RFA Releases Latest FFV Guide

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The 2019 Ford F-250 SuperDuty is just one of the many models of flex fuel vehicles (FFV) available today that are capable of running on fuel blends containing up to 85 percent ethanol (E85), according to the Renewable Fuels Association’s latest FFV brochure.

More than 24 million vehicles on U.S. roads today are E85 compatible and the brochure compiles the FFV models available in the current model year (MY2019), as well as previous years going back as far as MY1998.

According to the brochure, for MY2019, Ford/Lincoln/Mercury led the pack with 12 FFV models available, followed by General Motors with 11 FFV models available and FCA (Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep) with five models. Additionally, automakers Mercedes-Benz offers two, while Nissan and Toyota each offer one. All of the data used in the brochure was collected directly from the automakers.

“There are now approximately 4,500 retail stations throughout the country that offer E85 or other ethanol flex fuel blends, at least 500 more than last year and growing every week,” said RFA Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White. “This new brochure will help educate consumers about FFV availability, putting them in the driver’s seat when it comes to fuel choice. E85 is a cleaner, higher octane fuel and more consumers are gaining access to the fuel every year,” he added.

Click here to see the new brochure on-line.

E85, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Flex Fuel Vehicles, RFA

Register for 2019 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit

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Expert speakers and panelists will explore potential markets for ethanol and biodiesel at home and abroad as well as how the industry can overcome hurdles to growth at the 2019 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit January 29 in Altoona, Iowa.

“The Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit has become a can’t-miss industry event and this year promises to be no different,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Managing Director Lucy Norton. “All of the challenges biofuels producers and supporters will face in 2019, from the future of U.S. biofuels policy to trade opportunities and more, will be discussed at the Summit.”

The summit will be held at the Prairie Meadows Conference Center in Altoona, Iowa on January 29, 2019. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Click here to learn more about the summit.

Biodiesel, biofuels, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA, IRFA Renewable Fuels Summit

Ontario to Adopt E15 by 2025

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U.S. ethanol stakeholder groups cheered news that Ontario, Canada will be adopting the use of 15% ethanol by 2025, according to its recently released Province of Ontario’s Environment Plan.

Growth Energy, U.S. Grains Council, and Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) issued a joint statement on the news.

“As one of the largest markets for ethanol, this is a huge milestone for Canada and the people of Ontario. Ontario recognizes the important environmental, economic, and health benefits that ethanol provides and we look forward to seeing this plan become a reality by 2025.”

All three organizations are actively involved in increasing markets for U.S. ethanol exports.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, Growth Energy, RFA

Groups Disappointed in Final RFS Rule

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Most organizations weighing in on the final rule for required renewable fuel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for 2019, and biomass-based diesel for 2020, released by EPA on Friday are disappointed.

The rule maintains the 2019 conventional biofuels level at 15 billion gallons, in line with statute, while biomass-based diesel, advanced, and cellulosic categories all were increased slightly. However, the main disappointment comes from the rule failing to address demand destruction caused by small-refinery exemptions.

“President Trump’s numerous assurances to American family farmers to support the biofuels industry and increase demand for farm products continue to fall short at the hands of EPA,” said National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson. “So long as EPA continues to ignore its own mishandling of the RFS waivers, it will continue to undermine the will of Congress, directly contradict President Trump’s promises, and destroy American family farmers’ ability to expand demand for their products.”

“On paper, this looks like a solid rule that drives the biofuels industry forward,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw. “But in reality, small-refinery exemptions erode any potential market growth. Without reallocation of small-refinery exemptions, the numbers released today may look good on the outside, but just like the chocolate bunnies my children open up on Easter morning, they are hollow on the inside.”

Americans for Energy Security and Innovation (AESI) Co-Chairs Jim Talent and Rick Santorum said the targets “represent a modest step forward for U.S. energy security, but that promise will be short-lived unless the EPA puts a lid on abusive waiver practices.”

“While we appreciate the modest growth in biodiesel’s primary RFS category over the previously required 2.1 billion gallons, we are disappointed that the EPA did nothing to address the high number of small refinery exemptions handed out. This undermines the policy, potentially cancelling out any growth, and harms the domestic biodiesel industry,” said Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board.

Biodiesel, biofuels, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA, NFU

Study Shows Biodiesel Benefits in the Billions

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A new study shows that the Biodiesel Tax Credit helped the industry support $21.6 billion in economy-wide sales, employment for over 60,000 workers with wages and benefits totaling $3.8 billion, and nearly $2 billion in state and federal tax revenues combined in 2017.

The analysis by FTI Consulting – “The Biodiesel Industry: Impacts on the Economy, Environment and Energy Security” – analyzed the financial and socioeconomic impact of the U.S. biodiesel industry and found that the tax credit is essential to the industry’s growth and prosperity.

Further analysis revealed that if the BTC were discontinued in 2017, biodiesel producers would have suffered an average loss of $0.25 per gallon produced and, if not extended in 2018, the industry would no longer be able to sustain its prior progress.

“Our analysis found that the BTC helps advance a host of U.S. policy priorities including energy security and self-reliance, rural economic development, job creation, and production of a lower emissions fuel that works with our existing vehicle fleet and infrastructure,” said report author Kenneth Ditzel. “It’s also very clear from our analysis how fundamental the BTC is to ensure a robust biodiesel sector in the U.S. Throughout 2018 industry actors produced biodiesel with the understanding that the BTC would be retroactively extended. Without that policy in place the industry would look much different.”

The study also found the biodiesel industry generated a 14.8 million ton reduction in GHG emissions, the equivalent of taking 3.2 million cars off U.S. roads and equal to approximately $750 million in social benefits.

Read the study here.

Biodiesel, biofuels

EPA Finalizes RFS Renewable Fuel Volumes

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the finalized rule for required renewable fuel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for 2019, and biomass-based diesel for 2020.

The key elements of the final rule include maintaining the “conventional” renewable fuel volumes, primarily met by corn ethanol, at the current 15-billion gallon level set by Congress for 2019; increasing advanced biofuel volumes for 2019 by 630 million gallons over the 2018 standard; increasing cellulosic biofuel volumes for 2019 by almost 130 million gallons over this year; and increasing biomass-based diesel volumes for 2020 by 330 million gallons over the standard for 2019.

However, the agency declined to take any action on reallocating Renewable Identification Numbers (RINS) to make up for small refinery hardship exemptions granted for RFS compliance in 2016 and 2017.

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says they are pleased to see the final numbers were released on time by the November 30 deadline. “But the latest EPA rule is also a missed opportunity to correctly account for billions of gallons of ethanol lost to refinery exemptions,” said Skor. “Until these are addressed properly, we’re still taking two steps back for every step forward.”

Listen to or download Skor’s reaction here: EPA RVO final reaction from Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper is hopeful that means EPA is not intending to issue any small refiner waivers at all in 2019. “We urge Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler to faithfully and strictly enforce the 15-billion-gallon conventional renewable fuel requirement in 2019, rather than allowing the standard to be eroded through the use of clandestine small refiner waivers as former Administrator Pruitt did,” said Cooper.

Audio with Cooper here: EPA RVO final reaction from RFA CEO Geoff Cooper

American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings says not compensating for the gallons lost is causing real economic hardship for rural communities. “On paper, EPA appears to be resisting refiner demands to reduce conventional biofuel blending in 2019 below the statutory 15-billion-gallon level. However, in reality, as long as EPA fails to reallocate the over 2 billion gallons worth of blending obligations waived for ‘Small Refineries,’ renewable fuel demand will remain flat causing farmers and rural biofuel producers to continue suffering the consequences.”

Listen to Jennings’ comments here: EPA RVO final reaction from ACE CEO Brian Jennings

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) criticized EPA for continuing to set the advanced biofuel and biomass-based diesel volumes lower than what the agency acknowledges will be produced. “The industry regularly fills 90 percent of the annual advanced biofuel requirement. Nevertheless, the agency continues to use its maximum waiver authority to set advanced biofuel requirements below attainable levels,” said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. “The method is inconsistent with the RFS program’s purpose, which is to drive growth in production and use of advanced biofuels such as biodiesel.”

Listen to Donnell’s comments here: EPA RVO final reaction from NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen

ACE, Audio, Biodiesel, biofuels, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Growth Energy, NBB, NCGA, RFA, RFS

President Urged to Review Argentine Biodiesel Case

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As President Trump headed to Argentina this week for the G20 Summit, three biodiesel stakeholder trade groups wrote him to express concern about the U.S. Commerce Department “changed circumstances” reviews of U.S. trade duties on Argentine biodiesel companies. The National Biodiesel Board, the American Soybean Association, and the National Renderers Association urged the president to ensure that Commerce “undertake a rigorous, comprehensive and transparent review before considering any adjustment to the duty rates it established just this year.”

