Fuels America Launches New Ad Campaign

Fuels America is launching a new seven-figure TV and digital ad campaign today urging President Obama to make a choice between the oils industry and renewable fuels for the future.

fuels-americaThe campaign depicts President Obama’s choice of who to listen to when it comes to the Renewable Fuel Standard: his own experts who have repeatedly shown that ethanol and renewable fuel is dramatically reducing carbon emissions, or the oil industry, which has spent decades covering up the science and facts on both renewable fuel and climate science.

“President Obama’s choice on the Renewable Fuel Standard is clear. He can choose to listen to Big Oil’s distortions and lies, or he can listen to his own scientists who have shown that the RFS significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions,” said Brent Erickson, Executive Vice President at BIO.

“The truth is that slashing the amount of clean, domestic renewable fuel in our motor fuel supply would dramatically increase pollution and carbon emissions, while strengthening the RFS and building on the progress of the past 10 years would help in our efforts to combat climate change,” said National Corn Growers Association president Chip Bowling, a Maryland farmer.

The 30-second TV spot and digital ads are both airing in the Beltway. The campaign follows aggressive attempts by oil industry-funded special interest groups API and Smarter Fuel Future to discredit the climate benefits of renewable fuel—and as usual, their claims are false and wholly unsupported.

Listen to Erickson and Bowling announce the new campaign here: New Fuels America campaign

Funds Help @ProtecFuel Expand Ethanol Pumps

vilsack-steveWednesday was a big day for Protec Fuel as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced funding to increase retail pumps for higher ethanol blends in 21 states through the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership.

“Now it’s finally official,” said Protec Fuel VP of Operations and Business Development Steve Walk. “The funds will be dispersed to the respective states, projects can start and they’re going to be done by the end of next year. The fuel industry is really going to change in the next 12 months.”

In Florida, where Protec is based, that means an additional 150 retail pumps offering E15 and/or E85 for motorists. Nationwide, it amounts to some 5,000 additional stations in 21 states.

Listen to my interview with Steve here: Interview with Steve Walk, Protec Fuel

USDA-Protec Fuel Biofuel Pump Funding Announcement photos

What Ben Carson Said About Ethanol in Debate

carson-debateDuring Wednesday night’s CNBC Republican presidential candidates debate, Dr. Ben Carson was asked about a comment he made to the Des Moines Register earlier this year that he would “probably be in favor” of using oil subsidies to increase pumps for ethanol blends.

The question posed by the CNBC moderator was “Isn’t that just swapping one subsidy for another?”

Carson responded by saying he was “wrong about taking the oil subsidies” and that “the best policy is to get rid of all government subsidies and get the government out of our lives.”

“All this too big to fail stuff and picking winners or losers, this is a bunch of crap,” said Carson.

Listen to Carson’s answer here: Ben Carson answers oil subsidies question

Carson said nothing about ethanol in his answer but America’s Renewable Future State Director, Eric Branstad issued a statement to clarify that ethanol does not receive government subsidies, “while the oil industry does and has for the past 102 years.”

“Iowans want a candidate who will take the time to learn about the issue, not just repeat the oil industry’s talking points,” said Branstad. “We hope that next time he comes to Iowa, Dr. Carson will actually meet with farmers so he can get a better understanding of the full issue and that he will choose to side with Iowa farmers instead of Big Oil.”

USDA Announces Biofuels Infrastructure Funds

vilsack-protecAgriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was at a Citgo station in Kissimmee, Florida today to announce a USDA partnership to increase fueling pumps for biofuels in 21 states through the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP).

The investment will nearly double the number of fueling pumps nationwide that supply renewable fuels to American motorists. “The Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership is one more example of how federal funds can be leveraged by state and private partners to deliver better and farther reaching outcomes for taxpayers,” said Vilsack.

The 21 states participating in the BIP include Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The final awards being announced today are estimated to expand infrastructure by nearly 5,000 pumps at over 1,400 fueling stations.

Vilsack was joined by representatives from Growth Energy and Florida-based Protec Fuel to make the announcement. “We’re very excited about this USDA program because we’re going to be opening up sites in other parts of Florida, as well as across the country,” said Protec Fuel VP of Operations and Business Development Steve Walk. “What this program is going to help us do is help speed up the growth” of stations offering higher ethanol blends.

Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis congratulated Protec Fuel and thanked Secretary Vilsack for his support of renewable fuels. “The Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership is helping us to further leverage industry funds to gain measurable market access in a far timelier manner than we could accomplish otherwise,” said Buis.”

