Cruz Talks Ethanol at Iowa Event

cruz-rts-1Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has gotten a sudden bump in the polls, showing him now leading front runner Donald Trump among committed Iowa caucus goers.

On Friday, Trump criticized Cruz’s lack of support for ethanol, but on December 5 the senator appeared at the FreedomWorks Rising Tide Summit in Cedar Rapids and spoke very favorably about ethanol, saying in his speech that as president he would “take on the EPA’s blend wall that is preventing ethanol and biofuels from having a larger share of the marketplace.”

Asked about ethanol by reporters at the event, Cruz expanded on that comment. “One of the things I am committed to doing is expanding market access to ethanol,” he said. “Right now you see federal regulatory barriers, you see EPA blocking ethanol’s ability to access the market. As president, I will remove those barriers.”

Cruz specifically said he supports all sources of energy, including ethanol. “I think God has blessed this country with abundant natural resources,” he said. “But you shouldn’t have government picking winners and losers. My tax plan that I’ve introduced eliminates every subsidy across the board for energy,” he added, including oil.

Asked if ethanol can survive without the Renewable Fuel Standard, Cruz said, “Not only would ethanol survive without the RFS, ethanol can and will grow. There is a market demand for ethanol. Ethanol adds octane to gasoline in an environmentally responsible matter, and right now the barrier to ethanol expanding is the federal government.”

Listen to Cruz’s comments here: Cruz comments on ethanol in Iowa

Trump Hits Cruz on Ethanol

trump-iowaDuring an appearance at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Friday, Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump talked about his support for ethanol and how his primary rival in the state, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, supports oil.

“Where are the ethanol people?” Trump asked the crowd, which cheered in return. “I was here a month ago, I met with them all and they do a fantastic job – I toured the plants….it’s so important.”

Trump says he doesn’t understand why Sen. Cruz is doing so well in Iowa when he is against ethanol. “He’s got to come a long way because he’s right now for the oil,” Trump said. “I understand it. Oil pays him a lot of money. He’s got to be for oil, right? The oil companies give him a lot of money. But I’m with you. I’m with everybody. Look, I’m self-funding. I have no oil company. I have no special interest.”

After a question about Cruz and his lack of support for ethanol, Trump added, “If Ted Cruz is against ethanol, how does he win in Iowa, because that’s very anti-Iowa.”

Listen to Trump’s comments here: Trump comments on ethanol in Iowa

Global Groups Call on COP21 to Support Biofuels

Biofuels organizations representing multiple nations may have their differences but they have come together in a call for world leaders attending the COP21 in Paris to set a goal for increasing use of biofuels for transportation.

climate-summitThe call for a global commitment to replace at least 15 percent of the world’s total oil use in transport with sustainable biofuels by 2030 was issued by five biofuel and biotech organizations in conjunction with a joint industry event held at the World Climate Summit on Sunday in Paris during COP21. The event was organized by five biofuel and biotech organizations that collectively represent over 330 companies responsible for 90 percent of the world’s biofuels production.

At the Summit, the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) released a new report showing the significant contribution that biofuels have made to greenhouse gas reduction worldwide and could make in the future. According to the report, total GHG emission reductions from biofuels for 2014 was estimated at 169 million tonnes CO2 equivalent. Projecting a conservative annual growth rate of 2.8 percent in biofuel production and use through the year 2030, the report forecasts that emission savings could increase to 264 million tonnes CO2 equivalent, a 56 percent increase.

“This report sends a clear message to policy makers around the world that while the GHG emission reductions currently being delivered by biofuels are substantial, the sector can deliver much more,” said GRFA president Bliss Baker.

The COP21 United Nations climate change conference concludes December 11.

Global RFA Urges COP21 to Support Biofuels

global-rfaAs world leaders continue to meet in Paris for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21), the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) is asking them to signal their support for biofuels as one of the tools to fight climate change.

“This conference is a real opportunity for world leaders to recognize the role that renewable fuels have played, and will continue to play, in the transition to a low-carbon global economy,” said GRFA president Bliss Baker. “The climate problem is accelerating and biofuels represent one of the most cost-effective solutions to reduce oil use and greenhouse gas emissions from transport in the short and medium term.”

So far, 36 countries have already recognized the opportunity presented by biofuels in reducing GHG emissions and combating climate change, and have included them in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) plans. Studies have shown that most biofuels, like ethanol, are proven to reduce harmful GHGs from 40% to 90% compared to fossil fuels around the world.

