Ethanol Report on Fueling Knowledge

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Spring is here at last and after a rough winter in most of the country there are lots of people ready to hit the road and enjoy some warmer weather activities, like motorcycle riding and fishing, for example.

In this episode of the Ethanol Report, Renewable Fuels Association Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White talks about some of the ways they are helping people fuel their knowledge about ethanol as the nation hopefully moves toward E15 being available for the summer driving season.

Ethanol Report on Fueling Knowledge

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Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

Study Shows Biofuels are 3 Percent of Iowa GDP

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) has released a new study that shows biofuels are responsible for over $5 billion of Iowa’s GDP, or roughly three percent.

The study, authored by John Urbanchuk of ABF Economics and commissioned by IRFA, also found that biofuels account for over 48,000 Iowa jobs and more than $2.5 billion in Iowa household income.

“The results of this study serve as a great reminder to our state and federal representatives that biofuels continue to be a smart and profitable investment for Iowa,” said IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “However, actions being taken on the federal level, such as the continued use of small-refinery exemptions (SREs) by the EPA that undermine the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), can jeopardize the future of Iowa biofuel producers and the many economic benefits they provide for Iowa.”

While the study found the “importance of the biofuels industry to agriculture and rural economies is particularly notable,” the report also found that “policy stability is essential to maximize these benefits. Uncertainty surrounding issues like SREs, tax credit extensions, trade with China, year-around E15 sales, and the RFS reset will impede the ability of the industry to provide these societal benefits.”

Biodiesel, biofuels, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA

RFA’s Ruff Elected to TRANSCAER® Exec Committee

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Technical Services Manager Missy Ruff was recently elected to the six person TRANSCAER® Executive Committee, which manages the TRANSCAER® program. Ruff will serve a two-year term.

“Missy is a strong advocate for proper ethanol safety training and has been an active TRANSCAER® participant for a number of years,” said TRANSCAER® Director Erica Bernstein. “Through RFA’s participation in TRANSCAER®, she has helped educate thousands of attendees through seminars and webinars, and I look forward to her bringing the same expertise and passion to the TRANSCAER® Executive Committee.”

TRANSCAER® was established in 1986 and is a voluntary national outreach effort that focuses on providing assistance to local communities to help prepare for and to respond to possible hazardous material transportation incidents. In conjunction with TRANSCAER® this year, RFA has held 20 ethanol safety seminars and two train the trainer events, with more planned throughout the year.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, safety

ZimmCast 611 – National Ag Day

chuck zimmerman Leave a Comment

This week’s program focuses on National Ag Day activities in our nation’s Capitol.

In the program you’ll hear from Senator Pat Roberts who made remarks during the Celebration of American Agriculture reception. I also interviewed Isabella Chism, American Farm Bureau Federation, who is the Chair for National Ag Day. 

Next up is USDA Deputy Secretary, Steve Censky, who spoke prior to moderating a panel discussion, “Observations from the Next Generation of America’s Agriculturists.” After his remarks you can listen to National Ag Day Essay Contest winner Grace Brose, South Dakota.

You can find a recap of National Ag Day activities here. If you’d like to listen to more from the events and find lots of photos then check out my virtual ag newsroom here.

I hope you enjoy this week’s program and thank you for listening.

Listen to the ZimmCast here: ZimmCast 611 – National Ag Day

ABEF, Ag Day, AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, USDA, ZimmCast

Another Successful Agri-Pulse Summit

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The 2019 Agri-Pulse Ag and Food Policy Summit was another success for the best farm policy news team in the free world.

The event at the National Press Club featured an all-star line up that started with USDA Chief Economist Rob Johannson, and ended with Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney, with Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach at midday. Dozens of agricultural organizations, agribusinesses and food companies were also included on the program, as sponsors, and in attendance.

The day packed in enough food for thought about the future of agriculture and farm policy to keep us all from going hungry for a long time! Here is just a taste of what was on the menu for your listening pleasure.

Agri-Pulse 2019 Summit – USDA Chief Economist Rob Johannson

Agri-Pulse 2019 Summit – USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach

Agri-Pulse 2019 Summit – USDA Under Secretary Ted McKinney

2019 Agri-Pulse Ag and Food Policy Summit Photo Album

Agri-Pulse, AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, Farm Policy, USDA

Celebrate Biodiesel Day

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Wear that St. Patrick’s Day green another day today and celebrate the green fuel that is biodiesel.

National Biodiesel Day is celebrated on March 18 because it is the birthday of Rudolf Diesel, inventor of the Diesel engine, which he originally ran using peanut oil.

Biodiesel today is made from a diverse mix of feedstocks including recycled cooking oil, soybean oil, and animal fats – and it can be used in diesel engines without any modifications. It is the first and only EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel in commercial-scale production across the country and the first to reach 1 billion gallons of annual production, according to the National Biodiesel Board.

