Former Sen. Daschle Comments on Split Senate

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Tom Daschle at 2019 National Ethanol Conference

Former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle shared his thoughts on a 50-50 split Senate during an appearance on a panel at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Summit Tuesday. He offered advice from his own experience in the 107th Congress in 2001, the only other time in history there was a split Senate.

“It’s going to take good chemistry, it’s going to take communication between the two leaders in order to move what is basically an operating manual for the U.S. Senate for the next two years,” said Daschle, noting the good relationship he had with Mississippi Republican Sen. Trent Lott.

The former senator, who was instrumental in the development of the Renewable Fuel Standard, is now a strong advocate for higher blends of ethanol. “If we could get into orbit, E30 is going to take us there,” he said on the panel Biofuels Policy in 2021 and Beyond. “If we’re looking for solutions to carbon, ethanol provides it. If we need solutions for high octane, ethanol provides it. But we have to take it beyond E15 to get there.”

Listen to some of Daschle’s comments here:

IRFA Summit - Tom Daschle comments on split Senate (1:53)

IRFA Summit - Tom Daschle comments on higher ethanol blends (2:04)

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA

Future is Bright for Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Feedstocks

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Soybean oil has a long history as a vital feedstock for biodiesel, and more recently for renewable diesel, and it will likely continue to be. At the same time, newer sources of fats and oil are needed to feed the increasing demand for renewable energy plants coming on line.

Alan Weber has been in the biodiesel business from the beginning as both a Missouri farmer and an agricultural economist. He is founding partner of MARC-IV, a firm that helps commercialize industrial products from agriculture, and serves as a consultant to the National Biodiesel Board. He moderated two interesting panels during the 2021 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo related to the future of feedstocks and he is very excited about that future.

“I’m really excited about the potential for investment, because investment can drive innovation,” says Weber.

In this interview, Weber talks about soybeans, fats, oils, and feedstocks.
2021 Biodiesel Conference interview with Alan Weber, NBB advisor (7:53)

Audio, Biodiesel, Biodiesel Conference, NBB, Soybeans

Corn and Ethanol Fuel the Crappie Masters Again

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Brothers Robert and Tommy Sellers win with E10

The Renewable Fuels Association and the National Corn Growers Association are once again partnering with the Crappie Masters National Tournament Trail to continue proving ten percent corn ethanol is a winner on the water. NCGA and RFA are co-title sponsors for the fifth year in a row.

The tournament trail kicked-off last weekend with a two-day national qualifier at St. Johns River in Deland, Fla., where Robert and Tommy Sellers took home $10,000 top honors plus a $500 bonus for using E10 fuel in the competition.

“We are looking forward to another great season being teamed up with the National Corn Growers Association and Renewable Fuels Association coming off our sixth straight year of all winners of the national tournament trail using E10 fuel in their boat,” said Crappie Masters President Mike Vallentine. “The anglers have been receptive to learning about ethanol fuel and now have full confidence after seeing nothing but positive engine performance results.”

Last year, Crappie Masters expanded their reach by starting state chapters. This structure has been expanded again this year, bringing the total number of state chapters to 16. Because of this, memberships in Crappie Masters tripled, the average age of anglers was reduced, and their social media presence was greatly expanded. The state chapters are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, north Louisiana, south Louisiana, east Mississippi, west Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, middle Tennessee, and west Tennessee.

The next Crappie Masters National Tournament Trail event is Feb. 26-27 at Lake D’Arbonne in Farmerville, Louisiana. The 2021 Crappie Masters Tournament Trail season runs through Sept. 25.

Crappie Masters Television highlights each tournament with a weekly show that can be found on the Pursuit Channel, which is on DIRECTV 604, Dish Network 393, Verizon, CenturyLink and Roku. You can also follow the tournament trail on Facebook with host Brian Sowers.

Boats, corn, crappie masters, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Video

NBB to Celebrate 30th Year in 2022 with Commemorative Book

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The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) will be 30 years old in 2022. To commemorate the anniversary, the organization plans to document stories of individuals and associations instrumental in its development and growth with a coffee table style book which will unfold the story behind the industry’s greatest successes and share narratives of the industry influencers.

“We wouldn’t be on the trajectory for six billion gallons by 2030 if it weren’t for the blood, sweat, and tears put in over the years from our founders,” says NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. “The stories will help bring to life how a novel idea grew into a carbon-reducing solution for our country. Biodiesel is making a difference now because of what has been accomplished over the last 30 years.”

Ron Kotrba is partnering with NBB in documenting the stories. Kotrba, the former editor in chief of Biodiesel Magazine, now owns RonKo Media Productions LLC and serves as editor and publisher of Biobased Diesel Daily, the next-generation source for news, information and perspective on biodiesel, renewable diesel, and sustainable aviation fuel.

“When I began covering the biodiesel industry in early 2005, national production was maybe the total of one or two large biodiesel plants today,” Kotrba said. “The work committed up front, from the R&D, vehicle testing and fuel specifications to the boots-on-the-ground state and federal policy efforts, laid the foundation for what the industry looks like today.”

More information on the book will be released closer to its release – stay tuned!

Biodiesel, NBB

2021 Fuel Ethanol Workshop Now Planned for July

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BBI International is planning a fully in-person 37th annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo now scheduled for July 13th through the 15th, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“Based on the latest vaccine dissemination information and feedback we have received from our sponsors and exhibitors, BBI International’s leadership team has made the decision to reschedule the event to July to put us in the back end of the year,” said John Nelson, vice president at BBI International. “With that said, I can’t express enough how excited and eager we are to get back to a physical event and make 2021 the best FEW yet.”

