This is War!

By Mike Bryan | June 26, 2013

There should no longer be any question that Big Oil is out to destroy biofuels. Anyone who thinks otherwise is simply not looking at the facts. This is no longer a little uprising here and a small skirmish there. This, my friends, is all out war!

It’s a war being waged in Congress with millions of dollars of oil money. It’s a war being waged state by state, with Florida being the latest example. It’s a war that has hung the yoke of world hunger and environmental degradation around the neck of biofuels.

This is a war that began almost from the first gallon of ethanol ADM produced in the late '70s. It manifested itself then in the “No Ethanol in Our Gas” signs, in the pushback from mechanics, blaming ethanol for everything from poor engine performance to a faulty battery. It has continued over the years, encompassing energy conversion, environmental challenges, food vs. fuel and to the rescinding of the excise tax credits for ethanol. These issues have led to the latest smart bomb dropped on the biofuels industry, “the proposal to rescind the federal mandate for biofuels all together.” 

This is a war that is, by nature, terribly one-sided. The people who are responsible for delivering our product to the public are the very people who seem to be bent on destroying it. In addition, they are funded to a depth far beyond that of the biofuels industry. Let’s be clear, without a mandate the oil industry would cease ethanol blending almost immediately. This fallacious idea that somehow the oil industry would continue blending ethanol because of price or moral responsibility, or logistics without a federal mandate contained in the RFS is a Trojan horse. 

On the positive side, we have a number of seasoned generals on our side and a great army of people ready to do battle. But we are underfunded and small by comparison. Our focus is continually being diverted to a number of battles going in different fronts at the same time.

Make no mistake, we are in a fight for our lives. There has never been a time in the history of biofuels that has required more determination, more focus and more coordination than is required today. When sharks smell blood, they circle and move in on their prey. The ethanol industry, in the past couple of years, has shed quite a lot of blood and the scent of that to those who want to destroy this industry is a powerful motivator to move in for the kill. 

We can’t just leave this fight to the generals, it is the responsibility of every one of us to do our part. This is, without a doubt, a war that will determine the future of our industry. Be involved, not just in a passive way, but be involved in speaking with your Washington representatives and on state level, your state representatives. This is not the time for passiveness, this is war!

That’s the way I see it.

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