Ethanol backers push back against anti-renewables PAC

Source: by Dan Piller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Wednesday threw up some defense in anticipation of a rally Friday in Des Moines by the pro-fossil fuel Americans for Prosperity (AFP).

The executive director of the Renewable Fuels Association, Monte Shaw, said AFP should “stop the hypocrisy and to get its facts straight when it comes to ethanol and oil policy.”

AFP is a conservative, anti-Obama political action committee that has taken particular aim at Obama’s green energy subsidies and programs. The group plans what it calls a “town hall meeting” Friday at the Ramada Conference Center on Merle Hay Road.

The promotion for the events bills it as “to hear about real solutions that will create thousands of jobs and reduce energy costs.” Notables in attendance will be Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky), Congressman Steve King (R-Ia.)

Said Shaw: “They start by saying the government should not pick ‘winners and losers’ and then turnaround and promote favorable tax subsidies for the oil industry. Whenever a pro-oil group like AFP comes into Iowa spreading inaccurate or out-of-date information, IRFA will be here to set the record straight.”

“AFP’s hypocrisy is astounding,” continued Shaw. “On the same page they criticize the now expired ethanol tax credit, AFP argues for the continuation of intangible drilling cost expensing. That tax subsidy can only be claimed by those drilling oil wells and has been around since 1913, the inception of the modern federal tax code. When will oil be ready to stand on its own two feet without a taxpayer crutch?”

Shaw concluded: “At the same time AFP criticizes the federal renewable fuels standard, they remain silent on the federal petroleum mandate, which forces the vast majority of consumers to purchase fuels that contain at least 85% petroleum or face massive federal fines. In reality AFP is working to keep federal energy policy tilted heavily in favor of oil.”