With no change in the White House and few changes in Congress, the Ethanol industry is preparing for another battle of the Renewable Fuel Standard following the election. Bob Dinneen, with the Renewable Fuels Association, says the outcome of the election is generally favorable for renewable fuels. He said the Obama administration has been supportive of ethanol and the renewable fuel standard. Yet he is expecting a strong push by opponents to dismantle the RFS, “We are anticipating a rather robust fight as the oil industry and the livestock industry have made it their cause to change the RFS in a meaningful way.”
Dinneen told HAT that the facts show the RFS is working to lessen our nation’s dependence on imported oil, “When the RFS was first passed in 2005, the US imported 60% of its oil for liquid transportation fuel from other nations. Today we import only 45%; that is because of ethanol and the RFS.” Dinneen talked with HAT during the National Association of Farm Broadcasting meeting this week in Kansas City.
During the height of this summer’s drought, the EPA was petitioned to modify the RFS but again Dinneen said the drought has passed, there is still plenty of corn, and food prices have not skyrocketed, “I believe the EPA will reject the waver.” He said it was not ethanol that drove up the price of corn but rather Mother Nature, “But even in the worst drought in decades, farmers were still able to produce over 10 billion bushels.” He added it has been the investment by farmers in new technology that has allowed growers to produce a sizeable crop even in horrible conditions.” RFA has pulled together a coalition of companies and organizations have joined together promote and defend the RFS.