RFA President: Gulf Of Mexico Accident A ‘Teaching Moment’

Addressing the tragedy hitting the Gulf of Mexico and coastal areas requires both an aggressive short-term response and an equally aggressive long-term energy and environmental strategy. Prior to attending the White House Clean Energy Economy Forum last week, the Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen wrote President Obama urging him to use this accident as a “teaching moment” to address the underlying problem that made this oil spill possible: America’s reliance on petroleum.

As Dinneen noted, “The juxtaposition of a green American farm field and the copper-toned oil slick spreading across the Gulf is striking.” America’s farmers are more productive than ever, using fewer acres and inputs to produce record crop after crop. Likewise, ethanol production is adopting new technologies making the process more efficient and expanding the basket of feedstocks from which ethanol is made. This improving productivity and efficiency makes renewable fuels like ethanol a critical component of a long term plan to address America’s oil use. Specifically, Dinneen noted three proactive steps the Obama Administration could take to address this issue.

First, Dinneen wrote, “…the EPA should immediately move to allow for the blending of 12% ethanol by volume in each gallon of gasoline. EPA has to date ignored our counsel that the Agency’s own oxygenate stacking rules, allowed by the Clean Air Act, gives refiners and marketers the flexibility to blend up to 12% oxygenate today (as you know, ethanol is classified as an oxygenate along with additives such as MTBE). While this is a good interim and immediate step, it does not address the need for a longer term vision."

Second, Dinneen continued, “EPA should grant a full waiver for the use of 15% ethanol blends as soon as the Department of Energy testing on catalytic converters is completed early this summer. Current EPA guidance on the issue suggests it is only considering a partial waiver for E-15 used in vehicles model year 2001 and newer. Such a bifurcation of the market would create unnecessary confusion for retailers and consumers, and may severely limit the benefits of increased ethanol blending. To date, EPA has provided no scientific justification for such a limit on the waiver. We believe no such restriction exists and as such EPA should move as expeditiously as prudent to approve the full waiver.”

Third, Dinneen concluded, “…the Department of Energy (DOE) must reevaluate current loan guarantee programs to make them more accessible to next generation ethanol technologies, such as cellulose-to-ethanol conversion. This largest obstacle facing the commercial deployment of these cleaner and more sustainable technologies is access to capital. The Renewable Fuels Association and its cellulosic and next generation ethanol producer members have met with DOE to express dissatisfaction with the current program structure. Unfortunately, DOE still has yet to award a loan guarantee to any cellulosic ethanol producer. Having a functional loan guarantee program that is fair and available to companies seeking to deploy these technologies is essential.”

“Increasing America’s ability to fuel itself through the use of domestic renewable fuels in and of itself will not solve all our problems,” Dinneen stated. “Nor would it have prevented this most recent oil tragedy from occurring. But with sound policies and forward thinking, it can greatly reduce the likelihood of such an event occurring again by reducing demand for oil. I encourage you to unleash the ingenuity and productivity of American farmers and ethanol producers to help end America’s dangerous addiction to petroleum.”

The complete letter can be read here.

(Source: RFA)

