Growth Energy Intros ‘Bachelor’ Chris Soules RFS Ad

During a press call this morning, Growth Energy launched a week-long TV ad campaign featuring Iowa Farmer Chris Soules of “The Bachelor” and “Dancing with the Stars” fame. The ad focuses on the economic benefits of ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in rural America. The spot hits airwaves just days before the Obama Administration is due to announce its final rule on the RFS. The ad is airing in Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana.

“I’m proud to be a part of something that protects something important to my family farm operation as well as thousands of others,” said Soules about why he became involved in efforts around promoting the positive benefits of the RFS. “I’ve been able to see first-hand the benefits of renewable fuels and how they affect my family’s enterprise and other families who haven’t even been involved in farming by providing jobs in clean energy that helps our country diversify our energy resources.”

Soules noted that in light of the recent events in Paris, it re-emphases the need for the U.S. to become energy independent with a diversified energy portfolio.

Soules was joined on the call by Tom Buis, co-chair of Growth Energy who noted that the RFS is a great American success story.

“We know our opposition is out there saying anything and doing anything in every possible way to keep the administration from rolling out an implementation of the volumetric standards of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 that are beneficial to this great nation,” said Buis.

The RFS proposal, as it currently stands, contains volumes that are below the legislative mandate. Biofuel supporters have been working to get the volumes back on track and moving forward as the law intended. Buis also noted that many eyes are on Paris for COP21 to see how countries, including America, identify strategies to reduce carbon emissions. Buis said the RFS has been a successful policy in doing just this.

Listen to the full press call here: Growth Energy-Chris Soules Ad Press Call

#Ethanol Leaders Discuss RFS with OMB

rfalogo1Ethanol organization representatives met Wednesday with with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to discuss the forthcoming rule from the Environmental Protection Agency regarding volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president Bob Dinneen and Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis delivered the message that the RFS is working and that there is no reason for EPA to set the Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for undifferentiated renewable fuel (primarily corn ethanol) below the levels specified in the statute.

growth-energy-logo1Dinneen said data show the U.S. ethanol industry would have no problem meeting the 15 billion gallon blending level specified by the statute. “The latest data from the Energy Information Administration show that gasoline consumption projections for 2016 have increased. In fact, EIA expects 2016 gasoline demand to achieve a nine-year high,” said Dinneen. “Our calculations show that because of the uptick in gasoline demand alone, EPA must increase the 2016 RVO by 270 million gallons.”

Dinneen added that the EPA significantly understated the use of E85 and non-ethanol conventional renewable fuels, including non-advanced renewable diesel and biodiesel, in its proposal. “We provided OMB with data showing that EPA has understated the likely market for E85 and non-ethanol conventional biofuels in 2016 by at least 440 million gallons,” said Dinneen. “All of this suggests there will be at least 14.7 billion gallons of undifferentiated renewable fuel blended next year.”

“This meeting was really our closing argument before the administration makes its final decision. We impressed upon OMB that the oil industry’s ‘blend wall’ narrative is simply not true,” Buis added. “The data is there to prove the value of the program and it shows the RFS is doing exactly what it was intended to do. The president needs to uphold the statute.”

EPA is expected to issue the final RFS rule for 2014-2016 on or before November 30.

Ethanol Industry Takes Clean Energy Mission to India

A team from the U.S. including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Growth Energy, U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) recently returned from a clean energy mission to India. Led by USDA Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Micheal Scuse, the group met to discuss opportunities for developing clean energy solutions, technologies and policies. An additional goal of the mission was to strengthen the level of cooperation and coordination between the ethanol industries of the two countries.

logosDuring a series of meetings that involved ethanol producers, oil companies and government officials, the U.S. participant group of seven received an in-depth look at the local industry’s situation and outlook. There were extensive discussions on India’s economy, political environment, energy sector, and the role of government policy as a driver of the ethanol industry’s growth.

“Macroeconomic factors like population growth, continuing urbanization and increases in disposable income mean India is poised to use more gasoline and diesel fuels,” said USGC Past Chairman Ron Gray, who was part of the group representing the U.S. industry. “Given the negative effect that petroleum-based gasoline has on air quality, we feel that the expanded use of ethanol as an oxygenate can help India reduce smog and carbon emissions in this rapidly growing developing country, particularly in its cities.”

Ed Hubbard, general counsel for RFA said of the trip, “America’s commitment to using ethanol in our fuel has made it possible for our nation’s busiest cities to dramatically reduce levels of smog and other harmful tail-pipe emissions. By sharing our experiences with our friends here in India, we believe we can help them significantly improve the country’s air quality.”

In 2014, India imported $86 million of industrial ethanol mostly from the U.S. and Brazil and USGC expects imports to rise potentially researching $150-200 million in 2015. Even accounting for this level of growth, the U.S. ethanol industry believes there is still room for growth, especially in the transportation market. According to a press release sent out from the U.S. delegation, this view was echoed by India’s sugar and ethanol sector during last week’s meetings, with the country seeking ways to increase their blend rates from current low levels as a means to improving air quality while supporting India’s sugar producers.

