Biodiesel and Soybean Producers Ask Trump for Support

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The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and the American Soybean Association (ASA) wrote a letter to President Donald Trump this week asking that he “provide additional help to the nation’s farmers and rural communities by supporting policies that expand production and use of biodiesel.”

In the letter, NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen and ASA CEO Ryan Findlay state, “Biodiesel adds value to every bushel of soybeans and plays an important role by providing a market for surplus soybean oil. Today, farming income is at its lowest level in more than a decade. Even as soybean growers set production records this year, they are experiencing depressed prices and market uncertainty.”

The CEOs add that the Environmental Protection Agency “offered too little room for growth of biodiesel” in this year’s proposed rule for the RFS. While the agency acknowledged the industry’s ability to produce 2.8 billion gallons, it proposed a much lower volume. Moreover, the agency granted a flood of small refinery exemptions that reduced biodiesel demand by at least 300 million gallons – equivalent to the annual production of Iowa, the nation’s top biodiesel-producing state, they point out.

Read the letter here.

ASA, Biodiesel, NBB

EPA Updates RFS Website to Improve Transparency

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today updated the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program website to increase transparency and include new data and information for both stakeholders and the public.

The data will provide new information for renewable fuel producers, fuel refiners, importers, and marketers including:

The number of small refinery exemption petitions received, approved, and denied for each compliance year; weekly average price of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) traded; andwe ekly volume of RINs traded.

“For the first time, EPA is providing new information to the public on small refinery exemptions and RIN trading,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Increasing transparency will improve implementation of the RFS and provide stakeholders and the regulated community the certainty and clarity they need to make important business and compliance decisions.”

“In our corn-growing community, the RFS program is one of the top issues people are talking about. We hear concerns about lack of transparency around the issuance of small refinery waivers and we are hopeful these changes will put everyone on a level playing field to receive the information at the same time,” said U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen says this is a step in the right direction for the agency. “Today’s action may prevent small refiners from obtaining market-moving information before other participants in the marketplace,” said Dinneen in a statement. “That’s important because it appears the RIN market was gamed earlier this year by a small group of refiners who were privy to sensitive information regarding compliance exemptions before the rest of the market knew what was going on.”

However, Dinneen says more information and transparency are still needed. “Market participants and the public deserve to know exactly who is receiving small refinery exemptions and what criteria is being used by EPA in making the decision to grant or deny a waiver request.”

The updated RFS website includes interactive and dynamic features that allow users to customize display of RIN information, feedstock type, and producer attributes.

corn, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, RFS, USDA

U.S. Groups Comment on UK Ethanol Proposal

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U.S. ethanol stakeholder groups have submitted comments on a proposal to implement a nationwide E10 ethanol blend level in the United Kingdom (UK).

Growth Energy, the U.S. Grains Council, and the Renewable Fuels Association jointly submitted comments to the UK Department of Transport this week highlighting the proven benefits of ethanol for fuel and the experience of the United States in implementing a similar nationwide E10 fuel blend.

“Ethanol has a number of proven benefits including reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, reductions in harmful tailpipe pollution such as carbon monoxide and particulates, consumer cost savings, as well as job and agriculture development,” according to the comments. “In the UK, there are 31.3 million vehicles on the road and only 250,000 deemed to be incompatible with an E10 blend. There is no reason to deny the benefits of ethanol to British consumers.”

In addition, the joint comments strongly support moving directly to an E10 blended fuel, as the overwhelming majority of gasoline-powered vehicles are approved for this fuel. Doing so would offer benefits for consumers and ensure certainty for UK producers.

“It is imperative that the government move E10 forward to give these producers a predictable market for their fuel,” the comments noted. “Just this week, we saw the largest ethanol producer in Britain announce that they are ceasing production simply because they do not have a market and because the government has not moved fast enough in its adoption of E10.”

