Coalition Hopes to Convince Congress to Reassess Biofuels

Partnership launches campaign blaming biofuels for food prices.

More than 20 organizations ranging from retail to environmental groups and restaurants to livestock associations have formed the Food Before Fuel Campaign, an effort to change U.S. policy on biofuels. The group claims that biofuels are the major culprit behind higher food prices.

According to the Campaign's statement of principles, the members will encourage policymakers to revisit and restructure policies that have increased our reliance on food as an energy source, and to carefully address how to develop alternative fuels that do not pit our energy needs against affordable food and environmental sustainability.

"It is past time to acknowledge the reality of this problem and begin a serious, bipartisan effort to fix it," says Cal Dooley, CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. "Our current policy is driving higher food prices around the globe and here at home, and while it's not the only factor at play, it is one we can do something about."

Several groups have voiced opposition to the coalition, saying that many of there claims are false. One such claim is that biofuels account for 30% of global food price increase; however several studies have shown that biofuels have contributed about 3% of the increase.

"With oil prices up more than 100% in the last 12 months, it is wrongheaded for groups to attack biofuels which represent one of the few components of US energy policy that is actually working," says National Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe. "Biofuels are currently contributing over 8 billion gallons of fuel to our fuel supply, without which fuel prices, and consequently food prices, would be even higher than they already are."

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