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Biofuels Groups Blast House Hearing on RFS

uscapitolBiofuels backers say a U.S. House Science Committee had very little to do with science in regards to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The Congressional committee met on the 10th anniversary of the RFS, and Tom Buis, co-chair of Growth Energy, said the committee has a history of misrepresenting biofuels, relying on misinformation and outright lies to cast a negative light on an American success story.

“Today’s hearing was nothing more than a coordinated attack against biofuels. Minus a few open-minded individuals who examined this issue based on facts, not pre-determined bias, this hearing did nothing to reflect the overwhelming contributions of the RFS…

“With regards to the environmental benefits of ethanol, the facts are clear. According to Argonne National Laboratory, – an objective national laboratory – ethanol reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by an average of 34 percent compared to gasoline, even when the highly controversial and disputed theory on Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) is factored into the modeling. Furthermore, Argonne has found that without ILUC included, ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 57 percent compared to gasoline.

“It is unfortunate that the Science Committee missed an opportunity to provide an unbiased examination of the RFS. Instead, the Committee – which has no jurisdiction over this policy – continued to present a misguided agenda to smear biofuels, hosting several witnesses that fabricated information on the impact biofuels have on food prices, the environment and the American economy. This treatment of homegrown American fuels is insulting to the hardworking Americans across our country who are helping fuel our energy independence.”

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen said “Big Oil’s narrative opposing the RFS no longer has any currency.” Continue reading

American Ethanol Helps Celebrate Higher Blends

protec-usda-citgoThe American Ethanol No. 3 NASCAR display provided the perfect backdrop last week in Florida for the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership announcement that means 5,000 new higher blend ethanol pumps in 21 states.

Growth Energy co-chairman Tom Buis says the American Ethanol NASCAR racing sponsorship has proven the performance of 15 percent ethanol blends over the past five years. “Almost eight million miles have been put on the NASCAR race cars in that five year time frame and not a single problem,” said Buis as the race car revved up to be loaded back on the trailer.

Buis congratulated Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for his vision in helping to coordinate public-private partnerships to increase higher ethanol blends in the market place. “That creates competition,” said Buis. “Let the consumer make the choice. No one’s forced to buy higher blends.”

Interview with Tom Buis, Growth Energy

USDA-Protec Fuel Biofuel Pump Funding Announcement photos

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

Growth Energy Says RFS Resounding Success

On Friday, October 16, 2015, the Brookings Institute held an online panel discussion on 10 years of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The panel included two well-known ethanol critics, Timothy Searchinger and Chris Knittel, who have been directly linked to oil-funded research.

growth-energy-logo1In response to the panel. Tom Buis, co-chairman of Growth Energy said: “I have said it before, and I will say it again, slapping a new title on this previously discredited research won’t change the facts. The design of this panel had one objective – to drive a policy directed at repealing the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) so that the status quo of a 90 percent mandate for petroleum based fuels and the excessive profits that it generates stays in place.

Conveniently omitted from today’s panel was discussion of the 100 years of subsidies Big Oil has been taking from the American taxpayer, as well as their disastrous record of ecological and environmental damage. The ethanol industry voluntarily gave up its tax incentives in 2011, and no beaches have ever been closed by an ethanol spill, yet these biased ‘researchers,’ continue to ignore the facts and attempt to discredit an American success story.

The RFS is the only meaningful policy to help break Big Oil’s stranglehold on the liquid fuels marketplace. This is an energy policy that is working. It is doing exactly what it was intended to do, with great success. It is irresponsible to rely solely on fossil fuels, and we should not put all our eggs in one basket when it comes to our national and energy security.

The bottom line is that ten years after the RFS, Americans across the country are celebrating and recognizing a decade of job creation, rural economic revitalization, clean air, innovation, and increased energy independence and consumer choice.”

Ethanol Industry ‘Displeased’ With New RFS Report

The ethanol industry is displeased with a recent report on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that is not favorable to corn-based ethanol. The report, “10-Year Review of the Renewable Fuels Standard: Impacts to the Environment, The Economy, and Advanced Biofuels Development,” was published by the Agricultural & Resources Economics Department at the University of Tennessee. The report was commissioned by the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) who the ethanol industry is saying is in the front pocket of Big Oil.

ethanol pump“Clearly this study was published with an agenda and without regard to the facts. It is misleading, inaccurate and runs counter to a large body of expert research,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. “Slapping a new title on this previously discredited research won’t change the facts, and those who published this study clearly have little interest in doing anything other than maintaining the status quo of our dangerous addiction to foreign oil and fossil fuels.”

