Ethanol Industry Pumped Up After Trump Doubles Down on Promise to Back Year-Round E15 SalesTue, 13 Nov 2018 11:30:10 CST
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn caught up with Chief Executive Officer of the Renewable Fuels Association Geoff Cooper, during the 2018 National Association of Farm Broadcasters Convention held this month in Kansas City. Cooper described some of the challenges the association and the ethanol industry are currently facing, as well as some of the opportunities that have been presented since the Trump Administration came to power. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
While the results of the midterm elections certainly change the political landscape, it fortunately for the ethanol industry, should not have much of an impact as Cooper explains that the issues the RFA are concerned about are mostly non-partisan.
“We have strong support on both sides of the aisle for renewable fuels and for the RFS and for our industry,” Cooper said. “So, we’re not really worried about any negative impacts or major changes in the landscape as a result of Tuesday’s election.”
One positive to come from the shift in power within the House of Representatives, though he explains, is that with the Democrats in power it is likely that there will be more of an emphasis on climate policy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions and fuel economy.
“We think ethanol has a role to play in all of these conversations as a solution,” he remarked, adding how encouraging President Trump’s recent announcement was during a stop in Iowa about how he is directing the Environmental Protection Agency to begin the process to revamp a 30-year-old rule that would allow the year-round sale of E15 blend fuels. “So, he has directed EPA to resolve that issue and fix that regulation. We’re very excited about that, but there’s a lot of work that’s got to happen between now and next summer to get that done.”
What has also been encouraging to watch, Cooper says, is how aggressive Trump’s trade policies have been. Although, he admits, the industry has suffered from China’s market effectively closing due to tariff restraints- overall the exportation of ethanol is up for the year with new trading partners floating the demand that was lost in China.
“We are expecting record exports for ethanol this year, about 1.7 billion gallons. That would be a little more than 10 percent of what we expect to produce this year,” he said. “That’s pretty remarkable when you think about 10 years ago when we didn’t export any ethanol at all and nobody was really even thinking about it. So, we have seen dramatic growth in exports and it’s been a bright spot for our supply and demand balance.”
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