Growth Energy Holds Annual Advocacy Conference in Washington, DC

by Jerry Perkins, Editor, BioFuels Journal

Growth Energy is sending 150 ethanol producers, board members, and other ethanol proponents to the halls of Congress and regulatory bodies in Washington, DC, over the next three days as part of its annual Advocacy Conference.

Tom Buis, Growth Energy?s chief executive officer, said in a telephone news conference Monday, Sept. 9 the lobbying effort intends to highlight the importance of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the ethanol industry?s contribution to achieving energy independence, boosting national security, creating jobs, and lowering gas prices.

In conjunction with the lobbying activities, Growth Energy also announced Sept. 9, that it is releasing its latest television ad as part of its ?You?re No Dummy? campaign.

Buis said that, over the next three days, Advocacy Conference participants will counter efforts by the Big Oil companies to have the RFS repealed or its renewable fuel mandate rolled back.

?Let?s base this debate on the facts and we will win,? Buis said of the lobbying efforts.

?Big Oil has made repeal of the RFS one of its top policy priorities and it is time the American people know that the oil companies are actively seeking to block the use of renewable fuels that are cleaner burning, less expensive, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil ? it?s time to put an end to Big Oil?s campaign of misinformation to protect their bottom line by trying to eliminate competition,? Buis concluded.

By sharing ethanol?s many benefits with influential leaders across the government, he said, the ethanol industry will be proving to legislators, regulators, and others in Washington that ethanol provides a better alternative to petroleum-based gasoline.

Also speaking at the news conference were Growth Energy Board of Directors? co-chairmen General Wesley Clark (Ret.) and Jeff Broin, founder and executive chairman of POET.

Broin said the RFS is critical to the United States? national security and prosperity.

Its benefits have been significant, he said, because of the jobs the ethanol industry has created and the competition it has provided for the oil companies.

?The real issue here is profits,? said Broin. ?Big Oil wants to eliminate competition.?

Not only do consumers save money because of the blending of lower-priced ethanol with gasoline, he said, but ethanol also promotes energy independence and a cleaner environment.

Clark said that the Advocacy Conference is coming at a critical time because of the strife and turmoil in Syria, which is roiling the entire Middle East and world oil markets.

The conflict in Syria and the resulting spike in oil prices ?is an old, old story,? he said.

?We?ve seen it over the last 40 years.?

Oil prices spike whenever there?s strife in the Middle East, Clark explained. Big Oil doesn?t mind oil price spikes, it welcomes it, he added, although it means that consumers are hurt by higher gasoline prices.

?The more renewable fuel we use, the less oil we need,? Clark said, ?so of course Big Oil is going to try to block it. Energy independence is critical for America?s future energy security and prosperity.?

By reducing our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, Clark said, fewer American soldiers are needed to protect the movement of oil around the world.

Growth Energy?s second ad has been released as part of the effort to fight Big Oil?s attempts to block the use of clean, renewable fuel to protect their market share and profitability, Buis stated.

?This ad is part of Growth Energy?s ongoing campaign to help Americans understand how the oil industry is trying to stop the growth of clean, green renewable fuels to protect its own bottom line,? he said.

?Big Oil wants to create misinformation out there, so that?s why we are pushing back with the ?You?re No Dummy? ads.?

The ads can be viewed at