The organizations aim to achieve the goal of substantially reducing transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions to combat global climate change and provide consumers with more affordable, cleaner fuel.
Click to read the comments.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, Growth Energy, RFA, USGC

Growth Energy Kicks Off E15 Now Bus Tour

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Growth Energy has kicked off a new E15 Now bus tour and website to rally support for quick action on the president’s promise to allow E15 ethanol blends to be sold year round.

“Nationwide adoption of E15 could drive billions of gallons of new ethanol demand, creating a much-needed market for two billion bushels of American corn,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “Our bus tour will help spread the message at fairs, campaign rallies, and community events across the heartland that rural America wants action on E15, and we want it now.”

E15 is already sold in 30 states at least 8 months out of the year. However, due to outdated regulations, many consumers are unable to choose to put cleaner burning renewable biofuel blends like E15 in their tanks, an option which could save them 4 to 10 cents per gallon.

The new website is E15Now.com.

E15, Ethanol, Growth Energy

Bipartisan House Members Push for E15 Year Round

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House Biofuels Caucus co-chairs Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) led more than 20 House members in writing a letter this week to EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging the approval of year-round E15.

The letter encourages the Administration to reduce federal regulations on ethanol instead of implementing policies that only work against farmers and slow the biofuels market down. “Farmers and ethanol producers across rural America are struggling, and the EPA needs to be held accountable for making their problems worse by weakening the RFS,” wrote tha lawmakers.

“Our ag economy has really suffered in recent years,” said Noem. “By ending unnecessary limitations on E15, we have a big opportunity to help farmers and our ag economy, save consumers money, and reduce our reliance on foreign oil.”

Noem has been a leading ethanol advocate in Congress, consistently pushing to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard and met several times with President Trump and top administration officials to advocate in support of year-round E15.

E15, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Two New Leaders for Next Gen Scientists for Biodiesel

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Two new co-chairs have been chosen for the Next Generation of Scientists for Biodiesel.

Shyam Paudel, a chemical engineering Ph.D. candidate at Missouri University of Science and Technology, and William Gray, chemical engineering undergrad at Rowan University in New Jersey, are the two new leaders of the organization. They join one other sitting co-chair of the organization – Jennifer Greenstein, North Carolina State University, studying plant and microbial biology. A fourth co-chair, James Brizendine, recently graduated from Missouri University of Science and Technology with a degree in environmental engineering.

Biodiesel, Science

E15 is Back and Retailers Hope it’s Forever

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Now that E15 is back from summer vacation, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) says retailers are hopeful it will be the last time they will have to deal with the restrictions caused by an outdated Reid vapor pressure (RVP) rule.

This is the seventh year retailers offering E15, like American Freedom Energy owner Glenn Badenhop in Ohio, have had to sell it as flex fuel or remove it from the pump from June through mid-September, hurting volume during the busiest time of the year and confusing customers when E15 “returns” in the fall.

“My customers love it. It’s clean, American, higher octane, costs less than regular, and it’s made by their friends and neighbors. What’s not to like?” Badenhop said. “We’re going to put E15 back in and trust the President will make the change he’s promised to make, so we don’t have to mess with this again next year. None of us want a bunch of drivers angry when gas prices go up over some old, useless federal regulation again next summer.”

“Ethanol costs almost a dollar less than gasoline right now, even without the RIN [Renewable Identification Number] value. That gives E15 and flex fuel retailers a huge advantage over their competition,” said Ron Lamberty, ACE Senior Vice President. “We know it’s making a dent in the market, because the Big Oil lobby has ramped up its misinformation campaign to keep E15 barriers in place.”

Despite the barriers, ACE reports that record growth and investment in retail infrastructure for flex fuels has occurred over the past two years, with over 1,400 locations in 29 states selling E15, and 90 percent of passenger vehicles on the road able to use the fuel.

ACE, E15, Ethanol

Doggett Named NCGA CEO

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Congratulations to Jon Doggett, who has been chosen as the new chief executive officer for the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the fifth CEO in the organization’s 61-year history.

Doggett has served in the capacity of NCGA interim CEO since August 1st and as NCGA executive vice president since late 2014. Prior to that, he served as vice president of public policy, and has continuously managed the organization’s 11-person Washington, DC office and led its public policy efforts since joining NCGA in July of 2002.

“The Corn Board is thrilled to have Jon Doggett at the helm to lead the charge for Corn Growers and guide the organization forward,” said NCGA President Kevin Skunes. “We have a lot of serious issues impacting America’s corn farmers and rural communities right now. As such, Jon’s experience and leadership in the broader American agricultural industry, as well as the epicenter of national and international policy in Washington D.C., are invaluable to our organization.”

Doggett brings more than 30 years of agricultural policy and leadership experience to the position. Before joining NCGA, Doggett served 11 years at the American Farm Bureau Federation, where he was lead lobbyist on public policy issues, including ethanol, climate change, land use, conservation, and endangered species.

“As the premier association in the U.S. for nearly 40,000 corn farmer members and 49 affiliated state growers’ associations and checkoff organizations, we have a lot of work ahead of us,” notes Doggett. “I am ready now to be front and center in the trenches, side-by-side with our state and national staff, farmer leaders, dues-paying members and checkoff investors, to listen and ensure we are doing everything we can and are driving the same direction to advance our mission. Corn Growers mission is creating and increasing opportunities for corn growers, through enhancing corn demand and promoting our way of life and tools and technologies of growing corn, all in our noble quest and vision to sustainably feed and fuel a growing world.”

Jon attended the University of Montana majoring in journalism and finance. He is a certified Sea Kayak Instructor. Jon and his wife, Nancy, have two adult children and two precious grandchildren.

Doggett was recently on a panel at the American Coalition for Ethanol annual meeting. Listen to an interview from that event where Doggett talks about the trade situation, as well as his thoughts on Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and what it will take to please oil refiners so E15 can be approved year round –
Interview with Jon Doggett, NCGA

AgWired Energy, Audio, corn, NCGA

Ethanol Report Preview of Export Exchange 2018

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Around 500 attendees from at least 38 countries are expected to be at Export Exchange 2018, coming up October 22-24 in Minneapolis. The event, which brings together international buyers and U.S. sellers of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), was started in 2019 by the U.S. Grains Council and the Renewable Fuels Association.

In this edition of The Ethanol Report podcast, RFA Executive Vice President Geoff Cooper previews this year’s event and the impact trade negotiations with some of the biggest markets for U.S. DDGS might have on exports.

Ethanol Report Preview of Export Exchange

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Audio, Distillers Grains, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, Export Exchange, Exports, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

Summer Restriction on E15 Sales Ends Sunday

Cindy Zimmerman 2 Comments

The kids are back in school now and this weekend E15 will be back at the pump.

The regulatory restriction, which President Trump has called “ridiculous” and “unnecessary,” that prevents gasoline retailers from selling 15% ethanol (E15) in much of the country during the summer will finally be lifted on Sunday, Sept. 16. This will once again allow consumers across the nation to have access to the higher octane, less expensive fuel.

President Trump has expressed support on multiple occasions this year for allowing year-round E15 sales, but EPA has yet to make it happen. Farm and ethanol groups wrote to the president this week, urging his administration to follow through and provide farmers and ethanol producers with expanded access to markets and new sources of demand at a time when agricultural and biofuel markets are struggling.

“EPA’s nonsensical restriction on E15 is preventing consumers from saving money at the pump precisely when prices are typically at their highest and is hamstringing further expansion in the marketplace,” said Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has already destructed demand for more than 2.25 billion gallons of biofuel. With the corn and ethanol industries hurting, EPA needs to act now to provide new value-added market opportunities and ensure consumers have consistent access to lower priced, higher octane E15.”

Just this week, the Minnesota Department of Commerce reported that only 2.86 million gallons of E15 was sold in the state in July–the lowest recorded since September 2017 and less than half of the volume sold just two months earlier in May, prior to the summer RVP ban kicking in.

E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, RFS