Keep on Truckin’ Biodiesel

Cindy Zimmerman

truckers association The American Trucking Associations’ Board of Directors has revised the organization’s alternative fuels policy to advocate the use of biodiesel in blends up to 5 percent as part of the national diesel fuel standard.

An ATA news release says the new policy serves as one part of the organization’s efforts to combat rising fuel prices and help shape a comprehensive national energy plan.

“We need to look at all options for extending the supply of diesel fuel,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “Biodiesel represents an important part of a long-term energy plan designed to increase the nation’s fuel supply and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

Interest in renewable fuels is gaining momentum within the trucking industry, which has been struggling against skyrocketing fuel prices. At current prices, the trucking industry, which consumes 35 billion gallons of diesel each year, is on pace to spend an unprecedented $85 billion on fuel this year. For many motor carriers, fuel often represents the second-highest expense after labor and can account for as much as 25 percent of total operating costs.

This is significant because more than 564,000 motor carriers in the United States transport nearly 70 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation. Trucks hauled 9.8 billion tons of freight in 2004, collecting $671 billion dollars, or just under 88 percent, of total revenues earned by all transport modes.

keep on truckinThe American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of other trucking groups, industry-related conferences, and its fifty affiliated state trucking associations, ATA represents more than 37,000 members covering every type of motor carrier in the United States.

Biodiesel

Ethanol “Changing the way grain is being marketed”

Cindy Zimmerman

Chuck ConnerUSDA’s number two official says ethanol production is growing so fast now it is changing the dynamics of grain marketing in this country. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner says at this point, “we are going to have to go back and re-evaluate our own methods of calculating posted county prices and the determination of local prices because ethanol plants have changed that dynamic substantially.”
Conner points out that ethanol production is also helping the economies of rural areas, with 88 plants currently producing ethanol and another 15 under construction. “Virtually all of these plants are farmer-owned plants. When they are completed these facilities will have about five billion gallons of production capacity. Nationwide, ethanol production capacity, we believe creates just about 150,000 jobs.”
Conner made his comments during a visit to Arkansas last week for a Farm Bill listening session. You can hear his comments about ethanol here.

Ethanol, Government

Large Scale Biodiesel Plant Breaks Ground In Missouri

Cindy Zimmerman

Mid America BiodieselGround was broken Monday for a new biodiesel plant in Missouri, the largest plant yet in the state. The Mid-America Biofuels plant in Mexico, MO is the result of a partnership between Biofuels, LLC; Archer Daniels Midland (ADM); Ray-Carroll County Grain Growers, Inc.; MFA Oil Co.; and GROWMARK, Inc., and will have an annual production capacity of 30 million gallons.

“Biodiesel demand is growing fast, and we believe Missouri is the right place to produce biodiesel and fill that demand,” said Warren Stemme, a Missouri farmer in St. Charles County and president of Mid-America Biofuels, LLC. “Additionally, we have an unbeatable team in place with each member providing resources and experience which is sure to make Mid-America Biofuels a huge success.” Stemme is also in the Missouri Soybean Association, as well as a director of NBB.

The central Missouri majority farmer-owned plant includes nearly 400 farmers.

Read the full release from the National Biodiesel Board website.

Biodiesel, Facilities, Production

E85 Publicly Available In Texas

Chuck Zimmerman

1st Texas E85 PumpIt’s good to see that Texas is going public with E85. They just opened their first public pump this past week. The picture is of Curtis Donaldson, president of CleanFUEL USA, and David Gibson, executive director of the Corn Producers Association of Texas, who helped celebrate the opening of Texas’ first public E85 pump in San Antonio.

The Corn Producers Association of Texas (CPAT) celebrated the opening of the state’s first public E85 pump in San Antonio on Wednesday. The Bexar County Fleet Maintenance Building is selling the blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. On Wednesday, the station promoted the fuel by selling it for 85 cents for a couple hours. After the promotion, the station posted a price of $2.35 a gallon, which is about 20 cents less than regular unleaded in the San Antonio area.

“It’s good to finally have a site open to the public in Texas,” said David Gibson, executive director of the Corn Producers Association of Texas. “Corn was touted really strongly there. This is good for farmers, and we’re looking forward to opening more stations. In fact, there’s a site under review in Austin right now.”

Ethanol, Facilities

Get Your Ethanol-Enriched Gas In Wichita

Chuck Zimmerman

Paul Dana With The Ethanol CarIndyCar Series Driver Paul Dana, seen here earlier this year with the Ethanol Car, will be making a pit-stop in Wichita, KS to promote ethanol-enriched fuel at a local Kwik Shop where mid-grade ethanol-enriched gasoline will be discounted $.20 a gallon. Here’s the details:

WHAT: Meet IRL IndyCar® Series driver Paul Dana and learn why the series will soon be proving that performance can be earth-friendly at 220 mph. Dana, along with the No. 91 Ethanol Hemelgarn racecar, will be visiting Kwik Shop to sign autographs, hand out consumer information on ethanol, and promote the 2006 Indy Racing League fuel switch. Kwik Shop will also be offering a $.20 discount on a gallon of mid-grade ethanol enriched fuel. Starting in 2006, the IndyCar Series will be switching to a 10 percent ethanol-enriched fuel in all their racing cars. Ethanol is a new alternative that will help reduce dependence on foreign oil, support the Kansas economy and keep its air one of the cleanest in the country. You can experience the fuel that will be powering the Indy cars in 2006.

WHO: PAUL DANA, IndyCar Series Team Ethanol driver

WHEN: Saturday, October 22, 2005, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

WHERE: Kwik Shop, 7107 W 37th Street North, Wichita, Kansas

The promotion is coordinated by the Ethanol Promotion & Information Council.

