Iowa E15 Retailer Grants Available

Iowa fuel retailers interested in adding E15 ethanol blends to their consumer fuel options have an opportunity to apply for grants through the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP). The program gives retailers financial assistance to install or upgrade fuel dispensing equipment to offer E15.

E15 at Des Moines Iowa Kum and Go station

Photo Credit: Joanna Schroeder

“Adding E15 to the state renewable fuels infrastructure program provides a missing link to expanding mid-level ethanol blends, and providing another low-cost fuel option to more than 80 percent of the vehicles on the road today,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Managing Director Lucy Norton. IRFA was integral in getting the program passed. “We already have retailers lining up to take advantage of this new eligibility because they have customers asking for cleaner-burning E15. Iowa retailers want to provide economical fuel choices to their customers, and E15 is the lowest-cost fuel on the market for the majority of vehicles on the road, so it’s getting a lot of attention.”

Since 2007, the Iowa RFIP has provided cost-share grants to increase the accessibility of higher ethanol and biodiesel blends. The program provides monetary assistance for the installation of blender pumps and E85 and biodiesel dispensing equipment, as well as bulk biodiesel terminal storage tanks. This year, the RFIP was expanded to also provide financial assistance for the upgrade or installation of dispensing equipment for the purpose of offering E15 as a registered fuel. Qualifying projects are eligible for up to 70 percent of the installation costs, or a maximum of $50,000 per retail location.

In a recent poll when participants were asked if they would consider using E15 if they owned a 2001 and newer vehicle and it was cheaper than E10, 70 percent said yes. Additionally, 76 percent of respondents who said they would purchase E15 also said they would drive out of their way to buy E15 to save between 5 and 10 cents per gallon, if their usual station did not offer E15.

“This poll shows what we expected: an overwhelming amount of Iowans support the use of lower-cost, cleaner-burning E15,” Norton added. “For the vast majority of Iowa’s E15 retailers, E15 is often being sold 5 to 10 cents cheaper than E10, and with more than three-quarters of Iowa E15 supporters willing to drive out of their way to save with E15, fuel retailers should take notice.”

Pearson Fuels to Sell E85 for $.85 in Sacramento

pearsonfuelsCalifornia-based Pearson Fuels will start selling E85 in the Sacramento area. And the company says it will celebrate the event by selling the green fuel for just 85 cents per gallon today between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The event is intended to introduce more members of the public to a fuel that many of their vehicles will burn. The event will be held at the following locations:

Shell 5103 Fair Oaks Blvd., Carmichael, CA 95608

Shell 730 29th Street. Sacramento, CA 95816

Shell 3721 Truxel Road, Sacramento, CA 95834

Shell 800 Ikea Court West Sacramento, CA 95691

Oliver Gas 1009 Oliver Road Fairfield, CA 94534

Pearson Fuels General Manager Mike Lewis states, “We are very proud to make this announcement. These five locations in Sacramento, West Sacramento and Fairfield are owned by some of the most progressive fuel station owners in the state. These stations were selling E85 before we made our agreement with them. We are happy to be working with them and helping to recognize and promote their progressive decision to offer something most stations do not. We encourage the public to vote with their dollars to improve the environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

IBISWorld Offers Buying Strategies for Ethanol

ibisworldThe ethanol market can be a pretty volatile place when it comes to pricing. IBISWorld is offering a report on how to identify where volatility exists, not just in ethanol, and how to reduce risks in price instability.

Because of fluctuating key input costs, prices of diesel and ethanol have displayed a high level of price volatility. While diesel and ethanol are both used for fuel, they do not share the same production process because diesel fuel comes from crude oil and ethanol comes primarily from corn…

Meanwhile, the price of corn is estimated to fall 21.7% in 2015, which will play a large part in the 29.2% drop in ethanol prices expected this year. Similar to diesel, ethanol prices are forecast to reverse and then stabilize at mild growth in the coming years.

The fuel market is known for its booms and busts, which can foster a hectic procurement environment. As such, buyers are encouraged to engage in long-term contracts with their fuel suppliers to reduce their exposure to price fluctuations. By locking in favorable rates now while prices are low, buyers can avoid the risk of anticipated prices rises in the future.

More information is available here.

North Dakota Firefighters to Get Ethanol Training

rfalogo1Firefighters in North Dakota will get some training on ethanol safety. The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and North Dakota Firefighter’s Association will co-host seven free Ethanol Safety Seminars this month across the state, focusing on numerous areas of ethanol safety to target first responders, hazmat teams, safety managers, and local emergency planning committees, as well as the general public.

