Just last week, the Obama Administration lowered the volume of ethanol that the fuel industry must blend into the U.S. gasoline supply, marking a notable shift in the Administration’s biofuel policy. Predictably, the renewable fuels lobby criticized the rule for hurting farmers, consumers, and increasing our dependence on costly imported oil. The Administration made the right call, however, acknowledging the reality of how rapidly the U.S. energy outlook has changed since the renewable fuels mandate was put in place.
The Great Debate
Even by the standards of a deep-cyclical industry, the “golden age” of oil refining has proved remarkably brief, lasting no more than three years, before giving way to a new dark age.