By Traci L. Moyer
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
Retired 4-star U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark told local farmers he was fighting mad and waging a war against the oil industry.
"We import nine million gallons of gas every day, which is about $1,000 a year for every American," he said. "There's no reason we can’t grow our own fuel and control our own destiny as a nation."
Clark, who serves as the co-chairman of Growth Energy, an ethanol lobbying group, spoke to area farmers and investors at a POET Biorefining Membership Appreciation Dinner at the Paramount Theatre Centre and Ballroom in Anderson on Monday.
The visit by Clark coincides with a national ad campaign launched by Growth Energy called “You’re No Dummy,” depicts the oil industry as a ventriloquist trying to manipulate a dummy to parrot its opinions. The ads can be found online at www.yourenodummy.com.
The campaign is a grass-roots effort by the biofuel industry as the House Energy and Commerce Committee prepares to host a two-day hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard. Tom Buis, chief executive officer of Growth Energy, said Anderson was the fifth stop for Clark who has been speaking to farmers and investors across America.
“A lot of people have been weighing in on the issue and we had 27,000 people who had contacted their legislators as of last Friday,” Buis said. “We hope to double that number before Congress reconvenes on Sept. 9.”
Clark said the oil industry is spreading misinformation to the public in an effort to undermine support for American-made fuel. He said one of the biggest myths is that ethanol is driving up the cost of food. He said only the starch is used in ethanol production. All the protein, fiber and oil are returned as distillers grains and used to replace corn in animal livestock feed that benefits America’s food production.
“We are in a fight between big oil and big food,” Clark told the 93 people in attendance at the dinner. “And we are fighting back.”
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