EPIC, Ethanol, Promotion

Got A Topic For FEW?

Chuck Zimmerman

Fuel Ethanol WorkshopNow’s the time to submit a proposal to the Fuel Ethanol Workshop for next year’s program.

The International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Exposm, the largest fuel ethanol industry event in the world, will be held June 20-23, 2006 at the Midwest Airlines Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

We are now seeking presentation topics from individuals and organizations. Topics should have a strong focus on:

Commercial-scale ethanol production
Technological advancements
Near-term research and development

Abstracts will be considered for presentations in the Technical Breakout Workshop Sessions, the General Sessions and/or the “Ethanol 101” pre-workshop seminar.

Ethanol

Clymers, IN Site of Andersons Ethanol Plant

Chuck Zimmerman

Maybe we should just start a daily feature to announce the new ethanol plant “annoucement of the day.” It seems like we hear about new plants on a regular basis now. Like today’s announcement from The Andersons, Inc.

The Andersons, Inc. today announced the selection of Clymers, Indiana as the site for its proposed new corn ethanol plant with the support and assistance of the state of Indiana through the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and Cass County. “Creation of this plant is good news for Hoosiers and a great application of our Clean Indiana Energy policy,” said Governor Daniels.

This new facility will be capitalized by approximately $140 million in capital investment and create 40-50 new production jobs, in addition to roughly 250 construction positions. With a planned annual capacity of 110 million gallons of ethanol and production of 350,000 tons of distillers dried grains for feed, the plant would be the largest and most modern east of the Mississippi River. The plant would process 40 million bushels of corn each year-primarily sourced from Cass and surrounding counties-significantly benefiting area farmers and agribusinesses.

Ethanol, Facilities

Bonnie Raitt Running On Biodiesel

Chuck Zimmerman

National Biodiesel BoardThe National Biodiesel Board probably plays Bonnie Raitt music in their office! They’re getting some good publicity for this renewable fuel alternative because a big star is using it on her tour.

Bonnie RaittAs acclaimed musician Bonnie Raitt hits the road for her year-long Souls Alike Tour, she is fueling her two diesel-powered buses and two semis with environmentally friendly biodiesel (B20). This tour continues the Green Highway eco-partnership she began in 2002 on the Silver Lining Tour promoting biodiesel, the environment, and alternative energy solutions at shows and benefits along the way. “I believe we should do everything we can to minimize our impact on the planet, and using biodiesel is a simple step that goes a long way,” said Raitt. “By using B20 on my Souls Alike Tour, we are reducing pollution and putting a dent in imported petroleum. Biodiesel has come so far in the last few years. It’s wonderful to see it gaining momentum – we can all benefit from more biodiesel use.”

The Souls Alike Tour kicked off Oct. 5 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Biodiesel fits with Raitt’s Green Highway mission because it reduces emissions that are harmful to the environment as well as humans. It is a domestically produced fuel made from any fat or vegetable oil, like soybean oil. Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine with few or no modifications. Although biodiesel contains no petroleum, it can be blended with diesel at any level or used in its pure form.

Biodiesel, Promotion

PA Governor Creates Renewable Agricultural Energy Council

Chuck Zimmerman

Pennsylvania GrowsI’ve seen a lot of activity out of the state of Pennsylvania when it comes to news from their government. They’ve certainly made a committment to renewable fuels with programs like their Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program that’s part of their PAGrows Initiative.

Just this past week the Governor Edward G. Rendell created the Renewable Agricultural Energy Council, which is focused on developing and expanding agricultural energy industries in Pennsylvania. “Pennsylvania continues to look for innovative energy solutions,” Governor Rendell said. “That means looking for ways to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, encourage conservation, build and deploy clean energy technologies and build a diversified energy base.”

“Renewable agricultural energy has the potential to support and grow the agriculture industry in Pennsylvania by providing as many as 64,000 additional jobs,” the Governor said. “Additionally, renewable agricultural energy can help diversify agricultural activities and stimulate the growth of crops that strengthen the agriculture industry. It also has the potential to save consumers hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs.

“Agricultural energy sources can save the average household $1,200 annually on energy bills,” Governor Rendell said. “Such energy sources can also provide an additional source of income for farmers and increase the tax base, benefits that stretch beyond the farm.”

The secretaries of Agriculture and Environmental Protection will serve as co-chairs on a rotating yearly basis, with the secretary of Agriculture, Dennis Wolff, serving the first term. The Council will also be composed of a diverse group of individuals appointed by the Governor, including farmers utilizing renewable energy and those who work with agricultural energy.

Government

Ethanol Car Runs Well At Last IndyCar Race

Chuck Zimmerman

Jimmy KiteJimmy Kite, the driver of the Ethanol car, #91, Hemelgarn Racing, had his best race finish this weekend in the Toyota Indy 400.

According to one of the car sponsors, the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, “Kite started 19th on the grid but quickly moved through the field getting as high as 8th at one point during the race. Unfortunately for driver Jimmy Kite the team experienced a wheel gun failure during their second pit stop costing them a lap and a legitimate shot at a top-10 finish. Despite the 13th place finish, team owner Ron Hemelgarn was happy with the day, as well as the way the season ended.

“This was our best race all year. We made huge gains on handling. We could run with anybody today. I wish we could have another race.” “We had a good race car today,” said driver Jimmy Kite. “I’d almost say that it was the best car I’ve had all year. The guys gave me great stops all year, so I can’t complain about one bad stop. I’m very happy with the car I had today; we were able to run with the leaders all day.”

Ethanol, Indy Racing, Promotion