Senators and Governors Urge Support for RFS

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

On Monday, four governors wrote to President Trump, and 34 senators sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, both expressing concerns about proposed changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Governors Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, Eric Greitens of Missouri and Sam Brownback of Kansas urged the president to keep his promises to rural America to support the RFS.

“The renewable fuels industry in our states—and others—is poised to grow if the EPA sends positive and consistent market signals through increases in the required volumes. That will enhance America’s energy security, value-added agriculture and rural economic prosperity. We urge you to continue to fulfill your promises, to continue your support for all biofuels under the RFS and to continue to put America first,” the governors write.

“We commend the governors for holding our federal government accountable to the law, and we join them in calling on the Administration to ensure that the EPA stays true to the president’s promises for a strong RFS,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor in a statement.

The senators, led by Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), specifically addressed proposed volume levels of biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuel.

“Reducing volumes—and especially those [Renewable Volume Obligations] RVOs that were previously finalized—is disruptive, unprecedented and very troubling,” the senators write. “These volumes do not meet actual biodiesel production capacity in the United States, and could have a negative impact on jobs and economies in rural communities across the nation.”

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) agrees. “EPA should seek comment on factors that warrant HIGHER advanced biofuel and biomass-based diesel volumes in order to achieve Congress’s goals of diversifying our fuel supply, supporting rural jobs and enhancing U.S. energy security. Instead, the recent request for comment from EPA flaunts these objectives—with the potential to eradicate jobs and bankrupt farmers,” said NBB COO Doug Whitehead.

EPA recently released a request for additional comments on reducing previously finalized volumes under the RFS program and on using waiver authorities to further reduce biodiesel volumes.

Biodiesel, EPA, Ethanol, Growth Energy, NBB

ACE Hosts Latin America Trade Team

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A trade team from Latin America is on an ethanol tour this week sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), which included a visit to the Sioux Falls, South Dakota office of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Monday morning.

The schedule for the group included several other stops in South Dakota, visiting an ethanol plant, a livestock farm to see the ethanol co-product distillers dried grains (DDGs) being used in feed rations, a farm where they deploy practices to produce zero-carbon corn, and a retail fuel station that markets higher ethanol blends.

ACE Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty shared his ethanol market expertise with the tour group which includes representatives from Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Paraguay and Uruguay.

ACE, Ethanol, USGC

Study of RINs and Retail Gas Prices Finds No Relationship

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A new study by Informa Agribusiness Consulting finds that prices of the Renewable Identification Number (RINs) credits used for RFS compliance have not caused changes in retail gasoline prices

The analysis, commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), looked at trends in the prices for conventional biofuel RINs and retail gasoline from 2013 to the summer of 2017.

“Based on statistical analysis, it can be concluded that changes in RIN prices did not ‘cause’ the changes that occurred in retail gasoline prices in 2013, and this has continued to be the case through the summer of 2017,” according to Informa Agribusiness Consulting. Instead, the price of retail gasoline has been primarily driven by movements in crude oil prices and by changes in the spread between domestic and international crude oil prices, as well as seasonal demand, the analysis found.

RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen says the analysis shows that the EPA’s proposal to lower total Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) would lower the price of RINs, but not prices at the pump. “If finalized, however, these proposals will have a decidedly negative impact on the U.S. ethanol industry by artificially cannibalizing demand,” said Dinneen. “If the intent is to lower the price of RINs, EPA should consider expanding ethanol demand by empowering consumers to utilize higher level ethanol blends. After all, ethanol is less expensive than gasoline today and RINs attached to each gallon of ethanol purchased from a producer are free.”

Click here to read the Informa Agribusiness Consulting analysis.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, RFS, RINS

Celebrating National Farmers Day

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The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is among organizations celebrating Oct. 12 as National Farmers Day. RFA honors farmers for providing food, fuel and fiber for the nation and the world.

According to new monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates issued today, America’s farmers are forecast to produce 14.28 billion bushels of corn for the 2017/2018 marketing year, up 96 million bushels from last month. Additionally, farmers are estimated to have a corn yield of 171.8 bushels per acre, up 1.9 bushels from the September forecast. If realized, these would be the second highest U.S. corn production and yields on record.

Last year, the U.S. ethanol industry used 5.43 billion bushels of corn, valued at $18.8 billion, to make 15.3 billion gallons of ethanol and 42 million metric tons of animal feed. Ethanol and agriculture continue to work hand in hand, helping to fuel and feed the world.

“Ethanol provides a vital value-added market for corn and other commodities, providing an economic boost to rural America,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “Meantime, ethanol is helping to clean the air, reduce our reliance on petroleum, boost local economies and lower prices at the pump. Tremendous increases in the productivity of U.S. farmers have ensured ample supplies of grain are available for food, feed and fuel. Farmers touch every part of our lives and today, we give thanks for National Farmers Day.”

AgWired Energy, Renewable Fuels Association

Corn Farmers Promoting American Ethanol in Talladega

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Corn growers from around the country are heading to Alabama this weekend to promote American Ethanol at “The Big One” in Talladega.

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is partnering with corn farmers in Alabama, Kansas, Iowa and Michigan – to promote E15 American Ethanol all weekend in the popular Fan Zone exhibit area, nearby campgrounds, on-track signage, the pavement in pit road and the in-house video system.

“Corn Growers partnered with Growth Energy under the American Ethanol banner to spread the positive benefits of E15 and higher ethanol blends. Since 2011 drivers on all three of NASCAR’s racing series have completed more than 10-million miles on E15,” said Don Glenn, NCGA board member and farmer from Hillsboro, Alabama. “And E15 has worked seamlessly in these high performance engines. Today, a growing number of consumers are seeking this American-made fuel at the pump because they have seen how well it works for the world’s best drivers.”

Corn farmers will hand out American Ethanol starter flags as fans arrive and those who fly their green flag over the race weekend will receive promotional items, including E15 T-shirts to continue promoting ethanol long after the roar of the race has concluded. Fans will also have the opportunity Saturday morning, October 14, to meet American Ethanol No. 3 Chevy driver Austin Dillon at the exhibit in the Fan Zone.

American Ethanol is also the sponsor of the Saturday night infield concert featuring country star Colt Ford.

American Ethanol, corn, Ethanol, Growth Energy, NASCAR

FS FAST STOP Retailers Registered as TOP TIER™ Diesel Fuel Sites

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FS FAST STOP locations are among the first to become registered TOP TIER™ Diesel Fuel sites under a program developed by leading diesel equipment manufacturers who recognized the benefits of additized diesel fuel in their engines.

The TOP TIER program, originally launched in 2004, focused on gasoline standards before introducing a diesel fuel standard this September. FAST STOP locations featuring Dieselex® Gold are among the first retailers to earn the new certification.

“We strive to provide the best fuel standard in the industry by not only meeting, but exceeding, the new TOP TIER Diesel Fuel standards,” said Curt Dunafin, GROWMARK energy services manager. “Additional performance benefits of Dieslex Gold include: cleaning up dirty engines, controlling moisture, faster starts, lower emissions, and extending storage stability.”

In this interview, Dunafin talks about why quality diesel fuel is important, especially with new engine efficiencies.

Interview with Curt Dunafin, GROWMARK Energy

AgWired AgNewsWire, AgWired Energy, Audio, Energy, FS System, GROWMARK

Student Scientists Offered Scholarships for Biodiesel Conference

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The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is offering scholarships for students interested in attending the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, Jan. 22 – 25 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Applications are now being accepted for no cost registration, travel scholarships, biodiesel poster presentations and even a shot at the podium is open for members of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel. The application deadline is November 19.

About 30 students attended the 2017 conference from schools including Missouri University of Science and Technology, Clemson University, University of Iowa, and New Castle University in the United Kingdom.

The National Biodiesel Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture Biodiesel Education Program, United Soybean Board and the National Biodiesel Foundation sponsor the scholarships, which amount to a $1,200 conference registration and a $600 travel reimbursement.

