April 1st was Biofools Day! With more than 6,000 votes cast, this year's contest was a great success, and now the results are in!
With 2,424 votes -- more than the total number cast last year -- the 2011
Biofool of the Year is Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack! There’s no doubt he
deserves it; with Secretary Vilsack at the helm, the USDA has doubled down on
its support for corn ethanol and biofuels.
Click here to sign a quick note to Secretary Vilsack telling him "Congratulations!" on being voted Biofool of the Year.
As food prices rise in America and around the world, Secretary Vilsack does not seem to think it matters that almost 40 percent of U.S. corn production goes to manufacture ethanol for guzzling cars.1 U.S. and EU biofuels policies contribute to food price volatility. By supporting these policies, Secretary Vilsack is helping industrial farmers make a few extra bucks per bushel.
Secretary Vilsack says his support for ethanol subsidies is justified by his concern that farmers are under-appreciated.3 However, ethanol subsidies go to refiners, not farmers, and less than 20 percent of America’s ethanol is produced in farmer-owned refineries.3 The other 80 percent is produced by conglomerates like Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Big Oil companies. Secretary Vilsack could advocate for changes to our agricultural policies that help small, sustainable family farms grow healthy and nutritious food, but instead he supports Band-Aid policies that ultimately serve the interests of corporations.
And we won’t even get into the fact that biofuels do nothing to reduce
America’s dependence on oil. Converting all American corn acreage to ethanol
production would only produce enough fuel to displace 12 percent of gasoline
consumption -- and by even less if production costs are included.4 We
may never know why Secretary Vilsack loves the ethanol industry so much, but we
do know that he is a Biofool!
Congratulate Secretary Tom Vilsack on being voted Biofool of the Year. Tell him it's time he answers to us and not the biofuels industry or Big Oil.