The warnings are out: war between Russia and Ukraine will drive fuel prices even higher. Biofuel interests say the U.S. response should be more, not less ethanol and biodiesel use. Oil and gas are a Russian political weapon, while rare earth minerals for electric vehicles can be a Chinese weapon.
Biofuel interests say America must defend its energy independence with renewable corn ethanol and soy diesel. Iowa U.S. Senator Joni Ernst at a recent hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard said; “The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which mandated the RFS, in part, to help reduce America’s dependence on foreign nations. Folks, I firmly believe energy security is national security.”
At the Renewable Fuels Association, President and CEO Geoff Cooper says the reality is others are deciding U.S. fuel prices. “Whether we like it or not, pump prices here in the United States continue to be shaped by the whims of OPEC oil ministers and geopolitical events like what we’re seeing in Ukraine currently.”
Cooper agrees that the Russia-Ukraine conflict is a wakeup call. “We do think it is a ‘light-bulb moment,’ and we’re hopeful that White House officials and the president, himself, are going to stop overlooking a key opportunity that they have to immediately provide relief at the pump. If we allow gasoline blenders to use higher levels of ethanol like E15, that will instantly help moderate prices at the pump.”
Overcoming court rulings that sided with oil interests while insulating U.S. motorists from the price shocks inflicted on the whims of foreign leaders bent on using energy as a weapon.