ABFA Represents 9.6B Gallons of Biofuels Production

BIOX, Louis Dreyfus and The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) have joined the Advanced Biofuels Association (ABFA). With the new members, ABFA now represents 9.6 gallons of domestic and international biofuels production.

Advanced Biofuels Association logo“We are excited to add new members to our ranks and will continue to represent the advanced biofuels industry through highly effective advocacy and leadership on the issues that matter most to our industry,” said ABFA President Michael McAdams. “ABFA is focused on enhancing and extending the RFS program to build the next generation of advanced biofuels while protecting and extending the current blenders credit for all biodiesel and renewable diesel producers as long as politically possible.”

In addition to the new members, additional board members were elected. The ABFA board elected Neville Fernandes, Head of Sales and Marketing and a Board Member at Neste US, Inc., to Chairman. And, five new representatives were appointed to the ABFA Executive Committee including Michael Whitney, General Manager Renewable Fuels, Musket Corporation; Len Federico, Manager Biofuels and Food Oils, Louis Dreyfus; Jeffrey Jacobs, President and CEO, Ensyn; Paolo Carollo, Executive Vice President, Beta Renewables/BioChemtex; and John Cummings, Vice President, Wilmar North America. Following three years of tremendous leadership, former Chairman Wayne Simmons, CEO, Sundrop Fuels, will remain as the Ex-officio member of the Committee.

McAdams added, “Today ABFA leadership heard from key personnel from Capitol Hill, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Energy Information Administration. ABFA now has the solid context needed to head into the election year with focus and to represent all those companies seeking to make a difference in the advanced biofuels sector.”

IRFA Releases Legislation Renewable Fuels Survey

Iowa’s 2016 U.S. House and Senate candidates show strong support across party lines for renewable fuels according to a new survey from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA). The survey focused on Iowa candidates running for U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. Click here to read specific candidate comments on their renewable fuel positions.

capitol-e1460481310123“Despite the obvious benefits to Iowa, we never take support from our elected officials for granted,” said IRFA President and General Manager of Western Dubuque Biodiesel Tom Brooks. “We appreciate these candidates sharing their positions with the public and committing to an aggressive American renewable fuels energy policy. Renewable fuels play a vital role in supporting Iowa jobs, improving air quality and boosting the state’s economy, so Iowans deserve to know where all candidates stand on these important issues.”

Iowa is the country’s leader in biofuel production, and according to a recent IRFA study, the renewable fuels industry accounts for more than $4.6 billion of Iowa GDP, generates $2.3 billion in income for Iowa households and supports more than 43,000 jobs throughout Iowa’s economy.

#Feedingthe9 – Majority Very Concerned

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “How concerned are you about feeding 9 billion by 2050?”

It is obvious people have strong opinions about this. Few are in the middle. However, a strong majority believe we should be taking this challenge very serious and agriculture has an opportunity with some pressure to do so in a sustainable way.

Here are the poll results:

  • Very concerned – 57%
  • Slightly concerned – 6%
  • Not concerned – 28%
  • Won’t ever reach 9 billion – 9%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, What would a Bayer Monsanto buyout mean for ag?

Bayer AG made a $62 billion bid to acquire Monsanto Company this month that was rejected by the board of the St. Louis-based agribusiness giant, but the door was left open for further negotiations. With ChemChina in the process of acquiring Syngenta, what do you think about the possibility of two major agricultural companies like Bayer and Monsanto becoming one?

RFA Hosting Ethanol Safety Seminar in Wisconsin

Join the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) for a free ethanol safety seminar on Saturday, June 4, 2016 in La Crosse Wisconsin from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm CT at the Western Technical College- Lunda Center.  Lunch will be provided. RFA was recently honored with an award related to their ethanol safety training seminars and this upcoming seminar continues their work in educating first responders and hazmat personnel on how to handle ethanol-related emergencies.

rfalogo1“Safety is a top priority for the Renewable Fuels Association and our members,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “It is important that those responsible for safety in their communities have the proper resources and training to be prepared if there is an ethanol incident in their area.”

Attendees will receive in-depth information on proper training techniques that emergency responders and hazmat personnel need to effectively respond to an ethanol-related emergency. Certificates of Completion will be handed out to all attendees at the end of each safety seminar.

The ethanol safety seminar will be hosted in conjunction with the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Ethanol Emergency Response Coalition and TRANSCAER.  The seminar is free to attend and open to the public. Click here to register.

#Ethanol and Summer Boating Go Together

ethanol-report-adWith Memorial Day comes the official start of the summer boating season and the ethanol industry is working hard to correct the misconceptions about using ethanol blended fuel in marine engines.

In this Ethanol Report, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White talks about the effort and what boaters should know when they go to fill up at the dock this summer.

Listen here: Ethanol Report on Boating and Ethanol

Registration Opens for ACE Conference

ACE logoRegistration is open for the American Ethanol Conference (ACE) taking place August 8-10 2016. This year’s theme is ‘Power, Passion and Performance,’ and will include discussions on the retail outlook for E15 and flex fuels, expanding export opportunities and ethanol’s high octane future. This annual ethanol event is being held at the Loews Minneapolis Hotel.

“The theme for the 2016 event is ‘Power, Passion and Performance’ and conference topics will highlight how the people of the ethanol industry are working to capitalize on the economic and public policy benefits of high-octane, low carbon ethanol,” said ACE Executive Vice President Brian Jennings.

