In a press conference on Wednesday, President Bush noted the amazing growth in ethanol this year.
“I’m pleased with the fact that we’ve gone from about a billion gallons of ethanol to over five billion gallons of ethanol in a very short period of time,” Bush said.
According to the Renewable Fuels Association, by the time the year comes to a close, the U.S. will have used more than 5 billion gallons of ethanol. That’s 25 percent more than called for in the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) that went into effect at the beginning of the year.
The new Undersecretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Trade mentioned ethanol in his first meeting with reporters on Wednesday. Mark Keenum noted that there are now 110 ethanol refineries on line.
“And we’ve got about 50 or so refineries that are in the process of being constructed,” said Keenum. “When they come on line we’re going to be right at nine billion gallons.”
USDA chief economist Keith Collins said Wednesday that a record two billion bushels of corn was made into ethanol this year. “Many people in the industry are expecting that corn going to ethanol will increase by in the order of a billion bushels in 2007.”