• 2 minutes California to ban gasoline for lawn mowers, chain saws, leaf blowers, off road equipment, etc.
  • 6 minutes China and India are both needing more coal and prices are now extremely high. They need maximum fossil fuel.
  • 11 minutes Europeans and Americans are beginning to see the results of depending on renewables.
  • 4 hours GREEN NEW DEAL = BLIZZARD OF LIES
  • 4 hours NordStream2
  • 9 hours Monday 9/13 - "High Natural Gas Prices Today Will Send U.S. Production Soaring Next Year" by Irina Slav
  • 5 hours US intel warns China could dominate advanced technologies By NOMAAN MERCHANT October 22, 2021
  • 3 days The Climate Scare Stories Began With Far Left Ideology Per GreenPeace Co-Founder
  • 14 hours Putin and Xi have decided not to attend the Climate Summit in Glasgow
  • 2 days Biden Sets Target Of 50% EV Share In U.S. Car Sales In 2030
  • 3 days Storage of gas cylinders
  • 4 days "The Hidden Story About California's Container Ship Backlog" via Corbett Report
The Dutch Government Is Gambling Billions On Green Hydrogen

The Dutch Government Is Gambling Billions On Green Hydrogen

Hydrogen power has become increasingly…

Is $85 The New Normal For Oil Markets?

Is $85 The New Normal For Oil Markets?

Oil prices are set to…

Renewables And Roller Coasters: How To Recycle An Oil Well

Renewables And Roller Coasters: How To Recycle An Oil Well

Decommissioning and dismounting unused offshore…

Robert Rapier

Robert Rapier

More Info

Premium Content

Has Trump Helped Or Hurt The U.S. Ethanol Industry?

Last week at a campaign rally in Jacksonville, Florida, President Trump made a puzzling claim. Near the end of a story about Kamala Harris, Trump said “The great state of Iowa — where I made ethanol possible for them…”

I can’t even begin to understand what that means, but let’s review some ethanol history.

The ethanol industry was kicked into high gear in the U.S. with the implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS was first passed into law with the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and it was subsequently expanded in 2007 (both under President Bush). The RFS established quotas of renewable fuels that had to be blended into the fuel supply, and an enforcement mechanism to ensure those quotas were met.

The RFS resulted in an explosion of ethanol production in the U.S. When the RFS was passed, the U.S. produced under 4 billion gallons of ethanol. By 2008, President Bush’s last year in office, ethanol production had more than doubled to over 9 billion gallons.

In 2016, President Obama’s last year in office, U.S. ethanol production stood at 15.4 billion gallons. This represented an increase of 67% over President Bush’s last year in office, but the production increase had been set in motion years earlier by the RFS.

In 2019 — the most recent full year of production — ethanol production stood at 15.8 billion gallons. That represents a 2.6% increase under President Trump from President Obama’s last year in office. (Ethanol production has actually fallen sharply this year as a result of the fuel demand slump caused by Covid-19).

Certainly the U.S. ethanol industry was well-established before President Trump was elected. In fact, I warned after he was elected that some of his picks signaled trouble for the ethanol industry, and that trouble did materialize.

But the President was talking about Iowa, which is the country’s leading ethanol producer. Did he perhaps do something in Iowa to “make ethanol happen?” No, Iowa’s ethanol production statistics mirror those of the rest of the country. Under President Trump, Iowa’s ethanol production has risen from 4.1 billion gallons during President Obama’s last year in office to 4.23 billion gallons in 2019. That represents an increase of 3%.

So, what is President Trump really claiming here? I have no idea. He definitely didn’t “make ethanol happen” for the U.S. or for Iowa. President Bush could legitimately make that claim, but not President Trump.

Related: Iraq Ships More Crude Oil Despite OPEC Output Cut Pledge

But it’s not the first time Trump has made an exaggerated claim about U.S. energy production. Last July, President Trump made the following statements in West Texas during a speech:

“Under the Trump Administration the United States has increased oil production by 3.1 million barrels per day. That’s some number, never been anything like that number. For the first time in nearly 70 years, we have become a net energy exporter, and the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas on the face of the earth.”

It is true that oil and gas production have continued an ongoing surge during President Trump’s administration. But the crude oil surge started in 2008 under Barack Obama. During Obama’s tenure, U.S. oil production rose at the fastest rate in history.

The natural gas surge started in 2005 under George Bush, and also led to an unprecedented increase in natural gas production. The reason for the production surges was the fracking boom.

Thus, the claim lacks context. Further, the U.S. had become the number one producer of both oil and natural gas during President Obama’s administration.

In any case, neither claim is completely true, but the ethanol claim would appear to be completely false.

By Robert Rapier

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment
  • George Kafantaris on October 06 2020 said:
    Corn ethanol is far more precious than the Iowa farmers realize -- but not to burn it as a blend with gasoline in the internal combustion engine. Rather, ethanol can be used to make hydrogen to power fuel cells. Indeed, ethanol has so much hydrogen that it can be used straight in certain fuel cells.
    Such technology could have been mainstream today if the Trump administration had spent but a fraction of the billions of dollars it has spent to extract methane from coal. Nonetheless, the path of hydrogen from ethanol is straightforward and it is still there. The next administration can thus pursue it to help the Iowa farmers realize the full potential of their precious ethanol.

Leave a comment




EXXON Mobil -0.35
Open57.81 Trading Vol.6.96M Previous Vol.241.7B
BUY 57.15
Sell 57.00
Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News