continue to plague Capitol Hill, the forecast for the rest of country is clear and bright. I remain optimistic that Congress will make the right choice and take this country in the energy directions Americans are demanding.

Happy Holidays from the Renewable Fuels Association!

Bob Dinneen
President and CEO
Renewable Fuels Association