Cellulosic and Retail Companies Lobby for E15 Waiver

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Cellulosic biofuel and retail fuel companies have joined the effort to urge the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to pass legislation that would extend the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) volatility waiver to gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol (E15) and allow sales of higher blends year-round across the nation.

The Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act was introduced by Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Thune (R-SD), and Joni Ernst (R-IA) and 13 other bipartisan Senators in March. Novozymes, Protec Fuel, and Kwik Trip were among the companies that joined Growth Energy to urge passage of the bill.

“We see a legislative fix to RVP as the strongest signal to continue to spur business and jobs growth and put more money back in American pockets,” said Adam Monroe, President, Americas, Novozymes, a company with over a decade of experience developing enzyme technologies to convert agricultural waste into low-carbon cellulosic ethanol.

“There is no reason for the current RVP burden that blocks retailers, like us, from offering our customers less expensive, earth-friendlier fuel choices year-round,” said Steve Walk, COO of Protec Fuel.

“This long-overdue fix simply holds E15 to the same standard as conventional blends, which means more affordable options for our customers and fewer baseless restrictions on retailers,” said Joel Hirschboeck, General Manager of Fuel Procurement and Marketing of Kwik Trip.

He added that Kwik Trip plans to add E15 at more than 500 locations in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin over the next few years.

E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Novozymes, Protec Fuel, Retailers

Ethanol and Biodiesel Groups Testify on Trade Issues

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Bob Dinneen, RFA and Anne Steckel, NBB testify at Commerce Department hearing

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) both testified at a U.S. Department of Commerce hearing Thursday to provide input on a recent Executive Order concerning significant trade deficits.

The NBB testified about the harm being caused to the U.S. biodiesel industry from increasing volumes of imports from Indonesia, while RFA was focused on China’s recent protectionist barriers imposed on U.S. ethanol and dried distillers grain.

“Between 2014 and 2016, the trade imbalance with respect to biodiesel has grown 95 percent,” testified Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at NBB. “Unfair trade practices have caused this significant surge in biodiesel imports and growing trade deficit, such as massive subsidization by the Indonesian government and dumped pricing by Indonesian biodiesel producers and exporters.” NBB filed an antidumping and countervailing duty petition in March making the case that Argentine and Indonesian companies are violating trade laws by flooding the U.S. market with dumped and subsidized biodiesel.

“China’s recent anti-dumping and countervailing tariffs on ethanol and DDGS are significantly injuring U.S. ethanol producers and farmers, and undermining the substantial investments our industries have made in developing a trade relationship with the country,” said RFA president and CEO Bob Dinneen, who noted that China’s recent actions have contributed to lower prices for ethanol and DDGS. Ethanol prices have fallen 15 percent since mid-December 2016, while DDGS prices have fallen steadily since the summer of 2016. Today, DDGS prices are approximately 40 percent lower than in June 2016.

Read more about RFA’s testimony

Read more about NBB’s testimony

Biodiesel, Distillers Grains, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Government, International, NBB, RFA

Iowa Gets 104th E15 Station

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Decorah, Iowa has become the 104th E15 retail station in the Hawkeye State.

“E15 and E85 are growing in popularity in Iowa and we want our customers to have these high-quality fuel choices,” said Craig Patel, Manager of Decorah Mart, located in northeast Iowa. “We’re providing our customers with more value by selling E15 for 10 cents under E10 and they say they still enjoy the same fuel economy. And we want to be a leader in the community by offering earth-friendly ethanol blends that contribute to the local economy.”

Decorah Mart received a cost-share grant from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP) to help upgrade their fueling infrastructure. RFIP grants can cover up to $50,000 in installation costs per project, with a five-year commitment to sell E15, E85 or biodiesel blends.

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Fishing Tournament Owner Defends Ethanol Ad

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As the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) expanded its boating and ethanol advertising campaign this week, the owner of a Missouri-based fishing tournament defended the ads against an attack by a boating organization.

BoatUS sent out a scathing press release attempting to discredit RFA’s campaign and associated infographic by pointing out the “hard truth” as opposed to RFA “spin,” including:
SPIN: E10 is the “preferred choice by professionals” with supporting quotes by the National Boat Racing Association and Crappie Masters.
HARD TRUTH: Both organizations are sponsored by the RFA.

The hard truth is that RFA’s association with Crappie Masters is completely transparent and noted in the press release announcing the campaign. “It is true that RFA is a first year sponsor of Crappie Masters, but not the Anglers, who have spoken volumes in support of E10 in their motors,” said Crappie Masters president Mike Vallentine. “Nearly three years ago, Crappie Masters began a bonus program, offering additional winnings for the teams that use E10 in their motors. To date, every winning team has collected the E10 bonus, with no reported engine issues.”

Vallentine takes issue with BoatUS saying that phase-separated fuel is “a result of too much water in moisture-attracting ethanol fuels” saying, “Ethanol does not cause water phase separation. Bad gasoline ingredients do. Ethanol is a drying agent.”

“Crappie Masters is a proud supporter and believer in E10 fuel, as well as a proud supporter of America’s farmers, and believes fuel grown at home is the best option for everyone,” Vallentine adds.

Boats, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Novozymes Expanding Nebraska Facility

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On Tuesday, Novozymes announced a new $36 million investment at its Blair, Nebraska manufacturing facility, which produces enzymes for renewable fuels.

“Nebraska’s biofuels industry has been a focus for my administration on trade missions because of the international investment we’ve seen here in Nebraska,” said Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts. In 2015, Governor Ricketts visited Novozymes’ headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark to meet with senior executives, strengthen Nebraska’s relations with the company, and encourage further investment in the state.

