BIO to Put Innovation in Name

bio-logoSame acronym… new innovative meaning. The Biotechnology Industry Organization… better known as BIO will soon become the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. This news release from BIO says the change is to highlight the scientific innovation the group brings.

“I’m pleased to announce that the BIO Board has approved a change to BIO’s name… from the Biotechnology Industry Organization to the Biotechnology Innovation Organization,” said BIO’s new Board Chair, Ron Cohen, CEO of Acorda Therapeutics. “Still BIO, but now with a name that better expresses the essence of what our member companies represent.”

BIO’s President and CEO, Jim Greenwood added, “This is a great move that will help clarify for policymakers and the public the heart of our industry – scientific innovation that will help to heal, feed and fuel the world. Each day, our members use cutting edge science and technology to deliver game-changing products, therapies and cures to improve the human condition.”

The new name will be launched in early 2016.

Clinton Campaign Announcement Highlights Biofuels

hillary-2016Hillary Clinton seems to understand the importance in courting the biofuels vote, especially in Iowa, as she officially kicked off her presidential campaign. America’s Renewable Future (ARF) noted her support for advanced biofuels as part of making America a clean energy superpower.

“…We will make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century [by] developing renewable power—wind, solar, advanced biofuels; building cleaner power plants, smarter electric grids, greener buildings; using additional fees and royalties from fossil fuel extraction to protect the environment,” said Clinton at the New York rally.

“Sec. Clinton has shown great insight and leadership on the issue of advanced biofuels and she clearly understands that renewable fuel is a key component of a 21st century energy policy,” said former Lt. Gov. and ARF Co-Chair, [Democrat] Patty Judge, “Renewable fuel supports over 852,000 American jobs, reduces our dependence on foreign oil, and gives consumers cleaner, less expensive choices at the pump.”

“We are grateful for her recognition of the role biofuels can play in our energy development, but the key to success for advanced biofuels is a partnership with first generation biofuels,” added Judge, “We invite Sec. Clinton to tour a plant and learn how we only fulfill the promise of advanced biofuels by having a strong corn ethanol industry.”

Clinton had recently penned an op-ed for the Cedar Rapids Gazette calling to get the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) back on track.

NASCAR Fans Support Ethanol, Reach Out to EPA

RFS-NASCARNASCAR fans are serving as an important source for support of ethanol and letting the Obama Administration know their displeasure over the government’s proposal on how much of the green fuel is to be mixed into the nation’s fuel supply. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) says racing fans have seen for themselves just how well E15 performs and hundreds of them attending races in St. Louis and Michigan took time to send comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asking it to reverse its decision to reduce the use of corn ethanol.

“We make ethanol here, so it has many benefits, such as lower fuel costs for consumers, job creation, and of course cleaner air — which is why NASCAR changed to E15 American Ethanol,” said Jon Holzfaster, a farmer from Paxton, Neb. “So, it is very encouraging to see the fans engage and try to make sure the current Renewable Fuel Standard remains in place.”

Several hundred fans sent post cards messages to expressing their concern should the country drift away from its commitment to renewable, environmentally superior biofuels.

With the opening of the public comment period regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to cut corn ethanol in the Renewable Fuel Standard by nearly 4 billion gallons, the National Corn Growers Association is also urging farmers and their family and friends to email their opposition to this proposal as soon as possible, before the July 27 deadline.

“One of the major goals of the American Ethanol program is to raise general public awareness of all higher blends of ethanol have to offer and it’s working,” Holzfaster said. “NASCAR fans have become more knowledgeable and supportive, so it makes perfect sense to give them a way to join farmers and show their support.”

NCGA has this link to make it easier for supporters of the RFS to let their thoughts be known to the EPA.

RFA Names New Communications Director

rfa-jacksonA man with a professional background in ag communications is the new communications director for the Renewable Fuels Association. The group says Tony Jackson, a former Director of External Affairs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency and counsel for the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, is also a graduate of Boston College Law School.

