The Obama Administration deadline for setting three years’ worth of renewable fuel quotas is Monday and the ethanol industry is fighting an air war to try to influence the decision.
Tom Buis is the co-chair of Growth Energy, the lobbying arm for the ethanol industry. Buis says a new ethanol industry TV ad currently running in Iowa and three other corn-producing states is designed to counter an ad being run by anti-ethanol groups.
“We know our opposition is out there saying anything and doing anything in every possible way to keep the administration from rolling out an implementation of the volumetric standards for 2014, 2015 and ’16 that are beneficial to this great nation,” Buis says.
The Renewable Fuels Standard requires the federal government to set yearly production levels for ethanol and other biofuels.
“All eyes are on the administration,” Buis says. “We hope they do the right thing. We hope they listen to all the experts out there who are not just blowing hot air and rhetoric for their own vested interests, but actually understand the programs and understand how they work and understand the RFS originally and going forward.”
In May, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed ethanol production targets that would fall short of levels mandated in the law that created the Renewable Fuels Standard in 2005. Nearly all the ethanol used in vehicles in the U.S. is blended into gasoline. Representatives of the oil industry have argued there is a “blend wall” and ethanol quotas should not be raised because there aren’t enough pumps to dispense gasoline that contains more than 10 percent ethanol.