Letter tp the Editor: Stay the course

Source: By Bob Dinneen, Daily Oklahoman • Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2016

Regarding “Flaws in Renewable Fuel Standard aren’t going away” (Our Views, Dec. 16): The Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires that refiners blend an increasing amount of ethanol and other biofuels into petroleum, has been an unmitigated success. The program was designed to help break oil’s dominance at the pump, providing consumers with a choice. If the RFS is repealed, we are once again left with oil as our only choice at the pump.

Ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions 34 percent compared with petroleum and lowers our dependence on foreign oil. Net petroleum import dependence fell from 60 percent before the RFS was passed to just 25 percent in 2015. Fracking has played an important role in reducing that dependence, but so has ethanol. We would still be importing a third of our energy were it not for the RFS. We can’t frack our way to energy independence.

Contrary to The Oklahoman’s assumption, the RFS does not require consumers to use more ethanol than today’s cars can use. But it’s about choice. If consumers choose to, EPA has approved the use of 15 percent ethanol blends in all cars built since 2001. Additionally, more than 80 percent of automakers’ 2017 model-year cars and light trucks have been approved to use E15, which is less expensive and has a higher octane than fuels used today.

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump spoke favorably about ethanol and the RFS, and as president, he knows there’s no reason to reverse course.

Bob Dinneen, Washington, D.C. Dinneen is president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association.