Starting Aug. 17, Ethanol Safety Seminars will be held in the following locations:

Aug. 17: Bowman Fire Department in Bowman | 5:30–10 p.m.
Aug. 18: Dickinson Fire Department in Dickinson | 9 a.m.–2 p.m.
Aug. 18: Richardton Fire Department in Richardton | 5:30–10 p.m.
Aug. 19: Washburn Fire Department in Washburn | 5:30–10 p.m.
Aug. 24: Stutsman County Law Emergency Center in Jamestown | 9 a.m.–2 p.m. & 5:30–10 p.m.
Aug. 26: Hankinson Fire Department in Hankinson | 5:30–10 p.m.
Aug. 27: Larimore Fire Department in Larimore | 5:30–10 p.m.

The goal of these seminars is for attendees to gain a complete ethanol emergency response training experience that they can put to use immediately in the field and pass along to other first response teams. A majority of this training is based on the “Training Guide to Ethanol Emergency Response,” a training package created by the Ethanol Emergency Response Coalition (EERC) that has been distributed throughout the United States and to several countries worldwide. These seminars are funded through a grant from the Department of Transportation’s Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

“The North Dakota Firefighter’s Association is honored to partner with the Renewable Fuels Association to provide the Ethanol Safety Seminars to seven different locations throughout North Dakota,” said Renee Loh, executive director of the North Dakota Firefighter’s Association. “NDFA is grateful that this training can be offered to the first responders of North Dakota! We encourage all first responders to register for this important class.”

RFA officials say it is important that communities have the know-how to respond to ethanol emergencies quickly and effectively. Incidents are rare, but should they occur, these seminars will give first responders the necessary training they need to keep the public safe.

To register for a session, go to www.rfa.traincaster.com.

E15 Hot Topic at ACE Ethanol Conference

E15 will be a hot topic at the upcoming American Coalition for Ethanol Conference next week. The topic of how higher blends can help fuel retailers to succeed will be discussed during a panel in Omaha, Nebraksa August 19-21. Panelists include Todd Garner, CEO of ProTec Fuel and Jim Pirolli, VP of Fuels for Kum & Go. The August 20th dialogue will delve into the sale and handling of E15 and flex fuels.

aceAlso scheduled to speak August 20th is Kristi Moriarty, one of the authors of a National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) report investigating the true costs of E15 fueling infrastructure.

“The ethanol industry needs to understand the challenges facing fuel retailers who want to sell more ethanol-blended fuels. Last year’s conference presentation by single-station and small chain operators received overwhelmingly positive reviews, so we’re providing this year’s attendees with two additional perspectives from the ‘downstream’ fuel marketplace,” explained ACE Senior VP Ron Lamberty.

“Kum & Go is a large c-store retail chain with a history of leadership with E85, that can tell us why adding E15 isn’t as simple as decaling pumps and dropping fuel in the tank. ProTec is a fuel distributor with an interesting approach to expanding the availability of E15 and flex fuels by providing retailers with ethanol-blended fuels and the equipment needed to sell them,” he continued.

“And, Lamberty added, “on the topic of ‘equipment needed to sell E15,’ we’re excited to have NREL present their recent authoritative study on that very subject. It’s good news for fuel marketers, but fuel marketer groups seem strangely unhappy their $400,000 per store cost predictions have been proven wildly inaccurate.”

The theme of the August 19-21 ACE Conference is “Quiet Ingenuity, Bold Advance.” The event will also feature a talk on technology and advanced biofuel innovations involving Ray Defenbaugh, President and CEO of Big River Resources LLC, Delayne Johnson, CEO of Quad County Corn Processors, and Jeff Oestmann, President and CEO of East Kansas Agri-Energy, LLC, a progress report on ethanol and DDGs exports, ethanol plant board member training, and much more.

What Iowa Legislators Support the RFS?

ARF-Logo-Retina-AltIn celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), America’s Renewable Future (ARF) has published a list of which legislators support the RFS in Iowa. Iowa is the top producing biodiesel and ethanol state and is also a leading cellulosic ethanol producing state. The bipartisan list includes city, county and state government officials who publicly support the policy.

The organization released the following statement today:

“The RFS is a commonsense, bipartisan issue that infuses competition into the motor fuel market, lowers consumers’ price at the pump, and strengthens rural communities. The 10-year old policy bolsters the national and state economy supporting over 852,000 American jobs and 73,000 jobs across the state of Iowa. 

These elected leaders know firsthand the benefits of the RFS, ethanol and biofuels, and they join supporters from every corner of the state coming together to ensure that the RFS is protected.”

Click here to read the full list.

Growth Energy Praises 10 Years of RFS

Saturday, August 8 marked the official 10th anniversary of President Bush signing the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) into law. The legislation promotes the use of biofuels in replacement of fossil fuels and is in effect until 2020. According to Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis, the RFS has been an overwhelming success and is accomplishing the goals it was designed to achieve.

Buis said, “The RFS has been an overwhelming success and it is important that we as a nation recognize how much this policy has done to help improve the lives of all Americans. This bipartisan law was passed in Congress in 2005 and strengthened in growth-energy-logo12007 with several policy goals: energy security, job creation and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. I am pleased to say that it has done that and more.”

