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Welch Responds to Ethanol Industry Attack Ad Airing in Vermont; Press Availability Monday Morning in Barre

November 14, 2015
Press Release

BURLINGTON, Vt.—Representative Peter Welch today released the following statement in response to a misleading television attack ad being aired in Vermont this weekend by the corn ethanol industry.  The ad attacks Welch for his leadership of a broad, bipartisan House coalition fighting to reform the federal mandate to blend corn ethanol into the gasoline used to fuel cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs and snowmobiles, as well as the small engines that power boats, chainsaws and lawnmowers.  The mandate is known as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).  Previously, Welch and his colleagues worked to successfully repeal two federal subsidies to the corn ethanol industry. 

Rep. Welch first learned of the harmful impact of corn ethanol policy on Vermonters several years ago when he visited Franklin County Field Days and was approached by a small group upset that corn ethanol in gasoline had ruined their chainsaw engines.  Next he heard from Vermont dairy farmers who reported that the diversion of corn to produce ethanol was driving up feed and food prices.  Soon after, Welch's own chainsaw stopped running.  He was told by his local repair shop that the engine damage was caused by corn ethanol in the gasoline used to power the chainsaw.
On Monday morning at the Vermont Food Shelf in Barre, Rep. Welch will be joined at a press conference by Vermonters affected by federal corn ethanol policy.  The press conference will begin immediately following Welch’s previously scheduled tour of the Vermont Foodbank where he will urge Vermonters to help those in need, especially during the holiday season. 
Welch’s statement in response to corn ethanol industry attack ad: 
“The corn ethanol industry is spreading a Washington-sized load of manure across Vermont.  

“There is simply no place for this kind of corporate-funded deceptive attack ad in Vermont.  These out-of-state subsidized corporations are entitled to their opinion but they cannot ignore the facts. 

“The fact is that corn ethanol is ruining the small engines that power lawnmowers, chainsaws, boats, and snowmobiles across Vermont.  The fact is that a federal mandate to blend corn ethanol into gasoline is driving up feed prices for farmers and food prices for consumers.  And the fact is that the process of producing ethanol is harmful to the environment.  

“I strongly support the development of renewable energy resources but the facts are clear that federal corn ethanol policy has been a well-intentioned flop.  

“Working with Members of Congress from across the country, I am leading a broad bipartisan coalition to end subsidies of the corn ethanol industry.  To date, we have succeeded in repealing two programs and we won’t rest until we reform the Renewable Fuel Standard that Al Gore has labeled ‘a mistake’.”