RFA CEO Calls Out Big Oil’s E15 Hypocrisy

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

In an editorial this week, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Geoff Cooper called out the hypocrisy of oil interests when it comes to allowing year round sales of 15% ethanol, E15.

Noting that “hell hath no fury like Big Oil scorned,” Cooper debunks all of the oil industry’s dire warnings in response to President Trump’s recent decision calling for the year-round availability of E15, including that it can “damage engines,” “put consumers at risk,” and “void manufacturer warranties.”

It’s also more than a little ironic that while the oil industry is drumming up misinformation about E15 and auto warranties, it continues to sell large volumes of low-octane gasoline (85 AKI)—a fuel that is most certainly not approved or warrantied by a single automaker. In fact, the Department of Energy and EPA warn that using gasoline with low octane can “…cause the engine to run poorly and can damage the engine and emissions control system over time. It may also void your warranty.” Hello pot, meet kettle.
Click here to read Cooper’s commentary.

Commentary, E15, Ethanol, Oil, Opinion, RFA

Driving Ethanol Performance Value

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Growth Energy is celebrating ten years of advocating for ethanol since it was created in 2008. This edition of the Driving Ethanol podcast is the second in a series of three focusing on a decade of accomplishments for the organization.

This episode reflects on how Growth Energy has proven ethanol’s performance value through the high profile American Ethanol partnership with NASCAR, which began in the 2011 season. It features comments from Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor, former NASCAR CEO Brian France, POET CEO and Growth Energy co-chair Jeff Broin, Marquis Energy CEO Mark Marquis, former National Corn Growers Association presidents Bart Schott and Darrin Ihnen, Richard Childress Racing CEO Richard Childress, and NASCAR driver Austin Dillon.

Growth Energy Driving Ethanol podcast 11-27-18

Subscribe to the Driving Ethanol podcast

Audio, Driving Ethanol podcast, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Growth Energy

House Tax Package Includes Biodiesel Extension

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) has released a tax and oversight package that would extend several expired tax credits, including the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax incentive.

According to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), the proposal for a multi-year extension the incentive would keep the credit at its current rate of $1.00 per gallon for 2018 through 2021 but gradually reduce it to $0.33 per gallon by 2024 and then allow it to expire.

“The biodiesel industry has long advocated for a long-term tax extension to provide certainty and predictably for producers and feedstock providers,” said NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik. “Too often, the credit has been allowed to lapse and then reinstated retroactively, which does not provide the certainty businesses need to plan, invest, and create jobs. We appreciate the recognition that the biodiesel industry is integral to our domestic energy needs through this long-term extension.”

The tax package also includes retirement and other savings enhancements and legislation to redesign the Internal Revenue Service.

Biodiesel, NBB

Refinery Exemptions Continue to Destroy Demand

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

With the latest news that Chevron received a hardship refinery exemption from the Renewable Fuel Standard, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has released a new analysis showing just how destructive the EPA waivers are.

RFA Chief Economist Scott Richman says the 19 small refinery exemptions granted retroactively for the 2016 compliance year, and the 29 for 2017, have impacted both components of ethanol demand: quantity and price.

The impact on quantity is reflected in the ethanol “blend rate,” the average inclusion level of ethanol in the nation’s gasoline supply. The blend rate exceeded 10% in all but three months in 2017, and it hit a record 10.8% in January 2018. However, it slumped starting in February 2018, as exempted refiners were flush with reinstated RINs, and as rumors and press reports regarding the exemptions made their way into the market. The blend rate fell to 9.8% in February, ticked down to 9.7% in March and receded further 9.5% in April. Between February and June, the blend rate exceeded 10% in only one month.

Meanwhile, ethanol prices were 8 cents/gallon lower than they otherwise would have been in February, and that the impact grew to 34 cents/gallon by June and stayed at that level throughout the summer, and Richman says the impact on the ethanol industry continues.

Read more of the analysis here.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

ACE Completes 6th Mexico Ethanol Workshop

Cindy Zimmerman

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty traveled to Mexico City this month for the sixth and final ethanol technical workshop held this year for Mexican petroleum equipment installers and retailers. The workshops were a joint effort of the U.S. Grains Council and the Mexican Association of Service Station Suppliers (AMPES) to educate retail station owners about opportunities in sourcing, marketing, and retailing ethanol-blended gasoline.