“Given the significant contribution biofuel is making in reducing global GHG emissions today, we believe COP 21 participants should call for an increase in biofuel use through the introduction of supportive policies, particularly for advanced biofuels,” concluded Baker.

RFA Announces E85Prices.com Contest

Users of the popular fuel market website E85prices.com can not only find where the cheapest 85% ethanol is being sold near them, they also have a chance to get it for free.

e85-pricesThe Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has announced a new contest for E85Prices.com users to win free E85. Each month, RFA will draw one random user from those that have submitted E85 price experiences during the past month and reward them with a $100 E85 fuel card. The more users submit prices, the better chance they have of winning.

“We want to drive consumers to the website in order to capture more data and reward them for doing just that,” said Robert White, RFA’s vice president of industry relations. “Data has never been more important for expanding retail availability of higher ethanol blends and defending the Renewable Fuel Standard against the ‘blend wall’ rhetoric. This new effort will help ensure that our station database and associated price reports are the most accurate possible.”

RFA purchased E85prices.com in February and has since released a new version of the website and the associated mobile app. Users can submit prices for all blends of ethanol like E15 and E30, but must always submit prices for E85 and regular unleaded.

Existing users do not need to do anything new in order to qualify. Non-users need to register at www.E85prices.com and submit your pricing experiences.

RFA Offers Webinars on International Buyer Program

NEC 2016aThe Renewable Fuels Association is offering two free webinars next week for ethanol producers to learn more about the International Buyer Program that will be part of the 2016 National Ethanol Conference, February 15-17 in New Orleans.

The National Ethanol Conference (NEC) has been selected to be a participant of the U.S. Department of Commerce International Buyer Program, which recruits pre-screened foreign buyer delegations and brings them to selected trade shows and conferences to allow U.S. companies to connect with international buyers. International trade specialists will be at the International Trade Center onsite at the NEC to provide export counseling, matchmaking services, market analysis and more. The registration deadline for U.S. exporters to participate in the IBP is December 31, 2015.

The webinars will provide an overview of benefits to U.S. companies under the International Buyer Program, as well as market insights including demand, policies, and key players. They will also give information on how to register for the Exporter Interest Directory that will be distributed to the international buyers.

The webinar topics, dates and times are:

Ethanol Opportunities in Asian Markets, including Philippines, China, and India
Monday, December 7
10AM EST/9 AM CST
Free registration link

Ethanol Opportunities in Latin American Markets, including Brazil and Mexico
Tuesday, December 15
11AM EST/10 AM CST
Free registration link

Any U.S. ethanol company interested in exporting product overseas or expanding sales to new markets is encouraged to learn more in the webinars and register for the IBP.

Funds Available for Blender Pumps in Iowa

blender-pump-iowaIowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced that funds are now available through the new “Fueling Our Future 100” initiative and interested retailers in Iowa can apply for cost share funding to assist with the purchase and installation of blender pumps and underground storage tank (UST) infrastructure for higher blends of ethanol.

“We continue to see that when consumers have a choice at the pump they will choose to increase the amount of clean burning, homegrown renewable fuels they use,” said Northey. “Through this program we will see a total investment of $10 million to help build the renewable fuels infrastructure in the state.”

Iowa received a $5 million grant from the USDA Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) program to support the initiative which will be matched by non-federal funds, including $2.5 million from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP). The fueling sites applying for assistance will also be required to provide a minimum of $2.5 million.

“Thanks to the USDA’s blender pump program, Iowans will now be able to benefit from the wider availability of E15 and E85,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Managing Director Lucy Norton. “More blender pumps in Iowa means more competition at the pump, resulting in even lower fuel prices, better air quality and stronger energy security.”

ProtecFuel and the IRFA will be hosting a free retailer workshop on Monday, December 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to assist retailers in understanding and applying for grant funding. For more information and to register for the free retailer workshop, please visit: www.IowaRFA.org/ProtecWorkshop.

Midwest Renewable Energy to use Enogen® corn

Enogen logoSyngenta has signed an agreement with Midwest Renewable Energy to begin using Enogen® corn enzyme technology at its Sutherland, Nebraska ethanol production facility beginning with the 2016 planting season.

“The agreement with MRE will enable them to source alpha amylase enzyme directly from local growers and keep enzyme dollars in the local community,” said Chris Tingle, head of marketing for Enogen at Syngenta. “This is what truly sets Enogen corn apart from other technologies designed to enhance ethanol production. It adds significant incremental value at the local level for communities that rely on their ethanol plant’s success.”

