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Fact Check…or Temper Tantrum?

August 5, 2019


[caption id="attachment_25023" align="alignright" width="314"] Click on image for full size.[/caption] Looks like we touched a nerve.  Sorry (not sorry) AFPM! In case you missed it, RFA recently ran an ad in Morning Consult comparing the effects of year-round E15 vs refinery exemptions and what each means to the renewable fuels industry and consumers. Looks like someone (AFPM) is REALLY sensitive because they started scribbling things on Post-it Notes and marking up the ad with a red pen like a crazy high school English teacher. It was a nice try -- and kind of creative. But they missed one important thing -- FACTS! You see, AFPM, it's not considered persuasive when you dispute a set of factual arguments with rhetoric. That's called "having a temper tantrum." There were very few facts in AFPM's response, except one, which they got wrong. AFPM claimed the blend rate of ethanol has gone up each year. But the ethanol blend rate dropped from 10.13% in 2017 to 10.07% in 2018. Even more striking is that in January 2018 EIA had forecast that the blend rate would increase to 10.26% in 2018, which did not happen. The practical impact of the lower blend rate was a loss of hundreds of millions of gallons of ethanol demand. The fact is, EPA has been abusing the small refinery exemption program, letting dozens of oilrefineries out of their legal obligations to blend renewable fuels. Not one exemption request has been rejected since 2015, and some were even granted against the recommendation of the Department of Energy. These refiners don't even want people to know they're asking for them, claiming that the very names of the refineries themselves are "confidential business information," something we address here. It must be hard when you have an indefensible position, like insisting that giant corporations like Exxon and Chevron should be eligible for small refinery exemptions -- all while failing to disclose even the most basic information, like the name of the applying refinery and its location. All one can assume from AFPM's so-called fact check is that Big Oil believes exemptions should be granted to any refiner who seeks them, for any reason, and with maximum secrecy. Not surprisingly, average voters disagree. In a survey conducted from July 19-21, 2019, among a national sample of nearly 2000 registered voters by Morning Consult on behalf of RFA, 61% of respondents supported more transparency (like the name and location) of oil refineries receiving an exemption from the Renewable Fuel Standard.  Only 14% opposed greater transparency and 25% weren't sure. Renewable fuels like ethanol are clean, affordable and domestic, and small refinery exemptions are being abused in ways that is having a dramatically negative impact on renewable fuel producers and American consumers. Here's a fact for AFPM: We stand by our ad.