‘Wolves’ threatening ethanol industry, says Dineen
Look for a full assault on the policies that have helped make ethanol 10 percent of the nation’s fuel supply, specifically focusing on the Renewable Fuel Standard (or RFS, which mandates domestic biofuel use) and the march toward E15 ethanol blends.
That’s the warning Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, gave this week to a gathering of thousands of leading ethanol industry pioneers at the Fuel Ethanol Workshop in Minneapolis.
From the Western Farm Press story:
“The RFS is under attack in Washington, D.C., today,” Dinneen said in an interview with DomesticFuel.com. “I don’t see for a moment that it will be unraveled this year. They will continue to next year and they will continue to fight in the courts. I think it’s really important for the industry to know that the wolves are at the door.”
Dinneen was referring to the reported efforts of Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Senator Christopher Coons (D-DE) to “reform” the RFS. Speaking to the National Journal on this issue, Sen. Inhofe made his intentions clear stating, “’I’ve had problems with ethanol for as long as I can remember, and I’m going to be doing what I can to relieve that and do away with the mandate, actually.’”
In his keynote remarks, Dinneen noted that he was confident that ethanol could stand up to the scrutiny provided that oil and other fuels were given equal and honest examination as well. “If you are going to do a ‘seed-to-wheels’ analysis of ethanol, that is fair enough. How about the war-to-wheels analysis of oil? We need to put this debate back into perspective.”
Ethanol Producer Magazine, in its coverage of Dinneen’s speech, focused on the push for approval of 15 percent ethanol (E15) blends, an increase from the current 10 percent:
The U.S. EPA’s approval for E15 to be used in vehicles manufactured in 2001 and later could provide some market expansion opportunities, but the regulatory steps required to introduce the fuel to the market have notably delayed that process. Dinneen told attendees he expects the final regulatory issues to be resolved within days, but warned ethanol producers that the oil industry will “do everything possible” to shut E15 out of the fuel supply. Anticipating misinformation campaigns similar to those historically lobbied against ethanol’s impact on vehicle operations, he said,“It’s going to be up to all of us to explain to people how E15 can’t hurt your radiator and how one fill up can’t hurt your fuel pump. Brace yourselves. It will be brutal. We are going to have to be vigilant for when this occurs.”
Dinneen’s entire keynote address, along with his follow-up interview, is available by clicking here.