Big Oil has developed a laundry list of excuses for refusing to embrace the RFS, but let's be honest. Its crusade against the RFS isn’t about the interests of the American consumer. It’s about money, market share, and snuffing out competition.
October 16th marks the 40th anniversary of the 1973 oil embargo. Economic times are hard enough as is today; hopefully it won’t take another energy crisis to wake Congress up to the importance of a domestically-produced, renewable fuel alternative.
It’s time for a reality check. RFA's Geoff Cooper offers rebuttals to API’s far-fetched arguments from its recently-released report, tells the “rest of the story” that was conveniently omitted from the report’s misleading charts, and underscores the importance of staying the course with the RFS.
According to a recent study, government data show that nearly 30% of the natural gas extracted as a byproduct of fracking for oil in North Dakota is being burned off, or “flared.” That’s right, three out of every 10 cubic feet of natural gas extracted in North Dakota ends up being burned at the wellhead and released into the atmosphere.
As in previous cases, the Wall Street Journal is long on opinion and short on fact in its most recent editorial. RFA chief Bob Dinneen looks at a few items that the Journal either ignores or denies.
It’s not surprising that many oil companies are yet again reporting huge profits for their quarterly financial results, but what is somewhat surprising is what these companies are telling investors, analysts, and the SEC about the real impacts of the RFS and RINs on their bottom line and U.S. fuel prices. Here are several revealing statements from these companies.
RFA’s President and CEO Bob Dinneen submitted the following letter to the Orlando Sentinel in response to their recent article featuring Charles Drevna, President of the American Fuels & Petrochemical Manufacturers.
Phillips 66 CEO Greg Garland said the RFS was “unworkable”. Bob Dinneen says that’s just silly talk. The RFS is a proven success having stimulated investment, created jobs, and significantly lowered our dependence on foreign oil.
Recent rhetoric from Big Oil about the economic impacts of RINs got us thinking: If oil refiners and gasoline marketers actually decided to invest in the modern fuel distribution infrastructure needed to dispense greater than E10 blends, what would it cost them in comparison to the wild “compliance cost" claims they make today?
An EPRINC report released on Sep. 14 entitled “Ethanol’s Lost Promise” advocates repealing the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The paper suggests removing the RFS could reduce the oil refining sector’s ethanol consumption down to 6.1 billion gallons annually (compared to 12.5 billion gallons in 2011). EPRINC suggests the void left by smaller ethanol supplies could be filled with imported gasoline, increased gasoline yields at the expense of diesel/distillate production, expanding U.S. refining capacity, and other infeasible options. In response to RFA’s reaction to its study, EPRINC tried to defend it with yet more conflicting and misleading statements. Once again, RFA is stepping forward to refute fiction with fact.
A report released this week by EPRINC, an oil industry-funded research group, suggests a multi-year suspension of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) could reduce U.S. ethanol use by more than half. In this analysis, the RFA points out that in attempting to tear down the RFS, the EPRINC report actually underscores the importance of the program and highlights the lack of sensible or economic options available to refiners if ethanol use is severely curtailed.
A report released today by Battelle, sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute (API), claims a recent rash of corrosion incidents in storage and handling equipment for Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) use stems from ethanol contamination. Under normal, everyday storage and handling conditions, ethanol should never come into contact with diesel fuel; ethanol is a gasoline additive.
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal published Letter to the Editor of mine, which was in response to "Ethanol vs the World." On the same day, the Journal published yet another sarcastic screed, “How Ethanol Causes Joblessness” that ridiculed what it claims was the methodology behind a study by academic economists that showed the increased use of domestic ethanol fuel lowered gas prices by a national average of $1.09 in 2011. Responding to this attack, I submitted another editorial, which was rejected by the Editorial Features Staff. Please read said editorial in this post.
A recent article entitled "Clean Green Scam" highlighted the case of Rodney Hailey whose company sold approximately $9 million worth of fraudulent biodiesel credits to the oil industry. They were also fined by the EPA for not conducting proper due diligence to make sure the credits were legit. This cost Big Oil another $40 million. The article went on to say, "Refiners have been ripped off to the tune of $200 million so far by crooks and government fines..." due to the Renewable Fuels Standard. Wow, that is a big number - unless of course you put it into context.
In these difficult economic times, a recurring question is who should get help and who should stand on their own. With people it's the middle class vs. the 1%. In the corporate world, the question is whose government support should be cut. Recent failures by Solyndra and others, make "green energy" subsidies a favored target. But what about Big Oil? Isn't it time to address their subsidies?
In recent testimony before the Joint Economic Committee, Mr. Thomas O’Malley, chairman of PBF Energy, attempted to tar and feather ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as the root cause of refinery closures in the Northeast. Mr. O’Malley’s comments are more reflective of the petroleum industry’s crusade against renewable fuels and a willingness to play fast and loose with the facts.
As the nation teeters on the brink of default, lawmakers from both parties continue to squabble while others seek to further erode the progress America has made in reducing our reliance on imported oil.