Biodiesel Interests Pleased with Senate Bill

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The National Biodiesel Board and the American Soybean Association applauded the introduction of a Senate bill this week that would convert the blender’s credit for biodiesel to a $1-per-gallon production credit for fuels produced in the United States for three years and provide an additional 10-cent-per-gallon credit for small producers.

“Well-crafted and efficient tax incentives can be powerful policy mechanisms to achieve the nation’s energy objectives and to create jobs. But subsidizing foreign manufacturing and hurting U.S. workers were not Congress’ intent. We applaud the senators’ bill to close this loophole by reforming the credit as a domestic production credit,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board.

“This bill allows producers the security they need to grow their operations and will help to continue biodiesel’s success in diversifying the fuel market,” said ASA president and Illinois soybean farmer Ron Moore. “This tax credit and extension is vital to the industry’s continued growth, and will maximize the added value of domestic production of biofuels.”

The bill was introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and 14 other senators.

Biodiesel, Government, NBB, Soybeans

RFA Pushes EPA on E15 RVP

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The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) took to The Hill this week to push the Environmental Protection Agency to allow year round sales of 15 percent ethanol blended fuel across the nation.

In an op-ed published this week in The Hill, RFA president and CEO Bob Dinneen urged EPA to “eliminate an irrational summertime regulation that hurts both farmers and millions of Americans who drive a car.”

This double whammy is the result of EPA fuel rules that effectively prohibit the sale of gasoline blends containing 15 percent ethanol (E15) from June 1 to Sept. 15 every year even though E15 is cheaper, cleaner and carries a higher-octane rating than other fuels.

Allowing the sale of E15 during the summer would reduce harmful emissions as well as prices at the pump. It would also increase demand for the value-added market farmers need to avoid higher farm program spending. It’s a win-win.

RFA also ran ads in The Hill this week asking EPA to eliminate the restrictions on E15.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, RFS

Redfield Celebrates 10th Anniversary

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Redfield Energy in South Dakota is celebrating a decade of ethanol production this week.

The 55 million gallon per year plant opened on April 26, 2007 and since then has produced 545 million gallons of ethanol, 1.5 million tons of ethanol co-product distillers grains, purchased more than 194 million bushels of corn at an average price of $4.47/bu and generated $43.5 million in net income.

“We are excited to have reached this milestone, said Redfield Chief Administrative Officer Dana Lewis, who serves on the board for the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). “Our mission is to operate a profitable and innovative ethanol facility, be the preferred market for locally grown corn, and provide a quality feed product. We have worked hard to meet those goals and look forward to the next 10 years.”

RFA president and CEO Bob Dinneen offered his congratulations to Redfield Energy on the milestone. “Redfield Energy has been a leader within the U.S. ethanol industry and at RFA,” said Dinneen. “The company has been a local economic engine, providing jobs and investment opportunities to the area. This is a great achievement for Redfield Energy and we look forward to many more.”

Redfield Energy has also distributed more than $36 million to its members, many of whom are farmers, and this year anticipates increasing production to 63 million gallons and using almost 22 million bushels of corn.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Casey’s General Stores to Offer Higher Ethanol Blends

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Midwest convenience store chain Casey’s General Stores will begin offering higher ethanol blends of E15 and E85 at 17 sites in Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas.

The Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Iowa Corn Promotion Board, and Kansas Corn Commission along with Growth Energy are assisting Casey’s with their new program. The retail chain boasts over 1,950 convenience stores across 15 states making it the nation’s 4th largest and its adoption of higher biofuel blends marks a major milestone for renewable fuel availability, especially across rural America where demand for higher ethanol blends is at an all-time high.

“We like the potential that E15 and E85 could bring to Casey’s and are excited to provide our customers with a wide variety of fueling options,” said Terry Handley, President and CEO of Casey’s.

blends, E15, E85, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Senators Introduce Biodiesel Tax Credit Reform

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Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash) have introduced a new biodiesel tax credit bill.

Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) joined 14 other senators to introduce bipartisan legislation that would reform the biodiesel tax credit and extend the new policy for three years.

The American Renewable Fuel and Job Creation Act of 2017 reforms the incentive by transferring the credit from the blenders to the producers of biofuels in order to incentivize domestic production over imported fuel.

“U.S. tax policy should support U.S. products and U.S. jobs,” Grassley said. “This bipartisan bill would end a system that gives many foreign producers a leg up over U.S. producers and give certainty to the biodiesel industry, which is responsible for employing thousands of Americans. U.S. producers shouldn’t be put at a disadvantage by foreign producers that in many cases are double dipping by benefiting from U.S. tax incentives on top of their own significant government subsidies. These reforms supporting domestic producers would also save U.S. taxpayers money. Policies ought to encourage the production of domestic renewable fuels to meet consumer demand and support the creation of American jobs.”

“The biodiesel tax credit already has a track record of reducing emissions, creating 50,000 jobs, and greening our economy, removing the equivalent of 16 million cars from the road,” Cantwell said. “This legislation will remove millions more cars while promoting energy independence, saving taxpayer dollars, and accelerating by up to 45 percent the creation of new clean energy jobs in the domestic biodiesel production industry.”
Read more from Sen. Grassley


New Executive Order Includes Renewable Fuels

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President Trump holds farmers roundtable with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue (USDA photo)

President Trump welcomed new Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on his first day in office for a White House “Farmers Roundtable” with 14 farmers and ranchers from around the country.

During the roundtable event, the president signed an Executive Order establishing an Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity “to promote economic development and revitalization, job growth, infrastructure, innovation, and quality of life issues for rural America.”

The executive order includes an emphasis on renewable fuels, stating that, “It is in the national interest to promote American agriculture and protect the rural communities where food, fiber, forestry, and many of our renewable fuels are cultivated.” One of the stated objectives of the task force is to “further the Nation’s energy security by advancing traditional and renewable energy production in the rural landscape.”

One of the farmer roundtable participants was Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey who told the Des Moines Register that he brought up ethanol during the session and said the president was very supportive.

Listen to Trump’s comments here: President Trump at White House farmers roundtable

Audio, biofuels, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Government

Perdue Confirmed as Agriculture Secretary

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The U.S. Senate has formally confirmed the nomination of George Ervin “Sonny” Perdue III to serve as the 31st Secretary of Agriculture. The final vote Monday was 87 to 11. Perdue, an agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator, and former governor of Georgia, grew up working on his family farm in central Georgia, making him the fourth agriculture secretary who has worked as a farmer.

Ethanol organizations joined the agriculture community in welcoming Perdue. “Governor Perdue appreciates the challenge facing farmers today, knows that building demand will be essential to rural economic stability, and certainly understands the importance of value-added markets like ethanol,” said Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen.

“The USDA has played an integral role in this success and we are excited to see Secretary Perdue’s plans to continue leading the way in protecting the economic wellbeing of America’s farmers, while giving consumers the choice for homegrown biofuels at the pump,” added Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor.

“I’m pleased that the U.S. Senate was able to work in a bipartisan fashion to confirm Governor Perdue,” said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS). “I have faith that Governor Perdue will put the needs of farmers and ranchers first, and I know that rural America is thankful to have such a qualified Agriculture Secretary on their side.”

Listen to comments of senators supporting Perdue’s confirmation on the floor Monday:
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) – McConnell/Perdue
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) – Roberts/Perdue
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) – Stabenow/Perdue
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) – Tester/Perdue
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) – Isakson/Perdue

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Government, RFA, USDA

Biofuels Stakeholders Comment on Oral Arguments

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The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) presented oral arguments to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Monday on the petition for review of the Renewable Volume Obligations for 2014-2016 filed by Americans for Clean Energy, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in January 2016. The NBB challenged EPA’s interpretation and use of its waiver authority under the RFS statute and defended higher advanced-biofuel volumes.

“There is room for more aggressive growth; the U.S. biodiesel industry can do more. We hope that the court will be persuaded by our arguments and that EPA will put in place more aggressive advanced-biofuel requirements moving forward,” said NBB vice president of federal affairs Anne Steckel. “We look forward to working with the Trump administration to realize the potential to support additional jobs and investment in rural economies.”

Stakeholders in the case, including the American Coalition for Ethanol, BIO, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Sorghum Producers, and the Renewable Fuels Association commented that the proceedings showed “renewable fuel targets for 2014 through 2016 were legally and factually indefensible, as well as wholly inconsistent with Congressional intent” for the RFS.

The statutory basis for granting a waiver based on an ‘inadequate domestic supply’ of ‘renewable fuels’ does not allow EPA to take into account “factors that affect the consumption of renewable fuels,” as the Agency has suggested. Moreover, since the RFS program allows obligated parties to use carryover renewable identification numbers (RINs) to demonstrate compliance with the annual volume obligations, it would be hypocritical for the Agency to exclude such carryover RIN credits when determining whether the amount of available renewable fuel is adequate to achieve compliance.

ACE, advance biofuels, biofuels, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Growth Energy, RFA, RFS

RFA Tells EPA to Keep RFS on Track

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The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) sent a letter today to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt urging him to keep the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) on track in 2018.

“The ethanol industry was highly encouraged by your commitment to ‘administer the [RFS] program according to the intent of Congress’ and to keep the program’s rulemakings on schedule,” RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen wrote to Administrator Pruitt. “When affected parties under the RFS are provided with regulatory certainty and sufficient lead time for planning, they have consistently demonstrated an ability to adapt their operations and comply with the standards.”

Dinneen encouraged Pruitt to ensure the RFS renewable volume obligation (RVO) rulemaking stays on schedule and maintains the conventional renewable fuel requirement at the statutory level of 15 billion gallons. Along with the letter, RFA also sent a new analysis to EPA showing that gasoline in the United States contained more than 10% ethanol in 2016 to prove that the so-called “blend wall” is no barrier to RFS compliance.

“Over the past 18 months, obligated parties have shown that they can readily achieve compliance with RFS requirements if EPA’s annual RVO rulemakings remain faithful to Congressional intent, are published on schedule, and provide certainty to the marketplace. Accordingly, we respectfully ask that EPA ensures the 2018 RVO rulemaking process remains on schedule, and that the 2018 conventional renewable fuel volume requirement remains at the statutory level of 15 billion gallons,” Dinneen concluded.

Read the entire letter from RFA

EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, RFS

Biodiesel to Present Arguments Against EPA

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The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) will present oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s interpretation and use of its waiver authority regarding the 2014-16 Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS).

David Salmons of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP will present NBB’s case, arguing against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) interpretation of its waiver authority and its actions to reduce the advanced-biofuel volume requirement in recent years. While joining various ethanol groups on arguments related to EPA’s general waiver authority, NBB also raised numerous arguments related to EPA’s advanced biofuel volumes. Additionally, NBB supported EPA against the claims by obligated parties with respect to the biomass-based diesel volumes from 2014-17.

NBB is one of a number of industry organizations including ethanol, agriculture, and petroleum interests that filed briefs with the court in February over several issues regarding EPA’s interpretation of the RFS under a lawsuit originally filed by Americans for Clean Energy.

advance biofuels, Cellulosic, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NBB, RFS