The unprecedented, nationwide Coronavirus (COVID-19) health pandemic sent a shockwave throughout the biofuels industry. Due to stay-at-home orders across the country, drivers vacated the roads, which caused gasoline and ethanol demand to plummet.

In just a few weeks, demand fell by 50% and ethanol production fell as low as 9.45 billion gallons annualized (compared to 15.8 billion gallons pre-pandemic). With a fast-shrinking market for biofuels, ethanol stockpiles reached all-time highs and prices crashed, causing plants to face significant losses on every gallon produced.

As ethanol plants were forced to slow production or idle altogether, markets down the supply stream were impacted too. Corn farmers struggled. Food and beverage companies and water treatment facilities that use carbon dioxide from our plants faced shortages. Livestock owners who purchase dried distillers grains (DDGs) to feed their cattle had to find more costly and less nutritious alternatives. As cars returned to the road, gasoline and ethanol demand has steadily risen, but production remains below pre-pandemic levels, and financial relief remains key to our industry’s recovery.

Growth Energy continues to support:

  • Assistance measures in the Senate bill (S. 3756) led by Sens. Grassley (R-IA) and Klobuchar (D-MN) that would reimburse for feedstock purchases in Q1 of 2020
  • The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program
    • Designed to provide direct payroll relief to qualified small businesses

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We are pleased to present the 2021 Fueling Growth Award to @SenStabenow for his efforts to support the biofuels industry! #FuelingGrowth https://t.co/OMNXjgNLky

via @GrowthEnergy

We are pleased to present the 2021 Fueling Growth Award to @SenHawleyPress for his efforts to support the biofuels industry! #FuelingGrowth https://t.co/G4walo6FXB

via @GrowthEnergy

We are pleased to present the 2021 Fueling Growth Award to @SenSherrodBrown for his efforts to support the biofuels industry! #FuelingGrowth https://t.co/hvM6PvUonj

via @GrowthEnergy

Thank you so much for this great honor. I look forward to continuing to work together to promote U.S. biofuels and support this critical industry. https://t.co/98yfV1atz7

via @RepJimBaird