2002 Review-Policy

It is probably fair to say there has not been a year of ethanol policy gains and losses such as our industry experienced in 2002. From the tribulations of a historic fuels agreement with the petroleum industry, gaining a strong voice in President George W. Bush, to the let down of Gov. Grey Davis delaying the deadline to ban MTBE in California and, above all, the 107th Congress' failure to pass an energy bill along with a renewable fuels standard.
By | December 01, 2002
The Great RFS Compromise'In March, EPM produced exclusive coverage of the historic fuels agreement between the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) that was cemented during the RFA's National Ethanol Conference: Policy & Marketing in San Diego.

"Bridging longtime differences between ethanol and oil interests, a bipartisan group of senators agreed March 8 to enact a renewable fuels standard as part of the pending Senate energy bill, EPM reported. "This historic agreement will nearly triple U.S. ethanol production while toxic MTBE is phased out nationwide."

RFA President Bob Dinneen said, "This compromise signals a new era of cooperation, growth and stability for the ethanol industry. Consider what has been accomplished here. You have the nation's oil companies supporting a five billion gallon ethanol market."

Davis delays MTBE deadline
Also in March, oil and ethanol industry leaders both expressed frustration and dismay March 15, when California Gov. Gray Davis delayed the deadline for removing MTBE from California's gasoline supply until January 1, 2004, a year later than planned.

Energy bill dies in 107th Congress
After the GOP took control of both houses of Congress in November, lawmakers decided to defer consideration of the much anticipated energy bill until the 108th Congress, frustrating all those who toiled over the legislation for months.

Nevertheless, industry leaders assured EPM in November that the fuels agreement will be included in the revived U.S. energy bill in 2003 and little of substance will be compromised in the legislation.

"When it's all said and done in 2003, I think the leadership changes in Washington will have little impact on the RFS," Dinneen told EPM last month.