Listen to remarks from Walk, Buis and Vilsack here: Secretary Vilsack announces biofuels infrastructure funding

Vilsack remarks to the media: Secretary Vilsack comments on Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership

USDA-Protec Fuel Biofuel Pump Funding Announcement photos

API Launches Another Anti-RFS Campaign

American Petroleum Institute’s Downstream Group Director Bob Greco told reporters this morning in a press call that they are launching another multi-faceted ad campaign targeted at the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in anticipation for Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final rules set to be announced by November 30th.

API has launched another anti-biofuels and anti-RFS campaign. The ethanol industry is fighting back.

API has launched another anti-biofuels and anti-RFS campaign. The ethanol industry is fighting back.

“Our ads focus on the negative consequences that higher ethanol mandates EPA is considering could have on consumers, including unexpected repair bills and potentially broad harm to our nation’s economy,” Greco said.

The ethanol industry has been fighting Big Oil about the RFS for years now and there is no end in sight. According to Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Big Oil is pressuring the EPA to keep blending levels below mandates.

“Much like an uncontained oil spill which obliterates everything in its path, as we approach the deadline for the EPA to release its final RFS rule Big Oil and its congressional supporters are pulling out all the stops by completely obliterating the truth,” said Dinneen. “The blend wall narrative has been perpetuated by the petroleum industry as a way of creating fear among consumers about ethanol, while simultaneously greatly restricting their choices at the pump.

“If the blend wall is such an impenetrable barrier to increasing the amount of biofuels that can be blended with gasoline, as has been claimed by the petroleum industry, how can it explain that, according to data recently released by the Energy Information Agency, in 2013 ethanol comprised more than 10 percent of gasoline consumption in 22 states and the District of Columbia? As one would expect, the EIA data includes the Midwestern agricultural states of Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. But a number of coastal states also broke through the so-called blend wall in 2013, including Louisiana, Massachusetts, California and New Jersey. All of these states sailed past the 10 percent ethanol level, and there have certainly been no claims of ‘harmful economic effects’ coming from them. Nationally, ethanol constituted 9.75 percent of gasoline consumption in 2013, according to the EIA data — above the supposed limit of 9.7 percent supported by Big Oil.

Dinneen added that API needs to stop trying to scare consumers about biofuels in an attempt to protect their monopolistic market share. “Consumers rightly deserve to have choices at the pump and to hold onto more of their hard-earned dollars. The RFS is working. No amount of advertising by Big Oil will change that fact.”

RFA & RFF to Offer NEC Scholarships

The Renewable Fuels Foundation (RFF) is partnering with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) once again to offer scholarships to students who are interested in attending the National Ethanol Conference (NEC). The annual ethanol event will take place February 15-17, 2016 in New Orleans.

21st NEC“The NEC is the premier event for the ethanol industry, and it offers students a one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet the industry’s movers and shakers up close and personally,” said Mike Jerke, chairman of the RFF and CEO of Guardian Management LLC. “Our goal is to prepare the next generation of biofuel leaders to take over the reins so that the industry remains vibrant. The NEC is the perfect place for students to learn, ask questions, and network.”

“Fueling a High Octane Future,” this year’s theme, will enable students the opportunity to receive an in-depth look into the ethanol industry. Speakers will be discussing topics including higher ethanol blends, the Renewable Fuel Standard, E15 and global marketing.

Students who are interested should submit a 500 word essay explaining how their attendance at the NEC will help them achieve their future goals. Students will also need to submit two letters of recommendation, an up-to-date resume and school transcript. Scholarships are only available to students who are attending a U.S. institution of higher learning or foreign students who are affiliated with the U.S. ethanol industry. Applications are due by December 18, 2015. Click here for application materials.

RFA Wants Oregon to Treat All Fuels Fairly

rfalogo1The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) wants the state of Oregon to treat all fuels fairly. This news release from the group says RFA submitted comments to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in response to the agency’s September proposed rule for the state’s Clean Fuels Program (CFP). RFA wants the department to use standards that “support performance-based low carbon fuel programs that are grounded in the principles of fairness, sound science, and consistent analytical boundaries.” However, RFA stated that it could not support DEQ’s proposal because by introducing “concepts that lack scientific integrity and balance into the regulatory framework,” the agency was only creating “stakeholder division and controversy.”

Among other amendments, DEQ proposes to add indirect land use change (ILUC) penalties to the carbon intensity (CI) scores for corn ethanol and other crop-based biofuels. RFA contends that by adding flawed ILUC factors developed by the California Air Resources Board, and ignoring indirect effects for other fuels, the DEQ proposal tips the scales in favor of certain fuels and effectively results in the policy choosing winners and losers. RFA’s comments underscore the fact that the “inclusion of highly uncertain and prescriptive ILUC factors creates an asymmetrical and discriminatory framework for the CFP.”

