MN Biofuels Names 2018 Distinguished Retailer

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The Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association has named Plymouth Station Holiday as its 2018 Distinguished Retailer.

“Plymouth Station Holiday was one of the first stations in Minnesota to offer E15 back in 2015. Since then they have added E15 at their other station in Plymouth and will soon begin offering it at a new station in New Hope,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director at MN Biofuels.

Besides E15, Plymouth Station Holiday also offers E30 and E85.

Liz Nalezny, owner of Plymouth Station Holiday, is pictured here receiving honor from MN Biofuels president Brian Kletscher and executive director Tim Rudnicki.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Retailers

Export Exchange Generates $400 Million in Sales

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The recent 2018 Export Exchange in October has generated $403 million in sales of U.S. coarse grains and co-products, including distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and feed grains, according to the organizers.

Grain buyers from 35 countries attended the conference in Minneapolis, sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy to offer an opportunity for education and introductions to members of the U.S. grains production and export industries.

Buyers and end-users were polled while at the conference and immediately after regarding purchase agreements with sellers and how much volume (tonnage) they bought. In total, attendees reported sales of approximately 2.1 million metric tons of grains and co-products traded either at the conference or immediately before or after.

The top grain traded during the two-day conference was DDGS, with more than 1.3 million metric tons collectively exchanged. This number translates to just over 11 percent of last year’s total U.S. DDGS exports. In addition, buyers reported contracting 619,000 metric tons of U.S. corn and 4,050 metric tons of U.S. sorghum.

The Export Exchange is held every other year so the next event will be in 2020.

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

More Comments on House Fuels Act

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Many industry organizations provided feedback yesterday to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment on the discussion draft “21st Century Transportation Fuels Act,” both in person and in writing. The legislation proposes an exchange of a national (95 RON) octane fuel requirement for repeal of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings says the bill draws attention to why higher octane fuel is needed but fails to chart a sufficient course for how to get there. “Requiring automakers to warranty their vehicles to operate on a minimum 95 RON fuel (about the same as today’s premium) in exchange for effective repeal of the RFS will not improve fuel quality by increasing ethanol use, rather, it is a mechanism to undo the competition-forcing core of the RFS and limit ethanol use to current volumes.”

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson submitted a statement to the committee.

“NFU agrees that fuel and vehicle regulation can and should work hand-in-hand to promote clean-burning, alternative renewable fuels,” said Johnson. “High octane fuels through higher blends of ethanol should be the fuel for today and the future.”

National Biodiesel Board Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik testified at the hearing on Tuesday saying that while the bill addresses the industry’s frustrations with the EPA setting biomass-based diesel volumes well below the ability to produce, “improvements to the discussion draft are needed to incentivize further investments and support predictable year-over-year growth.” Kovarik also notes that changes to the octane standard will have no impact on biodiesel.

ACE, Biodiesel, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NBB, NFU

Farm Bill Poised for Passage

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The Senate voted 87-13 yesterday to pass the 2018 Farm Bill approved by the conference committee this week and the House is expected to do so soon.

“We think the farm bill’s in very good shape,” said President Trump as he sat down with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), just before getting into a spat with them over border wall funding. “That will be quite bipartisan and it will happen pretty soon.”

Audio – President Trump comments on farm bill

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (TX-11) released a video yesterday highlighting the wins in the 2018 Farm Bill conference report for rural America and calling on his colleagues to pass the legislation.

“Over five months of negotiations—now is the time to do it, and I hope to persuade my Republican colleagues that that’s the case,” says Conaway. “Once this is all said and done, I will be one happy camper.”

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, farm bill, Government, Video

Ethanol Interests Testify on Proposed Fuels Act

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Ethanol stakeholder groups were among those testifying Tuesday at a House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee hearing to review a discussion draft of the 21st Century Transportation Fuels Act, which would effectively repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Geoff Cooper said that while the draft legislation is “an important first step in the debate about future fuels policy and the role of high octane fuels,” they cannot support the proposal because it “does not provide the long-term certainty and growth path” that America’s ethanol producers need.

