Feel Strongly about Ethanol? Tweet Your Thoughts!


It seems that Twitter has almost everyone all a-flutter. Even the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). Yes, the RFA joined Twitter and will, on July 29, begin a bi-weekly one-hour TweetChat on the social media outlet. The chats are intended, an RFA report says, to fuel conversation on all things biofuel-related (pun intended).

The kick-off chat on July 29, #FuelChat, will focus on the topic of Ethanol use in America – a topic involving issues such as E15, E85, small engines, blender pumps, and others. In subsequent chats, the RFA will seek to involve expert opinion holders, policymakers, and other influential figures, as well as everyday Americans. ZimmComm will moderate the chat.

Ethanol is a fuel distilled from fermented vegetable products. It is promoted by groups such as Ethanol across America as a sustainability-supporting option. It is currently being used in automobiles, and lawmakers have approved subsidies for ethanol-producing companies. No wonder ethanol production has nearly doubled in the past three years. Meanwhile, other experts warn of its potential hazards: current technology derives ethanol primarily from corn, which is depleting corn as a food source. Moreover, many analysts question its environmental benefits, since the source-growing, distilling, and transporting processes may not be particularly sustainable.

Why has the RFA initiated such discussions? The organization’s philosophy is, after all, pro-ethanol, and its membership is comprised of those “dedicated to the expansion of the U.S. fuel ethanol industry.” So why would the RFA invite potential criticism against the fuel? Perhaps, in order to expand its online presence, engage a more youthful audience, and promote its agenda.

The RFA is encouraging those interested to join Twitter and tweet away. The chat will begin promptly at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Sarah Harper is a professional writer based in San Francisco, California. Her interests include sustainability, government policy, and international politics. In her free time, Sarah enjoys toying with the idea of holistic health, overanalysis, and plotting world exploration.

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