Ethanol production has hit a record. Monte Shaw, a spokesman for the Renewable Energy Association, says the figures that just came out for November show an all-time record, about 166,000 barrels a day which would make an annual rate of two-and-a-half billion gallons. Shaw says that shows the industry can produce the ethanol that’s needed. That need is projected for the near future, though Shaw says this year demand was down for ethanol, stockpiles increased and prices in recent weeks plunged for alcohol fuel. While that baseline was going on, he says a dozen new plants opened, four of them in Iowa; and production soared though demand wasn’t up yet. The stocks will be needed once regulators ban California from using a popular gasolineadditive that turns out to pollute groundwater. Shaw says the California market’s now “kicking in.” Shaw says we’ll probably send up to 600-Million gallons of ethanol to California next year, whereas producers sold that state none this year. Shaw says ethanol’s been such a good bargain, it’s helped keep down gas prices overall.