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RFA Living in a Field of Dreams When it Comes to Ethanol Exports

by Joel Velasco on May 21, 2010

In the classic baseball film “Field of Dreams,” farmer Ray Kinsella builds a baseball diamond in the middle of his corn field after hearing voices in his head that told him to do it. At one point in the movie he says of his project, “I have just created something totally illogical.” The same could be said for the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). In a statement issued April 6, 2010, the organization said “Vacillating regulations regarding Brazil’s trade policy as well its domestic consumption of ethanol make it impossible for foreign ethanol producers to even consider exporting product into Brazilian markets.”

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RFA Living in a Field of Dreams When it Comes to Ethanol Exports

In the classic baseball film “Field of Dreams,” farmer Ray Kinsella builds a baseball diamond in the middle of his corn field after hearing voices in his head that told him to do it. At one point in the movie he says of his project, “I have just created something totally illogical.”

The same could be said for the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). In a statement issued April 6, 2010, the organization said “Vacillating regulations regarding Brazil’s trade policy as well its domestic consumption of ethanol make it impossible for foreign ethanol producers to even consider exporting product into Brazilian markets.”

Impossible? Take a look at the following graph from RFA’s latest report (issued less than two months after the press statement in question). It seems their own data confirms that RFA members have been doing just fine when it comes to exporting ethanol to Brazil. Furthermore, these exports were happening while RFA was saying it was “impossible.”

US EthanolExports

It just doesn’t add up. Record exports, $6 billion in subsidies per year and an active effort to maintain trade barriers against competition. It’s time that the U.S. ethanol industry stops playing in a field of dreams when it comes to America’s energy future, and levels the playing field by giving consumers the opportunity to realize lower prices and cleaner fuels with competition in the ethanol marketplace.

And the next time RFA tells you something is impossible – like competing in an open market for clean, renewable energy – I suggest taking the statement with a grain of salt.

copyright 2010 Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association