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Friday, February 26, 2016

RFA CEO: Ethanol Responded to Low Oil Prices with Jobs, New Technology


(RFA) On a radio talkshow this week, Bob Dinneen, RFA CEO, praised the diverse group of speakers featured at the National Ethanol Conference, saying, "We had a tremendous keynote speaker; the former president of Shell Oil Company, John Hofmeister, was there talking about the global oil price and what he saw happening in the future and his message was remarkably upbeat. He does not believe that the Saudis can continue hemorrhaging their future by keeping the oil price so low and he believes that there's going to be a rebound soon, which was refreshing news for the producers in the room. But more importantly, here you have the former president of Shell speaking quite enthusiastically about ethanol and its role in the future of fuel markets."

Every side of the fuel industry is hurting from poor profit margins, Dinneen said. Responses between the oil and ethanol sectors to $30 oil, however, have been night and day. "This industry - the ethanol industry - faced with the same economics with low oil prices driving our value down, we increased employment by 2,000 jobs last year. We invested in new technologies in our industry, in infrastructure that would make our fuel more widely available, and we double-down on the investments in our industry ... and there really is a stark difference in terms of the reaction to the market conditions between the two industries."

Dinneen thanked KY Corn during his state of the industry address for generating thousands of postcards to automakers with the Flex My Choice campaign. Kentucky was well represented at the NEC by attendees Mick Henderson and Chad Hancock, Commonwealth Agri-Energy, LLC, as well as Joseph Sisk and Adam Andrews, KY Corn. KyCorn is a longtime member and is very engaged in RFA's efforts to increase the volume of ethanol sold, because higher ethanol sales mean higher corn demand.

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