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Corn growers fight back

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ST. PAUL - The corn industry is trying to counter those who blame ethanol for pumping up consumer prices.

Corn growers say they are responsible for gasoline prices staying lower than they would have otherwise.

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"A dark oily cloud hangs over motorists' travel plans this Memorial Day weekend as the cost of oil and gasoline hit record highs," reads a Minnesota Corn Growers Association news release distributed Friday. "Minnesota's corn growers point to recent studies that project pump prices would be much more severe without ethanol-blended fuels."

While the corn growers say gasoline prices would be 40 cents or more higher a gallon without corn-based ethanol, others complain that so many acres are being planted for corn destined to become ethanol that crops such as wheat are not being planted in large enough quantities.

The corn growers cite several examples of studies showing ethanol keeps gasoline prices in check.

"We live in a state without petroleum resources of its own," said Roger Moore, president of Minnesota Corn Growers Association. "Over the last 20 years, Minnesota lawmakers and corn growers have invested in developing an ethanol solution for today's rising energy costs."

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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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