Renewable Fuels Association President Geoff Cooper told reporters on Thursday the ethanol industry is resilient. “We’ve pulled through extreme challenges and catastrophes before and we’ll get through this one as well.” Lower fuel demand and lower oil prices are impacting the U.S. ethanol industry. According to RFA Chief Economist Scott Richman, the average spot margins in the industry were roughly 25 cents per gallon. Guardian Energy Management CEO and RFA Vice Chair Jeanne McCaherty oversees ethanol plants in Janesville, Minnesota and Hankinson, North Dakota. “There are logistics concerns. We have a defined amount of space to store ethanol on site,” says McCaherty. “Our customers also have a defined amount of storage. With prices at historic lows, there’s no one covering our variable costs in operating these plants.” Claremont, Minnesota-based Al-Corn Clean Fuel CEO Randy Doyal says the closures will also impact people. “We’re trying to keep our facilities open and operating, keeping everyone employed.” Cooper says it’s too early to say with certainty what the U.S. ethanol industry looks like in terms of capacity and use on the other end of this black swan event. There are a few things being considered in Washington D.C. to help the ethanol industry retain workers even if plants have to suspend operations, but he wouldn’t elaborate further. Listen to the story.