“These workshops have helped Mexican fuel marketers, equipment suppliers, and even some government officials understand offering gasoline with 10 percent ethanol is a safe and economically sensible way to have cleaner air and provide less expensive options at the pump for drivers in Mexico,” Lamberty said. “‘The math’ of ethanol blends is undeniably attractive for station owners and consumers right now, and our next challenge will be helping businesses do what they need to do to distribute our product to places where it can be blended and delivered to stations. Fuel equipment companies say the workshops have inspired interest from retailers and prospective wholesale distributors of ethanol.”

Mexico City is the final workshop this year, but interest and attendance have been increasing at each event, and ACE will continue to work with the USGC to provide information to retailers and others who want to sell more ethanol.

ACE, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Enogen Means Energy for Feed and Fuel

Cindy Zimmerman

The same trait that makes Enogen corn hybrids great for ethanol production is also good for livestock feed.

The higher levels of the alpha-amylase enzyme in these hybrids help break down sugar into energy more efficiently which benefits both ethanol producers and cattle. “The Enogen technology and how it gains efficiencies and makes the ethanol plant money is similar in the rumen of a cow,” said Chris Tingle, head of commercial operations for Enogen at Syngenta, at the 2018 NAFB Convention Trade Talk. He says recent data from Kansas State and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shows about a five percent increase in feed efficiency. “Which is critical when we see the tensions of those markets now and every penny counts.”

Meanwhile, Enogen’s ethanol plant footprint continues to grow. Learn more in this interview –
NAFB18 Interview with Chris Tingle, Syngenta

2018 NAFB Convention Photo Album

Audio, corn, Enogen, Ethanol, Ethanol News, livestock, livestock feed, NAFB, Syngenta

House Bill Would Replace RFS

Cindy Zimmerman

Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL) and Congressman Bill Flores (R-TX) are proposing new legislation that would replace the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) with the 21st Century Transportation Fuels Act.

In a discussion draft released last week, the congressmen proposed a “transition from the RFS beginning in 2023 to a national octane specification” which they say would create “new market opportunities for biofuel producers and give certainty to refining stakeholders.”

However, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says the proposed legislation “would turn back the clock on our nation’s commitment to renewable biofuels, completely undermining the benefits that consumers have come to expect from ethanol at the pump.”

“Ethanol itself has a natural octane of 113 and a lower carbon content than the gasoline components it replaces,” said Skor. “It is only through coupling a stable Renewable Fuel Standard with improvements to octane standards that consumers can continue to reap the increased engine efficiency, environmental benefits, and cost savings that ethanol provides.”

Ethanol, Government, Growth Energy, RFS

Get in the Holiday Spirits with E-Nog

Cindy Zimmerman

As the holiday season is set to kick into high gear this week, The Auto Channel salutes the ethanol industry and farmers with a delicious ethanol-inspired drink – E-Nog.

Executive VP Marc Rauch says just simply use a cinnamon-flavored whiskey instead of brandy to your favorite basic egg nog. “If you already like egg nog, you’ll go crazy for E-NOG,” Rauch says. “Stillhouse Red Hot Whiskey, Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey, and Jack Daniels Tennessee Fire all work great.”

As people in the ethanol industry are fond of saying, “Drink the Best and Burn the Rest.”

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!


Ethanol Groups Blast EPA for Chevron Waiver

Cindy Zimmerman

A report out yesterday that EPA granted Chevron a 2017 hardship waiver earlier this year is causing some pre-Thanksgiving heartburn for ethanol producers.

“While Chevron and other refiners enjoy their record profits and “economic hardship” waivers from EPA on Thanksgiving, many farmers and ethanol producers in rural America are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet,” says American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings. “Chevron posted net profits of nearly $10 billion in 2017. On what planet does that constitute the “disproportionate economic hardship” threshold needed to help justify a Small Refinery Exemption?”

Renewable Fuels Association CEO Geoff Cooper said, “When an oil company whose net profits surpass the total value of the Iowa corn crop claims it is experiencing ‘hardship,’ you know we’ve reached a new level of absurdity.”

Reuters broke the story of the waiver for Chevron’s Utah refinery based on a source familiar with the company. With a net income of $9.2 billion in 2017, Chevron is the biggest company yet to recieve a hardship waiver from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

ACE, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, RFS