Corporate Cronyism

American Council for Capital Formation contradicts itself in promoting the oil industry's agenda.
By Mike Bryan | June 15, 2016

I was dumfounded by an article written by George Banks and published in the Argus Leader on April 26, titled “Corn Ethanol Mandate Harmful to the Environment.” There are so many contradictions in the article that he should print a retraction.

Banks is vice president of the American Council for Capital Formation. According to its website, “Founded in 1973, The American Council for Capital Formation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization advocating tax, energy, regulatory and environmental policies that facilitate saving and investment, economic growth and job creation.” Now that’s a plough that covers a lot of ground in one pass.

When I read his article, and then read the association’s “job description,” I couldn’t help but think that ethanol ticks every one of the boxes that the ACCF espouses. Yet it seems bent on promoting the agenda of the oil industry, especially when it comes to oil exports. It seems at cross-purposes to be an environmental advocate while at the same time supporting the exportation of fossil fuel, because we have too much here in America. It could be that I just have a sensitive nose, but I smell the oil industry influence in this article and the organization as a whole.

There seems to be disconnect between the stated mission of the ACCF and the U.S. ethanol industry, because it appears that the ethanol industry should be tops on its list of industries to promote, yet it is painfully obvious the oil industry has already taken that spot.

So, let’s stop pretending that the ACCF is this credible organization that represents investment, the environment and all of those good things. It represents the oil industry, and its opinion on the ethanol industry should be given zero credibility. I have looked at some past articles of the ACCF and, not surprisingly, I found one article on the fact that the oil industry still receives billions of dollars in subsidies while they has been stripped away from ethanol.

So, Mr. Banks, if you and the ACCF are looking for a poster child for corporate cronyism, look no further, you work for it.

That’s the way I see it!

Author: Mike Bryan
Chairman, BBI International
mbryan@bbiinternational.com