He cited that America’s dependence on foreign oil has been reduced from 60 to 27 percent and said nearly 400,000 jobs have been created. “Furthermore, said Buis, “no beaches have ever been closed because of an ethanol spill – and that is something to celebrate as Americans across the country take their vacations over the summer to beaches near and far.”

Buis also using the levels set forth in the RFS will reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in an equivalent of removing 27 million cars off the road. And in 2014, 13.4 billion gallons of ethanol was blended into fuel across the country, eliminating the equivalent of GHGs of removing 8 million cars off the road. In addition, he said farmers from across the country are celebrating the event as a milestone for opening new markets and creating economic opportunity for their families and communities and he encouraged consumers to also celebrate the anniversary because ethanol lowers the cost of fuel at the pump.

“The RFS is the only meaningful policy to help break Big Oil’s stranglehold on the liquid fuels marketplace. The RFS is working. It is doing exactly what it was intended to do, with great success,” added Buis. “That is why we should acknowledge this historic milestone, but more importantly, the success of the RFS should renew Congress’ and EPA’s faith in this program. They must ensure we continue down a path of renewable fuel innovation by continuing to support the RFS and refusing to accept the status quo of foreign oil and fossil fuels as our transportation energy future.”

Celebrating a Decade of Success with the RFS

2005-energy-billAugust 8, 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) containing the original Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) being signed into law by President George W. Bush.

The signing ceremony took place at the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where President Bush noted that the bill he was signing into law would “…lead to greater diversity of fuels for cars and trucks. The bill includes tax incentives for producers of ethanol and biodiesel. The bill includes a flexible, cost-effective renewable fuel standard that will double the amount of ethanol and biodiesel in our fuel supply over the next seven years. Using ethanol and biodiesel will leave our air cleaner. And every time we use home-grown fuel, particularly these, we’re going to be helping our farmers, and at the same time, be less dependent on foreign sources of energy.”

ethanol-report-adRenewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen remembers that day very well, particularly the support that the new law had from the oil industry. “It would not have happened without the support of the American Petroleum Institute,” said Dinneen. “They wanted out of MTBE, they wanted to have an argument in court that would protect them from the lawsuits against MTBE, so they were supportive of a growing market for renewable fuels.”

However, Dinneen notes that the oil industry underestimated the ability of farmers and the ethanol industry to gear up and produce such significant quantities of the domestic fuel that they surpassed the original goal of 7.5 billion gallons for 2012 six years early. “The program was an immediate and overwhelming success … and it led to RFS2 being passed in 2007,” said Dinneen.

Dinneen recounts the success of the RFS over the past decade and how it has changed energy, economic, and rural policy in this edition of The Ethanol Report. Ethanol Report on RFS 10th Anniversary

Bikers Line Up for Free 10% Ethanol

sturgis-15-bikersFrom the Midwest to Mexico, the west coast to the east coast, every state and various countries – bikers of all stars and stripes love the word free, especially when it comes to fuel for their rides. That made the fourth annual Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) “Free Fuel Happy Hours” a big draw at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip Campground this week.

RFA pumped 1,872 gallons of 93 octane, 10 percent ethanol in four days this week for bikers in town for the 75th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Many bikers came back every day to fill their tanks, as they spent their days traveling through the beautiful Black Hills. RFA also gave away lots of free t-shirts, coozies, and information about how E10 is approved for use in any motorcycle – not any higher blends.

We talked to a few of the bikers who came through to fill up, including a guy from Mexico City, a farmer from Wisconsin, and others from Iowa, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Interviews with bikers filling up with E10

2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with RFA at the Buffalo Chip Photos

American Ethanol Goes Old School in Darlington

American Ethanol is going old school for the upcoming race on September 6, 2015 in Darlington Raceway. During the Southern 500, the team will leave its traditional green and black design behind for racing suits that bring back the days when Dillion’s grandfather, Richard Childress, circled NASCAR tracks in a classic No 3. red and white Chevrolet.

American Ethanol in DarlingtonThe throwback race will feature historic paint that many fans will remember. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Childress, the famed race-team owner, raced the No. 3 before his sidekick Dale Earnhardt Sr., made it eternally famous and infamous. More than 30 years later, the Chevrolet his grandson, Austin Dillon, drives will honor the historic paint scheme during the 2015 Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

“For this race, the No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet will shed its green-and-black design for the first time in five years,” said Jon Holzfaster, chairman of the National Corn Growers Association NASCAR Advisory Committee and a farmer from Paxton, Nebraska. “The different paint should draw the attention of fans, especially because of the connection to Austin’s grandfather. And the red, white, and blue makes perfect sense for this American made fuel.”

Dillon, past NASCAR Xfinity and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™ champion, will be looking for his first career win at the “Lady in Black” track in NASCAR’s premier series. He finished an impressive 11th in his only series start at the 1.37-mile track.

Race fans can pre-order the highly detailed Action Racing Collectables throwback die-cast of Dillon’s No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet by clicking here.