Letter to the Editor: Biofuels, the RFS Law and the EPA

Source: By Bob Dinneen, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Monday, June 15, 2015

I must thank the Journal for assuming the Agriculture Department cared a wit about salving my “disappointment” over the EPA’s recent proposed rollback of the Renewable Fuel Standard, a program assuring consumer choice at the pump by annually increasing the amount of ethanol, biodiesel and other biofuels (“Dirty Rotten Ethanol Scoundrels,” Review & Outlook, June 8). Alas, it is simply a case of the USDA understanding that the challenge for biofuels in a market dominated by Big Oil is access to the consumer. If the EPA is going to pull its punch by failing to drive oil-company investments in infrastructure by fully enforcing the RFS, the department will do what it can to assure this important industry continues its evolution toward new technologies and new markets. Ethanol remains the lowest-cost transportation fuel on the planet and the only meaningful alternative to fracking, tar sands and deep-water drilling.

But the Journal misses its mark in railing against this ethanol “subsidy” while failing to acknowledge the taxpayer largesse that continues to be lavished on the petroleum industry. Ethanol is not subsidized. Oil is. The most profitable industry in the history of the world continues to rely on tax dollars to fuel its investments while resisting any modest effort to allow access to the consumer for any alternative fuel.

Bob Dinneen, President and CEO, Renewable Fuels Association