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Letters to the Editor: Biofuels Getting a Bad Rap

Letter to the Editor

Biofuels are getting a bad rap.

The April 17 story, "Trade Groups Blast Food-to-Fuel Program for Blasting CPI," missed the mark. U.S. biodiesel is not the cause of increasing food costs. The "perfect storm" of many factors, ranging from rising energy costs to unfavorable weather, is blinding eyes to the facts. [To see the original story click here.]

Biodiesel actually helps reduce energy costs that escalate food costs. Merrill Lynch commodity strategist Francisco Blanch said in March that oil and gasoline prices would be about 15 percent higher if biofuel producers weren't increasing their output.

For soy-based biodiesel, each soybean is 80 percent protein-rich meal and 20 percent oil -- the byproduct that is the primary feedstock for biodiesel. Higher demand for the oil leads to lower cost protein meal, used to feed livestock and humans. U.S. soybean oil is readily available with current stocks equal to about 400 million gallons. The biodiesel industry is busily developing non-edible feedstocks such as algae, as well.

Biodiesel helps redefine the future of energy security, the environment, and the economy. It is truly a rising tide lifting many ships.

Joe Jobe
CEO, National Biodiesel Board
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