Renewable Fuels Association Calls House Hearing 'a Farce'Wed, 05 Jun 2013 14:53:09 CDT
The following is a news release distributed by the Renewable Fuels Association:
Today, the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements is holding a hearing entitled "Up Against the Blend Wall: Examining EPA's Role in the Renewable Fuel Standard." From the premise to the witness list, the hearing is a farce. If invited to speak, representatives of the ethanol industry would have talked about the success of the RFS and why the oil industry continues to erect barriers to its full implementation.
Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, may not have had a microphone at today's hearing, but that didn't stop him from commenting: "The single most effective energy policy this country has ever known, the Renewable Fuel Standard, is under review by the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements. A policy this important deserves more than a biased, attack-based, monopoly-protecting Big Oil spotlight.
"The focus of the hearing is the Big Oil created blend wall. Big Oil is using fear to protect their total and complete dominance of the fuel market. This is nothing more than a smokescreen meant to distract Americans from the real issues - our addiction to petroleum, our dependence upon foreign oil, the environmental damage from tar sands and fracking, and, let's not forget, high gas prices. Big oil created the blend wall barrier by refusing to allow access to the market for E85 and resisting with fear and misinformation the use of E15 for those consumers that want to use it. They have had years to prepare and comply with the RFS. Instead, they've hired PR firms and lawyers to maintain their monopoly over the fuel market. They created the blend wall and are now complaining about its existence. That is the very essence of hypocrisy."
At the hearing today, the president of the National Turkey Federation - a fierce opponent of the RFS - made claims that turkey production has decreased and focused the blame squarely on ethanol production.
Dinneen cried foul. "According to numbers from the USDA, turkey production has increased. Record turkey production was achieved in 2012 and a new record is expected in 2014. Per capita consumption is expected to hit a record in 2014. The truth is that feed use of corn and corn co-products from ethanol in 2014 will be at its second-highest since 2000. When co-products like distillers grains are appropriately considered, feed use remains the top use of corn by far. Feed accounted for 49 percent of total use in 2012/13, compared to 27 percent for ethanol (net co-products)."
Dinneen summarized by saying, "It is flat out wrong that not a single representative from the ethanol industry was invited to speak or to present facts on the proven success of the RFS in reducing our dependence on foreign oil, lowering gas prices, improving the environment, or creating jobs and economic opportunities for rural America. This is a bit like asking a roomful of matadors if the bull should live. Long live the RFS!"
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