Western Dubuque Biodiesel Adding Monarch Fueling Station

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Western Dubuque Biodiesel is establishing a Monarch Fueling Station at its plant near Farley. The plant will start the process by spraying to eradicate non-native grasses this summer and again this fall. A dormant seeding of native plants and milkweed will occur this November.

“Part of our mission at Western Dubuque Biodiesel is to create fuel that is environmentally friendly,” said Western Dubuque Biodiesel General Manager Tom Brooks. “The Monarch Fueling Station Project is a unique way we can continue to do that. With this project we are helping fuel a brighter future for the monarch butterfly and other important pollinators.”

The location and size of the plot was decided in consultation with Kevin Reynolds, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association’s (IRFA) Habitat Establishment Coordinator.

“Traveling around the state and working with biofuel plants like Western Dubuque Biodiesel, I’ve been privileged to see how passionate they are about what they do and how proud they are of what they produce,” Reynolds said. “As these Monarch Fueling Stations grow, that same passion and community-oriented work ethic will help these projects flourish and make a lasting impact for the monarch butterfly population.”

The Monarch Fueling Station Project was established by IRFA in partnership with the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium in December 2017.

Biodiesel, Iowa RFA, pollinators

Biofuel Interests Increase Pressure to End Waivers

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As biofuel interests stepped up the pressure on the administration to end Small Refinery Exemptions this week, news reports say President Donald Trump has ordered a review of the policy that has resulted in dozens of waivers in the last two years causing the loss of more than two billion gallons of ethanol demand.

The National Corn Growers Association is airing an advertisement calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to follow President Trump’s commitment to farmers and stop giving Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers to big oil companies.

The ad features NCGA First Vice President and Iowa farmer Kevin Ross who recently appeared at an ethanol plant with President Trump in recognition of the Administration’s support of year-round E15. During the event, Ross thanked the President for delivering on this promise but cautioned, “The EPA’s oil refinery waivers threaten to undo your good works.”

Watch the ad below.

Meanwhile, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) sent a letter this week to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, highlighting the economic damage to the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry caused by the waivers and taking issue with the Administrator’s recent comment that the approval of year-round E15 sales will make up for the damage from the exemptions.

“The E15 waiver will not provide market growth for biodiesel and renewable diesel, but small refinery exemptions have had a detrimental impact on demand for those fuels,” the letter states. “EPA is required to repair the demand destruction for biodiesel and renewable diesel resulting from the agency’s flood of unwarranted, retroactive small refinery exemptions.”

Ethanol, Ethanol News, NCGA

Proposed Legislation Would Extend Biodiesel Tax Incentive

Cindy Zimmerman 1 Comment

House Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee Chairman Mike Thompson (D-CA) has introduced legislation to extend expired tax incentives, including the biodiesel tax incentive, which is scheduled for mark up Thursday June 20. The proposal would provide U.S. biodiesel producers certainty through 2020 and incentivize investment and growth in domestic production capacity.

“Biodiesel and renewable diesel producers across the United States thank Subcommittee Chairman Thompson for proposing a multiyear, forward-looking renewal of the tax incentive,” said National Biodiesel Board Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik. “The industry has been very vocal in asking for policy certainty that has proven successful in supporting industry growth over the years.”

NBB continues to work with Congressional champions of the biodiesel industry to highlight the urgency for renewing the tax incentive. The U.S. biodiesel market grew from about 100 million gallons in 2005, when the tax incentive was first implemented, to more than 2.6 billion gallons in 2018. The biodiesel tax incentive was last renewed in February 2018, but retroactively only for 2017; the credit lapsed as soon as it was renewed. While the biodiesel blenders tax credit has applied in each year from 2010–2016, it has only been in effect at the start of the calendar year in 2011, 2013 and 2016, while other years it has been applied retroactively.

Biodiesel, NBB

Coalition Kicks Off Gasoline Public Education Campaign

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The Clean Fuels Development Coalition has launched the nation’s first Gasoline Public Education and Consumer Awareness Campaign, focusing on the health threat of consumer gasoline.

The campaign is the outcome of a year-long research project and the recently released publication What’s in Our Gasoline Is Killing Us: Mobile Source Air Toxics and The Threat to Public Health released last month.

“Just as we were able to get lead out of gasoline, and limit exposure to secondhand smoke, this needs to be a consumer driven campaign to demand safer gasoline,” said CFDC Executive Director Douglas Durante. “As we all gain a better understanding of just how dangerous gasoline is with its carcinogenic compounds, there are actions we can take to drive change.”

