The American Petroleum Institute took to Capitol Hill this week touting the results of a poll showing their most recent barrage of misinformation has indeed created confusion. Unable to provide substance in their verbal assault on the Renewable Fuel Standard, the pro-oil propaganda peddlers rely upon consumer-sentiment stats. In essence, this information demonstrates one thing – tossing copious amounts of cash into advertising that makes baseless claims can work.
In the poll, as reported by OPIS, API found that:
- 66 percent of those surveyed agreed that federal government regulations could drive up the cost of gasoline for consumers (19 percent disagreed)
- 50 percent of those surveyed agreed that blending corn-based ethanol into gasoline could increase costs to consumers (28 percent disagreed)
- 77 percent of those surveyed are concerned about putting E15 into their vehicle (18 percent are not concerned)
- 69 percent of those surveyed agreed that using even more corn for ethanol production could increase consumer prices for groceries (24 percent disagreed)
Tellingly, the group did not provide concrete evidence that these claims are rooted in reality. Instead, they argued that simply because a belief exists, it must be valid.
The series of advertisements the group currently runs promoting these exact claims must not have anything to do with it, right?
A look at the facts shows the anti-ethanol assertions to be untrue.
- Ethanol reduces the cost of gas consumers pay at the pump by nearly a dollar. Available at a lower cost than gasoline, it provides fuel blenders a way to save money so retailers can charge less at the pump.
- E15 is one of the most tested fuel blends in history. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved E15 for 2001 and newer cars and trucks.
- U.S. farmers grow more than enough corn for all uses. Each year, a supply of corn is held over to be used the following year – providing more than a half billion bushels for this year from the 2012 corn supply. U.S. ethanol production uses just three percent of the global grain supply.
- In reducing emissions, ethanol outperforms gasoline. Global ethanol production and use is estimated to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 110 million metric tons, according to energy experts – the equivalent of taking more than 20 million vehicles off the road.
If legislators and regulators fall victim to this ruse, they will be acting not in the best interest of American but instead proving that Big Oil can buy a monopoly over our fuel tanks and pocketbooks. If consumers fall prey to the advertisements aimed at ensuring oil secures its stranglehold, they act as accomplices.
Money may buy airtime and influence, but it cannot purchase the truth. Ethanol offers an alternative that benefits Americans economically, environmentally and provides a real choice. Get the facts and tell a friend.