While ACE is firming up speakers and topics, many conference portions are already confirmed, including an energy market keynote by Tom Kloza form the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), a ‘Progress at the Pump’ panel featuring retailers discussing the outlook for E15 and flex fuel sales, a panel examining the blending economics and regulatory path for higher octane fuel, and a presentation on export markets for ethanol and DDGs.

Click here to learn more about the conference and to register.

U of Guelph Discovers Key to Increasing Biomass

University of Guelph researchers may have found the key to increasing food and fuel (#Biofuel) production. By modifying a plant’s genetic profile, researchers doubled the plant’s growth and increased seed production by more than 400 percent. The findings were published in the March 2016 issue of Plant Biotechnology Journal.

The wild plant is on the left and the transgenic plant on the right.

The wild plant is on the left and the transgenic plant on the right.

Using Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant that has similar characteristics to some common farm crops, researchers found that by inserting a specific corn enzyme into the plant caused its rate to skyrocket.

“Even if the effects in a field-grown crop were less, such as only a tenth of what we’ve seen in the lab, that would still represent an increase in yield of 40 to 50 percent, compared with the average one to two percent a year that most breeding programs deliver,” said Prof. Michael Emes, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB).

Ems says the discovery is important because it could boost yields of oilseed crops such as canola, camelina and soybeans, crops grown for producing biofuels as well as co-products some as animal feed. In addition Ems says larger plants would capture more atmospheric carbon dioxide without increasing the amount of farmland a benefit for efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.

“Farmers and consumers would benefit significantly in terms of food production, green energy and the environment. The ramifications are enormous,” Emes said.

Interestingly, the discovery was nearly by chance. Continue reading

#RFS Hearing Scheduled by EPA

epa-150Concerned about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) proposed 2017 rules? The industry has a chance to voice them on June 9, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri at a public hearing on the “Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2017 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2018.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says those wishing to testify during the hearing must contact the EPA by May 31, 2016.

The hearing will begin at 9:00 am CDT and take place at Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center, 2345 McGee Street, Kansas City, Missouri, 64108. The hearing will end after everyone who has been pre-registered to speak finishes. While EPA officials may ask clarifying questions, all written comments as well as presentations will not be addressed during this meeting; however, the EPA says it will review them prior to announcing the final rule.

For those who would like to testify, contact Julia MacAllister in the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality Assessment and Standards Division. She may be reached by phone at (734) 214-4131 or reached via email.

For those unable to attend the public hearing, comments are due July 11, 2016. Comments may be submitted online on Regulations.gov under Dock ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2016- 0004. You can learn more about the proposed rule and how to submit comments here.

Cali #Biofuel Industry Calls for More Funding

As California continues down the highway of low carbon fuels, the state’s biofuel industry is calling for more funding to ensure the highway doesn’t end in the ocean. The biofuel industry, including the ethanol, biodiesel and biomethane trade associations, is calling on Governor Brown to allocate $210 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to help spur in-state production of low carbon biofuels. The biofuel supporters are hoping to see the Biofuel Initiative passed as part of this year’s budget.

© Megapixel1 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Megapixel1 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

To help meet California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, fuel retailers are importing biofuels into the state from places such as the Midwest. However, according to the biofuel industry,with proper funding, California biofuel production could increase from 250 million per year in 2014 to 966 million gallons per year in 2019. This would also spur employment in the state in the biofuel industry.

“California has adopted some of the most forward-thinking policies in the nation to combat climate change – including AB 32, SB 535, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and SB 350 – and it is up to state legislators to encourage and promote in-state biofuel production to achieve the Governor’s goals,” said Russ Teall, president of the California Biodiesel Alliance. “Investing in this initiative helps improve the environment, while creating jobs and providing energy security.”

According to the biofuel industry, a $210-million allocation of AB 32 cap and trade auction proceeds from the state budget’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, administered by the California Air Resources Board (ARB), would:

  • Create 24,750 direct and indirect jobs;
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 6,000,000 metric tons;
  • Spur economic development of $11.5 billion;
  • Displace 714 mgy of petroleum;
  • Generate fuel tax revenues of $230 million; and
  • Bring in other state and local tax revenues of $408 million.

“The biofuels we produce lower the carbon content and give consumers more choices,” added Neil Koehler, chief executive officer of Pacific Ethanol. “State investment needs to be prioritized for in-state production of biofuels that will pay back with local jobs, tax revenue and community growth.”

Legislators will determine how much money to allocate toward in-state biofuel production by June 15, 2016, at which point the allocation will be included in the state’s budget for Governor Brown’s approval or veto.

IA Gov Signs #Biodiesel Incentive Legislation

Joe Murphy, Iowa Soybean Association

Joe Murphy, Iowa Soybean Association

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed SF 2309 into law this week, a bill expanding state biodiesel incentives. The bill includes a tax credit that assists the states 13 operational biodiesel producers remain competitive in the marketplace. The bill also includes a retailer’s credit that encourages fuel retailers to carry higher blends of biodiesel than they may currently offer consumers.

Gov. Branstad signed the legislation into law at the REG Newton biodiesel plant in Newton, Iowa surrounded by biodiesel supporters from around the state.

“We are extremely grateful that Governor Branstad and the Iowa legislature appreciate the impact of biodiesel in Iowa and beyond,” said Grant Kimberley, Iowa Biodiesel Board (IBB) executive director. “Renewable fuels like biodiesel point the way to a more sustainable energy future—and a more independent, home-grown energy future as well. With these additional incentives, Iowa is perfectly positioned to experience even more economic growth in environmentally friendly biofuels.”

Recently, the governor signed legislation to secure another year of funding for the state’s successful biodiesel and ethanol blender pump program, the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program.