Propane Fuels Nestle Beverage Delivery Trucks

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Nestlé Waters North America recently deployed more than 400 additional medium-duty ReadyRefresh℠ by Nestlé® beverage delivery trucks fueled by propane autogas. The company now operates nearly 600 of these alternatively fueled trucks, which make up about 30 percent of its total North American fleet.

“Becoming a better steward of our environment is a priority for Nestlé Waters,” said Bill Ardis, national fleet manager for its ReadyRefresh business unit. “We’ve been running propane autogas vehicles since 2014, beginning with five class 5 vehicles. Based on the proven emissions reduction compared with our older diesel units, and lower fuel and total cost of ownership, we knew this was the right application for us within the alternative fuel space. With propane being domestically produced, it’s proven to have a more stable cost per gallon, while the fueling and maintenance infrastructures are much more cost effective than other alternative fuel options.”

ReadyRefresh’s additional Ford F-650/750 delivery trucks are each equipped with a ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system that provides 55 usable gallons of fuel “without compromising our standard delivery methods,” said Ardis.

The company’s vehicle operators appreciate the benefits of a quieter engine, powertrain performance equivalent to current diesel delivery vehicles, easy fueling and simple operation. Propane autogas is the leading alternative fuel in the United States and the third most commonly used vehicle fuel, following gasoline and diesel.

Propane

NBB Technical Director Elected ASTM Committee Chair

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National Biodiesel Board (NBB) technical director Scott Fenwick was recently named the next chairman of the ASTM Committee D02 on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels, and Lubricants.

“I am honored to serve as chair of this important ASTM committee that is dedicated to ensuring high quality standards for petroleum products, fuels and lubricants, including biodiesel,” said Fenwick. “I would like to thank Randy Jennings, with the State of Tennessee, for his leadership, commitment, and guidance as the outgoing chair.”

Fenwick was elected in October, and officially announced as chair at the recent DO2 committee meetings in Houston, Texas last week. His term will begin January 1, 2018. According to ASTM, Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants was formed in 1904. Approximately 1,000 members attend the five days of technical meetings twice a year. The committee, with a current membership of approximately 2,650 global industry professionals and experts, has jurisdiction over nearly 850 standards. These standards have, and continue to play, a preeminent role in all aspects relating to the standardization quality of fuels and lubricants.

Biodiesel, NBB

Auto Channel Takes On Swamp Watch

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Marc Rauch of the Auto Channel is known to take mainstream media reporters to task for being fact-challenged when it comes to ethanol, and his most recent target is Steve Hilton, who has a show on Fox News called “The Next Revolution” with a segment called “Swamp Watch.”

Rauch says Hilton’s seven minute segment on “The Corrupt Ethanol Industry” is so riddled with inaccuracies that “virtually everything he said about ethanol is incorrect…stupidly incorrect.” Hilton is vicious in his attacks on Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa for taking money from the ethanol lobby, to the point of calling Ernst “a pig and a stooge.” Rauch points out that the “website OpenSecrets.org lists 95 U.S. Senators who accepted lobbying money from the oil industry in 2016. If two Senators accepting lobbyist money is bad, how disgusting is 95 Senators accepting money from Big Oil lobbyists?”

Hilton then attacks the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) as “the ring master of this swampy circus” that has spent nearly $8 million dollars on lobbying since 2010 (about $1 million per year). “However, the major oil companies spend more than $115 million per year on lobbying. The American Petroleum Institute (API), which you could say is the ring master of the gasoline swampy circus, contributes the largest part of the $115 million per year, they spend $65 million per year. That’s 65 times more per year than RFA.”

Watch the video, read Rauch’s comments, and write to Steve Hilton and Fox News to tell them what you think.

Commentary, Ethanol

USDA Boosts Corn for Ethanol Forecast

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Ethanol is driving up demand for corn in the December supply demand estimate from USDA.

The forecast for 2017-18 increases the amount of corn used to produce ethanol by 50 million bushels to 5.525 billion, based on less sorghum going to ethanol production. Corn ending stocks are lowered in turn by 50 million bushels but the impact on the season-average farm price range barely increased at $2.85 to $3.55 per bushel.

“While growth in the ethanol market is essential, our farm families also need growth in the livestock and export markets to improve market conditions,” said National Corn Growers Association Chairman Wesley Spurlock, a farmer from Texas. “Whether it be promoting the trade agreements farmers need in Washington or building demand for higher blends of ethanol across the world, NCGA strives to help farmers grow markets for their growing crop.”

The 2017/18 corn crop is still estimated at a record 14.78 bushels with a record yield forecast of 175.4 bushels per acre. Ethanol production is also setting records this year. According to the Renewable Fuels Association, ethanol production just hit a new weekly production level of 1.108 million barrels per day (b/d)—or 46.54 million gallons daily. The four-week average for ethanol production increased to a record 1.076 million b/d for an annualized rate of 16.50 billion gallons—about 6% higher than a year ago.

AgWired Energy, corn, Ethanol, NCGA, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA, USDA

Biodiesel Board Announces New Federal Affairs VP

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The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has announced that Kurt Kovarik, a senior adviser for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), has accepted the position of Vice President of Federal Affairs and will join NBB the week of January 8.

“Kurt’s decades of experience in the United States Senate will serve us well as we navigate the federal policy issues that most affect our industry. His long history of working on energy and tax legislation, his familiarity with the key players in Washington and his knowledge base on biofuels are all reasons why we are so happy to have him on our team,” said Donnell Rehagen, chief executive officer at the National Biodiesel Board.

Kovarik has served as the legislative director for Senator Grassley since January 2017, after serving as a legislative assistant for 16 years. He first joined Senator Grassley’s office as a press intern in August 1997. Kovarik negotiated and led Senator Grassley’s efforts on the inclusion of biodiesel in the Renewable Fuel Standard, developed strategies to expand and extend the biodiesel tax incentive, and advocated increased use of biofuels through oversight activities.

Biodiesel, NBB

Skor to Keynote Iowa RFA Summit

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Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor will discuss the growing popularity of E15 and current challenges and opportunities for the fuel during her keynote address at the 2018 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit on January 30 in Altoona, Iowa.

“More major retail stations across the country are offering E15 today than ever before,” Skor said. “The spectacular growth of E15 is a testament to the value it brings to fuel retailers and consumers.”

The 2018 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit is free to attend and open to the public but registration is requested.

E15, Ethanol, Growth Energy, Iowa RFA

Ontario Considers Doubling Ethanol Use

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The government of Ontario has proposed changes to provincial biofuels regulations, which includes doubling the five percent ethanol mandate to 10 percent by 2020.

Ontario represents roughly 38 percent of total gasoline use in Canada, making the province a major transportation hub. The doubling of the mandate reflects the potential for increased overall ethanol demand across Canada. “Increased blending of ethanol will have real, positive impacts in supporting Ontario’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets of 15 percent by 2020 and longer-term reduction targets as well as supporting the broader Canadian goal of reducing GHG emissions by 30 megatons by 2030,” said U.S. Grains Council president and CEO Tom Sleight.

“If this proposal is finalized, it will be a win for Canadian consumers, the environment, the ag economy, and biofuel producers,” Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said.

Based on projected fuel use in Ontario, an increase from the current industry blending standard of roughly eight percent to the proposed 10 percent mandate would significantly increase demand for ethanol in the province from 326 million gallons (116 million bushels in corn equivalent) in 2016 to 405 million gallons (144 million bushels in corn equivalent) in 2021.

Ethanol, Growth Energy, International, USGC

Driving Ethanol Home for the Holidays

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Last year, AAA estimated that nearly 100 million Americans took a holiday road trip and we can expect at least that many on the road this year heading home for the holidays. Growth Energy wants to let all those holiday drivers know that E15 (15% ethanol) can brighten the season even more by helping them save a little green.

In this Driving Ethanol podcast, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor talks about the clean, high-performance fueling option that can save families money.

Listen to the podcast here: Growth Energy Podcast 12-12-17

Subscribe to the Driving Ethanol podcast

Driving Ethanol podcast, E15, Education, Ethanol, Growth Energy

Ethanol Exports Up Despite Brazil Declines

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Overall U.S. ethanol exports were higher in October compared to September, as shipments from Brazil declined sharply, according to government data released this morning and analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

Total exports were 93.6 million gallons (mg) in October, up 8% from September shipments. Canada was again the top destination importing more than one-third of total exports, up 18% over September. Spain jumped into the U.S. ethanol market for the first time in over three years to take second place with 13.4 mg. And while India’s imports of U.S. ethanol fell 35% from September, it was still ranked third.

Exports to Brazil in October continued their downward slide for the third straight month, impacted by the implementation of a tariff rate quota and 20% tariff in September. Brazil imported just 12.9 mg of ethanol, a 32% decrease from September.

Read more from the RFA blog.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, RFA

Basse Bullish on Biofuels

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Even if volume obligations for biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard are mostly stagnant or lower in 2018, agricultural economist Dan Basse of AgResource Company is bullish on growth in the sector next year.

One reason is lower prices for corn, which is helping expand ethanol production plans. The other is the restriction of biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia, countries which have been slapped with countervailing duties by the Commerce Department for dumping low priced subsidized biodiesel on the U.S. market. “The duties are 51 and 72 percent…we’ve got two million tons of biodiesel that will be restricted from coming in,” said Basse. “That means that our balance sheet on soybean oil without significant imports is going to get really tight with time.”

On the same day that Basse was speaking last week to the American Seed Trade Association, the International Trade Commission (ITC) voted 4-0 in favor of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Fair Trade Coalition’s position that the industry has suffered because of unfairly subsidized imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. That action, coupled with last month’s final countervailing duties determination by the Commerce Department, paves the way for final countervailing duty orders by the end of December.

Learn more in this interview: Interview with Dan Basse, AgResource
Basse’s comments about biofuels during his talk start at 18:00 – Dan Basse, AgResource, presentation

2017 ASTA CSS and Seed Expo photo album

Audio, Biodiesel, biofuels, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News