Oil Putting the Squeeze on Ethanol
Mar 25, 2013
The oil industry must really feel threatened by ethanol. So much so they are pulling out all the stops to keep E15 out of the market place. Even though E15 has been tested and approved by EPA, Big Oil and its allies have tried to convince people the fuel isn’t safe for engines. Now they seem to be trying to stop retailers from selling E15 by threatening to take away their franchises. Evidently the oil industry doesn’t want to let the market place work. There is no mandate for E15 use but keeping it out of the market would eliminate consumer choice and maintain a mandate to use the oil industry’s products. In other words, they want the market place to decide as long as they control the marketplace. Critics complained about ethanol subsidies until they were ended but were silent about the much larger subsidies received by the oil industry. Now they are after the Renewable Fuels Standard even though the oil industry uses more ethanol than they are required to under the RFS because they need the octane ethanol provides. Yes, last year’s drought put corn in tight supply but the ethanol industry reduced and in some cases stopped production. A surplus supply and ethanol credits (RINS) showed the flexibility provided by the industry and RFS. Even as the oil industry finds new sources of oil through technologies like fracking, they still seem threatened by ethanol. Of course more oil means more profits as they sell to the highest bidder so there’s no guarantee that oil stays in the U.S. Meanwhile the ethanol industry creates jobs and economic growth plus provides a less expensive product. No wonder the oil industry feels so threatened!