RFA Backs Up Claims of Waiver Damage to Ethanol Demand

As Mark Twain once said, “Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.”

During last week’s House Energy & Commerce Committee subcommittee hearing on the impact of small refinery exemptions, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers President and CEO Chet Thompson sparred over the interpretation of recent Energy Information Association (EIA) data as to what it shows as far as ethanol consumption.

According to Thompson, “EIA data demonstrate consumption and blending are at or near all-time highs.” Cooper says it shows ethanol consumption is “falling since the massive outbreak of SREs in early 2018.”

Not only is ethanol’s share of the gasoline pool falling in the wake of SREs, but the absolute volume of ethanol blended is decreasing as well. Domestic ethanol consumption peaked a 14.49 billion gallons in 2017, fell for the first time in 22 years in 2018, and is projected by EIA to fall again in 2019.

Cooper gets into more detail about his differences with Thompson’s testimony in this blog post.

Listen to Cooper and Thompson answering questions from Rep. Buddy Carter of Georgia about their conflicting testimony.
House hearing exchange

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