Big Oil attempt to mislead Congress, consumers knows no bounds

By The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association | July 23, 2013

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association today called upon Big Oil lobbyists to come clean when discussing the special treatment their industry has received for 100 years. At a U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on the renewable fuel standard (RFS), oil lobbyists again claimed their industry does not receive or support “subsidies and mandates.”

“Big Oil is following the old tactic of attempting to repeat something enough that people mistakenly believe it is true,” stated IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “In reality, Big Oil constantly and aggressively pursues an anti-free market agenda designed to perpetuate their monopoly over transportation fuels. When you compare the record to the rhetoric, it is hard to take Big Oil seriously.”

In reality, 2013 represents the 100th year that the petroleum industry has received special taxpayer-funded subsidies. A partial list of the billions of dollars of subsidies unique to the oil industry includes:

-Expensing of Intangible Drilling Costs

-Percentage depletion allowance

-Geological and Geophysical Expenditures

-Deduction for tertiary injectants

-Exception from passive loss limitations for oil and gas

-Marginal oil well incentives

-Enhanced oil recovery credits

In addition, since 1977 petroleum-based fuels have been mandated by the U.S. Congress for nearly every gasoline-powered vehicle. Only two other fuels (E10 and E15) have been approved, leaving a virtual 85 percent federal petroleum mandate backed by $25,000 per day fines for those who would dare to choose their own fuel.

“For 100 years the oil industry has used public policy to tilt the energy playing field in its favor and today is no different,” Shaw continued. “The renewable fuel standard is the only policy designed to crack through the petroleum monopoly and provide consumers with real fueling choice—not the dictates of an oil monopoly.”

Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 41 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 3.7 billion gallons annually, with one wet mill and two cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.

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