With COVID-19 cases on the rise again, state and local governments are taking additional actions to limit travel and promote social distancing.
In turn, the Renewable Fuels Association says consumption of ethanol-blended gasoline is rapidly falling again. RFA says the decline is threatening to derail an already fragile economic recovery in the ethanol industry. Through November, U.S. ethanol producers had already lost $3.8 billion since the start of the pandemic. In response to reduced travel and lower fuel demand, ethanol producers slashed production by two billion gallons between March and November, and cuts are expected to continue for months to come. In the first week of December, consumption of both gasoline and ethanol fell to their lowest points since May, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.
RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper says that as Congress debates another COVID-19 relief package, “we implore policymakers to consider the devastating economic impact the pandemic has had on renewable fuel producers.”