One area the report attempts to “debunk” is the environmental benefits of ethanol going so far as to say that with the exception of CO2 reductions, corn-based ethanol is worse than Big Oil. However, Argonne National Laboratory, along with dozens of other independent studies, have shown the opposite. For example, a recent study by the University of Illinois-Chicago’s Energy Resource Center concluded that the EPA’s RFS proposal to decrease ethanol use by 1.6 billion gallons in 2015 could increase CO2 emissions by 4,520,000 metric tons that year.

Buis says, “The facts are clear….ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by an average of 34 percent compared to gasoline, even when the highly controversial and disputed theory of Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) is factored into the modeling. Furthermore, Argonne has found that without ILUC included, ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 57 percent compared to gasoline.”

Another are the report attacks ethanol is with regards to subsidies saying since the 80s they have been in the billions. While the report did acknowledge that first generation subsidies were phased out several years ago, it did not acknowledge that the oil industry has been receiving subsidies and tax breaks for more than 100 years – a practice that continues today. In fact, it’s about $5 billion per year and hundreds of billions globally.

Geoff Cooper, senior vice president with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) says in response to the report, “Over the past decade the Renewable Fuel Standard has proven time and time again why it is our nation’s most successful energy policy. “Its impact on our nation’s energy security, economy, and environment is unmatched. The RFS was passed by a bi-partisan Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush with the goal of ensuring that biofuels have a place in a market that is overwhelmingly and unfairly dominated by Big Oil.”

“At the end of the day, added Cooper, “the biggest winner, with respect to the RFS, has been our nation’s consumers who have been given more affordable choices at the pump, and have also been provided with a safe, clean source of home-grown energy.”

Senator Toomey’s Anti-RFS Amendment Tanks

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced an amendment that would eliminate corn ethanol from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). It was promptly defeated by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs by a vote of 15-7. Pro RFS supporters came out en masse against Toomey’s amendment and thanked the Committee for making the right decision on consumer choice at the pump.

Senator Toomey“Biofuels are a key part of energy independence and energy security,” said Jon Soltz, Iraq War Veteran, and Chairman of, the largest veterans group in America. “It is jarring to see a sitting U.S. Senator thumb his nose at our national security, just so he can repay his oil buddies. We need to figure out ways to use less oil. Pat Toomey is trying to make sure that we use more, and that his Big Oil pals make more profit as a result. It’s was a disgrace, but thankfully common sense won out, over Pat Toomey.”

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen made the following statement upon the news of defeat. “Consumers can breathe a sigh of relief when they fill up at the gas pump because today’s vote by the committee ensures that ethanol will remain the number one source of renewable fuel in the world,” said Dinneen. “The committee understood the writing is on the wall when it comes to the RFS, and that legislative proposals that seek to purportedly ‘fix’ the statute are nothing more than political gamesmanship. When Congress passed the RFS it did so with the intention of stabilizing and growing the biofuels market. The committee rightly rejected the amendment by Senator Toomey because it would have done nothing more than squelched investment and created uncertainty in the market, and would thereby have had a detrimental impact on the energy and economic future of generations to come.”

Biofuels supporters cite the RFS as the most successful energy policy ever. did some research into Senator Toomey’s connections with the oil industry and found Big Oil his 12th largest contributor contributing $552,816,000. Of that, half (252,050) was made to his campaign committee over the course of the last few months, making the oil and gas industry the 10th largest contributor to Toomey this election cycle.

“It is no surprise that Senator Toomey’s amendment failed – it never had a chance of passing,” said Tom Buis, Growth Energy CEO. “Similar to legislation he has introduced before, it did not gain any traction and failed because this legislation only restricts consumer choice and attempts to dismantle a successful American industry that is creating jobs, improving our environment and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. The simple fact is that the RFS has bipartisan support and it has been the most successful energy legislation this nation has enacted in over 40 years.”

Industry Applauds Sen Talent’s RFS Efforts

Yesterday former Missouri U.S. Senator Jim Talent launched Americans for Energy Security and Innovation (AESI), an organization focused on expanding support for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The ethanol industry responded to the news favorably.

rfs-mess-2“The RFA welcomes AESI to the ongoing efforts to ensure that the RFS remains America’s most successful energy policy,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “Former Senator Talent has been an enthusiastic and outspoken supporter of the U.S. ethanol industry. We look forward to hearing the ideas this new group will put forth to ensure that the American public has access to clean, secure, affordable home-grown sources of energy. Indeed, the RFS is law today in no small part because of Senator Talent’s leadership on the Energy Committee during his tenure representing the people of Missouri. He knows far better than most the rural economic, energy security and economic promise of the RFS.”

Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy added, “We are pleased that Americans for Energy Security and Innovation have joined the important fight to ensure that the RFS is protected and that America has a strong, robust and resilient renewable fuels industry.”

“Former Senator Jim Talent from Missouri has always been a true advocate for renewable fuels and rural America,” Buis added. I am confident that Senator Talent and Americans for Energy Security and Innovation will be effective in the battle to improve our environment, create jobs in America that cannot be outsourced and reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels, all while providing consumers with a choice and savings at the pump.”