The FEW will be offering four tracks of comprehensive content designed for ethanol production and will be bringing back a co-located event titled, “Biodiesel Production and Technology Summit.” Produced by Biodiesel Magazine, the co-located event is intended for biodiesel and renewable diesel producers to learn about cutting-edge process technologies, new techniques and equipment to optimize existing production, and efficiencies to save money while increasing throughput and fuel quality.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, FEW

2021 National Biodiesel Conference is a Wrap

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The first ever (and hopefully last) virtual National Biodiesel Conference and Expo is a wrap now and it showed that the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry is indeed on the “RISE”. The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) hosted more than 550 biodiesel and renewable diesel producers, distributors, retailers, and other industry advocates virtually to share the direction of the industry now and in the future. During the conference, NBB celebrated the many achievements for the industry in the face of adversity.

Throughout the conference, industry leaders shared how they intend to keep momentum rising in the next decade to meet NBB’s Vision of six billion gallons by 2030.

As NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen closed the conference, he noted that the building blocks to grow the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry are in place. “I have no doubt that we can reach our goals,” shared Rehagen. “I believe in our nation’s farmers, I believe in our industry, and I believe in our trade association to lead us as we RISE to new heights in 2021.”

Please plan to join NBB next year for the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, which will mark the 30th anniversary of the industry on January 17-20, 2022 in Las Vegas.

All of the sessions from the conference are now available on-demand for registered attendees to catch up or watch again. Hope to see you in person next year!

Check out the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo virtual newsroom for images, interviews, and other audio from the event.

Biodiesel, Biodiesel Conference, National Biodiesel Conference, NBB

Court Stays EPA Action Granting Refinery Waivers

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The last minute small refinery exemptions granted by outgoing EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on Tuesday night were put on hold by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today.

In response to an emergency motion filed Tuesday evening by the Renewable Fuels Association, the court ordered that EPA’s action to grant three small refinery petitions must be “administratively stayed pending further order of the court.”

The order prevents EPA from further processing the small refinery exemptions, at least until the court has had “sufficient opportunity to consider the emergency motion for stay.” EPA has until February 3 to respond to the motion, and any replies are due to the court by February 10.

The stay comes roughly 36 hours after EPA approved two 2019 waiver petitions and one 2018 petition, which—if allowed to stand—would erase another 260 million gallons of Renewable Fuel Standard blending requirements.

EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

NBB Chair Proud of Biodiesel Industry

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2020 was a tough year for everyone, but National Biodiesel Board Chairman Chad Stone is proud that the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry was able to rise and move forward despite the challenges. This was the second year as chair for Stone, who is Renewable Energy Group Senior Vice President for Commercial Performance.

“We significantly increased our blend rates within the diesel pool,” said Stone. “Even though diesel was down 15, maybe 20 percent year over year, the level of demand for our fuel stayed flat even throughout the pandemic.”

Stone is very optimistic about the future of biodiesel and renewable diesel for cleaner energy solutions. “We have the honor of being part of that solution,” he said. “We see low carbon initiative really beginning to take off” on both the state and national levels.

Listen to Stone’s remarks and interview during the virtual National Biodiesel Conference and Expo this week.
2021 Biodiesel Conference interview with NBB Chair Chad Stone, REG (6:22)

2021 Biodiesel Conference remarks by NBB Chair Chad Stone, REG (13:30)

Audio, Biodiesel, Biodiesel Conference, National Biodiesel Conference, NBB, REG, renewable diesel

Biodiesel Board Disappointed in Last Minute Waivers

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During the National Biodiesel Conference session on policy this week, panelists agreed that the worst thing the outgoing Environmental Protection Agency could do to hurt the biodiesel industry was to grant more small refinery exemptions. A few hours later, that is exactly what EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler did on his way out the door, granting two 2019 small refinery exemptions (SRE), and apparently reversing a 2018 petition that was initially denied. The three waivers amount to 260 million gallons of renewable fuel demand.

“It’s not so much the volumes, but it once again demonstrates the willingness of the outgoing administration to do whatever they wanted in terms of helping friends in the refinery industry,” said National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik in an interview. “What I think he did was certainly unethical and probably illegal.”

Kovarik says they are pleased that the Renewable Fuels Association has already filed an injunction to prevent the waivers from happening and he hopes they are successful.

In this interview, Kovarik comments on last minute refinery waivers and working with the new Biden Administration.

2021 Biodiesel Conference interview with Kurt Kovarik, NBB (6:24)

Audio, Biodiesel, Biodiesel Conference, EPA, National Biodiesel Conference, NBB

RFA Takes Action to Stop Last Minute Refinery Waivers

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The Renewable Fuels Association wasted no time in taking action to stop the last minute small refinery exemptions granted Tuesday by the outgoing Trump Administration Environmental Protection Agency. RFA filed a petition for review and an emergency motion to stay the effectiveness of the waivers, which the organization says will “inflict substantial, immediate, and irreversible harm” to the U.S. ethanol industry.

According to RFA’s emergency motion, which was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, just hours after EPA publicly disclosed the new waivers, “This would be devastating to America’s ethanol producers, many of which are already on the brink of closure due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Data released by EPA Tuesday evening show that the two 2019 compliance exemptions reduced that year’s RFS standards by 150 million gallons, while one 2018 exemption erased 110 million gallons of renewable fuel requirements. The total eliminated volume of 260 million gallons is equivalent to shutting down three or four ethanol plants for a full year, or akin to erasing the total statewide annual ethanol consumption from Maryland, Massachusetts or South Carolina.

Troy Bredenkamp just started as RFA’s new Senior Vice President for Government and Public Affairs this week and he explains the organization’s reaction to the last minute waivers here:
Interview with Troy Bredenkamp, RFA (4:16)

Audio, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA