After President Trump announced he would have a biofuels package for farmers in August, the White House is making good on their promise.
Ethanol groups across the country have been expressing the damages done to the industry after 85 small refinery exemptions (SREs) have been issued in the three years of the Trump administration.
The issue has been a source of continued frustration to Geoff Cooper, CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association.
“We’ve seen 18 ethanol plants with a combined capacity of nearly 1 billion gallons temporarily or permanently idle or close in the past 12 months,” he said.
The ethanol industry is applauding this move from President Trump. To Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy, this move shows the president is trying to restore lost demand.
“We thank President Trump for today’s announcement because it shows he is listening to the voices of farm families and biofuel producers,” she said.
Friday’s announcement is meant for the industry to look forward. The plan will include reallocation starting in 2020 based on the prior three-year rolling average for ethanol and biodiesel.
“Beginning in 2020, the biofuel standards will become real again,” said Skor. “What the White House has announced is we commit. When the EPA sets blending targets, they well be met in practice regardless of how many small refinery exemptions we may continue to give.”
This does not necessarily focus on the 4 billion gallons lost. Skor says the ethanol industry will continue to fight for those gallons to be restored.
“We will continue to pursue those gallons with every tool available,” she said. “We’re not forgetting about that. There will be other avenues we pursue on that end.”
Corn markets had no reaction to Friday’s news. Skor said depends on the speed of creating rules to convince the market to move higher.
“The quicker we more along in the rulemaking process, the closer we become to this being actual reality for the market,” she said.