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Veterans Organization Spends Big Bucks on RFS Defense

Non-ag interests weigh in on RFS issues; veterans' group support hinges on moving away from oil imports

Published on: Jan 8, 2014

A Des Moines, Iowa-based veterans affairs group on Tuesday launched a television campaign focused on Washington, D.C., that addresses recently proposed changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard and supports ethanol use.

The group, which advocates for national security through public issue campaigns, will spend nearly $110,000 on the campaign, which also runs in Des Moines.

Votevets.org jumped in the ethanol fight just after the Environmental Protection Agency's November proposal to reduce RFS mandates. The agency cited concerns that producing the mandated amount of renewable fuel would push volumes higher than what could be blended into the fuel supply.

Non-ag interests weigh in on RFS issues; veterans group support hinges on moving away from oil imports
Non-ag interests weigh in on RFS issues; veterans' group support hinges on moving away from oil imports

However, the group says using more ethanol and getting behind policy that supports ethanol production is a matter of security.

In the latest campaign, the group argues that although the U.S. doesn't often buy oil directly from hostile nations, America’s dependence on oil drives up demand and prices of oil on the world market, benefitting all oil-rich nations.

The ad, which the group says will be one of many, opens with an explosion in front of a military convoy. It features Michael Connolly, an Iraq war veteran and former Iowa resident, who suggests that purchasing ethanol blends is a way to support the troops and funnel less money to the enemy.

"But the oil companies are trying to kill renewable fuels," he continues, noting recent concerns with the RFS. "Tell the EPA to stand up for renewable fuels – don't cut the Renewable Fuel Standard."

The group, along with other proponents, suggests that ethanol production creates jobs and can benefit rural economies. They say the U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that for every one billion gallons of ethanol produced, 10,000 to 20,000 jobs are added to the U.S. economy.

Opponents, however, say that the policy fosters an unfair marketplace advantage to corn and ethanol producers and can drive up input costs for livestock feeders.

View the TV spot below.

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  1. TxTumbleweed says:

    The dirty little secret is that this drawn out DEPRESSION our nation is experiencing has caused fuel usage to fall exponentially, to 2001 levels. There isn't sufficient growth in fuel usage to support continued expansion in ethanol's mandated usage at a 10 % blend rate. The American consumer, by and large hates the product, has a long list of difficult to refute grievances against its production and usage. I find it sad that a "veterans" group would waste their effort funding the defense of the RFS, when corps who make the product won't. Evidently Cargill and ADM are too busy spending their bankroll behind the scenes, buying off elitist congressmen, who have the power to cram this and many other boondoggles down American citizens throat, as they grease the skids for their counterfeit, crony capitalist benefactors. However, swimming upstream eventually becomes an exercise in futility. As a prospering corn producer I argued myself blue in the face with detractors who believe that turning corn into fuel starves the third world. I traced that little PR jewel of an argument back to Rome. In principle, ethanol producers should be able to convert the raw material they purchase from the American farmer into whatever product they wish, as long as they do so without taxpayer assistance or government coercion. Since Cargill and ADM are both brewing ethanol, as well as feeding and slaughtering hogs and cattle, AND exporting grain, they should be well equipped to determine where the profit incentive lies and make proper adjustments toward profitability, to their biz operations. Thank you for adding one sentence offering the opposing opinion. Through my years of arguing FOR ethanol production, it would have been nice to have some fresh, new, somewhat objective talking points occasionally. Evidently no one told votevets.org that there is an oil production BOOM going on within the U.S.A., and soon to be one taking place in Mexico. Exploiting our veterans to promote a product that has been completely and thoroughly demonized, will only anger John Q Public. Are we STUCK on STUPID?!? BTW, cattlenetwork.com has a piece by a couple of U of TN economist that gives a very cogent explanation on how farm subsidies came about, and why they will most likely not ever be discontinued. All my life i have been horrified by the historic famines I studied. Why didn't it occur to me that WE in America have never suffered a famine?. .