EPA Waivers Make Deep Cuts in RFS

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The latest data from the Environmental Protection Agency shows just how much the small refiner exemptions have resulted in demand destruction, even more than estimated just a few months ago.

According to an analysis by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) updated from April, the waivers have resulted in “effectively lowering the 2017 required volume of renewable fuels by 1.37 billion gallons, or 7%. The data also show that small refiner exemptions also effectively reduced the 2016 RFS requirement by 523 million gallons.”

After effectively reducing the 2013-2015 RFS blending obligations by a combined total of about 165 million gallons, EPA essentially slashed the 2016 RFS volume by 523 million gallons and the 2017 RFS by 1.365 billion gallons. Collectively, the amount of lost blending obligations in 2016-2017 is 11 times the collective lost obligations from 2013-2015.

EPA has ignored repeated requests to provide information regarding the number and magnitude of its small refiner exemptions, but the agency’s monthly compliance data shows the impact of the exemptions. With the resignation of Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator, industry stakeholders are hoping his acting successor Andrew Wheeler will be less generous with his granting of waivers going forward.

EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, RFS

Ethanol Report on EPA Changes

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Ethanol industry stakeholders were relieved to see Scott Pruitt depart from the Environmental Protection Agency on July 5 and deputy administrator Andrew Wheeler appointed as acting chief. With a Supreme Court justice nominee on the table, it is unlikely President Trump will be moving too quickly to nominate a new EPA administrator, so Wheeler will probably have the job for a while.

In this Ethanol Report, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen talks about the changes at EPA and how they might impact the industry and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) going forward.

Ethanol Report on EPA Changes

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Audio, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, RFA, RFS

RFS Volumes Hearing Next Week

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will have a public hearing next week in Ypsilanti, MI on July 18 to receive comments on the proposed rule “Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2019 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2020.”

Parties wishing to testify at the hearing should notify the “FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT” person listed in the Public Hearing Notice by the end of the day today.

EPA will post more information about the hearing on the webpage, including a list of speakers and a “listen only” call-in number, prior to the hearing.

Written comments must be received on or before August 17, 2018.

EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFS

Plymouth Energy Fueling Monarchs

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Lakeview Plymouth Energy in Merrill, Iowa is the latest ethanol plant to become a monarch fueling station.

The plant has dedicated two acres of green space on plant grounds to monarch habitat which was seeded last June 2017 and this summer is seeing its first strong growth of milkweed plants, which monarch butterflies need for egg laying.

“At Lakeview Plymouth Energy we work every day to create a product that supports Iowa farmers and the environment,” said Joe Williams, plant manager. “We were excited to take on a project that allows us to do that in a whole new way. When we learned how easy it is to establish monarch habitat we jumped at the opportunity. We will continue to look for new opportunities to grow Iowa’s rural economy and protect our environment.”

The Monarch Fueling Station Project was established by Iowa Renewable Fuels Association in partnership with the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium in 2017 to help Iowa’s ethanol and biodiesel plants establish patches of monarch habitat on plant grounds.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA

“Grit Wins” is Theme for 2018 ACE Conference

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) has opened registration and released the agenda for its 31st annual conference August 15-17 at the Renaissance Depot Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This year’s “Grit Wins” conference theme and programming are reflective of the attacks oil refiners have launched on ethanol this year. The general session panels will include updates from ACE leadership, a discussion of attacks on the ethanol industry, an overview of future demand for liquid fuels, testimonials from flex fuel marketers, a technical update on fuel quality, and a presentation on whether exports can overcome escalating trade tensions and tariffs.

Breakout session topics include workforce management, coproduct diversification, low carbon fuel markets, tax reform, new technology, production efficiency, and more, as well as a brainstorming session on how to strengthen ethanol’s image in your community.

Click here for agenda and registration details.

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Ethanol Exports Down in May

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The latest analysis from the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) finds exports of U.S. ethanol dropped in May while DDGS exports stayed about steady.

U.S. ethanol exports in May were down 43% from April to a four-month low of 91.9 million gallons. That’s less than half of the record volumes in February (218.7 mg) and March (215.1 mg). Canada broke Brazil’s five-month streak as the largest export market with 31.9 mg (35% of total exports), a 15.3% increase over April.

With Brazil and China markets restricted by trade barriers, U.S. exporters ramped up shipments to other existing customers. Ethanol exports to Peru increased 145% to a record 12.7 mg (14% of total exports), shipments to the Philippines nearly doubled from April to 9.5 mg (10% of total), and South Korea saw a 10% boost to 8.4 mg (9% of total). Meanwhile, exports to Brazil withered to 9.5 mg (10% of exports), an 84% drop from April. These five countries accounted for more than three-fourths of all U.S. ethanol exports in May. Year-to-date exports stand at 776.2 mg, implying a record annualized total of 1.86 billion gallons.