Midwest Renewable Energy operates a 28 million gallons per year dry-mill ethanol plant and CEO Jim Jandrain says the opportunity to invest locally is a key benefit of using Enogen grain. “We look forward to purchasing alpha amylase in the form of high-quality grain directly from local corn growers,” Jandrain said. “When you think about the value that Enogen will deliver for our growers, our facility and our community, it’s a win-win-win scenario.”

Syngenta is now contracting Enogen with growers to support 18 ethanol plants in seven states, representing approximately 1.3 billion gallons of ethanol capacity. Enogen corn is expected to generate approximately $29 million of additional revenue for local growers in 2016 through per-bushel premiums.

#Biodiesel Board Outlines Positives in #RFS Rule

nBBThe National Biodiesel Board (NBB) held a press call today to explain why they are so pleased with the final rule on volume obligations for biodiesel under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

First of all, NBB CEO Joe Jobe says the rule shows steady growth for biomass-based diesel from 2012 through 2017. “It grows the program from a billion gallons in 2012 to calling for two billion gallons in 2017,” he said. “So that’s a doubling of our industry that is pretty much on track to happen in a five year time period.” He adds that they hope to double again in the following five years.

In addition, Jobe says the rule shows a commitment on the part of the administration to utilize the RFS program to achieve greenhouse gas reduction in the heavy duty transportation sector and gets the program back on track.

At the same time, Jobe says they are continuing to work with Congress to have the biodiesel tax incentives extended, because that works with the RFS for continued growth in the industry. “They’re both important to us, they’re both priorities to us and they’re both needed in this still nascent stage of our industry,” said Jobe.

Also participating in the call with Jobe was NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs Anne Steckel: Biodiesel Board call on RFS volumes

More #Ethanol Groups Disappointed with #RFS Rule

While ethanol industry representatives agree that the EPA final rule for volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard is an improvement, most still are disappointed.

aceAmerican Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Executive Vice President Brian Jennings says the final rule protects the oil industry from meeting the requirements that Congress intended.

“When Congress enacted the Renewable Fuel Standard it voted to side with those of us who said ‘yes we can’ reduce greenhouse gas emissions from motor fuel, ‘yes we can’ allow consumer access to E15 and flex fuels, and ‘yes we can’ spark innovative ways to produce cleaner fuels,” said Jennings. “While we appreciate that the Administration made incremental improvements compared to the proposed RFS rule, unfortunately, today they are choosing to side with those who say ‘no, we can’t’. Regrettably, EPA’s final RFS rule protects the old way of doing business by obstructing consumer access to cleaner fuels, stifling competition in the marketplace, and undermining innovation.”

Iowa RFA logo-newIowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw says the final rule is a blow to farmers and fuel choice for consumers. “Given EPA’s stated rationale for these numbers, one of the most successful energy policies in our nation’s history has been put squarely in the stranglehold of the petroleum industry,” said Shaw. “As a result, consumers will see higher prices at the pump and Iowa farmers will likely continue to see commodity prices below the cost of production.”

Iowa has 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing 3.9 billion gallons annually, including nearly 55 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity.

NEB logoNebraska Ethanol Board administrator Todd Sneller, who is also chairman of the Clean Fuels Development Coalition, called the final rule “disappointing but not unexpected” and said it means biofuels must move beyond government imposed limits and establish new value based on performance and environmental benefits. “The RFS was, and remains, a foundation to provide a solid base for biofuels to continue to develop,” Sneller said. “All this means is EPA will limit the amount of biofuels they intend to manage under this particular program. Ethanol’s high octane and cleaner-burning properties make it an extremely valuable fuel and we expect increasing demand for those reasons.”

“Our challenge and wake-up call is to provide a valuable product that does not depend on levels established by the EPA,” said Doug Durante, CFDC executive director. Although the EPA has chosen to limit the amount of fuels like ethanol under the RFS, Durante says the EPA could choose to increase biofuel demand by limiting toxic compounds in gasoline, which the agency is required to do under the Clean Air Act.

AESI logoFormer United States Senator and Americans for Energy Security and Innovation (AESI) Chairman Jim Talent said that this midterm modification to the RFS flies in the face of the intent of Congress when it passed the law, and says the President is saying that if oil companies refuse to comply with the law, then the EPA can waive the obligation.

Talent added, “It is clear that the Obama Administration and Democrats have once again abandoned Rural America by finalizing a new rule that undermines the Renewable Fuel Standard and threatens the 850,000 well-paying American jobs that have been created by this successful law. With billions invested in this industry thus far, the Obama Administration’s new lackluster standards threaten the already frozen $13.7 billion in investments in advanced biofuels and discourage new investments in clean energy.