Global Panel Wraps Up #RFANEC18

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

UNICA’s Elizabeth Farina with RFA’s Bob Dinneen

The National Ethanol Conference concluded this week with the always popular panel of international industry organization leaders.

Bliss Baker with the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance moderated the discussion which included Emmanuel Desplechin, ePURE; Jim Grey, Renewable Industries Canada; Elizabeth Farina, Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA); and Bob Dinneen, Renewable Fuels Association.

As always, Dinneen used the panel to publicly address any issues the global leaders may be having, which this year focused on Brazil’s imposition of a U.S. ethanol import tariff last year. Farina read an statement on “what we call a temporary solution to a temporary problem” and Dinneen responded by “attempting to be Canadian-nice about it.”

Listen to the panel here, with the Brazil-US exchange starting about 9:35: NEC18 Global Industry Leaders Panel

2018 National Ethanol Conference Photo Album

Audio, Brazil, Ethanol, Ethanol News, International, National Ethanol Conference, RFA

More Biofuels Vital to Improving U.S. Energy Outlook

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Federal forecasts in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) newly released Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018) demonstrate a clear and growing need for U.S. biofuels says Chris Bliley, vice president of regulatory affairs at Growth Energy.

The EIA “reference” case, which contains projections through 2050 based on current trends and regulations, predicts an 18 percent increase in miles traveled by U.S. motorists in traditional light-duty vehicles. That’s an increase from 2.8 trillion miles in 2017 to 3.3 trillion miles in 2050. EIA also reports that, “Retail prices of motor gasoline and diesel fuel are projected to increase from 2018 to 2050 in the reference case, largely because of expected increases in crude oil prices.”

“Blending more homegrown, cost-efficient biofuels into the fuel supply is the ready-made solution to lowering prices at the pump while also dramatically reducing emissions,” Bliley said.

“We don’t need federal data to remind us that gasoline prices never stay low forever. Homegrown fuels like ethanol are already saving the average American household $142, according to the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, and those savings will only grow as the demand for transportation rises in the decades to come.

Federal experts agree that ethanol slashes emissions by 43 percent over the full energy life-cycle – from farm to engine – but that the level of carbon savings is rising with each passing year thanks to innovations in biofuel production and precision agriculture. We must reduce emissions in the transportation sector, and that means deploying higher ethanol blends like E15 and E85 as well as mid-level ethanol blends like E30 alongside advanced and cellulosic biofuels. A strong Renewable Fuel Standard is vital to that effort, and we urge the Environmental Protection Agency to reject calls from a few fossil fuel advocates who want to hold back the rapid growth of ethanol production in rural America.”

biofuels, Energy, Growth Energy

RFA Honors Farmer Ron Alverson with 2018 Industry Award

jamie johansen Leave a Comment

During the 23rd Annual National Ethanol Conference (NEC), farmer and ethanol plant founder Ron Alverson was presented the Renewable Fuels Association’s (RFA) 2018 Industry Award. The award is given annually to individuals that demonstrate great dedication and innovation within the industry.

For more than 40 years, Alverson has grown corn and soybeans near Chester, S.D. He is a founding member and past president of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association, helped establish the corn checkoff program to create new markets and uses for corn and helped pass South Dakota’s first ethanol productive incentive. Alverson founded Dakota Ethanol LLC, which operates a 48 million gallon per year ethanol plant in Wentworth, S.D., and is a past chairman of the American Coalition for Ethanol.

“Ron has done more than anyone to help decisionmakers understand carbon sinks and made it his life’s mission to educate and inform anyone willing to listen on the astounding gains in efficiency that farmers have experienced in recent decades, including yield increases, improvements in tillage practices, and reduced fertilizer use,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “While some have dismissed the environmental and economic impact of carbon, Ron realizes accurate carbon accounting will be the key to future success for both farmers and ethanol. His vision is why this recognition is so deserving.”

Listen to Cindy’s interview with Ron here: Interview with Ron Alverson

Listen to complete award presentation here: Remarks from Bob Dinneen & Ron Alverson

Download and/or view photos from the event here: 2018 National Ethanol Conference Photo Album

Ag group, AgWired Energy, Audio, Ethanol, National Ethanol Conference, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

State of the Industry – Ethanol Strong

jamie johansen Leave a Comment

The Reverend of Renewable Fuels took the stage at the 2018 National Ethanol Conference to give his annual State of the Ethanol Industry Address. Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen said with confidence the state of U.S. ethanol is strong, because of the strong character of the people who call the ethanol community home.

“I am more confident than I have ever been that the U.S. ethanol industry, led by the visionaries in this room, is poised for continued growth and unprecedented success. Not just because the industry is strong today and getting stronger. It is because this industry knows what it takes to succeed, and remains resolute in the face of a setback, determined in the face of adversity, and committed to the farmers who grow our feedstock, consumers who use our fuel, and a nation that rewards innovation,” Dinneen. “I am proud to represent you in Washington and to be counted among you. I am grateful for your leadership, your counsel, and your friendship. I am inspired by your strength. You are Ethanol Strong.”

Listen to his complete address here: State of the Industry Address, Bob Dinneen

View and download photos from the event here: 2018 National Ethanol Conference Photo Album

Ag group, AgWired Energy, corn, Energy, Ethanol, Renewable Energy, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA, Video

State of Ethanol Industry Address Facebook Live

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The annual “State of the Ethanol Industry” address by Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen is coming up this morning at 8:15 am central time live from the 23rd National Ethanol Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The live feed will be on the AgWired Facebook page.

We have been doing a live video stream of this address since 2007, but it is much easier these days with Facebook Live! For a walk down memory lane, you can check out all of the RFA NEC photo albums since 2007.

2018 National Ethanol Conference Photo Album

Ethanol, Ethanol News, National Ethanol Conference, RFA

RFA CEO Blasts Sen. Cruz in Texas

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The National Ethanol Conference is being held in San Antonio, Texas this week, so to start the meeting on a high note, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen had a scathing editorial published in the local paper challenging Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to stop scapegoating the RFS.

“He is holding it [vote for Bill Northey’s appointment to Under Secretary of USDA] up because he wants to hold the RFS hostage. He wants changes to that program. He wants to disrupt demand for renewable fuels. Until he gets what he wants for a few independent refiners, he is not going to let farmers across this country have the leadership at USDA that the President wants, that Secretary Perdue wants and the American farmers need,” said Dinneen.

Listen to Cindy’s complete conversation kicking off #RFANEC18 here: NEC Preview with RFA CEO Bob Dinneen

2018 National Ethanol Conference Photo Album

Ethanol, Ethanol News, National Ethanol Conference, RFA, RFS

ICYMI: National Biodiesel Conference

cindy zimmerman Leave a Comment

The National Biodiesel Conference & Expo was held at the Fort Worth Convention Center January 22-24. The event included a vehicle showcase and ride-and-drive opportunity alongside demonstrations and presentations on the latest in the industry. This conference also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the National Biodiesel Board.

Among the highlights was an award to USDA Deputy Secretary Steve Censky for his work in helping develop the biodiesel industry during his years as CEO of the American Soybean Association. Other highlights – a panel with the makers of the Discovery Channel’s Hot Grease documentary about the biodiesel industry, a petroleum industry leaders panel, and the biodiesel vehicle showcase featuring the latest from Ford, John Deere, General Motors, Caterpillar, and Optimus – with a semi that served as the stage back screen.

In case you were not able to attend, here are some resources:

The Biodiesel Conference Blog
2018 National Biodiesel Conference Photos
2018 Biodiesel Conference Virtual Newsroom

AgWired Energy, Biodiesel, John Deere, National Biodiesel Conference, Tractor, transportation, Trucks

Growth Energy Presents Industry Awards

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Kwik Trip’s Joel Hirschboeck with Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor

Growth Energy presented the 2018 America’s Fuel Award to Joel Hirschboeck, general manager of fuel marketing and procurement at Kwik Trip, Inc.

The award, which is the organization’s highest honor, was presented at last week’s ninth annual Executive Leadership Conference (ELC). The America’s Fuel Award is presented every year to an individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to act as a champion for the renewable fuels industry.

“We are thrilled to recognize Joel with the America’s Fuel Award in recognition of his guidance, vision and positive impact on the growth of the entire biofuels industry,” Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said. “Under his leadership, Kwik Trip rolled out 300 E15 sites in just four months and ushered in a new model for expansion.”

Growth Energy also presented the following individuals with TOBI awards, given each year to Growth Energy members who exhibit innovation, fortitude, perseverance, and leadership within the biofuels industry:
• Paige Donnelly, Public Engagement Manager, Novozymes
• Gunner Greene, COO/GM, Iroquois Bio-Energy
• Brian Schasel, Environmental/Technical Manager, Big River Resources
• Jerry Tegels, Ethanol Business Development Manager, Buckman
• Steve Walk, COO, Protec Fuel Management
• Rob Walther, VP of Federal Advocacy, POET

Ethanol, Growth Energy

Partial Win for Biodiesel in Budget Deal

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Grateful but disappointed is how the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) describes the industry feeling after the two-year budget deal passed by Congress last week included a retroactive extension of the biodiesel tax credit for 2017, but not 2018.

“The industry is grateful to our champions for their tireless efforts to ensure that all of our members’ transactions in 2017 will be properly covered by a retroactive extension of the blenders credit,” said Kurt Kovarik, NBB vice president of federal affairs. “Candidly, we are disappointed that some of the negotiators prevented the extension from covering 2018, as well.”

Iowa Biodiesel Board executive director Grant Kimberly says the fact that it was not extended into 2018 still leaves the industry in limbo. “These businesses are in the same precarious situation of having to roll the dice with their business decisions, betting on whether it will come back for 2018. We are disappointed in this.”

Iowa Renewable Fuels Association executive director Monte Shaw was more blunt in his assessment. “(T)his is the most ridiculous outcome I’ve ever seen. We will continue to work for a quick extension for 2018 and ultimately a common-sense long-term extension.”


Manito Transit Acquires Lobdell Transportation

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Manito Transit of Bloomington, Illinois has acquired the assets of Lobdell Transportation, Inc., a family-owned trucking company based in Lena, Illinois. The acquisition comes with 21 tractor units, 22 fuel tankers, and eight pressure vessels capable of hauling propane and anhydrous ammonia, as well as a two-bay maintenance shop. Manito Transit now operates 120 trucks, serving customers in 13 states.

“We are excited to build new relationships with external customers in this area, while expanding our footprint to better serve our current customer base,” said Brandon Curtis, Manito Transit General Manager. “We remain committed to providing excellent service for our patrons and this acquisition will enhance those efforts.”

Manito Transit, distributes fuel oil, biodiesel, soybean oil, ethanol, chemicals, lube oil, fertilizer, and propane for farm, commercial, and industrial use, serving Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Ohio, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota.

I caught up with Brandon yesterday to find out more about this acquisition and what it means for their customers: Interview with Brandon Curtis, Manito Transit

Audio, Biodiesel, Ethanol, Ethanol News, transportation