By eliminating the RFS for conventional biofuels, “…the draft bill would destabilize the considerable progress our nation has made toward greater energy security, economic vitality, and environmental health,” Cooper testified. “We simply cannot support eliminating the RFS program, as the draft envisions, without a much stronger signal to the market that ethanol’s role in our fuel supply will continue to grow.”

Listen here – House committee hearing testimony of RFA CEO Geoff Cooper

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor testified on the success of the RFS in creating ethanol demand over the past decade. “Only by coupling a stable RFS with a significant boost in octane from a mid-level ethanol blend, can consumers realize significant cost savings, increased engine efficiency, and substantial environmental benefits,” Skor said in her testimony. “Unfortunately, this draft as proposed will lead to reduced blending of cleaner biofuel and it will raise costs significantly for American drivers.”

Listen here – House committee hearing testimony of Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor

Texas farmer and National Corn Growers Association past president and chairman Wesley Spurlock noted farmers’ increased productivity since 2007, as well as the benefits of value-added co-products like distillers grains for feed and corn oil for biodiesel.

“As use of homegrown renewable fuels has grown and as farmers have become more productive using fewer resources, the benefits of the RFS have exceeded those Congress projected,” Spurlock said. “NCGA believes we should build on the success of the RFS when moving a future fuel policy forward.”

Listen here – House committee hearing testimony of NCGA past president Wesley Spurlock

Audio, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Government, Growth Energy, NCGA

Congress Urged to Extend Biodiesel Tax Incentive

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The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and more than 50 industry stakeholders delivered a letter to Congressional leaders Monday, urging them to enact a multiyear extension of the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax incentive before Congress adjourns for the year.

In February 2018, Congress retroactively extended the tax incentive for 2017, leaving it expired for this year and beyond. The letter welcomes a recent proposal for a seven-year extension of the tax incentive.

In the letter, the biodiesel industry stakeholders state, “We believe that a multiyear extension of the tax incentive would help the biodiesel industry achieve substantial growth over the next several years, creating significant new employment opportunities, an important market for agricultural products and renewable feedstocks, as well as opportunities for rural economic growth.”

“The biodiesel industry has long advocated for a multiyear extension of the tax incentive,” said NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik. “Congress can provide the certainty and predictability for producers and feedstock providers that will help us achieve our potential. Because the incentive is currently expired, it is urgent that Congress act before the end of the year.”

The U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel market has grown from about 100 million gallons in 2005, when the incentive was first implemented, to nearly 2.9 billion gallons in 2016.

Biodiesel, NBB

Ethanol Exports Exceeding Expectations

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U.S. ethanol exports are on a roll.

For the third time this year, American ethanol exports have reached record numbers, with the total hitting 1.69 billion gallons (bg) on a rolling 12-month basis, according to Growth Energy. As of October this calendar year, exports totaled 1.41 billion gallons, already more than the total for 2017 with an additional two months yet to report.

U.S. ethanol exports totaled 175.4 million gallons (mg) in October, according to the latest government data released last week and analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). This is nearly double (up 95%) September exports and the third highest monthly total on record, only surpassed by February (218.7 mg) and March (215.1 mg) of this year. Shipments were bolstered by the strongest demand for American ethanol in six months by Brazil.

A widespread shuffling of customers occurred in October with Brazil bumping Canada to capture the position of top U.S. customer. Brazil imported 54.5 mg—up 49.1 mg and representing 31% of U.S. export sales—as the sugarcane harvest began to wind down. Canada decreased its offtake by 12%, importing 30.7 mg or 18% of U.S. ethanol shipments in October. India boosted its purchases of U.S. ethanol to a record 29.1 mg for a 17% hold on American ethanol exports. Sales to these three countries represent two-thirds of all shipments in October.

Growth Energy notes that Canada is likely to increase exports in the coming years with the recent announcement by Ontario to move to a 15 percent ethanol-blended fuel mandate by 2025. “Developments such as Canada’s commitment to higher blends of ethanol and the growing popularity of ethanol in Brazil should give optimism for the future of the global ethanol outlook in the coming years. President Trump recently signaled there could be a possible resolution to the current trade tensions with China soon, meaning a market for potentially hundreds of millions of gallons could reopen to American producers, which closed in March of this year.”

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, Growth Energy, RFA

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