WASHINGTON — In his annual "State of American Energy" address, American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO Jack Gerard called the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) "a relic of our nation's era of energy scarcity and uncertainty." Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen soundly rejected API's claims, and issued the following statement in response: "I'm not sure what reality Jack is living in, but it is clear that he believes API's actions and policies are making our nation more energy secure when nothing could be further from the truth. Perhaps he has convinced himself that fracking will provide the answer to all of our nation's energy needs. What Jack conveniently failed to mention is that as oil prices have crashed, so has the rig count. The number of active U.S. oil rigs has plunged 67 percent from its peak in 2014. Last week's rig count was actually the lowest since May 2010, according to the oil field services firm Baker Hughes. If Jack spent time living in the real world, instead of his revisionist reality, he would find himself whistling past the graveyards of shuttered wells that have been abandoned in the bust that inevitably follows a temporary boom of an oil well. "Even though U.S. oil production has risen in recent years, U.S. refiners still import a substantial amount of crude oil. In 2015, U.S. refiners processed roughly 16 million barrels per day, while crude oil imports averaged about 7.3 million barrels per day. This means that roughly 45 percent of the oil processed by U.S refineries came from imports. And about one-third of our nation's imports came from OPEC nations with Russia and Columbia also serving as major suppliers. "The fact is our nation needs domestically-produced clean burning renewable fuels now more than ever. Ethanol plants strengthen communities, they do not abandon them. Ethanol jobs are as stable and renewable as the fuel itself. Jack needs to wrap his arms around the fact that the era of unconstrained energy consumption is the real relic, and no longer exists. Renewable energy resources like ethanol provide the only real hope of a more sustainable energy, environmental, and economic future."