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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Sustainable aviation fuel is the future of flying ✈️, and a critical step toward decarbonizing transportation, which is why we’re excited to announce an agreement with @Gevo_Inc to transition ethanol production at three U.S. facilities to support SAF: https://t.co/W2cYJxxTCU https://t.co/pLlLmuGPVf

via @ADMupdates

Biofuels continue to soar to new heights ✈️ Proud to see Growth Energy members leading the way in sustainable aviation fuels and decarbonizing the transportation sector. globenewswire.com/news-release/2…

via @GrowthEnergy

TOMORROW → @austindillon3 races in the @GetBioethanol car at @kansasspeedway! Tune in: 📆 Sunday, October 24 ⏰ 3:00 PM ET 📺 NBCSN #GetBioethanol #bioethanol #NASCAR @NASCAR @rcrracing https://t.co/S3pBq7ZjFR

via @GetBioethanol

One solution to high gas prices is more use of homegrown, low-carbon #biofuels. The administration can start by: 🔘Ensuring year-round E15 🔘Releasing 2021+2022 RVOs 🔘Finalizing pending E15 labeling/infrastructure rule 🔘Promoting higher biofuel blending twitter.com/CNN/status/145…

via @GrowthEnergy