So happy 161st birthday, Rudolf – and Happy Biodiesel Day to all!


Ethanol – A Conversation That Matters

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Marc Rauch of The Auto Channel recently had the opportunity to have a conversation that matters about ethanol in Vancouver, British Columbia on a television talk show called “Conversations That Matter.”

Each episode of “Conversations That Matter” explores one significant subject, and features notable professors, corporate executives, scientists, and philosophers in one-on-one conversations. “I believe that the show presents a very respectable presentation of ethanol facts and that I was able to shed needed light on the importance of ethanol fuels to accomplish many worthwhile goals,” said Rauch.

Watch the episode in its entirety.

Ethanol, Ethanol News

National Ag Day Honors Youth

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The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) honored the winners of the 2019 National Ag Day video and written essay contest during the celebration in Washington DC this week, and also featured a youth panel discussion moderated by USDA Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky.

The theme for the video and essay contest this year was Agriculture: Food for Life. How does our nation lead the way? The theme presented an opportunity for students to address how American agriculture feeds the growing population. The national written essay winner was Grace Brose from Box Elder, South Dakota, who received a $1,000 prize and travel to Washington, D.C. to read her essay at the National Press Club event and take part in the panel discussion on issues and challenges in agriculture. The national video essay winner for 2019 is Jacob Kandell from Mason, Ohio who also received a $1,000 prize for his video.

Listen to Grace read her essay:
Grace Brose Reads Her Essay

ACA chair Isabella Chism, American Farm Bureau Federation, presented Brose with her award. In this interview, she talks about the National Ag Day activities this week in D.C. and why ACA sponsors the event.
Interview with Isabella Chism

Find more content from National Ag Day on AgNewsWire:
National Ag Day Virtual Newsroom

2019 National Ag Day Photo Album

AFBF, Ag Day, AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision

Biofuels Groups Rip EPA for More Small Refinery Waivers

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Much to the dismay of biofuels organizations, yesterday the Environmental Protection Agency approved five more 2017 Small Refinery Exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and noted that two more petitions have been received for 2018 exemptions, bringing the total to 39.

“It’s extremely disappointing and outrageous to see EPA once again allow oil refiners to undermine the RFS and hurt family farms, ethanol producers and our environment by exploiting and abusing a statutory provision that exempts them from their obligations to blend renewable fuels,” said Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “RFA will continue to fight these exemptions through the courts and urge EPA to adopt a more judicious and restrained decision-making process on refiner exemptions, as well as restore lost volume obligations from previous years.”

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings pointed out the irony of EPA approving the SREs on National Agriculture Day “as farmers are long-suffering from lost market opportunities and low prices, and many farmer-owned ethanol plants across rural America are considering whether to suspend operations or sell out to a bigger company because of limited demand here at home, EPA has further depressed demand for ethanol by rubber stamping five more small Refinery Exemptions for 2017, and done so without reallocating the blending obligations to other refiners.”

National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik noted that the exemptions hurt biodiesel producers as well. “The 2017 volumes for biomass-based diesel were set at 2 billion gallons, well below the industry’s proven ability to produce fuels. Now, the retroactive small refinery exemptions for 2017 have cut the obligation by a total of 240 million gallons or 12 percent. Because they’re retroactive exemptions, the reduced demand for biomass-based diesel will hit our industry throughout 2019.”

ACE, advance biofuels, Biodiesel, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NBB, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

RFA Addresses Current Ethanol Issues

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

There’s been a lot going on in the world of ethanol recently – EPA just released its E15 RVP/RIN reform proposal, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is expected to announce pending petitions for more small refiner exemptions, and EIA just released final 2018 data confirming ethanol demand destruction – just to mention a few.

The Renewable Fuels Association held a media conference call today to discuss all of these developments, as well as a new analysis showing a year-over-year decrease in domestic ethanol usage for the first time since 1998. At the same time, the average content of ethanol in gasoline – referred to as the blend rate – similarly fell for the first time since comparable statistics became available in 2009.

Taking part in the conference call were RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper, RFA Chief Economist Scott Richman, RFA Chairman Neil Koehler, CEO of Pacific Ethanol, and Steve Walk, COO of Protec Fuel.

“We’re moving into a pivotal period for the ethanol industry and we are expecting EPA to make several decisions in the next few months that will really chart the course of the industry for the next 3-5 years,” said Cooper.

Audio of full media call –
RFA media call 3-14-19

Opening remarks from each participant:

RFA media call - RFA CEO Geoff Cooper

RFA media call - RFA Economist Scott Richman

RFA media call - RFA chairman Neil Koehler, Pacific Ethanol

RFA media call - Steve Walk, Protec

RFA media call - questions
Audio, E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, RFS, RINS