Growth Energy Testifies at Surface Transportation Board on Ethanol Rail Issues

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Chris Bliley, Director of Regulatory Affairs for Growth Energy, testified before the Surface Transportation Board regarding recent issues related to insufficient rail service that have resulted in ethanol price spikes and ethanol plants having to halt production. In his testimony, Bliley noted:

“Make no mistake, these price spikes have not been caused by a lack of ethanol production or supply, but purely because of an inability to get timely rail transportation. In fact, many plants have reduced or even halted production because their storage capacity is fully utilized. There have been numerous examples of our producers having to wait and wait on trains to deliver their product. 

“On top of the poor and declining rail service, our industry has seen increased tariff rates on certain routes effective April 1. Not only did one railroad give our producers very little notice of the increases, but I dare say, few, if any industries would have the audacity or ability to increase shipping rates while their service has been so poor.
“The bottom line is that the railroad industry has failed in its sole responsibility to transport goods in a timely and effective manner. This failure in service has had a ripple effect on American consumers by increasing the cost of goods and services, and has directly impacted our industry by causing a de facto shut down in production as there is simply no more space to store product.
“For our industry and many others that are captive to the nation’s railroads to efficiently transport their products, we hope the rail industry will take steps to immediately improve its service record and take this situation as a wake-up call that they need to make the necessary infrastructure investments to fulfill their obligations as a common carrier.
“Ethanol price spikes and reduced production fall squarely on the shoulders of the rail industry. The lack of service is unacceptable and the rail industry must do better.”

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About Growth Energy
Growth Energy represents the producers and supporters of ethanol who feed the world and fuel America in ways that achieve energy independence, improve economic well-being and create a healthier environment for all Americans now. For more information, please visit us at, follow us on Twitter @GrowthEnergy or connect with us on Facebook.