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Lamberty Report: "Pay No Attention to the Oil Behind the Curtain"
by Ron Lamberty

Addicts are masters of distraction and rationalization. Over the years, they distract themselves and the people they love, so that no one pays too much attention to a problem that at least a few of them recognize. And when the addiction becomes increasingly evident, the addict has to figure out some good reasons not to give it up.

Some people who want to quit smoking put it off, saying, “The extra weight has to be bad for my heart – that’ll kill me faster than the chance that I might get cancer.” Drug addicts are concerned they won’t be able to handle stress or maintain their composure. “Sure it would be good for me to quit, but I don’t know if everyone could tolerate me if I didn’t ‘take the edge off.’” How noble of them.

The phrase “the cure is worse than the disease” has become a favorite of oil addiction rationalizers who attack ethanol to nobly lament their newfound concerns over rising food prices, while ignoring the doubling of oil prices. You can almost hear them say, “Pay no attention to that 5 oil behind the curtain – food prices are going up, probably because of the corn we’re using for ethanol.”

I heard a national radio personality using one of the anti-ethanol PR firm created phrases of concern and condescension saying, “the people who passed this law meant well, but we’ve tried, and it didn’t work.” Tried? It’s been five months!

When someone says, “it’s not about the money,” rest assured, it’s about the money. When someone says, “it’s not really that bad,” it’s probably worse. And when someone says, “there is a simple solution,” they probably don’t even know what the problem is.

Politicians who point to corn ethanol as the cause of rising global food prices don’t understand the problem, and they don’t understand that releasing oil companies from their obligation to buy more renewable fuel will simply make the real problem – our addiction to expensive oil – worse. And it will do nothing to lower the price of food.

There is a connection between corn prices and food prices, but it has little effect on the price of groceries – especially when compared to the cost of the fuel that impacts every part of the food production and distribution system.

Every addict would like to break their addiction without going through the pain of withdrawal, but it isn’t that simple. It’s hard work that requires discipline and perseverance, and it has to be done one day at a time. Our oil addiction is strong. We have to be stronger to beat it.

© American Coalition for Ethanol, all rights reserved.
The American Coalition for Ethanol publishes Ethanol Today magazine each month to cover the biofuels industry�s hot topics, including cellulosic ethanol, E85, corn ethanol, food versus fuel, ethanol�s carbon footprint, E10, E15, and mid-range ethanol blends.
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