The Covid-19 pandemic has upended much of life as we knew it a few weeks ago. First, and foremost, we extend our best wishes to all of you as you work to protect the safety and health of your teams and family members. And to the ethanol producers that have stepped up to the current challenge by managing multiple priorities while making renewable transportation fuel, animal feed and ingredients for sanitizers, we thank you.
In an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19, Gov. Tim Walz has issued a shelter-in-place order in Minnesota for two weeks. During this period, there will be a big decline in the sale of transportation fuel which in turn will adversely impact Minnesota’s ethanol industry.
We will continue to engage with members of Minnesota’s Congressional Delegation, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and state lawmakers by providing updates on the present and anticipated challenges facing our ethanol industry and offering some suggestions for ways to keep our ethanol industry viable.
One suggestion is a funding package to keep ethanol plants open. Rural Minnesota needs the jobs created and provided by ethanol plants and retaining those jobs is our top priority. We are also looking at various funding mechanisms to cover some of the costs associated with the procurement of corn.
Finally, on the advocacy front, we have been working with a variety of state agencies and the Governor's office to find certain regulatory flexibility in response to the need for sanitizers and other valuable ethanol co-products.
We are also working with E15 fuel retailers in the state to shift an even greater share of their existing and foreseeable consumer demand to E15. We have also launched advertising campaigns encouraging consumers in the Twin Cities who have to travel during this period to support Minnesota’s local economy by fueling up with E15.
To all of our friends and supporters, we wish you the very best during this challenging time and extend our sincerest gratitude to all front line healthcare workers.