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The RFS: Reality 1, Rhetoric 0

Bob Greco

Bob Greco
Posted June 28, 2013

There is a classic xkcd cartoon where a one of the characters says they can’t come to bed because “Someone is wrong on the internet.”  Though the options for who exactly that someone was are almost unlimited, statistically there is a good chance the character was referring to Bob Dinneen.  Witness this tweet:

Ehthanol Bog

This is an easy thing to check.  Are gasoline imports “nonexistent?”  No.

US Imports of Finished Motor Gasoline

But, to be fair, they have fallen quite dramatically.  So has that fall been “because of ethanol?”  If supply has fallen, it is always good to check demand:

US Imports of Finished Motor Gasoline

So taking chart one, a decline of about 200 million barrels a year in imports, then looking at chart two which shows a decline of 254 million barrels a year in retail sales, you can clearly see that it is declining gasoline use, not ethanol, in the U.S. that is responsible for a decline in imports. Now I can sleep soundly tonight.


Bob Greco is group director of downstream and industry operations at the American Petroleum Institute. With 21 years of experience, Bob directs activities related to refining, pipeline, marketing, and fuels issues. He has managed exploration and production activities, policy analysis, climate change issues, marine transportation, refining, gasoline and jet fuel production issues and Clean Air Act implementation efforts. Before coming to API, Bob was an environmental engineer with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with expertise in automotive emission control technologies. He has a M.S. degree in environmental engineering from Cornell University and a B.A. in biology from Colgate University.