ACE webinar reviews ethanol progress, unfinished business
Posted on 12/13/2017
Sioux Falls, SD (December 13, 2017) – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings hosted the fourth quarter webinar of ACE’s webinar series. Joined by ACE’s Legislative Counsel in Washington, D.C., Jonathon Lehman, the webinar covered challenges, opportunities and progress made during the first year of the Trump Administration and examined legislative and policy priorities coming in the new year. The webinar included an update on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume obligations for 2018 and Reid vapor pressure (RVP) relief, which were both discussed in a December town hall meeting with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in Nevada, Iowa.
Jennings shared that ACE is pursuing a “double-barreled strategy” when it comes to RVP, with both administrative and legislative fixes still on the table. ACE has communicated why this fix is needed through a handful of messengers including, most recently, ACE’s retailer partner Charlie Good of Good & Quick Companies, who met with Administrator Pruitt at the town hall meeting on Dec. 1. ACE helped Good make the case to Pruitt, using his own fuel sales data, that RVP relief would not only benefit himself as a retailer and his customers, but also help take price pressure off Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) for refiners. RINs are awarded for complying with the RFS.
“Charlie was able to show the Administrator and his staff how in the summer months E15 volume is way down at his station because he’s not allowed to sell it to non-flex fuel vehicles and the rest of the year E15 volume is way up,” Jennings said. “Charlie is a credible retailer messenger to help explain to the Administrator that fixing the RVP issue helps fix a problem he [Pruitt] wants solved as well, which is tackling RIN prices.”
“The best way to take pressure off the RIN market is to simply increase the supply of RINs, and the best way to increase the supply of RINs is to blend more ethanol,” Jennings said. “Analysis shows a nationwide RVP waiver could increase ethanol blending and demand to the tune of 700 million gallons or more, so that would constitute a lot of additional RINs on the market which would bring down RIN prices.”
In addition to the near-term priority of RVP, Lehman provided high-level commentary on lessons learned from coming up on a year with the Trump Administration, including a review of key personnel, ACE’s invitation to participate in EPA’s Smart Sectors program, and the status of environmental rules and regulations.
Some additional highlights of what the webinar covered include:
- A review of RFS issues;
- Ethanol’s octane opportunity in fuel economy and emissions standards;
- International trade activity and export promotion;
- An overview of legislative issues, including key dates and near-term priorities for the 115th Congress;
- And a rundown of key biofuel senators up for re-election in 2018.
To view the webinar and download presentation slides, click here. Mark your calendars for ACE’s next webinar on Tuesday, Feb. 20. All four webinars of ACE’s 2017 webinar series can be accessed at ethanol.org/events/webinar.