With the Senate returning to work in Washington this week and the House to follow soon, the Renewable Fuels Association is calling on all grassroots supporters of the renewable fuels industry to speak up about the need for emergency relief. Supporters can participate in a grassroots campaign by taking just a few minutes to send a message to their elected officials today through an online portal on RFA’s website.
“Just over half of the ethanol industry’s production capacity is idled today, as fuel demand has collapsed in response to COVID-19,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Corn demand and prices have plummeted as plants across the country are idling. Jobs are being lost, rural communities are being destabilized, and the long-term future of homegrown renewable fuels hangs in the balance. We implore Congress and the administration to take action to ensure the survival of the ethanol industry and the rural communities where these facilities operate. Our nation simply cannot afford to lose an industry that has become such an integral thread in the fabric of rural America.”
Cooper pointed out that supplies of critical ethanol coproducts like distillers grains and captured carbon dioxide are also at risk, impacting livestock producers and the food and beverage industry, among others. Ethanol plants capture 3 to 3.5 million tons of CO2 annually, representing roughly 40 percent of the national supply. Meanwhile, the industry normally produces nearly 40 million tons of distillers grains animal feed, providing a high-quality, low-cost ingredient for beef, dairy, hog, and poultry diets.