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Management Stories

ManagementOABA Annual Conference Wraps Up In Columbus
February 5, 2016
More than 300 Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) members and industry professionals were on hand to engage in collaborative learning and Read More
Chesapeake Bay
StewardshipKeeping A Watch On Water Issues
February 2, 2016
During a down cycle in the market, it’s difficult to think about investing for the long term. For retail businesses, Read More
FertilizerFort Wayne 4R Farming Event Set For February 12
January 29, 2016
The Nutrient Stewardship Council will host a complimentary “4R Farming 4 Sustainability” educational workshop Feb. 12 in Fort Wayne, IN, Read More
Legvold Farm, Northfield, MN
LegislationASA Notes Progress, Urges EU To Improve Biotech Approval Process
January 29, 2016
The American Soybean Association (ASA) urged the European Commission today to continue its work in addressing delays in the approvals Read More
Top 100 Articles
Elburn Cooperative
CropLife 100Elburn Cooperative Members Vote To Join CHS
December 28, 2015
With 81% of eligible producers voting, 94% cast an affirmative ballot for Elburn Cooperative, a diversified agricultural retailer based out Read More
West Central Cooperative, Jefferson, IA
CropLife 100Farmers Cooperative-West Central Merger Approved
December 21, 2015
The members of Farmers Cooperative Co. (FC), Ames, IA, and West Central Cooperative, Ralston, IA, have both approved the merger Read More
Wheat Growers Innovation Center, Bath, SD
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Opens Innovation Center
December 21, 2015
Wheat Growers’ commitment in providing its farmer-owners with the latest in technological advancements now has a one-of-a-kind focal point, as Read More
CropLife 100ARA Selects The Andersons As 2015 Retailer Of The Year
December 9, 2015
The Agricultural Retailers Association today named Maumee, OH-based The Andersons as its Retailer of the Year for 2015. The award Read More
CPS Washington Court House John Deere Sprayer
CropLife 100Application Equipment Report: It Is Easy Being Green For Top 100 Ag Retailers
December 5, 2015
On The Muppets television show, Kermit the Frog is famous for singing a song about the troubles he encounters in Read More
Fertilizer Bin
CropLife 100Fertilizer Sales: Another Down Year For Top 100 Ag Retailers
December 4, 2015
In pure number terms, the fertilizer category still dominates all crop inputs/services among CropLife 100 ag retailers. In 2015, for Read More
Latest News
Crop InputsBayer Contests EPA’s Decision On Valuable Insecticide F…
February 5, 2016
Crop Science, a division of Bayer, has announced it has refused a request by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Read More
Wheat Field North Dakota
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Wins Seed Fraud Suit Against South Dakota Grow…
February 5, 2016
Syngenta has obtained a $25,000 settlement from Paul and John Mayclin, Mayclin Farms, Plankinton, SD, in response to their Plant Read More
ManagementOABA Annual Conference Wraps Up In Columbus
February 5, 2016
More than 300 Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) members and industry professionals were on hand to engage in collaborative learning and Read More
Crop InputsBayer To Contest EPA Flubendiamide Decision
February 5, 2016
Crop Science, a division of Bayer, announced today it has refused a request by EPA to voluntarily cancel the uses Read More
Syngenta
Seed/BiotechNot So Fast: ChemChina Syngenta Takeover Could Draw Nat…
February 5, 2016
State-owned China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina), which plans to buy Swiss seeds and pesticide maker Syngenta, will promptly start preparations Read More
Rendering of Syngenta Seedcare Institute expansion
Seed/BiotechExpansion Of Syngenta’s North America Seedcare In…
February 4, 2016
As demand for seed treatment knowledge and products grows among farmers, retailers and others in the seed industry, Syngenta is Read More
Soybean Field
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Strengthens Sales Team
February 4, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced three new personnel additions: Jake Cook and Peter White are Territory Sales Managers for Read More
Davor Pisk Syngenta COO
Crop InputsSyngenta COO: Why ChemChina Offer Beat Monsanto’s
February 4, 2016
Syngenta Chief Operating Officer Davor Pisk says he is confident the proposed acquisition by ChemChina will ultimately help preserve choice Read More
Young corn plants in soil
Crop InputsKoch Biological Solutions Invests In Pathway Biologic
February 4, 2016
An affiliate of Koch Biological Solutions, LLC has acquired a minority equity position in, and entered into collaboration with, Pathway Read More
Crop InputsABG: China Signs Off On Monsanto’s Roundup Ready …
February 3, 2016
Monsanto Co. on Wednesday announced it plans to launch its Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans in time for the 2016 Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop Inputs6 Things To Know About The ChemChina-Syngenta Deal
February 3, 2016
After months of rumors and speculation, Syngenta has announced that ChemChina has offered to acquire the Swiss-based company. “In making Read More
FertilizerPhosphorus: Is Band Or Broadcast Application The Better…
February 3, 2016
Is band or broadcast application the better method when it comes to phosphorus? The answer to this question depends mostly Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsChemChina Nearing Deal To Buy Syngenta For Record $43 B…
February 3, 2016
China National Chemical Corp. is nearing an agreement to buy Swiss pesticide-and-seeds-maker Syngenta AG for about 43.7 billion francs ($42.8 Read More
Herbicides2015 ASA Trials Demonstrate Valent Fierce XLT Herbicide…
February 2, 2016
Valent U.S.A. today announced that new Fierce XLT Soybean Herbicide ranks in the top tier among growers for length of Read More
Crop Protection Products in storage
Paul SchrimpfCrop Input Selling: Return Of The Price List
February 2, 2016
It was a good 15 years ago, shortly after I first started writing for this esteemed publication, that it all Read More
Potash storage at Growmark
FertilizerThe Phosphate And Potash Outlook For 2016
February 2, 2016
Like other commodities, prices of the leading plant nutrient products dropped sharply in 2015. At this writing, the price of Read More
Chesapeake Bay
StewardshipKeeping A Watch On Water Issues
February 2, 2016
During a down cycle in the market, it’s difficult to think about investing for the long term. For retail businesses, Read More
Young Corn Plants
FertilizerNutrient Considerations For Low Corn Prices
February 2, 2016
Corn prices are low and many producers are asking tough questions about their nutrient management programs. Here are some suggestions Read More