Continued EPA waivers could cost the ethanol industry $20 billion: Study

A study shows that U.S. ethanol makers will lose significant sales revenue if the EPA continues exempting small refiners from mandated blending obligations.

“Over the next six years, the losses in terms of revenues that are foregone by the industry approach $20 billion,” said Scott Richman, economist for the Renewable Fuels Association, in an interview with Brownfield Ag News.   Analysis by the Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) shows continuing the waivers could result in losing 4.6 billion gallons of domestic ethanol demand, Richman added.

“The blend rate actually goes down instead of being maintained or going up,” Richman told Brownfield, “which is pretty harmful to the industry.”

The FAPRI study concludes that if the waivers continue, U.S. ethanol consumption drops by an average of 761 million gallons per year between 2018 and 2023. That is equivalent to 1.64 billion bushels of corn demand, or nearly 300 million bushels per year.

AUDIO: Scott Richman (5 min. MP3)

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