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RFA President Encourages Ethanol Industry to Keep Fighting for RFS
Taking the stage for the 15th time to give the state of the ethanol industry address, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Bob Dinneen stressed the importance of keeping up the fight for ethanol even with a frustrating situation in Washington, D.C., and consumers being influenced by misleading advertising.
“This past year we saw our own government adopt the narrative of the oil industry in regard to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) — choosing to limit the amount of corn ethanol used in the program under the misplaced premise that there is neither the consumer demand not infrastructure to accommodate higher blend levels of renewable fuel,” Dinneen said.
Dinneen compared the ethanol industry’s success to the struggles the oil industry is currently facing. He highlighted the record-setting U.S. exports of distillers' grains in 2015 — 50% of which was shipped off to China. U.S. ethanol imports came in at 93 million gallons last year, ranking the third-lowest import total in the past decade and representing less than 1% of total U.S. ethanol consumption.
“I can say with confidence that the state of the ethanol industry remains strong, demonstrating a resiliency gleaned from years of navigating the vagaries of commodity markets and the perils of policy uncertainty,” said a positive Dinneen.
Amongst many optimistic statistics, Dinneen did acknowledge slim margins and biofuel policy framework being threatened. He mentioned fighting “battle fatigue” in Washington, D.C., and urged the RFA National Ethanol Conference attendees to continue creating jobs, working hard, and supporting important programs like Prime the Pump and Power by People.
“Ethanol, from any source, is a clean, low-carbon, high-octane alternative to oil that will lower costs for consumers while enhancing rural economies and addressing global climate change,” he said before announcing the 2016 conference focus, ethanol’s octane benefits.
The RFA is planning trade missions to a variety of different countries and is working closely with the U.S. Grains Council to establish strong international relationships. The RFA hopes to see demand grow and to further develop the U.S. market for exports.