Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen held a conference call with reporters this morning to discuss what yesterday’s historic election results may mean for ethanol policy, both for the rest of this year and in the next Congress.
“Washington will be a more Republican town in January,” Dinneen said. “Will that have a meaningful impact on the U.S. ethanol industry? I believe the answer to that is no.”
Dinneen stresses that ethanol is a bi-partisan issue and while a few strong ethanol supporters, including Rep. Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota and Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin of South Dakota, were defeated yesterday, there were many more that won. “And more importantly, for the most part, those that were defeated were replaced with equally strong advocates for value-added agriculture and ethanol,” he said.
The biggest issue facing the ethanol industry right now remains the expiration of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) at the end of the year. “Anyone would be foolish to predict what will happen with the incentive, it remains an uphill battle, but last night’s overwhelming message is that voters want Congress to do something about the economy and about jobs. Allowing the tax incentive to expire would risk jobs in a very important domestic energy center and across rural America,” said Dinneen.
Listen to Dinneen’s opening statement here. RFA's Bob Dinneen Comments on Election Results