Proposal Would Extend Biodiesel Tax Incentive

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act was introduced this week by Democrats on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures led by Chairman Mike Thompson (CA-05).

The draft legislation is called “a comprehensive approach to tackling climate change by using the tax code to extend and expand renewable energy use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions” and it would extend current renewable energy tax incentives, including for biodiesel.

Kurt Kovarik, Vice President of Federal Affairs with the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), says the proposal calls for a multi-year extension of the biodiesel tax incentive, keeping the credit at its current rate of $1.00 per gallon for 2018 through 2021 but gradually reduce it to $0.33 per gallon by 2024.

“We appreciate the recognition, through this proposed long-term extension, that the biodiesel industry is integral to our domestic energy needs,” said Kovarik. “We look forward to working with our supporters on Capitol Hill to ensure that consumers, producers and marketers benefit from a long-term, forward-looking pro-growth tax policy.”

Biodiesel board members are in the nation’s capital this week meeting with 88 Congressional offices to discuss the status of the biodiesel tax incentive as part of NBB’s fall member meeting.

Biodiesel, NBB

Grains Council Talks Trade at NAFB Trade Talk

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Trade was probably the top topic at NAFB Trade Talk last week and the U.S. Grains Council was more than ready to talk about it.

Darren Armstrong, a North Carolina farmer who is currently serving as chairman of the council, discussed the need for Congress to ratify USMCA, the new agreement with Japan, potential for ethanol in China, and some of the other markets where the council is very active promoting U.S. exports.

NAFB19 Darren Armstrong, US Grains Council (4:26)

2019 NAFB Convention Photo Album

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, USGC

Rough Times for Biodiesel Industry

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

It’s been a tough year for the biodiesel industry with ten biodiesel plants that have closed or cut back production, impacting jobs across the country, and ultimately the agricultural producers.

“It’s just one more hit to soybean farmers too, right now,” said National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Director of Communications Kaleb Little during an interview at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Trade Talk last week in Kansas City.

Last week, 140 companies and organizations from the biomass-based diesel industry, sent a letter to House and Senate leaders, telling them “an immediate extension of the biodiesel tax incentive is needed to prevent a severe economic disruption of the U.S. biodiesel industry.” This week, nearly 100 NBB members are in the nation’s capital to meet with 88 Congressional offices and discuss the status of the biodiesel tax incentive.

Little says the industry remains hopeful that they will receive better news from EPA yet this year to help them grow volumes of biomass-based diesel under the RFS, and make up for gallons lost under small refinery exemptions. “There’s still time for EPA to do the right thing,” said Little. “We have to be successful in this otherwise we’ll see more biodiesel producers shut their doors.”

Listen to Jamie Johansen’s interview with Little from NAFB:
NAFB19 Kaleb Little, National Biodiesel Board - policy (4:46)

2019 NAFB Convention Photo Album

Audio, Biodiesel, NAFB

Project LIBERTY “Pauses” Cellulosic Biofuel Production

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POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels is hitting the pause button on production of cellulosic biofuels at Project LIBERTY and shifting instead to “R&D focused on improving operational efficiency,” according to the company which is a joint venture of Royal DSM and POET, LLC.

POET-DSM is blaming the shift on “EPA challenges with the implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).”

“Over the last three years, EPA management of the RFS has held back cellulosic ethanol advancement, hindered future agricultural markets for U.S. farmers, and undermined what the President has promised,” said POET’s Senior Vice President of External Affairs and Communications, Kyle Gilley.

Gilley says EPA has continuously implemented lower RVO levels for cellulosic biofuels, granted small refinery waivers that caused a drop in D3 RIN values removing an incentive for purchasing the product and commercializing the technology, and blocked new cellulosic pathways by changing the approval mechanisms outside of the required legal processes.

“Because of these policy changes, the economic landscape for cellulosic ethanol in the US makes private and global investments in this technology more challenging. As a result, our joint venture is responding by temporarily pivoting and focusing on R&D efforts to improve technological efficiencies and explore additional international licensing opportunities in countries that are not choosing oil over agriculture,” said President DSM North America Hugh Welsh.

As part of this effort, the joint venture will use biomass stored on site or already under contract and will not purchase additional biomass at this time. The team needed to sustain R&D efforts has been evaluated and the joint venture will move forward with a reduced headcount in February.

Gilley and Welsh participated in a conference call with reporters Tuesday to discuss the action.

POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels press call (12:53)

advance biofuels, biofuels, Cellulosic, Ethanol, Ethanol News, POET

National Ethanol Conference to Feature Bill Kristol

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Political analyst and commentator Bill Kristol will provide his unique and entertaining brand of political insight and prognostication during a special luncheon at the 2020 National Ethanol Conference (NEC).

