I just returned from the Fuel Ethanol Workshop and Expo (FEW) in Des Moines, Iowa. The show was held in-person after a year hiatus due to COVID-19. The atmosphere felt relatively normal, and we saw many familiar faces.
The cancellation of last year’s in-person FEW (it was held virtually) has been one of many pandemic-related challenges for the ethanol industry. In his keynote address for FEW 2021, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper stated that low-carbon ethanol’s “brightest and sunniest days remain ahead.”
Cooper’s optimism is rooted in the federal government’s on-going support for the industry. This includes both political parties, Congress, the White House, and the EPA.
Ethanol’s role in reducing greenhouse gases is a key component of continued support in Washington. Cooper noted the reductions related to transportation are significant compared to gasoline. “Even after accounting for all of energy and emissions associated with every step of the ethanol production process, today’s corn starch ethanol is shown to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 50 percent compared to gasoline,” he said. “Clearly, we are already on our way to ‘net zero’ with ethanol.
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