Biodiesel, Biodiesel Conference, NBB

Registration Open for 2018 National Ethanol Conference

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Registration is now open for the Renewable Fuels Association’s 23rd annual National Ethanol Conference (NEC), to be held Feb. 12–14, 2018 in San Antonio.

The theme for the conference in 2018 will be “Ethanol Strong: Empowering Dialogue to Grow Markets.”

“RFA’s NEC is the preeminent and most widely attended policy conference for the ethanol industry,” said RFA Board Chairman Mick Henderson, general manager of Commonwealth Agri-Energy LLC in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. “It’s an excellent opportunity to network, hear great content from top experts and learn the latest about issues affecting our industry. The 2018 NEC will be a can’t miss event.”

Also, NEC has once again been selected to be a participant in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program (IBP). International trade specialists from the agency will be onsite at the NEC to provide export counseling, matchmaking services, market analysis and more.

For more information, visit NationalEthanolConference.com and make sure to follow NEC on Twitter, at @EthanolConf.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, National Ethanol Conference, RFA

Senator Grassley Rallies for Biodiesel

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Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) visited the Renewable Energy Group (REG) biodiesel plant in Newton, Iowa Tuesday to rally the industry in opposition to proposed EPA actions that would cut volumes of biodiesel under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“This proposal would drastically undermine biodiesel production,” said Grassley. “Most importantly, it’s contrary to statements made by candidate and President Trump. Whether it’s biodiesel or anything else, I believe a platform isn’t just to run on, it’s also to stand on.”

In late September, EPA put out a “Notice of Data Availability” seeking input concerning potential reductions for biodiesel under the RFS, on top of freezing biodiesel levels for 2019 in the formal proposed rule and decreasing levels for advanced biofuels, which includes biodiesel.

Grassley also talked about his American Renewable Fuel Jobs Creation Act bill, which would extends the biodiesel tax incentive, which expired at the end of 2016, for three years and changing it from a blenders’ to a producers’ credit. The change would ensure that the tax credit incentivizes domestic production without subsidizing imported fuel.

Listen to Grassley’s comments here: Sen. Grassley biodiesel rally comments

AgWired AgNewsWire, AgWired Energy, Audio, Biodiesel, EPA, Government

Global Demand for Biofuels Continues to Increase

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The 2017 Renewables outlook from the International Energy Agency (IEA) is once again projecting continued increased demand for conventional biofuels.

The report notes that while sales of electric vehicles are increasing, “the share of EVs remains limited, and biofuels are still expected to represent over 90% of total renewable energy consumption in road transport by 2022. Biofuels production is expected to grow by over 16% during over the forecast period.”

Asia and Brazil are expected to lead in the growth of biofuels over the next five years, according to the report, with modest growth expected in the European Union. In the United States, ethanol and biodiesel production also forecast to expand as a result of “supportive policy frameworks”. Advanced biofuels (such as cellulosic ethanol) production is expected to almost quadruple from a low base, which is still just over 1% of total biofuels production.

“The IEA’s latest outlook clearly shows the key role that biofuels are playing in efforts to decarbonize the global transport sector,” said Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) president Bliss Baker. “As the only cost-effective and commercially available alternative to crude oil currently available, the significant contributions that biofuels make in reducing GHG emissions from the global transport sector each year will continue to grow.”

For the first time, the report includes an “accelerated case” forecast for biofuels that assumes “additional investment in new production capacity in Brazil; scaling up fuel distribution infrastructure in the United States; and roll-out of a blending programme in India” and estimates biofuel production could be 13% higher.

“Previous projections have outlined how biofuel production could rise to 165,000 million litres by 2030 if the US, Canada and Europe adopted a common E15 blending standard,” said Baker. “This latest accelerated case forecast by the IEA demonstrates how growing demand for biofuels driven by developing economies could realistically drive these projections much higher in a much shorter timeframe.”

The report estimates total global production of conventional biofuels to grow by an average of 2.6% annually from 2017.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, International