Save the Date for the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit

2016-Summit-LogoMark your calendar for the 10th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit taking place Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at The Meadows Conference Center at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa. Hosted by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA), the event is free and open to the public.

“Our 10th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit is set to be bigger and better than ever,” said IRFA Managing Director Lucy Norton. “With so much discussion over the Renewable Fuel Standard, and with the Iowa Caucuses right around the corner, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit will be a great place to learn and engage on the latest renewable fuels issues.”

Although the Summit is free, registration is required and now open. Click here to learn more about the event, to register and to obtain information about sponsorship and trade show opportunities.

ACE Ads Feature RFS Success Stories

As the deadline for the final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rules nears for 2014, 2015 and 2016, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) is promoting members with RFS success stories in Washington, D.C.  One such story is being featured in Morning Consult’s daily energy brief and another in the November 18, 2015 edition of The Washington Post.

Delayne Johnson WaPo AdOne story features Delayne Johnson, CEO of Quad County Corn Processors and other features Jeff Oestmann, CEO of East Kansas Agri-Energy. Both are part of ACE’s Power by People campaign, an initiative that highlights people in the ethanol industry who are doing extraordinary things for the economy and the environment.

“ACE’s ads draw attention to the milestones that East Kansas Agri-Energy and Quad County Corn Processors have achieved in advanced and cellulosic biofuel thanks to the RFS, evidence that should help the Obama Administration stand strong on RFS blending volumes instead of caving into oil company demands,” said Brian Jennings, executive vice president of ACE.

Jeff Oestmann WaPo AdMorning Consult’s daily energy brief is read by more than 41,000 subscribers inside and out of the Beltway and ACE’s advertisement runs today through November 23. In addition, ACE is sponsoring a “cover wrap” print ad in copies of The Washington Post delivered to Capitol Hill on November 18. The print ad is available on the ACE website.

During the month of November, ACE’s social media platforms are also showcasing people from all walks of life, including retailers and consumers, who benefit from a strong RFS using videos, infographics, and profiles on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and featuring hashtags #RFSWorks, #PowerByPeople, and #RFSOnward.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1Greenbelt Resources Corporation has been nominated to receive a 2015 Patrick Soon-Shiong Innovation Award. Founded in partnership with Los Angeles Business Journal in 2010, the honors are awarded annually on the basis of accomplishment in a range of fields. The 2015 event, “Patrick Soon-Shiong Innovation Symposium and Awards,” will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills on November 18, 2015.
  • Biomass Supplies (Pvt) Ltd, based in Sri Lanka, is producing biomass from branches pruned from live fences of Gliricidia trees. The company, which works with 30,000 small farmers who have planted 60 million new trees, is the first smallholder project to earn RSB certification in South East Asia.
  • Green Plains Inc. has announced that it has completed the acquisition of an ethanol facility located in Hereford, Texas. The Hereford facility is the company’s fourteenth ethanol plant, bringing Green Plains’ total production capacity to more than 1.2 billion gallons per year. The company expects to offer the facility’s transportation and storage assets to its master limited partnership, Green Plains Partners LP.
  • Plug Power Inc. has announced it has been named to Deloitte’s 2015 Technology Fast 500, a listing of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America. Plug Power revenue grew 132 percent during the period from 2011 to 2014.

10K New U.S. Clean Energy Jobs in Q3

According to the latest Clean Energy Jobs report from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), there were almost 10,000 new clean energy jobs announced during the third quarter (Q3) this year. The top three states for the quarter were: Utah (2,950 jobs announced), California (1,916) and Colorado (850). Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Maine, Nebraska, Mississippi and North Dakota rounded out the top 10. So far this year, about 30,000 clean energy jobs have been announced.

E2 3rd Quarter Clean Jobs ReportThe top clean energy sector was solar with nearly 7,000 jobs at 23 projects in power generation or manufacturing. The wind energy industry came next with approximately 2,500 jobs across 11 projects.

Clean energy continues to put more Americans to work every day all across our country,” said Bob Keefe, E2’s executive director. “We can keep that growth going – but only if our state and federal lawmakers take action on the clean energy policies now before them.”

Keefe said the report suggests Congress could stimulate even more economic activity in clean energy through the passage of long-term federal tax incentives. These incentives assist in putting clean energy industries along with energy efficiency at a more level playing field with fossil fuel industries.

In addition, Keefe said the report highlights a how states can send a clear market signal to the private sector to increase investments, and create more jobs, by implementing the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The report notes that smart implementation of the Clean Power Plan by states – along with strong “subnational” clean energy policies in states like California – will help the U.S. meet its climate goals and show leadership as nearly 200 countries prepare to convene at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 21) in Paris next month.