“We are thrilled to have Tony joining our remarkable team,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “With his extensive communications and policy background, Tony will be a tremendous asset to RFA in its efforts to tell the story of how the U.S. ethanol industry is bolstering rural economies and assisting our nation to become more energy independent.”

“I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of the RFA team,” Jackson said. “I look forward to using my skills to amplify RFA’s voice, and to help our nation to become cleaner, safer, and more energy independent.”

Jackson will be responsible for developing and managing the full range of RFA’s communications efforts, including advocacy-oriented communications approaches, traditional and social media strategies, and brand awareness.

Syngenta Works with Iowa FFA for Ethanol

syngentaSyngenta is partnering up with Iowa FFA chapters to support ethanol. This company news release says the developer of the corn ethanol feedstock Enogen will be at the American Ethanol 200 with the FFA members to raise money and awareness for flex fuels – and the farm group.

The American Ethanol 200 is a 200-lap NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race honoring American-grown ethanol and presented for the third consecutive year by Enogen® corn enzyme technology. Money raised for flex fuel infrastructure by FFA members at the Iowa Speedway on race day will be matched by Syngenta, with a portion of the proceeds going to participating FFA chapters.

“Engaging the public about ethanol and renewable fuels is a good opportunity for my students,” said Miranda Johnson, advisor of the Twin Cedars FFA Chapter. “They are the future and they understand the importance of conservation and preservation of our land and resources – and the vital role farmers play in feeding and fueling our country.”

According to Jack Bernens, head of Enogen at Syngenta, the ethanol industry since its inception has had a profoundly positive impact on the U.S. economy and on rural America.

“Ethanol has enlarged and strengthened the market for American-grown corn, adding jobs in rural communities and spurring the innovation of new technologies,” he said. “Syngenta is pleased to again be partnering with local FFA chapters at the American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen to help spread the word about the importance of American ethanol and the need for increased flex fuel infrastructure. It’s inspiring to see FFA members embracing renewable fuels and helping to tell its story.”

Bernens added that investments in flex fuel pump infrastructure are necessary to help grow the market for American ethanol.

Corn Growers Urge Comments on RFS

PrintThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened the public comment period on its proposal to cut corn ethanol in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by nearly 4 billion gallons. That’s prompting the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) to urge farmers and their family and friends to email their opposition to this proposal as soon as possible, before the July 27 deadline.

“Last time, we were very clear to EPA about what we wanted,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling. “It is simple: EPA should follow the statute. For farmers and others in rural America, this new EPA proposal means low corn prices and ethanol plant and industry cutbacks. And for everyone, it means higher gas prices and dirtier air.”

This link while allow you to send a quick email: Various draft comments are available to enable both farmers and their non-farmer friends to easily send personalized notes to the EPA.

American Ethanol, NASCAR Rally Fans for RFS

amethanolrace1American Ethanol is using one of its most popular venues, NASCAR races, to rally fans to support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). This item from the National Corn Growers Association says races in Michigan and St. Louis this weekend will put the power of ethanol on display, while asking fans to let known their displeasure of the Obama Administration’s cut to the amount of ethanol in the RFS.

The highlight in Michigan will be Austin Dillon hitting the track in his second American Ethanol paintout of the season in his No. 3 Chevy. At Gateway American Ethanol will a sponsor the American Ethanol Presents Drivin’ for Linemen 200.

In both Michigan and St. Louis, fans will be asked to show their support for American Ethanol by sending postcards to the Environmental Protection Agency telling them to reverse their decision to cut the amount of ethanol currently in the Renewable Fuels Standard.

In both Michigan and Gateway, American Ethanol has teamed up with state corn growers to educate consumers at the race sites.

“This will be a great opportunity to connect consumers, car dealers and the Michigan farmers who contribute to our fuel supply for a weekend of fun and information,” said Jim Zook, executive director of the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan. “When we use more Michigan-made fuel, it translates directly into stronger rural communities, more jobs and more money that goes back into our state. Our corn growers are huge NASCAR fans, and we are proud of the work we do to supply these drivers with American Ethanol.”

