The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) responded strongly to ethanol critics who launched another wave of attacks on corn and ethanol. This attack on ethanol comes from the same group that failed earlier this year in its efforts to reduce the renewable fuels standard and increase our country’s dependence on foreign oil.
“These same ethanol critics are the ones who virtually promised to reduce food prices immediately, and have failed to do so, even though corn prices and energy prices are down by more than half in the last few weeks,” NCGA President Bob Dickey said in a radio interview syndicated to dozens of radio stations nationwide.
“Food prices remain at a very high level. It’s ironic that food companies are reporting record profits, and food prices are higher --for smaller packages of food items, in many cases,” Dickey says. “When will their prices come down?”
Corn futures went from a high of $7.88 this past June to $3.85 as of Monday, and national average gasoline prices have dropped more than 50% since a record high of $4.11/gal. in July 2008. Further, Dickey noted, all energy sources in the U.S. receive some type of incentive for domestic production. This includes oil, natural gas, coal, wind, nuclear, solar and biofuels.
“Our nation’s economy is hurting and people are losing their jobs, their homes and their life savings. This is the wrong time to attack an industry important to rural America,” Dickey added. “Increasing domestic energy production will only help our nation’s economy, and the serious drop in corn prices shows there is little connection between expanding ethanol production and raising food prices.”