Tara Billingsley, who serves as professional staff for the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, spoke to the American Coalition for Ethanol members gathered in DC for the "Biofuels Beltway March." She works closely with Senate leadership on biofuels issues and told the group that they are "very engaged and motivated on the issue."
Billingsley feels that in the short-term, lower oil prices may in fact help the ethanol industry because those lower prices may begin to drive consumption.
She also mentioned the issue of "indirect land use change" as a challenge we'll need to face. Congress gave EPA a really difficult job in, she said, in having a short amount of time to craft rules on how this issue will be treated.
Ethanol advocates are working hard to ensure that ethanol - and specifically corn-based ethanol - is treated fairly and the regulations are based upon sound science.