Biofuels panel: Demand destruction the biggest problem |

Biofuels panel: Demand destruction the biggest problem

Demand destruction for renewable fuels due to the Trump administration’s decision to grant small refinery exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard is the industry’s biggest problem, a panel of biofuel industry experts said today at the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference.

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said she had hoped that President Donald Trump’s appointment of Andrew Wheeler as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency “would signal a return” to President Donald Trump’s campaign positions in favor of ethanol, but “the early signs are more troubling.”

Skor noted that Growth Energy is involved in several lawsuits over the methodology of the small refinery exemptions and the reallocation of the lost ethanol due to the exemptions.

Finally, she said, the ethanol industry is trying to deliver “a political message” to make the Trump administration realize how destructive its policies are, “but we haven’t had much success with that.”

Anne Steckel of the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas said that even though natural gas is the smallest part of the RFS, it has “the same issue with demand destruction.”

Brooke Coleman, executive director of the Advanced Biofuels Business Council, said that Congress is now in “a post Green New Deal” period in which members are trying to figure out “how the dialogue will be shaped going forward” on the broad goals in the document.

Biofuels advocates should remind members that biofuels are a good way to create jobs and “reconnect with the middle of the country,” Coleman said.

Mike McAdams of the Advanced Biofuels Association said, “We have a real problem with the environmental community. They don’t believe we have delivered the goods on cellulosic. We have to get with them in a better way.”