The U.S. Commerce Department imposed antidumping and countervailing duty orders in January and April 2018, following investigations in which the government found that biodiesel imports from Argentina were massively subsidized and dumped, injuring U.S. biodiesel producers.

“Given the importance of this new remedy for American energy and agriculture against unfair imports, it is a mystery that Commerce would open an expedited path for Argentina to reduce or remove the tariffs and resume their illegal imports. This political concession to the government of Argentina would once again distort U.S. markets and undercut crop prices that are only now regaining stability, following other trade disruptions,” the groups, which represent stakeholders in U.S. biodiesel production, state in the letter.

Read more from NBB.

Biodiesel, NBB, Soybean, Trade

USDA Under Secretary Northey at #ARA2018

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Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service Bill Northey discussed trade and a 2018 farm bill, among other topics, during a visit to the 2018 Agricultural Retailers Association convention this week in Boca Raton, Florida.

“I’m very hopeful,” said Northey about getting a farm bill by the end of the year, especially after word Thursday from House and Senate agriculture committee leadership that they have reached an agreement on a bill.

On the trade front, Northey talked about the second round of trade mitigation payments approved by the president to offset export disruptions caused by retaliatory tariffs, and whether changes will be made in the payment structure used for the first round. “We’re within a very few weeks of being able to make an announcement,” said Northey, who said they are looking at potential changes. “It’s imperfect, but what’s important is that the president and secretary said we are going to try and soften the blow as best we can.”

USDA Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service Bill Northey –
USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey comments at #ARA2018

USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey interview at #ARA2018

2018 ARA Conference & Expo Photo Album

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, ARA, Audio, farm bill, Trade, USDA

Study Finds Refiners Can Increase Octane Without Ethanol

Cindy Zimmerman 2 Comments

A new Energy Information Administration (EIA) study has found that U.S. petroleum refineries would be able to produce gasoline with a higher minimum octane rating (95 Research Octane Number, or “RON”) beginning in 2022 without using more ethanol meet such an octane standard.

The study, conducted by oil industry consulting firm Baker & O’Brien, determined “refiners would simply increase reformer severity to produce higher octane gasoline blendstock, which would then be blended with 10% ethanol…to meet the minimum 95 RON gasoline requirement.”

“This study confirms that a 95 RON requirement by itself would do nothing to expand the market for ethanol, even though ethanol will continue to reign as the cheapest and cleanest source of octane available on the market,” said Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper said. “Rather than using ethanol to boost octane, refiners would choose to run their reformers more intensively to increase production of higher octane hydrocarbons, many of which are highly toxic and would worsen air quality. However, if implemented alongside of—not in lieu of—the Renewable Fuel Standard, a 95 RON requirement could provide new market opportunities for America’s ethanol producers and farmers, as refiners would be compelled to do the right thing and choose ethanol as the primary means of raising octane levels. Still, to truly deliver the efficiency gains and emissions reductions needed in the future, a high octane, low carbon fuel with 98-100 RON would be a much better option.”

Read more from RFA.

Energy, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Octane, RFA

Al-Corn Clean Fuel Support MN FFA

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Al-Corn Clean Fuel has been recognized by the Minnesota FFA Foundation for the company’s support of programing throughout southeast and southern Minnesota. The partnership between Al-Corn Clean Fuel and the Minnesota FFA Foundation allows for scholarship funds to assist 58 FFA chapters in select programs, including service projects.

“The leadership skills acquired by the next generation of agricultural leaders through organizations such as FFA will benefit our local communities well into the future,” said Rod Jorgenson, Chairman of the Board for Al-Corn Clean Fuel.

“The need to build partnerships in support of local and state agricultural education programs continues to grow as budgets are increasingly tight,” said Val Aarsvold, executive director of the Minnesota FFA Foundation. “It’s a win-win partnership as our programs receive valuable support to prepare future employees for agricultural careers and develop skills to provide leadership for their local communities.”

Ethanol, Ethanol News, FFA