Syngenta has released a new documentary video entitled “Ethanol: Fueling Rural America’s Future – One Community at a Time.” The video provides a platform for farmers, ethanol producers and industry advocates to share their passion for an industry important to the future of agriculture and rural America, according to Syngenta.
Syngenta developed the video to reinforce the ethanol industry’s positive impact on the U.S. economy and American energy independence. Ethanol production is a vital contributor to the national Gross Domestic Product, federal tax revenues, and the creation and support of new jobs across the country.
“As ethanol plants have moved into small towns and established their businesses, they have provided well-paying jobs and stabilized the corn market price,” said Jack Bernens, head of marketing and stakeholder relations for Syngenta. “That income is circulating back through rural communities. With the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) under scrutiny, we wanted to help tell that story.”
Ethanol has been a key component of the U.S. RFS since its inception in 2005. However, the policy is facing stiff opposition from the petroleum industry, which has placed significant pressure on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue a proposal to reduce the required volume of renewable sources in U.S. transportation fuel. Last November, the EPA proposed a biofuels mandate of 15.21 billion gallons for 2014, a more than 8 percent cut from 2013 levels. If adopted, Bernens adds, this could undermine the original goals of the program, which were to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and curb greenhouse gases.
“Syngenta supports the RFS as implemented by the EPA in the past, and we have responded with product development that serves the goals of the policy and our customers,” said David Witherspoon, head of renewable fuels for Syngenta. “We believe it would be premature to change or modify this policy framework before the benefits of its implementation are fully realized.”
In addition to creating value for farmers and rural communities, ethanol is helping consumers, too. A University of Wisconsin/Iowa State University study found that in 2011 ethanol reduced wholesale gasoline prices by $1.09 per gallon nationally. Looking ahead to the adoption of blends with an ethanol level greater than E10, Growth Energy reports that the more than 170 million cars manufactured since 2001 are currently eligible to use E15, while more than 16 million flex-fuel vehicles are on the roads today.
“This demonstrates that there is a market ready for a less expensive, higher octane, more environmentally friendly alternative fuel,” Witherspoon added. “We have the vehicles capable of using blends higher than E10, but greater access to stations capable of providing it and the petroleum marketing industry’s support are needed to make that access a reality.”
Syngenta is a leader in the quest for affordable and sustainable renewable fuels. Enogen trait technology, available only from Syngenta, is the industry’s only corn output trait bioengineered specifically to enhance ethanol production. Enogen corn creates a win-win-win situation by adding value for ethanol plants, corn growers and rural communities.
Contributing to both food and fuel production, ethanol is making a significant contribution to he U.S. economy, helping to drive down gasoline prices for consumers and reduce carbon emissions for a cleaner environment.