“Here at home, the Clean Power Plan gives us a clear roadmap for creating good clean energy jobs,” said RJ Harrington, president and CEO of Sustainable Action Consulting near Denver. “Overseas, it solidifies America’s reputation as the global hub of innovative, entrepreneurial clean energy business activity.”

AUFC: Quit Doing Polluters’ Dirty Work

The Republican Attorneys General Association is meeting this weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona for its fall meeting and Americans United for Change (AUFC) is calling on its members to stop doing polluters’ dirty work. Rather, AUFC is encouraging Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and others to embrace the economic and health benefits of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP).

© Joostverbeek | - Dirty Smoke Stack Of Coal Fired Power Plant Photo

© Joostverbeek | – Dirty Smoke Stack Of Coal Fired Power Plant Photo

Several weeks ago AUFC released a video designed to expose dirty energy’s influence in the states that joined the lawsuits against the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The video claims that Republican Attorneys Generals who signed on have received more than $2.4 million from the dirty energy sector in the last two election cycles. AUFC says that while the court of public opinion acknowledges climate change, big polluters are hoping to win in the court of law. However, precedent shows otherwise; the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld EPA’s authority to take action to limit carbon pollution three times.

AUFC cites the CPP will save American’s money on their energy bills, lower health costs for asthma, lung cancer and other air pollution-related diseases and lead to 250,000 new jobs.

Brad Woodhouse, president, AUFC said, “Some might call it a coincidence that the Republicans Attorneys General who’ve taken tens of thousands of dollars from dirty energy interests are the same ones filing lawsuits against the Clean Power Plan, but I’d call it a serious conflict of interest and a breach of the public trust. When a state Attorney General chooses to serve as part of dirty energy’s unofficial defense team, who is left looking out for the public interests? The American people did not vote for a corporate takeover of Congress – but that’s exactly what they’re getting. Nearly half of all Americans live in areas where the air is unsafe to breathe, making the Clean Power Plan a breathe of fresh air for communities across the country. If you’re a public servant standing in the way of that, maybe it’s time to consider a clean break from your dirty energy friends. Continue reading

Trump Tours Iowa Ethanol Plant

P1000220Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump toured the POET Biorefining ethanol plant in Gowrie, Iowa last night to learn more about ethanol production and the role ethanol plays in the success of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). While onsite, he also visited with POET’s President James Moe along with America’s Renewable Future (ARF) Co-Chairs Lt. Governor Patty Judge and Bill Couser. Earlier this week, ARF released its Mid-term Report Card giving Trump a “Good Rating”.

“We want to thank Mr. Trump for his continued support for this industry and for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS),” said Judge. “He has shown that he is committed to Iowa’s farmers and to American entrepreneurship which has paved the way for making America cleaner, stronger, and more secure through the RFS.”

ARF is committed to both educating presidential candidates about the benefits of biofuels and the success of the RFS. In addition, they are publishing candidates’ views on these issues so voters who are concerned about energy issues understand the candidates’ positions prior to election day. According to ARF, Trump’s latest comments and show of support at the POET plant solidifies his standing with ARF and will earn him praise from the organization.

“It’s great for the country. I’m with you one hundred percent,” Trump said about the RFS to a crowd of POET employees and RFS supporters during his remarks.

Fuels America TV Ad Blasts Anti-RFS Congressmen

Fuels America has launched a new TV ad that blasts the Congressional leaders who sent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy a letter requesting that corn-based ethanol volumes be reduced in the final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rules. The final rules for 2014, 2015 and 2016 are expected by the end of this month.

The ad calls out Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) for protecting oil company profits and criticizes the signers who Fuels America calls climate change deniers. It continues by urging viewers to “Remind Peter Welch to stand up for Vermont, not oil companies and climate deniers.”

As noted in a previous story, the 184 Members of Congress who signed on have collectively received more than $39 million from the oil and gas industry throughout their careers. When combined, the signers have a National Environmental Scorecard of 2.74 out of a possible 100 (based on voting records) from the League of Conservation Voters (LCVs). The Scorecard is a nationally accepted yardstick used to rate members of Congress on environmental, public health, and energy issues. In addition 154 signers have an LCV score below 10, 140 have an LCV score below 5, and 76 have an LCV score of 0.

“After years of pleading with Congressman Welch, it is time to inform Vermonters about his beltway exploits with the oil industry attacking renewable fuels,” Advanced Biofuels Business Council Executive Director Brooke Coleman said in regards to the Congressional letter. “Mr. Welch didn’t just join an anti-biofuel campaign underwritten by the oil industry, he led the effort to recruit others. It is time to shine a brighter light on those encouraging EPA and the President to gut the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). It’s not a chorus, it is the oil industry, climate deniers and EPA bashers disguised as one. This letter and the millions of dollars of oil contributions flowing to its signers tell you everything you need to know about the anti-RFS crowd.”

