Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen always has an optimistic outlook when it comes to the ethanol industry, despite the challenges it continues to face, but the outlook seems especially rosy this New Year. In 2017 Dinneen is looking forward to working with the new Trump administration on reforming regulations that are limiting the expansion of higher level ethanol blends.
“One that comes readily to mind is the disparate treatment of E10 and E15 and other high level blends with respect to evaporative vapor control, RVP. Right now E10 and E15 are treated differently and it is a huge barrier to the year round use of E15. We really hope that in a regulatory reform effort, that the new administration will be able to provide parity with respect to volatility regulations, free up the market place such that consumers can make the choices that are right for their vehicle and their pocketbook.”
With EPA setting 2017 biofuels standards in keeping with the RFS, there is cause for optimism about more progress in cellulosic and advanced biofuels.
“For the first time since 2012 EPA has promulgated a rule consistent with the statute with respect to undifferentiated biofuels for corn ethanol,” Dinneen explained, “and at 15 billion gallons it sends an extraordinarily positive signal that we’re going to break through the blend wall, that there’s going to be rising demand for ethanol, that investors can with confidence put money behind new technology and new infrastructure that will empower cellulosic ethanol, other advanced biofuels, and most importantly the infrastructure to grow demand for higher level blends.”
Dinneen believes the full potential of the RFS can finally be realized. He also expects ethanol exports to increase this year but doesn’t expect challenges to the industry to go away altogether in 2017.