Corn Commentary

Keep Your Money out of Oil’s Well-Manicured Clutches

purse-of-cashWhat do you call a woman who whines about high grocery prices but shops at Whole Foods while she does it? What if she is wearing high-end yoga apparel, a designer handbag and jewelry from the most exclusive collections while she does it? Out of touch? Worse?

Big Oil thinks that most Americans would call her my neighbor, share her values and understand her experience. Furthermore, they think we would take her offhanded analysis of the correlation between energy policy and consumer economics as reliable fact.

This time, it seems that Big Oil’s attack on corn ethanol exposed a real truth – that their priorities are seriously out-of-whack.

Click here to watch the ad. Pay careful attention to the “everyday mom” at the grocery store while you do so.

Now, allow for a moment of somewhat catty contemplation.

The receipt she holds up clearly has a Whole Foods logo at the top. With bags overflowing with groceries, she bemoans how much she has to pay and attributes rising prices to ethanol in her “impromptu” analysis.

Did you roll your eyes at some point and think “Whole Paycheck’s more like it?” Think that just maybe she isn’t doing her best to shop in an even moderately cost-conscious way? Just maybe?

Let’s go back to her outfit. Is that jacket Lululemon or Athleta? Either way, it certainly isn’t from Walmart or Target. The handbag stitching and perfect riveting show an attention to detail that comes more often from Nordstrom than a no name bag. The twisted gold necklace with its delicate work could be Yurman. It could be Hardy. One thing it isn’t is cheap.

Don’t even start to contemplate how she flits her hand about with a rock like that on it…

In reality, most women head to the market with less shiny hair tucked in a ball cap. They wear sweats not expertly coordinated to set off their coloring. They carry a bag big enough to tote around the million and one emergency items their kids might need. You find them at Krogers or Kmart.

What Big Oil got wrong in this ad is that they cast a reflection of themselves, instead of one real Americans identify with. The showed a well-heeled elitist who wants to keep enough in her very lovely pocketbook to maintain her luxe lifestyle. They showed, in essence, exactly why they campaign to keep a stranglehold on our energy market. Much like the woman in their ad, they don’t want to keep their own lavish lifestyles funded.

They want to do so at the expense of the American consumer. Someone they obviously do not understand and whose best interests they do not have at heart.

The farmers who grow ethanol want the best for American consumers because that is who they are too. In towns from Sioux Falls to South Bend, they are the farm families just down the road. Like you, they want to stop paying more than they should at the pump and in the store.

Find out more about how ethanol is fueling a movement toward consumer choice by clicking here.