NBB Announces New West Coast Office

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The National Biodiesel Board is opening a new west coast office to be led by long-time California Air Resources Board (CARB) Division Chief Floyd Vergara. The expansion will bolster NBB’s presence on the west coast where climate programs are a substantial market driver for low carbon fuels like biodiesel and renewable diesel and will also bring critical regulatory expertise to the association as similar programs take flight across the country.

Vergara brings more than 32 years of experience at CARB to the NBB team. Most recently, he served as Chief of the Industrial Strategies Division and Assistant Chief of the Research Division. Over the years, Vergara has overseen a number of CARB’s key climate and air quality programs, including the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Cap-and-Trade program, among others.

The new office will be in Sacramento, co-located with the California Advanced Biofuels Alliance office. Vergara will serve as Director of State Regulatory Affairs for NBB.

Biodiesel, NBB

USDA Deputy Reassures Senators About EPA Proposal

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a hearing Thursday to hear from USDA Deputy Secretary Steve Censky regarding implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill, but several senators were more concerned about the EPA supplemental proposal out this week.

Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) was first to ask about it. “I can just assure you directly from conversations with the president and the president is insistent that EPA administer this to make sure we achieve 15 billion gallons,” said Censky. Listen to that exchange:

Sen. Smith and USDA Deputy Censky - EPA RFS proposal (3:07)

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Ethanol Report on RFA Reaction to EPA Proposal

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Environmental Protection Agency issued a Supplemental Proposal for Renewable Fuels Volumes October 15, following up on the administration plan announced October 4. However, biofuel groups were surprised to find that the proposal is very different than the promise.

“Simply put, this proposal is not what was promised by the administration just over a week ago and fails to answer President Trump’s personal call for a stronger conventional biofuel requirement of more than 15 billion,” says Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Geoff Cooper

In this edition of The Ethanol Report podcast, Cooper explains the proposal and how it differs from what the industry was told as to how EPA would account for small refinery waivers going forward.

Ethanol Report on RFA Reaction to EPA Proposal

Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, RFA, RFS

No More Iowa Nice

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

No more Mr. Iowa Nice Guy.

That was a message delivered during a press conference with representatives of Iowa’s corn, ethanol, biodiesel and soybean producers in response to the Supplemental Proposal for Renewable Fuels Volumes released Tuesday by EPA.

Iowa Corn Growers Association CEO Craig Floss quoted one farmer who is outraged over the proposal. “No more Iowa Nice, now it’s Iowa Pissed.”

Floss was joined by Iowa Soybean Association farmer Dave Walton; Grant Kimberley, Iowa Biodiesel Board; and Monte Shaw, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, who all condemned the EPA proposal which they say fails to live up to President Trump’s promise to biofuels producers.

EPA proposal reaction from Iowa groups (13:07)

Audio, Biodiesel, biofuels, corn, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA, Soybeans

Biofuels Groups Disappointed With EPA Proposal

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Less than two weeks ago biofuels organizations and stakeholders were praising the Trump Administration agreement to promote biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Now that the details have been made public, not so much.

The notice released by EPA on Tuesday “does not change the proposed volumes for 2020 and 2021. Instead, it proposes and seeks comment on adjustments to the way that annual renewable fuel percentages are calculated.”

Specifically, the agency is seeking comment on projecting the volume of gasoline and diesel that will be exempt in 2020 due to small refinery exemptions based on a three-year average of the relief recommended by the Department of Energy (DOE), including where DOE had recommended partial exemptions. The agency intends to grant partial exemptions in appropriate circumstances when adjudicating 2020 exemption petitions. The agency proposes to use this value to adjust the way we calculate renewable fuel percentages.

Ethanol and biodiesel organizations are not happy with the proposal.

“If the Oct. 4 announcement from EPA was a big step forward, today’s supplemental proposal is a step backward,” said Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Geoff Cooper. “It falls short of delivering on President Trump’s pledge to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard and leaves farmers, ethanol producers, and consumers with more questions than answers. It is baffling to us that the proposal sets the three-year average of exempted volume using the very same DOE recommendations that EPA blatantly ignored over and over.”

EPA proposal reaction from Geoff Cooper, RFA

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) notes that the “supplemental notice contains a never-before-discussed proposal to estimate small refinery exemptions for 2020, with no assurance that the estimate will come close to actual future exemptions. The biodiesel industry does not believe the proposal meets President Donald Trump’s October 4 promise to American farmers and biodiesel producers.”

EPA proposal reaction from Kurt Kovarik, NBB

EPA will hold a public hearing on Oct. 30, 2019 followed by a 30-day comment period from the date of the hearing to receive public input on these issues. The agency will finalize this action later this year.