To initiate the campaign the coalition has created a series of public service announcements based on consumer’s lack of education about the negative health effects from gasoline emissions. “You don’t Know Jack About Gasoline”. In addition, CFDC has created a citizen’s petition to EPA to make gasoline safer as part of the Campaign’s first calls to action.

Learn more here.


Renewable Fuels Association Features E85 Can-Am Conversion

chuck zimmerman Leave a Comment

Can-Am Ethanol ConversionDuring the Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW) this year the Renewable Fuels Association featured a racing Can-Am X3 (2018 model) which has been converted to running on E85. This beautiful vehicle wrapped with the RFA’s “Fueled With Pride” image, has been racing this season. The extra horsepower provided by the E85 fuel has provided a performance boost as you’ll hear RFA’s Robert White say in a conversation I had with him (listen below). TIDD Racing is the team racing the Can-Am and they loaned it to RFA for the FEW.

Can-Am E85 Conversion ChartRobert says that TIDD Racing contacted him to discuss opportunities for more horsepower and torque. So they did some research on companies doing E85 conversions and found Evolution PowerSports who had a pretty simple solution. Robert says the conversion gave the Can-Am an extra 50 horsepower! To promote it at FEW he says they gave away 1,000 t-shirts.

Besides the Can-Am in the RFA booth Robert says the organization was very involved in the Fuel Ethanol Workshop program.

  • Geoff Cooper, RFA CEO, gave the opening keynote address
  • Robert was featured in an Association Roundtable: A Look at Our Industry’s Health, the Strength of Its Policy Foundation and the Best Path Forward to Growing Our Market. He also moderated a panel: Building a Plant Culture that will Attract and Retain Top Talent
  • Kelly Davis moderated a panel: Positioning Your Plant Now to Maximize the Coming Opportunities in Low Carbon Fuel Markets and Carbon Sequestration
  • And as we reported previously, Missy Ruff received the TRANSCAER 2018 Chairman’s Award

You can listen to my interview with Robert here: Interview with Robert White, RFA

AgWired Energy, Audio, biofuels, Ethanol, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

Industry Hopes to Stop Small Refinery Waivers

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Biofuel organizations are hopeful that legislation introduced last week by Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) will help stem the tide of Small Refinery Exemptions that have caused demand destruction for both ethanol and biodiesel.

The RFS Integrity Act of 2019 aims to provide “more certainty for rural America by bringing transparency and predictability to EPA’s small refinery exemption process. The bill would require small refineries to petition for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) hardship exemptions by June 1st of each year. This change would ensure that EPA properly accounts for exempted gallons in the annual Renewable Volume Obligations it sets each November.”

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Geoff Cooper praised the legislation introduced on the heels of President Trump’s visit to an Iowa ethanol plant to celebrate EPA’s final rule allowing year-round sales of E15. “Refiner exemptions have had a devastating impact on the ethanol industry, erasing 2.6 billion gallons of RFS demand over the past two years,” said Cooper. “Any additional small refiner exemptions granted by EPA would totally undermine the demand gains we expect to see from year-round E15, hitting the rural economy hard.”

“The uptick of waivers without reallocation as required by law also means the Congressional intent of the RFS is undermined,” added American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings. “This legislation would help ensure EPA’s abuse of small refinery exemptions is put to a stop by requiring timely reallocation of any granted waiver and ensuring the statutory RFS volumes are enforced.”

The legislation would also require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to properly account for exempted gallons in the annual Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) it sets each November.

“The legislation highlights the fact that EPA’s actions on small refinery exemptions is inconsistent with President Donald Trump’s support for the RFS,” said National Biodiesel Board Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik. “The exemptions handed out last year for 2015, 2016 and 2017 destroyed demand for more than 360 million gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel.”

EPA’s retroactive exemptions for 2015, 2016, and 2017 reduced compliance with the RFS volumes for those years. NBB conservatively estimates the demand destruction at 364 million gallons of biomass-based diesel.

ACE, Biodiesel, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NBB, RFA, RFS

ZimmCast 619 – President Trump’s Visit to Ethanol Plant

chuck zimmerman Leave a Comment

In this week’s program you will hear from industry attendees to President Trump’s visit to Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy (SIRE) in Council Bluffs, IA.

Included in the program are:
President Trump at SIRE

  • Mike Jerke, CEO, SIRE
  • Craig Floss, President/CEO, Iowa Corn Growers
  • Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture
  • Kevin Ross, farmer and 1st VP, NCGA
  • Monte Shaw, Executive Director, IRFA
  • Geoff Cooper, President/CEO, RFA

Geoff provides a wrap-up of the program since I was able to talk with him after the President had toured the facility and given his speech.

That’s the ZimmCast for this week. I hope you enjoy it and thank you for listening.

