Dinneen laments policy barriers, praises ethanol industry at FEW

By Lisa Gibson | June 20, 2017

Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, told attendees of the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo that the industry needs to work to increase ethanol demand. It’ll be driven by the Renewable Fuel Standard, he said. 

Dinneen delivered the even’s keynote address June 20 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. He praised the RFS as the nation’s most successful environmental energy policy. “From an environmental standpoint, this program has been an unmitigated success.” Ethanol, he added, is the only fuel with a carbon benefit. Whether the U.S. is in the Paris Agreement or not, this country will see benefits because of the ethanol industry, he said.

 “The people in this room have a passion for what you do. The people in this room are driving innovation. The people in this room are helping the industry to evolve.”

In 2016, the U.S. ethanol industry produced 15.3 billion gallons, added $334 billion to the gross domestic product, helped support 340,000 jobs, added $23 billion in household income and $9 billion in state and local taxes, which are returned to communities, Dinneen told the crowd. “What you do is so critically important.

“With that foundation of the RFS, we can continue to build demand. Certainly, E15 is the biggest opportunity we have.” The RFA is a leader in the push to gain the 1-pound Reid vapor pressure waiver that has been granted to E10, allowing it to be sold in the summer months, between June 1 and Sept 15. Dinneen said he’s confident in current legislation that would provide the waiver, but acknowledged, “We’ve got an uphill battle.”

“Rest assured…we are going to get RVP parity because it’s the right thing to do and it is necessary to grow this industry.”

Dinneen discussed export opportunities in Mexico, on the heels of the country’s recent decision to allow E10 blends. He also addressed markets in China, Brazil and trade policy barriers.

“We know that the challenges before us are large. We also know that unless we’re working together, our chances for success are greatly reduced. You need to continue making the juice. You need to continue to work the way that you always have. You’re doing your job. We need Washington to do its job.”