Attacks on RFS intensify

Source: By Mark Dorenkamp, Brownfield • Posted: Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Oil interests are intensifying efforts to force changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Bob Dinneen, CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, says the hold on Bill Northey’s USDA nomination that resulted in a recent meeting between President Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz probably won’t amount to much.

“People talk a lot about (the need) to negotiate or compromise something.  Well, negotiations and the compromise occurred in 2007 when the RFS was passed.”

He tells Brownfield it appears the President wants Cruz and other oil state lawmakers to address concerns with Midwestern senators like Chuck Grassley and Deb Fischer, both long-time supporters of renewable fuels.

Dinneen says the RFS has also come under attack by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who’s asked the EPA to reduce Renewable Volume Obligations for his state to no more than 9.7 percent.

“Texas is already blending more than 9.7 percent!  Nationally, we’re blending more than 10 percent.  There’s no reason to go backwards on a program that’s been successful because the oil state of Texas wants to recapture some of the barrel for Texas oil companies.”

He says under law, an RFS waiver should only be granted in the event of inadequate supply or extreme economic distress.

Dinneen contends there’s more than enough ethanol, a fuel that is less expensive than gasoline.