May exports of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) held steady at 994,006 metric tons (mt), easing just 0.4% from April volumes. However, market dynamics changed as U.S. shippers sent 148,682 mt of DDGS to Turkey (15% of the total market). Turkey’s 80% increase over April represented the country’s largest imports in 10 months—sufficient to overtake Mexico as the top export customer after a 13-month stretch. U.S. shippers reduced DDGS sales to Mexico by 20% (146,375 mt, 15% of the market) in May. Other large markets were South Korea (124,657 mt, up 29%), Vietnam (89,329 mt, down 24%), Thailand (75,490 mt, down 15%), and Ireland (39,826, up 180%). Year-to-date exports stand at 4.6 million mt, implying an annualized total of 11.1 million mt—on par with last year.

Read more from RFA analyst Ann Lewis

Distillers Grains, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, RFA

Saipem and California Ethanol & Power Sign MOU

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Saipem has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with California Ethanol & Power to develop a low carbon emission plant for the production of ethanol, renewable electricity, bio-methane, and other secondary products derived from sugarcane cultivated on site.

The plant will be located in California’s Imperial County and Saipem will design and construct the non-electrical part of the project and related services, while the electrical part will be assigned to General Electric.

Saipem is a world leader in drilling services, as well as in the engineering, procurement, construction and installation of pipelines and complex projects, onshore and offshore, in the oil & gas market.

Electricity, Ethanol, Ethanol News, sugarcane

Growth Energy Hires New Communications VP

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Jennifer Morris has joined Growth Energy as new Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs. Morris previously served as Senior Vice President of Corporate and Public Affairs at Edelman.

“One of our main directives at Growth Energy is to effectively communicate that success story – whether it be to policymakers, consumers, members, or other industry stakeholders – in a way that truly moves the needle for biofuels. Jennifer’s diverse mix of experience and expertise is just what we need to be the tip of the spear in communicating ethanol’s value to a wide range of key audiences,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor.

Prior to Edelman, Morris was the Head of Global Public Affairs and Financial Literacy for Visa, Inc., and has previous communications experience on Capitol Hill. She holds an undergraduate degree from Tulane University and a Masters of Public Administration from the American University School of Public Affairs.

biofuels, communications, Ethanol, Growth Energy

American Drivers Surpass 5 Billion Miles on E15

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In the midst of Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) restrictions on the sale E15 fuel across most of the country, American drivers have still driven another billion miles on 15 percent ethanol fuel in the past two months, for a total of 5 billion miles on E15, according to Growth Energy. The latest milestone was reached as consumers only have access to E15 in Reformulated Gasoline (RFG) markets or if they drive flex fuel vehicles.

“When we give consumers a better option at the pump, they choose E15 again and again,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “That’s why Americans have surpassed more than 5 billion miles on E15, which provides unrivaled value for their engines, the environment, and their wallets.”

Working hand-in-hand with Prime the Pump, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping build the infrastructure and distribution of higher biofuel blends, Growth Energy has doubled the number of E15 stations four years in a row to include 1,400 stations across 30 states. In addition to the stores currently selling E15, Growth Energy and Prime the Pump have secured commitments for more than 2,800 retail sites that will offer E15 by 2021, generating approximately 350 million new ethanol gallons annually.

It was the first week in May that Growth Energy announced the four billion gallon milestone.

E15, Ethanol, Growth Energy

Registration Open for Export Exchange 2018

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Registration is now open for Export Exchange 2018, Oct. 22-24 in Minneapolis.

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), and Growth Energy are encouraging U.S. suppliers of coarse grains and co-products, industry representatives and members of the grain trade to plan on attending this biennial event which connects them with international grain buyers.

The Exhange is expected to bring together 200 international buyers and end-users of coarse grains and co-products, including distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), with approximately 300 U.S. suppliers and agribusiness representatives.

In addition to networking opportunities, the conference will have general sessions, which will address critical issues facing U.S. agricultural exports, offering the customers and sellers in attendance an increased awareness of the benefits of U.S. coarse grains and co-products, including DDGS.

Following Export Exchange 2016, buyers and end-users reported sales of approximately 2.6 million metric tons of grains and co-products worth $460 million traded either at the conference or immediately before or after.

Registration is available online and members of USGC, RFA, and Growth Energy members are eligible for discounted pricing.

Distillers Grains, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Events, Export Exchange, Exports, Grains, Growth Energy, RFA, USGC