In a letter addressed to US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor has urged the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to help expedite the delivery of biofuels by rail amid ‘historic flooding’.
Flooding in the US Midwest has delayed the transportation of supplies of biofuel, which could cause fuel prices for consumers to rise.
Skor wrote: “While we certainly understand and appreciate that these rail issues have been caused by the calamitous flooding currently occurring in the Midwest, it is imperative that all possible actions be taken by the nation’s railroads to ensure that these critical fuel supplies are immediately prioritized and reach markets as quickly as possible. Further delays could not only impact our industry, but could also ultimately increase fuel costs for American drivers.”
The letter notes that ethanol prices in markets in the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Northwest have risen due to tight supply, and blames logistics problems rather than lack of ethanol production.
“Additionally, markets in Texas are now solely providing finished ethanol-free gasoline, usually sold at a cost of 20 cents higher than regular ethanol blended fuel, as a result of these supply disruptions,” Skor added.
Last week, Reuters reported that flooding in the US Midwest had caused a 13% reduction in the country’s ethanol production capacity, as plants in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota have been forced to temporarily close or limit production.