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An Obama fan

DANIEL LOOKER 11/09/2012 @ 4:59pm Business Editor

It wasn't quite like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie shaking hands with the President when Barack Obama visited Christie's storm struck state. Another big fan waited until after the election to sing Obama's praises.

But on Friday, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen made it clear that he believes the ethanol industry won with Obama's re-election, even though his opponent, Mitt Romney, also had pledged to support the Renewable Fuel Standard, the federal mandate for biofuel blending into transportation fuels.

"You look at this administration and, quite frankly, they've been very good for ethanol," Dinneen told reporters.

He said the Administration had been "terrific on the renewable fuel standard," with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, especially, pushing back against the "fuel versus food canard."

And, the EPA under Obama approved blends of 15% ethanol (E-15) for newer vehicles as well as defending it against challenges in court, Dinneen said.

Dinneen said he is also confident that the EPA will reject a petition for a temporary waiver of the RFS because the economic conditions for a waiver can't be met. Any economic harm attributed to the RFS is being cause by the drought of 2012, he said, and the ethanol industry, like other users of corn, is struggling with high grain prices. Nor would a waive have much effect on lowering corn prices, he said.

Dinneen still expects moves in Congress to weaken the RFS, probably next spring and summer.

"We know that the livestock industry and big oil is going to be up on Capitol Hill trying to undermine the program," he said.

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