Listen to the ZimmCast here: President Trump visits Ethanol Plant

AgWired Energy, Audio, biofuels, Energy, Ethanol, ZimmCast

Ethanol Report on Presidential Visit

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Renewable Fuels Association was thrilled to host President Donald J. Trump as he visited the Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy (SIRE) ethanol plant in Council Bluffs, Iowa on June 11 to celebrate year round sales of E15 (15% ethanol).

This Ethanol Report podcast includes some of the president’s remarks at the plant and interviews with RFA CEO Geoff Cooper, SIRE CEO Mike Jerke, and National Corn Growers Association first vice president Kevin Ross.

Ethanol Report on Presidential Visit

More interviews and photos from the president’s visit can be found here:
President Trump Visits SIRE Ethanol Plant

Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes

Audio, E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, RFA

USDA Picks Kansas City as New Home for ERS, NIFA

carrie muehling Leave a Comment

The Kansas City area will be the new home for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), according to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

“Following a rigorous site selection process, the Kansas City Region provides a win win – maximizing our mission function by putting taxpayer savings into programmatic outputs and providing affordability, easy commutes, and extraordinary living for our employees,” said Secretary Perdue. “The Kansas City Region has proven itself to be hub for all things agriculture and is a booming city in America’s heartland. There is already a significant presence of USDA and federal government employees in the region, including the Kansas City ‘Ag Bank’ Federal Reserve. This agriculture talent pool, in addition to multiple land-grant and research universities within driving distance, provides access to a stable labor force for the future. The Kansas City Region will allow ERS and NIFA to increase efficiencies and effectiveness and bring important resources and manpower closer to all of our customers.”

USDA conducted a Cost Benefit Analysis and conservative estimates show a savings of nearly $300 million nominally over a 15-year lease term on employment costs and rent or about $20 million per year, which will allow more funding for research of critical needs like rural prosperity and agricultural competitiveness, and for programs and employees to be retained in the long run, even in the face of tightening budgets. On top of that, state and local governments offered generous relocation incentives packages totaling more than $26 million. Finally, this relocation will give USDA the opportunity to attract a diverse staff with training and interest in agriculture. You may click HERE to view USDA’s Cost Benefit Analysis.

“We did not undertake these relocations lightly, and we are doing it to enhance long-term sustainability and success of these agencies. The considerable taxpayer savings will allow us to be more efficient and improve our ability to retain more employees in the long run. We will be placing important USDA resources closer to many stakeholders, most of whom live and work far from Washington, D.C. In addition, we are increasing the probability of attracting highly-qualified staff with training and interests in agriculture, many of whom come from land-grant universities. We look forward to this new chapter as we seek to fulfill our motto at USDA, which is to ‘do right and feed everyone,’” added Secretary Perdue.

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, USDA

RFA’s Missy Ruff Receives National Safety Award

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

RFA’s Missy Ruff, left, received the TRANSCAER Chairman’s Award at an RFA Committee Meeting with RFA VP for Regulatory Affairs Kelly Davis.

TRANSCAER presented the 2018 Chairman’s Award to Missy Ruff, technical services manager for the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

The award recognizes a TRANSCAER team member who has contributed above and beyond the normal call of duty to advocate, demonstrate and implement TRANSCAER’s principles. Ruff received the award during the RFA Committee Meeting prior to the start of the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop in Indianapolis.

“Your accomplishments and contributions deserve our recognition,” wrote TRANSCAER Chairman Keith Silverman in his award letter to Ruff. “The award reflects the endless hours that you personally contribute to plan, organize and implement TRANSCAER training dedicated to the safe handling of ethanol and awareness response training for emergency responders across the U.S.”

TRANSCAER is a voluntary national outreach effort that focuses on assisting communities to prepare for and respond to a possible hazardous material transportation incident. TRANSCAER members include volunteer representatives from the chemical manufacturing, transportation, distribution, hazardous material storage and handling, emergency response and preparedness, and related service industries as well as the government.

“No one is more deserving of this recognition than Missy Ruff,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Her dedication and tireless efforts to maintain the ethanol industry’s impeccable safety record should be celebrated. Missy has made it her personal mission to ensure first responders in every state are trained and prepared for any situation. Missy is a highly valued member of the RFA team, and I appreciate everything she does to help the ethanol industry thrive.”

Ruff leads RFA’s award-winning safety initiatives and assists with numerous technical and regulatory initiatives, including rail issues. In addition to her work with TRANSCAER, she has planned and executed hundreds of Ethanol Safety Seminars and workshops across the country training thousands of attendees. Missy works closely with state and federal agencies, industry partners, emergency responders, consumers, petroleum marketers and retailers among others.

Renewable Fuels Association, safety