The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy have released the findings of an examination of ethanol’s impact on the food and fuel markets, in response to a request from U.S. Senator Bingaman (D-NM), the Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

In a letter last month, Senator Bingaman requested that the agencies look into the effects that biofuels are having on food prices and fuel prices, so that these facts would be present in the national conversation. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman and Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer responded in a letter yesterday to Senator Bingaman.

The USDA-DOE examination into biofuels’ impact on food prices finds that in 2007, ethanol and biodiesel consumption contributed only 3-4% of the increase in food prices. The report also indicates that if the United States hadn’t been blending ethanol into gasoline, gas prices would be 20-35 cents per gallon higher.

Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), made the following statement:

“These facts from USDA and DOE cannot be disputed – ethanol does little if anything to drive up the price of food, and ethanol does indeed keep down the price of gasoline. We welcome a fact-based discussion that recognizes the oppressive impact of $130 oil and fact that ethanol is part of the solution.”

For more information about ethanol, visit the American Coalition for Ethanol at ACE.