Major New Iowa Statewide TV Ad Buy Shines Spotlight on Corn Ethanol’s Environmental Toll

DES MOINES, Iowa (Jan. 25, 2016) – Following up on the release of a new statewide poll last week defying conventional political wisdom and showing the vast majority of Iowa voters don’t know and aren’t particularly concerned about candidates’ positions on ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) launched a major statewide TV advertising campaign today in Iowa exposing several “inconvenient facts” about the serious and deleterious impact that corn ethanol has had (and continues to have) on our environment.

Click here to watch the 30-second TV spot, entitled “Inconvenient Facts.”:

“Federal corn ethanol mandates have brought harm to our economy and our environment, and our hope in running these ads is to introduce more folks in Iowa to the growing body of science and research that confirms and quantifies these trends,” said George David Banks, Executive Vice President of ACCF. “Some might assume this message won’t resonate in a major corn-producing state like Iowa, but that’s not the lesson that emerged from our polling of Iowa voters last week. What we found is that ethanol is no longer the potent political issue that many once thought it was in the state.”

An ACCF-commissioned poll of 700 likely Iowa caucus voters, released last week, further reinforces the clear fact that corn ethanol is no longer the “third rail” of Iowa politics, a phenomenon that has recently been reported by the Quad-City TimesLA TimesPOLITICONPR and other outlets.

The statewide Iowa ad buy follows an expansive advocacy and multimedia campaign that ACCF, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), and the National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR) led last fall. That campaign included launching TV spots in Indiana, Ohio, northern California, New England, Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia, educating voters and residents on the real environmental and climate-related impacts that corn ethanol mandates from Washington have wrought.

Signed into law a decade ago and expanded in 2007, the federal RFS mandate requires increasing volumes of corn ethanol to be blended in the nation’s fuel supply. To date, the corn ethanol mandate has failed to deliver on the promises its proponents made back when the program was first being debated more than a decade ago. In fact, as the growing body of scientific research concludes, corn ethanol increases greenhouse gas emissions and is actually worse – not better – for our environment.

This ongoing campaign follows a series of recent national events underscoring corn ethanol’s negative environmental and economic impacts. Late last year, EPA’s Inspector General launched an investigation into EPA’s push to add more corn ethanol into the nation’s fuel supply. The IG’s investigation reflects findings in a new study by researchers at the University of Tennessee, which concludes the RFS’s over-reliance on corn has resulted in greater emissions of greenhouses gases than the use of conventional fuels.

For nearly thirty years, the American Council for Capital Formation has delivered the message to U.S. and international policymakers that a nation’s economic strength and stability depend upon well-though-out economic, regulatory, and environmental policies to promote capital formation, economic growth, and a higher standard of living for all.