US ethanol group stresses need for unity in the industry

15 June 2010 18:11  [Source: ICIS news]

ST LOUIS, Missouri (ICIS news)--The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has changed the dynamics of the petroleum versus ethanol debate, prompting the biofuel's political enemies to fight even harder and increasing the need for unity, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) said on Tuesday.

Those opponents know that the case for ethanol would get a boost from the oil spill fall-out, so they were "throwing everything but the kitchen sink" at the industry now, RFA president Bob Dinneen told the annual Fuel Ethanol Workshop in St Louis, Missouri.

In such a climate, the ethanol industry cannot afford to allow its own internal rivalries to hamper progress, he said.

"This industry is too small to be able to afford mixed messages or petty infighting," Dinneen said.

He held out an olive branch to other organisations that represent the sector, praising the work of the American Coalition for Ethanol, a producers' association formed in 1988, and Growth Energy, which was formed in 2008 and has competed with the RFA for industry leadership.

Dinneen named some individuals in those groups and describe them as personal friends.

But he made no mention of retired general Wesley Clark, the co-chair of Growth Energy and a magnet for public attention.

Clark was the NATO commander in the Kosovo conflict in the late 1990s and tried for the Democratic party candidacy in the 2004 presidential election.

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By: Stephen Burns
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