By Alex Jirgens

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian oil imports in the hopes of curtailing Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The ban comes at a time when Americans are dealing with record prices at the pump.

With these high prices, you're being encouraged to use a homegrown kind of fuel, and that's ethanol. Iowa Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, as well as Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, are sponsoring the 'Home Front Energy Independence Act', which combines several bills aimed at promoting the use of biofuels like ethanol. In addition, Governor Kim Reynolds is encouraging year-round E15 usage and increasing RVO levels.

Golden Grain Energy CEO Chad Kuhlers says the value of ethanol trading on the wholesale market can make it more appealing for drivers to choose when filling up.

"If you account for it all, essentially, ethanol is worth about $2 per gallon less than gasoline at current, and you would expect people based on economics that people would blend as much as possible."

With the ongoing gas price increase, he's seen some more discretionary blending at the pump, and that could increase even further.

"We hope the consumer chooses an American made product, that cleans the environment, and provides greater value to the American consumer as well."

Though their Mason City facility will undergo a standard, week-long shutdown next month, Kuhlers says there will be some equipment installed to increase production by about 15-20%.

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