Future Of The Ethanol Industry

Ethanol industry leaders are optimistic about the future of the industry and E15. That’s according to Brian Jennings, CEO of the American Coalition for Ethanol. 

He says, “As of now, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is operating under a rule set by the EPA for the next three years, providing stability and a clear roadmap until 2025. The established mandate of around 15 billion gallons for conventional biofuel through 2025 has also been confirmed.”

While there was a desire for more, he says he’s optimistic, especially with the Biden administration discontinuing small refinery exemptions, a move perceived to strengthen the RFS trajectory.

When it comes to E15, Jennings says they’re on a two-track approach and says they’re closer than ever. First, Midwest governors have petitioned the EPA to permit E15 sales in their states, with tentative approval from the EPA. Simultaneously, legislative efforts are underway, with bipartisan collaboration aimed at enabling year-round E15 availability nationwide. 

“The USDA has played a key role in rolling out opportunities for retailers and other stakeholders to access substantial funding to enhance infrastructure for E15 and E85,” explains Jennings. “The Act also introduces new tax credits to incentivize clean fuel producers, promoting a lower carbon footprint. This includes rewarding farmers for sustainable practices through these tax credits.”

Zooming out to provide an overview of the ethanol industry, Jennings says that the industry is currently in an oversupply situation, producing over 15 billion gallons while domestic consumption is just over 14 billion gallons. To address this, the industry is looking to strengthen export markets, with countries like Canada exhibiting high demand for U.S. ethanol.