WASHINGTON, D.C. – Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor issued the following statement regarding the continued economic hardship facing America’s biofuel producers and farmers as more plants go offline amid the COVID-19 pandemic:
“Biofuel producers and our farm partners are confronting an economic crisis beyond anything rural America has seen before. Fuel demand has cratered, foreign nations have flooded the market with crude oil, and U.S. ethanol producers are bleeding cash after one of the toughest years in memory. In fact, fuel demand has fallen by more than half. On an annual basis, that equates to as many as 7 or 8 billion gallons loss of ethanol demand, or the market for approximately 2.4 to 2.7 billion bushels of corn.
“Today, POET Biofuels, the world’s largest biofuel producer, joins dozens of other American producers that have been forced to take plants offline. The list of plants that have cut or halted production continues to grow, with examples across the United States, including California, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, and South Dakota. At this rate, nearly half of America’s biofuel production could soon be offline. These plants support hundreds of thousands of jobs, including a highly-skilled manufacturing workforce that rural America cannot afford to lose.
“Protecting these biofuel and farm jobs at the heart of our rural economy will be vital to ensuring that we are positioned to reinvest and rebuild in the months to come. We urge policymakers to act swiftly to expand markets for higher biofuel blends, lift regulatory barriers to vital markets, and ensure that financial assistance is available to farmers, workers, and rural businesses hit hardest by the crisis.”