RFA talks ethanol, lame duck strategy

By Aarian Marshall

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



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WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 2012 - The Renewable Fuel Association (RFA) is ready for a tough lame duck session, RFA President Bob Dineen said in a press call today.

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While the the RFA is pleased with the outcome of the presidential election - “This administration been pretty good for ethanol,” Dineen said - the organization knows important renewable fuel tax credits will be on the chopping block come “fiscal cliff” discussions.

While the “fiscal cliff” famously includes a threatening sequester, the so-called Bush tax credits will also expire at the end of the year, as will many of the provisions of the 2008 farm bill.

Relevant tax credits on the line include the alternative fuel refueling credit, the biodiesel credit, and the renewable diesel credit, among others. Dineen cited Fuels America, a coalition of advocacy groups, trade associations and corporations, as a first line of defense against renewable fuel incentive cuts in the coming tax battles.

Dineen said he hopes Congress will recognize that the renewable fuel standard's “success.” According to the RFA, the RFS has led to a 15 percent reduction in American dependence on foreign oil, from 60 percent in 2004 to 45 percent today.  

Dineen also commented on the RFS waiver, and insisted that the conditions for a waiver “simply aren't there.” “It's not the RFS, it's Mother Nature, it's the drought that has caused prices to increase in the ag sector,” he said.

Though the EPA's deadline for a waiver decision is next Monday, commentators expect that the decision will take longer.

“It's going to be a tough year,” Dineen concluded. “But when we come through this, and we will come through this, we'll be a more efficient, stronger industry.”

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