Growth Energy urges DOT to expedite ethanol rail shipments

By Erin Voegele | March 22, 2019

On March 22, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao urging the agency to help expedite rail delivery of biofuels amid historic flooding in the Midwest, noting that delayed transportation of critical supplies of biofuels could impact consumer fuel prices.

In the letter, Skor notes that sources have indicated ethanol supplies in several markets of the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Northwest have become very tight, with ethanol prices increasing in those markets due to the supply situation. She also notes markets in Texas are now solely providing finished ethanol-free gasoline, usually sold at a cost of 20-40 cents higher than regular ethanol blended fuel, as a result of supply disruptions.

“This situation is not being caused by a lack of ethanol production or supply at the more than 200 ethanol facilities in the U.S.,” Skor write. “In fact, the logistics problems these plants face could force plants to reduce production as their storage capacity becomes fully utilized.”

According to Skor, it is imperative that all possible actions are taken by the nation’s railroads to ensure critical fuel supplies are immediately prioritized and reach markets as quickly as possible. “Further delays could not only impact our industry, but could ultimately increase fuel costs for American drivers,” Skor wrote.

A full copy of the letter can be downloaded from the Growth Energy website.