Members of the Iowa Corn Growers Association are very upset about the Indy Racing League's decision announced last week to partner with APEX-Brasil to promote Brazilian ethanol at IRL races in the United States in 2009.
In response to the IRL decision, the ICGA is now asking all Iowans to call the IRL and voice support for American-made ethanol and tell the IRL that Iowans are very disappointed in IRL's decision to support Brazilian ethanol.
"The IRL has assured us that the Iowa Corn Indy 250 will be running on 100% corn ethanol, but the partnership with APEX-Brasil will be to promote Brazilian ethanol at all IndyCar events," says Craig Floss, executive director of the ICGA. The imported ethanol from Brazil is made from sugar cane.
Burned by Brazil—on ethanol decision
Floss, along with Tim Recker, immediate past president of ICGA, flew to Indianapolis on Monday November 24 and met with IRL officials. They were assured that the Iowa race will be run on American-made corn ethanol. But beyond that, they weren't assured that any other IndyCar races—even the famed Indianapolis 500—wouldn't be run on Brazilian ethanol.
In response to the IRL's decision to use and promote Brazilian ethanol, the joint executive committee of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board decided on November 26 to issue a call to action. "We are urging all Iowans to call IRL today and voice their support of American-made corn ethanol," says Floss. "Please pass this phone number or email instructions on to your friends, neighbors, business partners and anyone you think supports ethanol. Urge them to either call IRL at 317-492-6526 or go to the website at www.indycar.com/contact and leave an email message."
Tell IRL that U.S. ethanol is important to you
"Tell the IRL that American-made ethanol is important to you," says Recker. "An economic crunch has taken Americans by storm and now the ethanol industry and agriculture in Iowa are taking another hit as the Indy Racing League announced a partnership to pipe foreign-made ethanol right into the heartland."
He adds, "We need you to stand up! The Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board have sponsored the Iowa Corn Indy 250 for the past two years as an event to celebrate the league running on 100% corn ethanol. To Iowa Corn's disappointment the IRL now announces a sponsorship agreement with APEX-Brasil to promote foreign ethanol. This is a complete surprise to us!"
"We urge Iowans to express their frustration at the IRL's support of foreign fuel and ask for the IRL's support of American made corn ethanol," says Recker.
You can leave them this message, says Recker. "I support American corn ethanol and I am disappointed in the IRL decision to promote foreign fuel. I am calling to ask you to promote American-made corn ethanol because homegrown fuels matter to me and our economy."
NOTE: "Please do not call the Iowa Speedway in Newton, where the annual Iowa Corn 250 race is held, because this is an Indy Racing League decision," says Floss. He adds that "The IRL has committed to Iowa Corn leaders that the Iowa Corn Indy 250, presented by Pioneer, will be running on 100% American-made corn ethanol next summer."