RFA Chairman Pleased With Conference Turnout

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

The 2018 National Ethanol Conference (NEC) saw a great turnout of people supporting the renewable fuels industry. Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Chairman Mick Henderson said exports continue to be a priority, as well as creating parity for E15 in domestic markets. Henderson said being a part of a trade organization like RFA is important when it comes to affecting policy.

“We all need to be on the same wavelength,” said Henderson. “If we don’t go to Washington with one voice … we’re going to get run over.”

Henderson said the National Ethanol Conference is a bit like a family reunion. He appreciates the networking opportunities and the time to learn more about opportunities within the industry, both domestic and globally.

Listen to Cindy’s interview here: Interview with RFA Chairman Mick Henderson

2018 National Ethanol Conference Photo Album

AgWired Energy, Audio, Ethanol, National Ethanol Conference, Renewable Fuels Association

Biodiesel Wins Antidumping Decision

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Fair Trade Coalition has won a final antidumping determination from the Commerce Department that biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia are sold into the United States below fair value, and the cash deposit requirements on imports from these countries will be updated.

“Today’s decision provides room for the domestic biodiesel industry to flourish and produce more volumes of this American-made fuel, which provides so many economic and environmental benefits,” said Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board. “The biodiesel industry already deals with policy uncertainties, such as lapsing tax credits and annual unpredictability with the Renewable Fuel Standard, so we appreciate seeing illegally dumped imports remedied. We look forward to continuing our focus on growing the domestic industry that supports roughly 64,000 jobs across the nation,”

As a result of the Commerce Department’s final ruling, importers of Argentinian and Indonesian biodiesel will continue to pay cash deposits on biodiesel imported from those countries. The updated cash deposit rates range from 60.44 to 86.41 percent for biodiesel from Argentina, and 92.52 to 276.65 percent for biodiesel from Indonesia, depending on the particular foreign producer/exporter involved. The Commerce Department will instruct Customs to collect cash deposits in these amounts when the final determination is published in the Federal Register sometime next week. The duty deposit requirements are in addition to the deposits required by the final countervailing duty orders published earlier this year. The final countervailing duty orders followed affirmative findings that unfairly subsidized biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia injured the U.S. biodiesel industry. A final determination by the International Trade Commission in connection with the antidumping case is expected in March or April.

Biodiesel, International

Sen. Cruz Rally Disappoints Ethanol Industry

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) held a rally at Philadelphia Energy Solutions with refinery workers from along the East Coast to continue his attacks on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), much to the disappointment of the ethanol industry.

“Senator Cruz’s efforts to secure a so-called ‘win-win’ solution to protect refining jobs are entirely misdirected,” said Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen. “If lowering the price of RINs is deemed a necessity, however, there is indeed a win-win. Expand the use of renewable fuel by undoing the unnecessary regulations on higher ethanol blends. That would be consistent with Sen. Cruz’s and the president’s regulatory reform agenda, while protecting jobs in both refining and agriculture.”

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings said, “It is shameful that Senator Cruz is calling on Uncle Sam to bailout PES for mismanagement blunders when most U.S. refiners have been complying with the law. The ethanol industry has been crystal clear with anyone willing to listen that the win-win Senator Cruz claims to seek is to grant RVP relief for E15 and higher blends.”

“Corn farmers’ definition of a “win-win” is providing regulatory parity for E15, and higher blends of ethanol, which would increase the supply of RINs to lower RIN values, and improve transparency in the trading system,” said National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) president Kevin Skunes. “The only plan Senator Cruz has is to block the confirmation of Bill Northey, a well-qualified and much-needed leader at the Department of Agriculture, in order to undercut the successful, and beneficial Renewable Fuel Standard.“

ACE, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NCGA, Oil

Why Ethanol Should Care About Electric Vehicles

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

It might be surprising to see electric cars on the agenda at the National Ethanol Conference. But that was the subject of a panel discussion at the recent meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

The panel included Tammy Klein, Future Fuel Strategies; Eva Rigamonti, Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA)/Steptoe & Johnson; and Leslie Hayward, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE). Each panelist had a different perspective when it comes to the future of electric vehicles and the impact that will have on more traditional fuel sources, including ethanol.