ACE, Audio, Biodiesel, biofuels, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NBB, RFA, RFS

Trump Remarks Seem to Contradict EPA Plan

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Since the October 4 announcement, President Donald Trump mentioned the plan negotiated by the administration to address small refinery exemptions under the Renewable Fuel Standard at least twice while addressing farmers and ranchers. Those comments appear to contradict the EPA proposal released Tuesday which industry representatives say will likely not even result in maintaining the 15 billion gallons required under the RFS.

During the October 7 press conference to celebrate the Japanese trade agreement, President Trump said “we’ve come to an agreement and it’s going to be, I guess, getting close to 16 billion gallons.”

On October 10, President Trump recorded a message to farmers and ranchers from the Oval office that was distributed through the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) where he talked about what his administration has done for agriculture.

“Only days ago, my administration announced an agreement on the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said Trump. “We will increase the volume of ethanol we blend into our fuel above 15 billion gallons, ensuring certainty for American producers.

Listen to the comments below:

President Trump ethanol comment during Japan press conference

President Trump ethanol comments from NAFB
Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News

ACE Reacts to EPA RFS Proposal

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Because the Trump Administration announcement made on October 4 was “short on details and the final outcome is dependent upon a new rulemaking process” American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings chose to reserve final judgement on the plan until he saw the details.

Jennings says the details released on Tuesday failed to live up to the hype generated by the announcement. “The White House made it very clear on October 4 that in 2020 there would be at least 15 billion gallons of ethanol blending,” said Jennings. “This proposal and the approach they are taking to account for small refinery exemptions would absolutely NOT ensure that 15 billion gallons of ethanol gets blended in 2020.”

In this interview, Jennings explains the confusing plan EPA is proposing to ‘consider the exempt volumes of gasoline (and diesel) in previous years had EPA followed the Department of Energy (DoE) recommendations without deviation’ in determining the 2020 RVO. He also talks about how devastating the proposal is for farmers as they are harvesting this season during a year with more than its share of challenges.

10-15-19 Brian Jennings, American Coalition for Ethanol
ACE, Audio, EPA, Ethanol

Growth Energy Announces New Chairman

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Growth Energy has announced the election of Dan Sanders as new chairman of the board of directors, succeeding POET CEO Jeff Broin, who held the position since the association was formed in 2008.

Sanders is vice president of Front Range Energy, a 48 million gallon ethanol production facility located in Windsor, Colorado.

“I’m honored to serve our members and staff as the next chairman of the Growth Energy Board of Directors,” said Sanders. “I look forward to working with our dedicated board to lead our association’s strategies to deliver strong demand for our products and supportive policy.”

Broin announced in September he would step down as chairman, but plans to remain an active member of the Growth Energy board.

Ethanol, Growth Energy

Global Ethanol Summit Kicks Off in DC

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The first Global Ethanol Summit gets underway this morning in Washington D.C. with industry and government officials from 60 countries are meeting with U.S. officials to learn about prospects for expanded global ethanol use.

This week’s Summit, sponsored by the Council, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), features high-level government and industry officials from Algeria to Vietnam, who are working together to expand the global use of ethanol by developing policies with a role for trade.

Building on the success and momentum of 2017’s Ethanol Summit of the Americas and 2018’s Ethanol Summit of the Asia Pacific events, the Global Summit seeks to capitalize on potential markets around the world as demand increases for higher-level biofuels policies – including decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improving clean air quality. The Council and its partners are working in all of these countries to highlight ethanol’s benefits and address constraints to expanding ethanol’s use.

The two-day conference will feature remarks from both the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky and Foreign Agricultural Service’s Associate Administrator Daniel Whitley, who will speak on collaboration and trade and the U.S. energy renaissance, respectively.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Events, Exports, Grains, Growth Energy, RFA, USGC

Ethanol Production Rate Continues to Slow

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Ethanol production started this month below one million barrels per day for the third week in a row.

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending Oct. 4, ethanol production expanded 5,000 b/d or 0.5% to 963,000 barrels per day (b/d)—equivalent to 40.45 million gallons daily. This was the third straight week in which production was below 1 million b/d, and output was 7.4% lower than a year ago. The four-week average ethanol production rate slowed for the sixth week, declining 1.5% to 967,000 b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 14.82 billion gallons and the lowest average since June 2016.

In addition, ethanol stocks plummeted 8.6% to 21.2 million barrels, the largest weekly draw on record, and inventories were the smallest since Sept. 2017.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA