Updated with quotes from Growth Energy, U.S. Grains Council.
Acting Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse will lead a team of U.S. ethanol industry leaders on a mission to Mexico May 24 to May 25 to explore opportunities to expand both the United States' and Mexico's renewable energy sectors.
"Our goal is to partner with Mexico to support the establishment of an economically viable ethanol industry there, where Mexican domestic production can be supplemented with imported product from the United States," Scuse said. "The increased use of ethanol in the North American fuel market will provide citizens from both countries with an inexpensive source of renewable energy that improves air quality, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and stimulates the rural economy."
The mission includes representatives from the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy and the U.S. Grains Council.
The United States is the world's leading manufacturer of ethanol, producing more than half of the global supply. U.S. ethanol has been a driver of rural economic growth since 2007. The United States blends more than 14 billion gallons of ethanol into the transportation fuel supply each year, utilizing five billion bushels of corn and returning nearly $20 billion annually to the U.S. farm economy.
"Mexico, with the right policies in place, has the potential to achieve similar benefits producing ethanol from sugarcane," Scuse said. "We view this as a partnership that can provide benefits for both Mexico and the United States."
“This trade mission is an excellent example of the importance of ethanol to the success of nations looking to reduce their imports of harmful fossil fuels in favor of a cleaner burning and a more economical fuel,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor in a media statement. “It is also equally important to our goal of expanding the marketplace for U.S. ethanol, which is why we’re proud to be participating in this mission.”
“With the current reform to energy regulations in Mexico, the Council believes that now’s the time to introduce ethanol into the Mexican fuel market in hopes of it one day becoming the principle oxygenate used in the country,” said Ryan LeGrand, USGC director in Mexico. “We see significant potential for exports of U.S. ethanol to Mexico – and therefore, U.S. grain demand - if the right policies are in place.”
Source: USDA, U.S. Grains Council