“With stable, clear policies like the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) that encourage competition at the gas pump, we will continue to grow the market for American ethanol,” said Novozymes Americas President Adam Monroe. “This means expanding facilities like ours here in Blair, adding jobs, and generating more revenue for American towns and workers by increasing domestic production of liquid transportation fuels.”

While the company’s North American presence includes its headquarters in Franklinton, NC, and 10 additional facilities in the United States and Canada, Novozymes’ Blair plant currently serves as its only American facility dedicated to the growing biofuel industry.

enzymes, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Novozymes

NBB Submits Regulatory Comments to EPA

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The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) submitted comments this week to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in response to a call for input on burdensome regulations.

NBB provided comments on five subjects: (1) funding for additional guidance and compliance assistance, (2) RFS implementing regulations, (3) the proposed Renewable Enhancement and Growth Support (REGS) rule, (4) Product Transfer Documents (PTD) and (5) vehicle regulations.

Specifically, NBB requests that EPA add approved feedstocks to Table 1, clearly define heating oil for biodiesel, raise the threshold for upward delegation of RIN assignments, provide funding for additional guidance and compliance assistance, reconsider the CARBIO program, and maintain or increase RFS volume requirements. In the comments, NBB also suggests changes to the proposed Renewable Enhancement and Growth Support (REGS) rule, Product Transfer Documents requirements and vehicle regulations.

Biodiesel, EPA, RFS

Mexico Important Trading Partner for Corn

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Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts asked grain industry officials from Mexico and the United States join him Tuesday for a press conference to highlight the importance of Mexico to U.S. agriculture and how the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has benefited both countries.

“Bilateral trade with Mexico has helped grow agriculture in our state over the years,” said Governor Ricketts. “Mexico is Nebraska’s largest export market for corn, dairy, sugar, and sweeteners, and second largest market for soybeans, wheat, sorghum, and distillers grains. All of this combined accounts for thousands of Nebraska jobs. I’m encouraged by local and national discussions to expand trade, and am committed to helping grow our trade relationship with Mexico so we can continue to grow Nebraska.”

The Nebraska Corn Board, the U.S. Grains Council, and the National Corn Growers Association are hosting a team of Mexican grain and industry officials in Nebraska for a town hall and industry meetings. Approximately 20 percent of U.S. corn and corn co-products are exported and Mexico is the largest market for U.S. corn. In 2016, U.S. corn exports to Mexico totaled 13.3 million metric tons (523.5 million bushels) of corn, valued at $2.5 billion. The U.S. also exported 1.9 million metric tons of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), a byproduct of ethanol.

“Having these industry leaders here in the United States this week to share how NAFTA has impacted their companies and their country is invaluable to helping us communicate how important strong trade policy with our nearest neighbors is to the continued success of U.S. grain producers and exporters,” said USGC CEO Tom Sleight.

Jon Doggett, NCGA executive vice president and head of public policy, says NAFTA has been a major catalyst for economic growth in the corn industry and Mexico is the largest market for U.S. corn. “We will work closely with the Trump Administration and Congress to build on the successful trade relationship we have with our neighbors in Mexico, and make sure a modernized NAFTA is a win-win for both our countries,” said Doggett, who stresses calling changes in NAFTA “updating” or “modernizing” rather than “renegotiating.”

Listen to the press conference here: Nebraska presser on trade with Mexico

Agribusiness, AgWired AgNewsWire, AgWired Energy, Audio, corn, Grains, NCGA, Trade, USGC

Ethanol Groups Comment on EPA Regs

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Eliminating the unnecessary regulatory barrier to year-round sales of E15 tops the wish list of reforms that the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) requested from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in comments to the agency Monday.

“While there are a number of EPA regulations that need reforming, the most pressing is the agency-imposed restriction that denies consumers year-round access to E15,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen.

The comments were submitted in response to EPA’s request for input on “burdensome, conflicting, or unnecessary regulations” that should be repealed or reformed, which was the result of a presidential order. Also on RFA’s list was streamlining survey programs intended to monitor and verify fuel quality and regulatory compliance, and reforming the petition process for new certification fuels (e.g., high octane mid-level blends like E25 or E30).

Comments from Growth Energy mainly urged the agency to administer the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as enacted into law by Congress and make every effort to get annual renewable volume obligations proposed, out for public comment, and finalized in a timely manner. Also related to the RFS, the association called on the agency to finalize its denial of the petition to change the point of obligation.

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) submitted comments last month, also putting Reid vapor pressure (RVP) relief for E15 at the top of its list.

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

ACE Annual Celebrating Big 3-0

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The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) is celebrating a milestone in Omaha this year – their 30th annual conference.

This year’s conference theme is Tested. Proven. Driven. The general session will include testimonials from retailers and fuel marketers on why they are selling E15 and flex fuels and a presentation on ethanol’s export market potential. In addition, the general session will decode tax reform efforts in Washington, D.C. and highlight progress toward high-octane ethanol blends.

The ACE annual meeting will be held Aug. 15-17 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in downtown Omaha and registration is now open.

Get all the details.

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Ethanol

USDA Boosts Corn Use for Ethanol Forecast

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The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) global outlook for grains is forecasting an increase of 50 million bushels in the amount of corn used to produce ethanol this year.

USDA Outlook Board Chairman Seth Meyer says factors contributing to the expected increase are higher gasoline consumption growth, reduced sorghum used to produce ethanol and higher expected blending. “We’ve been doing a good export business and we expect that to continue in the near term as well,” says Meyer.

Overall, total U.S. corn usage is expected to decline two percent this year, due in part to “projected feed and residual use declines as a smaller crop and increased use of ethanol by-products more than offsets growth in grain consuming animal units.”

corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, USDA