President Trump’s comments Thursday confirming that the administration is working on allowing year-round sales of 15% ethanol blends (E15) sparked a flurry of press releases from ethanol supporters.
Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen called it “welcome news to consumers across the country, farmers who have worked to build value-added markets here at home in the face of increased uncertainty in export markets, and the investment community that has received conflicting signals regarding future markets for next generation biofuels.”
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor applauded President Trump “for embracing a common-sense fix to create a level playing field for cleaner, more affordable fuel options during the summer driving season. The White House clearly understands that RVP relief will expand a growing market for America’s farmers while letting consumers pick the fuel of their choice.”
American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings says allowing year-round sales of E15 is also “the quickest way to take pressure off (Renewable Identification Number) RIN prices. E15 blending nationwide will increase ethanol blending which will increase the supply of RIN credits and help bring down their price.”
RIN prices have dropped nearly 50 percent so far this year to a low of 40 cents, but refiners are still asking for waivers from their obligations to blend ethanol into their fuel. There were new reports this week that the country’s two largest oil companies, Chevron and Exxon, are seeking small refinery waivers, which RFA’s Dinneen calls “extremely troubling.”
National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) president Kevin Skunes says they appreciate the president’s support, but says EPA still needs to “stop granting small refinery exemptions, giving extremely profitable refiners a pass on meeting their RFS obligations and destroying demand. We remain opposed to further demand destruction through a RIN price cap or other policies that undermine the RFS.”
Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw says “Since the end of last year, the EPA has eliminated over a billion gallons of ethanol demand through black box exemptions and RIN prices have dropped by two-thirds. Meanwhile, most refineries are enjoying record profits…It’s time to help farm country.: