#NBB17 Spotlight on Washington Session

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The ever-popular Spotlight on Washington session at the 2017 National Biodiesel Conference was more popular than ever this year with the advent of a new presidential administration.

Back by popular demand for the session were former Sen. Byron Dorgan and former Cong. Kenny Hulshof, and they were joined by other DC insiders Jim Massie, Timothy Urban, and Tom Hance. All offered their opinions and insights into what to expect from President Trump, generally along the lines of Dorgan’s first comments. “I don’t know,” he said when asked by NBB’s Anne Steckel about the election and where we go from here. “My head’s still kind of exploding.”

Listen to the whole conversation here: #NBB17 Washington Spotlight session

2017 National Biodiesel Conference photo album

Audio, Biodiesel, Biodiesel Conference, NBB, policy, politics

Record Number of #Biodiesel Vehicles Available

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U.S. auto manufacturers have introduced a record number of new biodiesel capable diesel vehicle options, several of which were on display at the 2017 National Biodiesel Conference Vehicle Showcase, presented by NBB and General Motors Fleet.

One of GM’s flagship models, the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD pickup with a 6.6L Duramax® turbo diesel engine, is on proud display in the vehicle showcase, while Ford Motor Company is also showcasing one of its new 2017 B20 capable pickups and Nissan is displaying the Titan XD powered by a Cummins® 5.0L V8 turbo diesel engine.

The showcase also features the John Deere 5045E with a PowerTech® turbocharged diesel engine approved for use with B20 biodiesel blends. John Deere was one of the first original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to get involved with biodiesel, approving B5 biodiesel blends for use in its engines in 2001.

“NBB and the U.S. biodiesel industry remain committed to working closely with our partners in the auto and engine manufacturing community to ensure that the high quality biodiesel fuel of today and tomorrow will continue to provide OEMs, fleets, and consumers with a reliable, fit-for-purpose fuel that keeps pace with the nation’s increasing demands for cleaner, more efficient, and sustainable modes of transportation,” said NBB Senior Technical Advisor Steve Howell.

Also on display is a commercial truck that runs on B100, thanks to Optimus Technologies which has begun to manufacture biodiesel conversion systems that enable vehicles to run up to B100—even in the coldest climates.

Listen to the entire vehicle showcase here and learn more: Biodiesel Vehicle Showcase

2017 National Biodiesel Conference photo album

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New RFA Brochure on 2017 FFVs

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General Motors is the number one maker of Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) for the 2017 model year (MY2017), according to a new brochure released this week by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

For MY2017, GM has 17 FFV model offerings, followed by Ford/Lincoln/Mercury with 12 FFV models available and Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep with nine. Toyota offers two FFV models for MY2017, while Audi and Mercedes-Benz each offer three MY2017 FFVs.

“There are more than 3,600 retail stations across the country offering higher ethanol blends. This brochure can help consumers who want to take advantage of higher level ethanol blends in their vehicles, and for retailers to educate their customers about the capabilities of their vehicles,” said RFA Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White.

In addition to all of the FFV models available for MY2017, the brochure also lists previous model years going back as far as MY1999 and includes only models available to both individual consumers and fleet managers, unlike other lists that have no distinction to indicate what models are actually available to consumers.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Flex Fuel Vehicles, RFA

2017 Eye on Biodiesel Awards

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The National Biodiesel Board presented its annual Eye on Biodiesel awards this week at the organization’s annual meeting in San Diego.

Climate Leader Award – New York City Council Member Costa Constantinides – who sponsored a measure that grows the amount of biodiesel in heating oil in the City from the current two percent level to five percent October 1, 2017, moving to 10 percent in 2025, 15 percent in 2030, and 20 percent in 2034.
Costa award comments Costa media comments

National Energy Leadership Award – Gov. Terry Branstad – The state of Iowa is a national leader in clean energy production and is the number one biodiesel producing state in the country, thanks in large part to strong leadership within the state.

Gov. Branstad accepted the award via video. Gov. Branstad, Energy Leadership Award

Industry Partnership Award – The Illinois Soybean Association Checkoff Program and the American Lung Association in Illinois for the B20 Club – focused on raising the profile of exemplary fleets that use B20 in any type of diesel engine.

Accepting the award were Illinois Soybean Association board member and farmer Jeff Lynn and John DeRosa, director of the American Lung Association in Illinois. Industry Partnership Award Interview with Sarah Mark, City of Moline and Jeff Lynn, IL Soybean Assn.

Influence Award – Ron Flowers – Greater Washington, DC Clean Cities – worked closely with the National Biodiesel Board as well as the National Biodiesel Foundation, resulting in the use of thousands of gallons of B20 blends. He has been instrumental in the DC Government, Smithsonian Institution, American University and many others switching to biodiesel. Ron Flowers, Influence Award

2017 National Biodiesel Conference photo album

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Trump EPA Nominee Questioned on RFS

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Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt answered questions about his support of renewable fuels during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday to serve as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under President-elect Donald Trump.

Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, asked Pruitt about his commitment to uphold the congressional intent of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). “To honor the intent and the expression of the renewable fuel standards statute is very, very important,” Pruitt responded. “It’s not the job of the administrator or the EPA to do anything other than administer the program according to the intent of Congress. And I commit to you to do so.”

Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen was encouraged by what Pruitt had to say. “It is indeed heartening to see Mr. Pruitt reflect the priorities of President-elect Trump and the American people, who overwhelmingly support the increased production and use of American-made renewable fuels,” said Dinneen.

During the hearing Pruitt also said he agrees “without question” that Congress intended the RFS to drive growth in the production and use of renewable fuels like ethanol, that EPA’s waiver authority with regard to the RFS should only be “judiciously used” and that he is committed to ensuring annual RFS volume requirements are released according to the statutory deadlines.

Listen to Fischer’s questioning of Pruitt here: Pruitt confirmation hearing with Sen. Fischer

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Government, RFA, RFS

Iowa RFA Expresses Concerns with Trump Ag Choice

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President-elect Donald Trump will officially round out his cabinet by nominating former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture just a little more than 24 hours before the inauguration.

As word about the choice spread Wednesday evening, most groups were waiting until the official announcement to respond, but one of the first was the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, which expressed concerns about the views of key Trump nominees overall toward the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Iowa RFA Executive Director Monte Shaw says while they “appreciate that President-elect Trump has shared his pro-renewable fuels standard (RFS) views with each Cabinet nominee…there is concern in the Midwest that no Cabinet pick has a demonstrably pro-RFS track record and that there is no Midwestern representation in the Cabinet.” Shaw says they urge Trump to “create internal balance with his next round of agency leadership appointments, especially within the EPA.”

George Ervin “Sonny” Perdue III is 70 years old and served as governor of Georgia from 2003 to 2011 and was the first Republican governor elected in 130 years. He grew up on a farm, was a veterinarian and operates grain and fertilizer businesses. And even though Georgia is a top poultry producing state – no, he is not related to the Perdue poultry business.

Government, Iowa RFA, RFS

GM Announces 20 for B20 in Diesel Vehicle Lineup

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General Motors is fueling America’s future with biodiesel by expanding its B20-capable lineup to include new cars, crossovers and trucks.

John Schwegman, Director of Commercial Product and Medium Duty Product for General Motors, delivered the news during the general session at the 2017 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in San Diego Tuesday.

“Diesel propulsion deserves wider consideration by fleet managers across the country,” Schwegman said. “With biodiesel production and retail distribution expanding, and so many proven benefits, we believe more fleets will embrace the technology as part of their sustainability plans. If our diesel customers fueled exclusively with biodiesel, we estimate that consumption of petroleum-based fuels would be reduced by hundreds of million gallons annually.”

Listen to Schwegman’s announcement here: GM announcement at #NBB17

Including 2017 and 2018 models, Chevrolet and GMC will offer one of the largest portfolios of vehicles capable of running on B20, a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent ultra-low sulfur diesel. READ MORE

2017 National Biodiesel Conference photo album

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New NBB CEO and Chairman Kick Off #NBB17

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National Biodiesel Board CEO Donnell Rehagen and Chairman Kent Engelbrecht of ADM kicked off the 2017 National Biodiesel Conference in San Diego Tuesday with a look at how biodiesel has continued to triumph over the years despite being an underdog.

“NBB was created by a visionary and insightful group of soybean organizations in 1992, before biodiesel even existed in the United States,” said Rehagen, who was just named CEO of the organization in October 2016. “Think about that…a trade association was created for a product that didn’t exist.”

Rehagen noted that the biodiesel industry is preparing for the new administration. “Like so many others we are eager to see what the coming months and the Trump Administration will mean for renewable energy, for tax reform and for the RFS,” he said. NBB will be redoubling its efforts in DC this year by hiring a second lobbyist and a Director of Advocacy whose job will be to increase member company outreach on Capitol Hill.

Engelbrecht, who was elected NBB chairman in November, says they are very optimistic about the future. “We all know the hard fights will continue. But we also understand and appreciate the history and the strengths that the industry and NBB share,” he said. “We are tried and proven underdogs.”

Listen to their comments here: Rehagen and Engelbrecht, general session

Listen to Rehagen’s press conference here: NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen meets the press

2017 National Biodiesel Conference photo album

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Ethanol Industry Thanks Trump in New Ad

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The renewable fuels industry is thanking incoming President Donald Trump with a new television ad airing this inauguration week. The new ad will be airing during MSNBC’s Morning Joe program and will also appear on digital channels.

“Donald Trump’s campaign united millions of voters who care deeply about America’s leadership on clean, homegrown energy,” said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). “Strong support for the RFS will drive billions in new investments and ensure that consumers don’t have to choose between low prices and clean, homegrown fuels. We’re grateful for the President-elect’s support and urge him to stand strong against those who seek to undermine the single most effective clean energy policy working to lower our dependence on oil.”

The new ad features Trump’s comments that “family farms are the backbone of this country” and his promise to protect the Renewable Fuels Standard. It was produced by Fuels America, a combined effort of several industry organizations, including RFA, Growth Energy and BIO.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Fuels America, RFA

#Ethanol Fan Childress to Join NASCAR Hall of Fame

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Racing legend and American Ethanol supporter Richard Childress will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame this week.

A self-made racer and owner, Childress helped move NASCAR to 15 percent ethanol and also serves as a board member for Growth Energy. “He helped introduce the sport to ethanol, demonstrating time and again the performance benefits of higher-octane, homegrown fuels,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “We could not be more excited to join loyal fans across the country in celebrating his recognition by the Hall of Fame.”

“I’m a farmer myself and I understand the livelihood of farmers and I think it’s great for America what they are doing to help us not to have to depend on as much foreign energy….I hope some day we can run it all on ethanol,” said Childress during a 2011 American Ethanol NASCAR event in Kansas City.

Childress got his start in 1969 and earned 76 top-10 finishes in 285 races before handing over driving duties to Dale Earnhardt in 1981. He later founded Richard Childress Racing, a 12-time NASCAR championship-winning organization that continues to drive innovation in the sport.

In 2011, Childress was among the leaders who helped launch the NASCAR Green initiative, which included a switch to Sunoco Green E15, a 21st century fuel containing 15 percent American ethanol. Since then, NASCAR has surpassed 10 million miles on the fuel. E15 is also available off-the-track, and American consumers have driven more than 500 million miles on the blend, reducing emissions, saving money, and boosting engine performance.

American Ethanol, Ethanol, Growth Energy, NASCAR