U.S. Ethanol Consumption Drops for First Time in 20 Years

Between 2017 and 2018, U.S. ethanol consumption dropped for the first time in two decades. The Renewable Fuels Association says the decline follows years of rising numbers of waivers being handed out to oil refiners by the Environmental Protection Agency in order to subvert the requirements of the Renewable Fuels Standard. The waivers have destroyed demand for at least 2.6 billion gallons of ethanol. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says U.S. farmers and ethanol producers are struggling through the most difficult economy in years while the Administration continues to undermine its own promises to support the ethanol industry. “The actions on the part of the Trump Administration to subvert the will of Congress, undermine the positive growth of the U.S. biofuels industry and destroy demand for U.S. farm products is appalling,” Johnson says. “The President has promised family farmers for more than two years to advance the biofuels industry, and thereby to expand markets for U.S. farm products.” Johnson points out that the president’s actions, as well as those of his EPA, are to blame for family farmers losing significant markets. “The handing out of these waivers to large corporations must end immediately,” Johnson says, “and the demand that has been destroyed to date must be made up in future RFS obligations.”