Freedom: More Than Just a Word

By Tom Buis | August 15, 2011

At this year’s Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo in Indianapolis, 100 attendees viewed a special screening of “Freedom,” a new documentary that takes a hard—and refreshing—look at America’s perilous and unsustainable addiction to foreign oil. The film focuses on the one solution we have to America’s foreign oil addiction: homegrown, renewable ethanol.

I predict that “Freedom” will truly change opinions in this country. The film goes beyond getting people mad. It gets people motivated. And it offers serious thought for getting Americans off the couch and involved in the debate over the future of America’s national, economic and energy security. “Freedom” is the first film I have seen that includes the arguments both for and against ethanol. This movie goes for the truth and uses facts to blow away the myths about food versus fuel, the so-called “indirect land use change” scheme, and ethanol’s compatibility as a fuel with today’s engines.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet with the film’s producers, husband-and-wife team Josh and Rebecca Tickell. The Tickells won major awards for their previous documentary, “Fuel,” including recognition by the Sundance Film Festival. I asked the Tickells why they wanted to put this film together. They told me, in no uncertain terms, that they saw the country had learned nothing from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and they decided to take a hard look at the pros and cons of American ethanol.

The movie includes commentary from a wide range of advocates, such as former CIA Director Jim Woolsey, Growth Energy’s own Co-Chairman (Ret.) Gen. Wesley Clark, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

These are all serious thinkers and leaders who know full well the danger of our current situation—and support ethanol’s role in fixing the crisis.  The movie also includes influential celebrities such as singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, actor Ed Begley Jr., and other well-known activists who can open doors for ethanol to audiences on the West Coast and the East Coast. This movie will help introduce ethanol to people in Los Angeles, New York City and elsewhere who have no idea what ethanol is, where it comes from, or what it can do to secure our nation’s energy future

This fall, the Tickells are putting an E85-powered bus on the road for a three-month tour of America, promoting “Freedom,” and ethanol supporters across the country will be coordinating their own screenings of the movie. If you want to find out more, or find out how you can host or attend a screening, there is plenty of information online at I hope you take a moment, look at the online trailer, and discover for yourself what a unique opportunity we have with this movie, right now.

Author: Tom Buis
CEO, Growth Energy
[email protected]