Ethanol Lobbyists Troubled By Industry Infighting

Posted: Updated:

The Hill reports that leaked memos reveal a growing split within ethanol lobby.

Darrin Ihnen, president of the National Corn Growers Association, sent a memo on Oct. 2 to his association's state branches warning that a feud between the Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy could hurt the industry's lobbying efforts and result in the loss of political support on Capitol Hill.

Ihnen warned in the memo that his association would withdraw from the ethanol lobby if the infighting continued. The ethanol industry is currently turning to Washington to help it rebound from a severe downturn.

From The Hill:

"The ethanol and corn industries face many challenges today that could significantly impact our ability to help provide a renewable domestic alternative to foreign oil, and it is imperative that all parties in the ethanol industry work together cooperatively toward this end," Ihnen said in a subsequent statement.

Inhen requested that the associations agree to binding arbitration to settle their dispute and demanded a response to the memo by Oct. 9.

But it doesn't seem the spat will be easily resolved. In response to the NCGA's memo, the Renewable Fuels Association said there were "practical, procedural and potentially legal constraints" that prevent arbitration. Meanwhile, Growth Energy said it would not agree to arbitration because its lawyers said doing so may violate anti-trust laws.