“We are excited to be a part of this event because the Gateway track is surrounded by corn and ethanol production and both are critical parts of the economy,” said Lou Lamoreux, chairman of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board and a Lanark, Ill. farmer. “This location also gives us a chance to promote E15 and other higher blends of ethanol to drivers from urban St. Louis.”

Biodiesel Maker for Hemp-Infused Beer

extremebiodieselA biodiesel maker is teaming up with a Southern California brewer to make a hemp-infused beer. This article from Small Cap Network says Extreme Biodiesel is looking at providing hemp seeds to Off Your Rocker, a Southern California Craft Brewing Company.

Joseph Spadafore, President of Extreme Biodiesel stated “As stated previously XTRM has been pursuing several projects to increase our presence in the Hemp sector including Hemp to Biodiesel, and a personal biomass reactor. As federal and governments ease restrictions XTRM will be in a position to capitalize in those markets.”

Some of the terms of the negotiations include royalties for each unit sold.

Camelina Offers Dual-Crop Possibility for Biodiesel

camelina harvest1Camelina could help end the food-versus-fuel debate for biodiesel. This article from the American Society of Agronomy says that new research found that growing camelina with soybeans in the Upper Midwest has promising signs.

Russ Gesch, a plant physiologist with the USDA Soil Conservation Research Lab in Morris, Minnesota, found encouraging results when growing Camelina sativa with soybean in the Midwest.

Camelina is a member of the mustard family and an emerging biofuel crop. It is well suited as a cover crop in the Midwest. “Finding any annual crop that will survive the [Midwest] winters is pretty difficult,” says Gesch, “but winter camelina does that and it has a short enough growing season to allow farmers to grow a second crop after it during the summer.”

Additionally, in the upper Midwest, soils need to retain enough rainwater for multiple crops in one growing season. Gesch and his colleagues measured water use of two systems of dual-cropping using camelina and soybean. They compared it with a more typical soybean field at the Swan Lake Research Farm near Morris, MN.

First, researchers planted camelina at the end of September. From there growing methods differed. In double-cropping, soybean enters the field after the camelina harvest in June or July. Relay-cropping, however, overlaps the crops’ time. Soybeans grow between rows of camelina in April or May before the camelina plants mature and flower.

While dual-cropping might not work for everyone, such as farms in the more arid West, where it does work, it also offers benefits, such as boosting soybean yields. Plus, the camelina flowers offer a good food source for pollinators at a time when there might not be a lot for the bees to eat.

E15 Goes on Summer Vacation – Again

Ankeny-MagRd1On the heels of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) cutting of the amount of ethanol required to be mixed into the nation’s fuel supply, the agency’s inaction on another front means 15% ethanol blended fuel is going on summer vacation again as the government forces retailers in many areas to needlessly restrict E15 sales to flex-fuel vehicles (FFV) only from June 1 through September 15.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw calls June 1 Petroleum Monopoly Day. “Iowans want to buy E15 and retailers want to sell it, but the EPA has yet again put the power in the hands of Big Oil to restrict the option of E15,” said Shaw. “This blatant market manipulation is proof positive that we need a strong RFS to crack the petroleum monopoly.”

“EPA continues to refuse to treat E10 and E15 the same during the summer. As a result, EPA prevents consumers from purchasing a cleaner-burning, lower-cost fuel and thereby actually helps buttress the artificial ‘blend wall’ that Congress has directed them to tear down,” Shaw added. “It’s almost comical that for three and a half months a year, EPA hands the fuel market over to Big Oil resulting in higher prices, more smog forming emissions, and more carbon emissions. How does that make sense?”

EPA has refused to equalize the vapor pressure regulations for E10 and E15 during the summer driving season, running from June 1 through September 15. This allows the petroleum industry to provide Iowa wholesale suppliers and retailers with only the E10 blendstock, cutting E15 out of the market. Ironically, according to Iowa RFA, adding the extra five percent ethanol to summertime E10 actually lowers the vapor pressure and reduces evaporative and tailpipe emissions.