Kristol, founder and director of Defending Democracy Together and a regular guest on popular television news programs, will offer a look ahead at the 2020 elections and the emerging political landscape. The 25th annual NEC runs from February 10-12, 2020, in Houston, and Kristol will be featured on February 11.

Registration for the NEC is open and there is a November 22 deadline for discounted “early bird” registration.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, National Ethanol Conference, RFA

ACE Shares Ethanol News With Farm Broadcasters

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings did a lot of interviews with farm broadcasters around the country last week about the importance of ethanol supporters making comments on the EPA’s proposed supplemental rule to the RFS.

“It’s critically important to farmers, to ethanol producers, to shareholders in ethanol plants, that for 2020, 15 billion gallons in the statute for the Renewable Fuels Standard indeed means 15 billion gallons,” said Jennings at the NAFB Trade Talk. “We have a very short window with which to try and get EPA turned around on a very flawed proposal.”

Listen to Jennings’ interview with Jamie Johansen here:
NAFB19 Brian Jennings, American Coalition for Ethanol

2019 NAFB Convention Photo Album

ACE, Audio, Ethanol, NAFB

First D3MAX Plant Nears Completion

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Construction of the first commercial-scale D3MAX plant at Ace Ethanol in Stanley, Wisconsin, is nearing completion, according to D3MAX company officials.

“It has been a long haul since July of 2015 when we created D3MAX to commercialize the corn fiber-to-ethanol technology developed by BBI, to where we are today,” says Mark Yancey, vice president of BBI International and CTO of D3MAX. “Record snowfall in Stanley last February and, this fall, record cold has delayed construction, but we can now see the light at the end of the pretreatment reactor, so to speak, and we are looking forward to startup of the plant in December.”

Ace Ethanol will own and operate the plant under license from D3MAX. Construction of the cellulosic ethanol plant began October 1, 2018 and Yancey says they expect to start operations in December and “ramp up to full production capacity throughout the first quarter of 2020.”

Cellulosic, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Sec. Perdue Comments on Ethanol and SREs

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny PerdueDuring a visit to the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) annual convention on Friday, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue was asked about EPA’s supplemental proposal to account for small refinery exemptions and to address the concerns of the industry that it is insufficient.

“I want to put it really simple,” said Perdue. “The president expects, I expect, and we have communicated to Andrew Wheeler and the EPA, that 15 billion gallons equals 15 billion gallons.” The secretary says he thinks the industry’s concern is based on a “serious distrust” of EPA based on the agency’s past actions.

Secretary Perdue also added that he believes the current problems the ethanol industry is experiencing this year are based on lower exports, not small refinery waivers, and he’s “got the facts to prove it.”

Listen to the question from Lorrie Boyer of WSIR and Perdue’s answer here:
Interview with Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

Full fireside chat with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue: Interview with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

2019 NAFB Convention Photo Album

Audio, biofuels, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Media, NAFB

Ethanol Report from #NAFB19

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Renewable Fuels Association was pleased to be able to once again be a part of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) annual convention in Kansas City this past week. RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper and Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White were interviewed by dozens of farm broadcast reporters from around the country about the latest ethanol news.

In this edition of The Ethanol Report podcast, we hear from both Cooper and White who discuss topics such as small refinery waivers, exports, and the new custom design Flex Fuel Jeep Wrangler being showcased in a new Hauk Machines Amazon Prime video series.

Ethanol Report from NAFB (20:29)

Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, NAFB, RFA

NCGA Participates in Ag-Auto-Ethanol Work Group

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Representatives from state and national corn growers’ associations were among those in attendance at the recently Ag-Auto-Ethanol Work Group Annual Forum in Detroit, Michigan. The forum took a deep dive into environmental issues, future engine technologies and the potential cost-benefit of high-octane low-carbon fuels at the pump.

“This forum is an opportunity to bring together a cross-section of groups which span the entire value chain to talk about the future and provide updates on current research and initiatives,” said National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Renewable Fuels Director Mark Palmer, pictured here addressing the forum. “The collaboration and partnership with these groups continue to be important for the transition to high-octane low-carbon liquid transportation fuels.”

NCGA Renewable Fuels Public Policy Director Kathy Bergren and Julie Busse, NCGA senior communications manager, also presented updates at the meeting on current NCGA projects around high-octane low-carbon fuels and infrastructure. Nebraska farmer and NCGA Chairman Lynn Chrisp also attended the meeting, along with representatives from state corn grower organizations including: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, and Ohio.

automotive, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NCGA