Corn Ethanol Lobby's $ 2.5 million ad campaign
Click here to see my anti-propaganda propaganda film.
For the full effect, turn your speakers on before playing it.
I see it has already drawn a video response from a company that retrofits cars to run on E-85. I cringe at the thought of the hateful comments this video will elicit. Human nature can be an ugly thing to behold.
The truth is complex; propaganda is simple. The $13.7 billion number in the concluding Google search applies to all lobbying in the united states, not just corn ethanol or biofuels.*
About $8 million was spent on lobbying by various biofuel groups in 2009.
Also note that my title is, ah, presumptive and with a little time may grow into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Propaganda hit its zenith during the World Wars. All sides used it to garner support from the public by fanning the flames of xenophobia. Germany’s propaganda in particular was appallingly effective at this.
The concept of evil is all in our minds. In reality, everyone thinks they are the good guys. Here’s a recent article on that subject.
Growth Energy has launched this $2.5 million dollar campaign to secure an additional $30 billion in subsidies in the next five years and to get the amount of ethanol blended into our gas increased by 50%, oh, and they are also planning to get our government to fund a dedicated ethanol pipeline to the coasts (so they can export it) making corn ethanol too big to fail.
General Wesley Clark is one of the main players behind this blitz. He has a typical militarist’s “us against them” worldview, which I’m guessing overrides the rational, scientific, environmental, and economic arguments against government support of corn ethanol.
IMHO, he’s being used by the corn ethanol industry, which would happily export every drop of corn ethanol if they could get a higher price for it overseas as the biodiesel producers were doing (before being slapped with countervailing import duties). And if he protests when they start doing that he will more than likely have to find a new job because this is not really about national security; it’s about profit. He just doesn’t know that yet.
The following is a screen shot of a Google search I did yesterday on “food vs fuel:”
Note at the top the three sponsored links meant to deflect what you will find with this search term. Is Google being used as a propaganda mill by the highest bidders?
Go here to their $2.5 million dollar propaganda blitz er, ad campaign you have probably already seen on television (note that the word “corn” never precedes the word “ethanol” even though 99.8 percent of all ethanol produced in the United States comes from corn and that the word “food” is also conspicuously absent):
ETHANOL has not shipped a single job overseas–AMERICA’S “ECONOMIC” FUEL–Growth Energy
Well, that’s not entirely true. The fertilizer, pesticides, and diesel fuel used on farms and the trucks that transport ethanol, and many of the components in farm equipment as well as the ethanol refineries came from overseas.
I’m not a big fan of fossil fuels but let’s be honest here. Which fuel is worse? Imported oil is refined in America, creating many jobs. Saudi Arabia imports its refined gas and diesel. Oil does not send jobs overseas, although buying a Prius or any computer certainly does.
We don’t have to wait millions of years to replenish our ETHANOL reserves–AMERICA’S “RENEWABLE” FUEL–Growth Energy
Roughly 75% of the energy contained in a gallon of corn ethanol came from non-renewable fossil fuels. Not to mention, the corn is wholly dependent on fertilizers and pesticides derived from fossil fuels. You can’t call a fuel that is utterly dependent on fossil fuels renewable. Well, I guess they just did, but not with a straight face.
ETHANOL has contributed $0 to the governments of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela–AMERICA’S “SENSIBLE” FUEL–Growth Energy
Here they are fanning the flames of xenophobia to hawk their product. Last time I checked, Saudi Arabia was our ally in the Gulf war and even paid for half of it. We still have five air bases located there.
We have not imported oil from Iran for decades. Note, however, that they still manage to sell every last drop to someone. That’s because the world is now flat and oil is highly fungible (look it up). We can’t crush our “evil” enemies by not buying oil from them.
No wars have ever been fought over ETHANOL–AMERICA’S “PEACE” FUEL–Growth Energy
…yet. Corn ethanol only represents about 2% of our supply. Using all of our cropland for corn ethanol would replace maybe 12%. To replace all of our imported oil with ethanol will require a lot of imports from places like South America where sugarcane ethanol is about ten times more energy efficient to produce.
The “NO WAR FOR OIL” bumper sticker was invented by big biofuel. If you have one on your car you are a dupe. Corn ethanol is not a ticket to world peace and note that our military budget has not been impacted by increased ethanol production.
Our efforts to maintain peace in the Middle East has to continue, oil or no oil, because the world is now flat. Mutually interdependent trading partners are the best chance for maintaining world peace. An energy shortage that brings our trading partners down would bring us down with them, as our banking and housing debacle just did to them.
No U.S. soldiers have been deployed to defend our ETHANOL reserves–AMERICA’S “INDEPENDENT” FUEL–Growth Energy
…yet. According to George W. Bush, our soldiers were deployed to root out weapons of mass destruction and to punish the guy responsible for bringing the Twin Towers down (who actually had nothing to do with it). Is Growth Energy saying our president lied to us? Are they saying he really went to war to protect our oil “reserves?” I’m stunned.
No beaches have been closed due to ETHANOL spills–AMERICA’S “CLEAN” FUEL–Growth Energy
…yet. Remember, corn ethanol only represents about 2% of our supply. Ethanol tanker spills have been causing their share of damage already. The largest fish kill in Illinois history occurred last year when a train pulling corn ethanol tankers derailed. The year before that 25,000 fish were killed and an entire population of an endangered mussel species was wiped out when another biofuel refiner dumped waste into a river in Missouri.
*I tried to replace the words “total spent on lobbying 2009 …$13.7 billion” with something less potentially misleading like “$30 billion in subsidies, a 50% blend increase …” in an updated video but was abruptly censored by somebody at Google (who I suspect is a big corn ethanol proponent) with the message, “We’re trying to keep theses appropriate for everyone …”