Biofuel’s Road To Recovery
When the country went into quarantine, drivers left the roadways and gas stations were mostly abandoned for a few months. Now the biofuels industry is trying to find a path to recovery.
CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper says that the ethanol industry was already battling demand issues, then it was hit by COVID-19. “In just three weeks, between mid-March and early April, we saw U.S. gasoline consumption plunge by 48 percent,” Cooper states. As a result, ethanol demand dropped further, stockpiles spiked, and the ripple effects began, such as lost markets for corn and corn oil.
Emily Skor, the CEO for Growth Energy, says that the original issue is more prevalent than ever. According to Skor, “It is disappointing, although not surprising, that with COVID you have seen so many attempts by oil industry advocates to use COVID as a mean to further destroying the RFS.” The Renewable Fuel Standard was created to stabilize the market. “A strong RFS is more important than ever. The RFS was intended to provide market certainty, it was intended to create that demand for renewable fuels like ethanol, and regrettably the EPA seems to have forgotten that,” Cooper adds.
National Corn Growers Association CEO, Jon Dogged says that there will be a 3 billion bushel carryover for the first time since the 1980s. Also, the nation’s sorghum producers would also benefit from more ethanol use.
Skor concludes, “We have to get through the crisis. We have to get our footing back and then we have to rebuild the farm economy and regain our momentum.”