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Ethanol lobbyist sees little shift in policy from GOP wave

DANIEL LOOKER 11/03/2010 @ 5:00pm Business Editor

Bob Dinneen, president of the Renewable Fuels Association, told reporters Wednesday that he doesn’t expect a major shift in support for ethanol after the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in the November 2 election.

“Will that have a meaningful impact on the U.S. ethanol industry?  I believe the answer to that is No.  

Ethanol is not now, nor has it ever been a partisan issue,” Dinneen said.

The industry had bipartisan support when the Renewable Fuel Standard was passed under Republican leadership in 2005, he said. And that continued when a Democratic Congress expanded the renewable fuel mandates in the 2007 Energy Bill toward the end of the Bush Administration.

Dinneen said several strong supporters of ethanol were defeated, including Democrats Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota and Earl Pomery of North Dakota. But many in both parties remain in Congress. And some new faces are, too.

Does anyone believe that Kristy Noem (RSD) will not be a strong voice for ethanol?” Dinneen asked, referring to the Tea Party-backed candidate who replaces Herseth Sandlin next year.  

During a campaign debate in October, both South Dakotans expressed support for the industry.

When asked if he thought other new Tea Party members of Congress will be supportive, Dinneen said, “That remains to be seen.”

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It's time to move away from the corn based ethanol 11/05/2010 @ 9:41am Well, all I can say is that corn ethanol is definitely pushing up the price of all major row crops and thus causing increased food prices around the world. Even a child can understand this. Corn ethanol is essentially subsidzed moonshine that is terribly inefficient to produce and is causing massive environmental damage around the world. The end result is that the world’s poor and the environment are being damaged. The ag community needs to end the charade and ban ethanol produced from food feedstocks like corn. We need to move to advanced cellulosic ethanol production based on non-food feedstocks like grass, sawdust and food waste. The ag community needs to stop promoting and defending corn based ethanol (which gets 2/3rds the mileage of gasoline) along with its enormous subsidies.

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