“On the coastline, where population centers are and fuel demand is the strongest, we have to be honest with ourselves and figuring out how to align ourselves with the interests of the electric vehicle community, and at the same time, enhance our relationships with the liquid fuels industry, as well. And sometimes that’s hard because we’ve been fighting for so long,” said Robert White, Vice President of Industry Relations for the Renewable Fuels Association.

White said some municipalities and even countries around the globe have placed a ban on gasoline or diesel engines as they work towards minimizing the carbon footprint and lowering greenhouse has emissions. But he said there are plenty of challenges remaining for electric vehicles, including range anxiety and an overall shift in the way people have to think about driving.

Listen to Cindy’s interview with Robert White here: Interview with Robert White, RFA

Listen to the panel discussion here: Electric Vehicles Panel

2018 National Ethanol Conference Photo Album

Audio, Electric Vehicles, Ethanol, Ethanol News, National Ethanol Conference, RFA

Corn Growers are Ethanol Strong

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and a number of state corn grower groups put in an Ethanol Strong showing at the National Ethanol Conference last week.

Ten state corn grower organizations sponsored the NEC luncheon which featured political strategists Donna Brazile and Mary Matalin, two fellow New Orleans Catholics who hold different political views but are very close friends. It made for a very entertaining Fat Tuesday conversation with RFA president and CEO Bob Dinneen, thanks to the corn growers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Ohio.

Immediately following lunch, NCGA Director of Public Policy Kathy Bergren participated on a Washington Insider’s panel, discussing policy priorities, infrastructure and RINs. “Our top priorities when it comes to ethanol this year include promoting and protecting the RFS, working toward RVP parity for E15 and higher blends and expanding opportunities for biofuels as a high-octane fuel,” Bergren said.

Renewable Fuels Association Vice President of Government Affairs Samantha Slater moderated the panel, which also included Frank Macchiarola with the American Petroleum Institute; Tara Billingsley, Jim Massie & Partners; Michael McAdams, Advanced Biofuels Association; and
Devin Mogler, Green Plains Trade Group.

Listen to the panel here, starting in progress with Bergen’s comments on some corn grower priorities. Washington Insiders Panel Discussion on Policy

2018 National Ethanol Conference Photo Album

Audio, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NCGA

Syngenta Enogen Footprint Growing

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Syngenta Enogen team at National Ethanol Conference

In the past two months, Syngenta has announced two agreements with major ethanol producers to use Enogen® corn enzyme technology at their plants, continuing to grow the footprint of this biotech corn output trait designed specifically to enhance ethanol production.

In December, Green Plains Inc. of Nebraska partnered with Syngenta to expand its use of Enogen® corn across its 1.5 billion gallon production platform, and last month CHS Inc. signed on to use Enogen® corn at its 130-million-gallon ethanol plant in Rochelle, Illinois.

“Enogen is rapidly gaining popularity because of the value it delivers to ethanol producers and the opportunity it provides corn growers to be enzyme suppliers for their local ethanol plants,” said Jeff Oestmann, head of Bio-fuels Operations for Enogen at Syngenta. “We are proud to have made a significant investment to bring this game-changing technology to market to help make ethanol more sustainable and to help plants differentiate their offerings and support their local communities by keeping enzyme dollars local.”

Oestmann was at the National Ethanol Conference last week where Syngenta Enogen was a sponsor and I interviewed him to learn more about the expanding footprint of this trait. Interview with Jeff Oestmann, Syngenta Enogen

2018 National Ethanol Conference Photo Album

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Minnesota Ethanol Industry Remains Strong

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

A new study by ABF Economics shows the Minnesota ethanol industry contributed $2.17 billion to the state’s gross domestic product in 2017.

The industry produced 1.2 billion gallons of ethanol, 3.9 million tons of dried distiller’s grains with solubles and 256 million pounds of corn oil, which in turn generated $7.13 billion in gross sales for the state’s businesses, while supporting nearly 19,000 jobs.

“This study illustrates, once again, the importance of the ethanol industry to Minnesota’s economy,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.

The industry in Minnesota has also experienced job growth, with full-time jobs supported by the ethanol industry 11.6 percent higher in 2017 than in 2016, according to the ABF Economics study. Direct spending by ethanol plants also supported jobs in non-agriculture industries like engineering, accounting, rail transportation and others.

The full study is available here.

Ethanol, Ethanol News

Nebraska Ethanol Board to Host Emerging Issues Forum

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Registration is now open for the Nebraska Ethanol Board’s Emerging Issues Forum, scheduled for April 12-13 in Omaha.

Agenda topics on the program include:
Biofuel Policy Panel Discussion: Trump Administration Impacts on Ethanol Production and Marketing
Carbon Counting and Accessing LCFS Markets: Agronomic Input Modeling and Accounting
Fractionation and Separation Technology Options
Bio-Based Products and Projects
Trade Policy and the Impact on Ethanol and DDG Exports
Ethanol Marketing Challenges – 2018 and Beyond
RINs and the Impact on Obligated Parties
Octane and Higher Ethanol Blends: Meeting Vehicle Performance Standards
Evaluating Investment in New Technologies
Biofuels and Public Health

Those registering before Friday, Mar. 9 will receive the Early Bird Rate of $335 per person. Ethanol producers may receive one free registration with your first paid registration. Special room rates are available at the Courtyard Marriott by booking under the room block “Nebraska Ethanol Board” by March 20, 2018. Call (402) 339-4900 to make a reservation or book online.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Events

NEC Hosts International Ethanol Buyers for Third Year

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

More than 150 business-to-business meetings between domestic ethanol producers and international buyers from five countries were held at the Renewable Fuels Association’s National Ethanol Conference in San Antonio last week.

It was the third year for the conference to host the event through the Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program (IBP), a joint government-industry effort to promote U.S. export sales. The five countries represented were India, Mexico, Colombia, South Korea, and Jamaica.

“IBP is vitally important to help connect U.S. ethanol sellers and foreign buyers from new and existing foreign markets, and this year’s event was a rousing success,” said RFA General Counsel Ed Hubbard. “We greatly appreciate the Department of Commerce helping to stimulating business-to-business meetings at the NEC, the largest U.S. ethanol policy and marketing conference.”

Hubbard moderated the international trade panel at NEC, which included Jeremy Mall, Murex LLC; Matt Clausen, CHS Inc.; and Duane Layton, Mayer Brown; as well as an address on Trade Challenges in Our Export Market from USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Acting Associate Administrator Daniel Whitely.

Trade & Exports - USDA FAS, Daniel Whitely

International Trade In Ethanol Panel

2018 National Ethanol Conference Photo Album

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ACE Elects New Executive Committee

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Board of Directors recently elected officers and Executive Committee members for 2018. After five years serving as president of the organizatoin, Ron Alverson with Dakota Ethanol in Wentworth, South Dakota, will now serve as Treasurer of the organization this year. Duane Kristensen, representing Chief Ethanol Fuels in Nebraska accepted the nomination of President of the ACE Board.

RFA CEO Bob Dinneen with outgoing ACE president Ron Alverson and ACE CEO Brian Jennings

“Serving as chairman of ACE has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” Alverson said. “Duane will be an outstanding President with his world of experience and connections in the ethanol industry.”

Alverson was honored by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) last week for his decades of work for the industry.

Re-elected to the ACE board was Dave Sovereign, who represents Golden Grain Energy in Mason City, Iowa, and serves on the board of Absolute Energy. Sovereign now serves as Vice President of the ACE Board of Directors. Greg Krissek, who represents the Kansas Corn Growers Association, accepted the nomination of Secretary of the ACE Board of Directors. Troy Knecht, representing the South Dakota Corn Growers Association, operates a diversified farming enterprise in Houghton, South Dakota, in addition to serving as the President of SDCGA.

Chris Wilson was elected to ACE’s Executive Committee for the first time this year, representing Mid-Missouri Energy,

ACE, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA