Industry Calls OPEC Report “Self Serving”

Joanna Schroeder

The Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) has come out today calling a recent OPEC report “self serving.” The report, co-written by the former Secretary General of the OPEC oil cartel, criticized biofuels while according to GRFA, ignoring the overwhelming evidence on the devastating impact of crude oil on the environment and on our economies. The report will be released during the International Energy Forum’s meeting in Cancun, Mexico this month.

“This report would be laughable if the risks associated with our dangerous reliance on oil were not so serious,” said Bliss Baker, spokesperson for the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance. “OPEC has dedicated its history to keeping oil prices artificially high and combating any threat to the shocking wealth of its members. It was only a matter of time until it attacked biofuels.”

GRFA notes that biofuels represent a competitive threat to crude oil but also acknowledge that the implementation of renewable fuels standards by governments around the world have the practical effect of lowering prices at the pump.  A trend, not surprisingly, that OPEC has no interest in seeing continue. For example, according to a report from Merrill Lynch commodity strategist, “retail gasoline prices would be $21/bbl higher, on average, without the incremental biofuel supply.”

Countries around the world are expanding their biofuels production to meet increased energy needs at the same time as addressing growing greenhouse gas emission concerns that lead to global climate change. In 2009, global biofuels production exceeded 80 billion litres.

According to Baker, the report ignores the horrific impact on economies due to high crude oil prices, especially those in developing nations as well as fails to address the positive impact biofuels production has on fuel supplies and prices. “In an era of ever increasing oil prices, biofuels production is more important than ever,” added Baker. “Our industry is calling on the OPEC oil cartel to embrace biofuels and the competition that it brings to the global fuels markets instead of stifling competition and keeping prices high.”

Baker concluded, “I can only conclude that this self-serving piece of research is an attempt to slow down biofuels production. Perhaps OPEC finally sees biofuels as competition. If that’s the case I suspect we can see similar future so-called reports on biofuels from OPEC.”

Biodiesel, biofuels, Ethanol, International