You can read the entire RFA letter to the Oregon DEQ here.

RFA Shuns New Anti-RFS Campaign

The publicly anti-ethanol organization Smarter Fuel Future has launched a campaign calling on Congress and the administration to repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The coalition is backed by Big Oil along with various food, environmental and anti-hunger organizations.

rfalogo1In response to the campaign, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen said: “The oil industry thinks it’s being slick by engaging in a consistent and relentless misinformation campaign that is based on false assumptions, straw dogs, and half-truths. There is nothing that Big Oil is spouting with this latest wave of scare tactics that we haven’t seen before. Once again the petroleum industry is making patently false assumptions about the relationship between food and fuel. In 2014, a record corn crop sent prices to four-year lows, and more grain was available globally for food and feed use than ever before. In fact, less than 3 percent of the global grain supply that year was used for ethanol.

“The Big Oil misinformation campaign also makes spurious claims about ethanol’s impact on the environment. Lifecycle analyses by the Department of Energy and others, including the University of Illinois, the International Energy Agency, and Life Cycle Associates have shown that, since the final RFS rule was implemented, grain ethanol produced today reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent compared to fossil fuels — even when hypothetical land use emissions are taken into account. Ethanol production from last year reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 40 million metric tons — the equivalent of removing 8.4 million cars from the road. These facts show that investment in biofuels in general and ethanol in particular is critical if we are serious as a nation about creating a future where our energy is cleaner, more secure, and more affordable.”

Dinneen, on behalf of ethanol supporters is calling on Congress and the administration to ignore the latest “smoke and mirrors” campaign from Big Oil. “Instead of repealing the RFA, Dinneen stressed, “the administration, through the Environmental Protection Agency, needs to break down the supposed ‘blend wall’ and implement the RFS the way Congress intended.”

RFA: EPA Probe Will Go Nowhere

rfalogo1The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published an announcement that they would begin preliminary research into the lifecycle impacts of EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The work will be conducted within the Office of Air and Radiation and the Office of Research and Development. The OIG’s objectives of the study are to determine whether the EPA:

  1. complied with the reporting requirements of laws authorizing the RFS; and
  2. updated the lifecycle analysis supporting the RFS with findings from the mandated National Academy of Sciences 2011 study on Biofuels, the EPA’s 2011 Report to Congress on the Environmental Impacts of Biofuels as well as any more recent and relevant research on lifecycle impacts of biofuels.

In response to the announcement, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) CEO Bob Dinneen said, “For years RFA has been asking the EPA to update their analysis of the RFS’s impacts on greenhouse gas emissions so we welcome this review, as it will give the public a clearer picture of the climate benefits that ethanol is producing today. ”

“Lifecycle analyses conducted by the Department of Energy and others since the final RFS rule was implemented have shown that grain ethanol produced today reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent compared to fossil fuels — even when hypothetical land use emissions are taken into account. And, added Dinneen, the EPA has recently approved nearly 50 petitions from grain ethanol producers for its efficient producer program, with each petition requiring careful lifecycle analysis based on actual production data. These results show that the RFS is doing what it was intended to do, and is a potent weapon in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

No date has been set for the release of the report.

Al-Corn Featured on Bobby Likis Car Clinic

Al-Corn Clean Fuel CEO Randy Doyal, who also serves as Chairman of the Board of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), was a guest on Bobby Likis Car Clinic over the weekend. The ethanol plant is located in Claremont, Minnesota and Doyal spoke about how the ethanol market is evolving and how Minnesota’s initiative in the industry is serving as a blueprint for helping solve future energy and economic challenges.

Randy Doyal“Ethanol’s track record of continuous improvement is impressive, but that drive for constant improvement is characteristic of the creative people who make up our industry,” says Doyal about the ethanol industry. “The ethanol industry has significant potential to continue to evolve in ways that cannot be matched by petroleum fuels. I will admit that with all the information and misinformation about ethanol, it is sometimes difficult to separate fact from fiction. But I believe that an honest evaluation of our nation’s ethanol industry will reveal a success story of which the American people can be proud. The ethanol industry embodies the kind of forward-thinking and pragmatism that will be needed to meet our nation’s future energy and economic challenges.”

Host Bobby Likis asked Doyal to tackle some commonly held ethanol myths and they also discussed the continuation of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Click here to listen to the interview.