06 December 2015 - Sympathy for the Oil Companies? Not from Me!

Finally, after a nearly two-year delay, the Environmental Protection Agency announced the RFS, the formula for the amount of renewable fuel that should be required by the oil companies to blend with gasoline and diesel to cut our use of fossil fuel in this country.

The numbers didn’t make anyone happy, corn and soybean growers and producers of ethanol and soy diesel said the numbers were too low; the oil industry said the amounts of renewable fuel to be blended with gasoline and diesel were too high. The American Petroleum Institute immediately cranked up its public relations army to convince consumers that this would be an expensive project for the industry and consumers would pay the bill.

Quoting one of the press release stories...” U.S. oil companies will likely pay close to $1-billion to put more ethanol and renewables in gasoline and diesel and face even higher compliance costs in 2016. Higher costs would be passed on to consumers, pushing fuel prices higher.” A spokesman for Shell, John Reese said “ There are serious problems with the RFS that drive higher fuel costs for consumers.”
He didn’t mention the huge profits of the industry the past few years.

I would like to remind them to go back to 1979, the year of the Arab oil embargo when this country was held hostage by Middle East countries who don’t like us, and we faced long lines at gas stations. That’s when “gasohol” came on the scene because we were going to grow renewable energy on American farms and cut our dependence on fossil and foreign oil.

Reaction from the renewable energy industry and agricultural producers came as no surprise...major disappointment. It also came from members of Congress who said the numbers are below those in the legislation to increase the use of renewable energy that was mandated by the House and Senate in 2007.

Illinois farmer Richard Guebert, Jr., President of the Illinois Farm
Bureau said “From an environmental standpoint, the RFS has been a major success, reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by more than 350-million metric tons since its enactment.”

After the enormous profits in the oil industry over the past few years, that you and I provided; for the industry to say it can’t afford changes in the oil refining structure and that we will have to pay for it with higher prices at the pump just makes me angry. That’s why I have no sympathy for the oil industry.

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