2016: A Very Bigly Year

RFA offers its annual commentary on what's in and out with the start of of the new year in this month's commentary. The column, View from the Hill, appears in the January 2017 print edition of Ethanol Producer Magazine.
By Bob Dinneen | December 28, 2016

The year 2016 was one of growth for the U.S. ethanol industry, EPA raised the final 2017 conventional biofuel target under the renewable fuel standard (RFS) to the statutory 15 billion gallons, further expansion came from more stations offering higher ethanol blends and more export opportunities opened up overseas.

No doubt 2017 will have plenty of challenges and opportunities for our industry, as well. But before we get there, I always think it’s good to prepare ourselves with a healthy dose of self-deprecating humor. So with tongue placed firmly in cheek, I present my annual in and out list.

Out: First Spouse Bill;  In: First Lady Melania

Out: Low Carbon;  In: High Octane

Out: Flores 9.7 percent Ethanol Cap Legislation;  In: 23 states already blending more than 10 percent on average

Out: EPA Over-reach;  In: Regulatory Reform

Out: Presidential Executive Orders;  In: Presidential Tweets

Out: BoatUS Bashing Ethanol;  In: Crappie Masters Boats Using E10

Out: RFA Chairman Emeritus Doyal;  In: RFA Chairman Mick Henderson

Out: EU Antidumping Duty;  In: America First

Out: Fracking Regulation;  In: Earthquakes

Out: Congressional Gridlock;  In: Bigly Agenda, Bigglier Expectations

Out: Democratic Leader Harry Reid;  In: Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer

Out: Left-Leaning Media;  In: Fake News

Out: Food vs. Fuel;  In: Falling Food Prices

Out: Chinese Trade Barriers;  In: China as a Currency Manipulator

Out: Obscure regulatory barriers to E15-E30;  In: Opening the market to midlevel blends

Out: Tom Buis;  In: Emily Skor

Out: MOVES Model Analyses;  In: EPA FOIA Revelations

Out: RINsanity;  In: RINs driving investment

Out: Us Against Them;  In: Valero Joins RFA

Out: 2014-’16 Unlawful Distribution Waivers;  In: 2017 15 Bgy Conventional Biofuel RVO 

Author: Bob Dinneen
President and CEO,
Renewable Fuels Association