The ethanol industry is struggling. Poet announced it would close an ethanol plant in Indiana due to mismanagement of the ethanol mandate. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says small refinery waivers are making things very challenging for ethanol producers. “In three years, the Environmental Protection Agency handed out more than four billion gallons worth of exemptions. It’s having a devastating effect on the rural economy.” Skor says many plants are making difficult decisions right now and they’re looking at a tough marketplace. “For the first time in 20 years, ethanol consumption in the U.S. has declined. We’ve lost export markets, too. Essentially, we have an oversupply of ethanol. We attribute it to these exemptions, because in an environment where President Trump just granted the ability for year-round access to E15, consumption should be going up. Plants closing means they have to make tough decisions on the economics they’re facing.” Ethanol and biodiesel supporters are looking at ways to connect with President Trump in meetings to address the Renewable Fuel Standard and the small refinery waivers.
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