Talking Points

MYTH: Ethanol producers are dependent on government subsidies.
• Corn ethanol production is not subsidized.1
• Previously enacted ethanol subsidies expired in 2011 and those subsidies went to blenders and oil companies, not to growers or ethanol producers.2
• On the other hand, Big Oil continues to receive $4 billion in taxpayer support despite continued record profits.
MYTH: It takes more energy to produce ethanol than the finished product provides.
• According to the USDA, ethanol is more energy efficient to produce than gasoline.
• For every 1 Btu of energy used to make ethanol, ethanol provides a 2.6 Btu return.3
MYTH: Using corn for ethanol drives up corn prices and makes food more expensive.
• Farmers produce more than enough corn to meet both food and fuel needs, and new corn that’s grown for ethanol wasn’t grown at all prior to the Renewable Fuel Standard.4
• The biggest factors in food costs are transportation costs – including fuel, processing and packaging. Just 11.6 cents of every dollar in food costs can be attributed to the cost of the raw food itself.5
• Spikes in grain prices in 2012 were caused by record droughts, not by ethanol production.6
MYTH: Making ethanol uses up corn that should be used for food.
• The corn used to make ethanol isn’t the same as sweet corn that you eat.7
• One-third of every bushel of corn used to make ethanol is turned into nutritious animal feed that goes back into the food chain.8
MYTH: Gasoline blended with ethanol will damage your car’s engine.
• Ethanol is the most extensively tested fuel ever brought to market and consumers have been using blended ethanol fuels for decades.
• The EPA approved E15 fuel for use in all cars made since 2001.9 This is based on more than 6 million miles of testing on 86 engines.
• In contrast, Big Oil and the auto companies paid for a flawed study to justify their claims that tested just 8 engines, many of which were known to have mechanical issues.10
• NASCAR has run nearly 5 million miles of races on E15 fuel.11
• Ethanol has an octane rating of 113, making it the highest performing fuel on the market.12
MYTH: Growing corn for ethanol damages the environment by causing land to be deforested and increasing use of farm chemicals.
• Thanks to modern technology, today’s corn growers are producing more corn on less land and with fewer resources per bushel than ever before.13
• According to the Fertilizer Institute, in 2010, farmers grew nearly twice as much corn using half as much fertilizer per bushel compared to 1980.14
Myth: Ethanol doesn’t reduce CO2 emissions.
• Using corn ethanol decreases greenhouse gas emissions by 48-59 percent compared to gasoline.15
• In 2012, the 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol produced reduced greenhouse gas emissions from on-road vehicles by 33.4 million tons.16
13 USDA - National Agricultural Statistics Service


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