Indiana Farm Bureau President Don Villwock is a statement late Friday on the ethanol debate within the Indiana senatorial debate earlier in the week. Following is Villwock’s statement:
On one topic during their debate this week, the difference between Sen. Richard Lugar and his primary election opponent, Richard Mourdock, became crystal clear. In the case of renewable energy and national security, Lugar gets it and Mourdock doesn’t.
Mr. Mourdock is flat-out wrong when he asserts that ethanol increases the price of gasoline. Ethanol currently saves consumers nearly a $1/gallon, and therefore Hoosiers benefit from ethanol every mile that they drive.
Sen. Lugar has long been a supporter of renewable energy and has been a strong advocate for a national energy policy that reduces our dependence on imported oil. He has educated his colleagues on the Hill about how ethanol contributes to our national security and how it reduces the profits we daily send to the Middle East and other foreign shores.
Closer to home, Lugar understands that ethanol means jobs for Hoosiers and economic vitality for Indiana’s rural communities. He knows that ethanol creates new markets so farmers are able to rely less on the government for income and contribute more to the critical work of budget reduction.
Agriculture is one of the few business sectors that remained somewhat stable, even profitable, during the recent economic downturn. I am disappointed that candidate Murdock did not study up on one of the primary reasons this is so – ethanol. Because of his farming background, Sen. Lugar understands markets and profitability and the need for both for Indiana agriculture.
Ethanol is a win-win-win for all of us. It helps the environment by using renewable resources and reducing emissions. It’s a win for rural communities because renewable fuel plants supply much-needed jobs and economic development. And it is a win for farmers because renewable fuels create a new demand for crops, increase farm income and lower gas prices.
We have made massive efficiency gains in producing ethanol over the past few years, using one-third less energy and water to produce a gallon of ethanol than we did just 5 years ago. All of this means we can produce ethanol for 89 cents cheaper than gas.
Thank you, Sen. Lugar, for getting the facts straight.