RFA CEO Says Worst May be Over for Ethanol Industry

Cindy Zimmerman

The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to have a devastating impact on the U.S. ethanol industry, slashing production by half and leading to the idling of scores of plants across rural America. However, the industry may be finally turning the corner, according to Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper.

“We are starting to see some ethanol plants come back on line…last week we saw the highest rate of output that we’ve seen in five weeks,” said Cooper during a media call Friday. “So it does seem like we are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel, but we still have a very long way to go to climb out of the hole that COVID-19 put us in.”

Meanwhile, Congress is considering its newest aid package which includes help for ethanol producers, the Renewable Fuel Standard is facing new threats, and the ethanol industry is becoming an important supplier of alcohol for hand sanitizer. Cooper comments on all of that and also shares some new national polling results that indicate continued strong support for renewable fuels.

Cooper was joined on the call by two ethanol producers:
Neil Koehler, Chairman, RFA; Co-Founder and CEO of Pacific Ethanol
Tim Winters, President and CEO of Western New York Energy

Opening remarks –
RFA 5-15 update on COVID-19 impact remarks

Q and A –
RFA 5-15 update on COVID-19 impact questions

Audio