Minneapolis -- The continued use of E10 alone will not be enough to sustain growth in the ethanol industry, Renewable Fuels Association CEO Bob Dinneen said today.
"The E10 market is projected to be flat, so if we are to continue to grow as an industry, we have got to increase demand," Dinneen told the audience during his keynote address at the 2017 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo.
"We have got to increase the amount of E15 sold and the amount of E85 sold," he said. "We have to move forward with higher-octane fuels. We have to continue to grow the export market."
The foundation of the industry, however, remains the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), according to Dinneen.
"It is only because of the RFS that we have grown ethanol demand," he said. "It is only because of the RFS that this industry has been able to thrive for the past decade."
Dinneen called the RFS "the most successful energy policy this country has ever seen," adding: "By any measure, the RFS has been a success."
He decried what he called the "utter nonsense of indirect land use," adding that "the notion that producing ethanol in the Midwest somehow can cause deforestation in the Amazon is ridiculous."
Dinneen referenced the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing last week on legislation that would extend a Reid Vapor Pressure waiver to E15 fuel. The measure, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act, would allow retailers across the country to sell E15 and other higher- ethanol/gasoline fuel blends year-round.
"We have an uphill battle," Dinneen said, adding that the limitation "is only there in my mind to keep e15 from being more widely available."
Dinneen lauded last week's decision by Mexico's Energy Regulatory Commission to increase the percentage of ethanol in gasoline to 10% from 6%.
He called it "an improvement," but pointed out that the ruling excludes the cities of Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey.
"They are doing a study that will evaluate the impact on ozone from the 10% blend," Dinneen noted. "I am confident that if done right, the science will demonstrate that the 10% ought to be used in those cities as well.
"One of the reasons for my confidence is that in this country, we have driven down ozone in Chicago, in Los Angeles, in New York, in Dallas, and other parts of the country where ozone is an issue."
Dinneen also referenced President Trump's move "in probably the best appointment he has made" to name Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad the U.S. ambassador to China.
"He understands the value of ethanol production more than most," Dinneen, said, "and can tell the Chinese just how important it is to build their own industry."
- Michael Schneider, [email protected]
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