The anti-RFS letter came shortly after several members of the Congressional Black Caucus called on the EPA to support the RFS citing negative health an environmental benefits of biofuels and the negative effects of emissions especially in vulnerable communities. Continue reading

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1The Association of Nebraska Ethanol Producers (ANEEP) has announced Mark Palmer will become its new executive director beginning January 1, 2016. Palmer comes to Nebraska from the Washington, D.C. office of Senator Dick Durbin (Ill.). In addition to his work as a senior policy advisor to Sen. Durbin, Palmer has worked to promote biofuels for the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, and as the Director of Office of External Affairs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Solenis LLC has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase 100% of the shares of Quimatec Produtos Químicos Ltda. and Locatec de Araraquara Ltda-Me. The transaction is expected to close by year end following receipt of customary regulatory approvals. “This is an excellent opportunity for Solenis to broaden our offering in the bioethanol market by leveraging Quimatec’s strong channel-to-market along with their advanced technology and leadership position in Brazil’s sugar-to-ethanol industry,” said John Panichella, president and CEO, Solenis.
  • Green Cow Power is a large digester facility which is now converting off-farm organic wastes and dairy manure into energy with two DVO, Inc. (DVO) Two-Stage Mixed Plug Flow digesters. Located in Goshen, Indiana, it is the largest waste-to-energy facility in Elkhart County and the eighth largest digester operation in Indiana. It was also recently awarded the American Biogas Council’s 2015 Agricultural Biogas Project of the Year award.
  • DEINOVE, a biotech company developing innovative processes for producing biofuels and bio-based chemicals by using Deinococcus bacteria, announced that it has been granted six new patents in the United States. Deinove now holds a portfolio of 170 patents internationally, divided into 19 families, representing a strategic asset for signing partnerships. With these patents, Deinove is pursuing a strategy of protecting its intellectual property, notably in the key market of the United States.

BIO Applauds Renewable Chemicals Act Bill

Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Coon (D-DE) and Al Franken have introduced a new bill, S. 2271 the Renewable Chemicals Act of 2015. If passed, the legislation would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide credits for the production of renewable chemicals and investments in renewable chemical production facilities. The companion bill in the House is H.R. 3390.

bio-logoAccording to the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) the Renewable Chemicals Act would create a targeted, short-term tax credit of 15 cents per pound for production of eligible renewable chemicals from produced from biomass-based feedstocks. Instead of the production tax credit that is currently in place, producers could choose to take a 30 percent investment tax credit for qualified investments for new renewable chemical production facilities.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, said in response to the legislation, “Creating incentives in tax policy will help drive U.S. industrial biotech companies to continue to innovate and develop new renewable products in the chemical space. Incentives that support renewable chemicals will promote enhanced innovation in the chemical industry, the construction of next generation integrated biorefineries while creating new jobs and enhancing environmental benefits.”

“We thank Senator Stabenow for her leadership in support of initiatives that help grow the bio-based economy and boost the agriculture and manufacturing sectors in America,” Erickson continued. “This legislation will allow U.S. companies to better compete in a rapidly growing global chemicals market.”

SolarWorld Harnesses Solar for U.S. Vets

Yesterday was a Veterans Day in the U.S., a day where citizens are asked to thank veterans for their service to our country. In conjunction with the celebration, SolarWorld announced the completion of two projects totaling 2.6 MW for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities: the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas and the West Texas VA Health Center in Big Spring, Texas.

The VA has set its sights toward generating as much as 5 percent of its power supply from solar over the short term and 20 percent by 2020.

VAWichita“We honor and value our nation’s returning soldiers, and all they have done for us,” said Ardes Johnson, U.S. vice president for sales of SolarWorld Americas Inc. and a former naval officer. “We know that solar can reduce the amount of fuel and fuel convoys in theater and therefore save lives as well as curb our needs for foreign fossil fuels. We also embrace the skills, leadership and training of our military men and women as potential employees working to advance this American-pioneered high-tech manufacturing industry.”

One company that participated in the Tennessee project is the Efficient Energy of Tennessee (EETN), a company founded by a veteran and has supported up to 20 jobs for veterans at its solar projects for the VA. EETN was established in 2009 in Powell, Tenn., by Robbie Thomas, a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Navy Submarine Force.

“As a veteran, I fully understand how expanding renewable energy supports our national defense and energy security,” Thomas said. “Efficient Energy of Tennessee is proud to support veterans in the solar energy workforce because they bring an unparalleled skill set and unyielding focus to accomplish the mission.”