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Time for Ethanol to Stand on Its Own

For Immediate Release: 
Friday, December 19, 2008

WASHINGTON, December 19, 2008 – There is a growing consensus in the environmental community that federal government subsidies and mandates for corn-based ethanol have produced unintended, yet potentially catastrophic environmental consequences, with little or no return to taxpayers in energy security, protection from global warming, or reducing the cost of driving. Recent reports that the ethanol industry is seeking additional billions in financial assistance from the federal government in a proposed stimulus package have spurred the Clean Air Task Force, Environmental Working Group, Friends of Earth, and the Network for New Energy Choices to release the following joint statement in opposition to additional federal support for the corn ethanol industry. It should be noted that the ethanol industry already receives more taxpayer-funded support than any other renewable energy program; two out of every three dollars the U.S. government spends on what it classifies as renewable energy programs, including wind, solar, and geothermal, goes to the ethanol industry. “With evidence mounting that biofuels are worsening global warming and harming water quality and wildlife habitat, it makes no sense for the federal government to lavish billions more on an industry already flush with government assistance. It is time for ethanol to stand on its own.” In Iowa alone, greenhouse gas emissions from corn ethanol plants are equal to 1.4 million additional cars on the road. The rush to grow more corn for ethanol has made an already bad situation worse—setting back efforts to stem pollution of streams, lakes, and drinking water, expanding the Gulf of Mexico ‘Dead Zone’ that is now the size of New Jersey, and destroying precious wildlife habitat that is now being plowed under in a rush to plant more crops for fuel. Contact: Clean Air Task Force – Jonathan Lewis (617) 624-0234 x10 Environmental Working Group – Don Carr (202) 667-6982 Friends of the Earth – Nick Berning (202) 222 0748 Network for New Energy Choices – Dulce Fernandes (212) 991-1062

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