Some radical environmental organizations held a press conference this week urging the federal government to stop promoting renewable fuels like ethanol and saying they would rather increase the use of imported oil. During the conference, Clean Air Task Force spokesman Jonathan Lewis told a reporter that “burning gasoline is better than increasing the production of corn ethanol.”
Listen to that soundbite here [audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/audio/ewp-bite.mp3]
The group representatives made claims that they were unable to back up with any specific facts when questioned and they offered no ideas for moving toward a renewable energy future, although they claim that is their ultimate goal. They simply want the production of corn ethanol halted because they question whether biofuels are capable of making a major contribution to reducing fossil fuel use.
This “policy announcement” by the groups – which also included the Environmental Working Group and Friends of the Earth – amounted to an unsubstantiated attack on American agriculture’s efforts to help move our nation toward energy independence. Not only did they say we should not produce corn ethanol, they claim that next generation biofuels using cellulose “can cause the same adverse environmental impacts as conventional ones while also presenting new dangers, such as those associated with synthetic biology.”
It reminds me of people who once thought the earth was flat and refused to move forward because they were afraid they would fall off the horizon if they did. To refuse to move toward a more sustainable, renewable energy future with a variety of options is simply irresponsible and proves they are not friends of the earth at all. Friends don’t let friends drill to drive.