Oil giant Valero Energy Corp.'s subsidiary, Valero Renewable Fuels, has joined the Renewable Fuels Association, according to an RFA announcement Monday.
Dow Jones on Monday pointed to Valero's move as a possible indication of how the oil industry may be growing toward a greater acceptance of biofuels. The American Petroleum Institute and other oil interest groups, however, continue to push members of Congress to repeal or reform the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Interestingly, Valero Renewable Fuels' parent company also is a member of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers. That group continues to advocate for reform or repeal of the RFS. Valero Renewable Fuels is not an AFPM member.
The AFPM says on its website, http://bit.ly/…, "AFPM opposes the mandated use of alternative fuels and supports the sensible and workable integration of alternative fuels into the marketplace based on market principles. Energy policy based on mandates is not a recipe for success. There is no free market if every gallon of biofuels – including those that do not exist – is mandated. Mandates distort markets and result in stifled competition and innovation.
"AFPM's members are dedicated to working cooperatively with government at all levels in implementing the current Renewable Fuel Standard to the extent possible. However, AFPM advocates an RFS program that is understandable, allows unambiguous enforcement, promotes adequate flexibility for refiners and gasoline/diesel importers, and is developed with a full realization of its impact on energy supplies and potential unintended negative environmental and economic consequences."
Valero is not the only oil-connected company to join the RFA. Marathon Oil and CHS Inc. are RFA members.
Valero delved into the ethanol business in 2009 by purchasing seven now-former South Dakota-based VeraSun Energy corn ethanol plants following VeraSun's bankruptcy.
According to a news release from the Renewable Fuels Association Monday, Valero owns and operates 11 corn ethanol plants in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Valero is the third largest ethanol producer in the United States with a total annual production capacity of 1.4 billion gallons. In addition, Valero is the largest renewable diesel producer in the U.S., and the world's largest independent refiner.
"We are thrilled to welcome Valero Renewable Fuels to our membership," RFA Board Chairman and Commonwealth Agri-Energy General Manager Mick Henderson said.
"Valero complements RFA as we advocate for continued growth and use of renewables. Through its vast ethanol plant footprint in the United States, Valero provides countless benefits to consumers by helping to clean the air, increase energy independence and boost local economies. We are proud to count Valero Renewables as an RFA member and look forward to the company being an active member as we work together to expand marketplace opportunities for ethanol."
Valero Vice President of alternative fuels Martin Parrish, "Valero is proud of our high-performing ethanol plants, their excellent safety record and commitment to the communities where we operate. Joining RFA provides a strong conduit to support our operations, especially as we cooperatively work to promote renewables, grow our ethanol market and provide opportunities to further strengthen the nation’s liquid fuel sector."
Todd Neeley can be reached at email@example.com
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