With the coronavirus affecting so many Americans and causing so many questions and concerns about the national economy, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper today released the following statement:
“Our hearts go out to all those directly affected by the coronavirus, especially those who have lost loved ones, who are ill or at greater risk. As an industry that employs 350,000 Americans across the heartland, we’re carefully watching the government’s response to turmoil in the energy markets. Our industry is being adversely affected not only by the economic constraints caused by the coronavirus, but also by the oil price war, ongoing trade disputes and EPA’s small refinery waivers.
“While the policy response to turbulence in the energy markets has so far focused largely on supporting crude oil producers, we urge the Administration to recognize that biofuel and agricultural commodity markets are suffering as well. Ethanol futures prices hit a record low in recent days, as the coronavirus is expected to negatively impact domestic and international fuel demand in the near term. With many ethanol plants on the verge of shutting down, we implore the Trump administration to take action that equitably supports all liquid fuel industries—including ethanol producers—during this time of unprecedented market uncertainty and unrest.
“One important and positive step we urge the President to take immediately would be to announce that his Environmental Protection Agency will not appeal the recent 10th Circuit court decision on small refinery waivers and that EPA will implement the 500 million gallon remand as ordered by the D.C. Circuit Court in 2017. Given the robust financial assistance the Trump administration is planning to provide to oil producers, immediate actions to ensure EPA abides by these court decisions can help soothe concerns among those whose livelihoods depend on agriculture and renewable fuels.”