Ethanol Delivers Relief at the Pump with Higher Prices

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The situation between the United States and Iran is having an impact on oil prices and gas at the pump, but ethanol is helping to moderate that, according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

“The current crisis in the Middle East again highlights the critical need for greater domestic energy security and diversity,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Given the global nature of crude oil markets, we cannot simply frack our way to energy independence. The fastest and most effective way to insulate our nation’s consumers from geopolitically induced price shocks at the pump is to increase our use of domestically produced ethanol. To help mitigate impending pump price increases, EPA should immediately act on the President’s commitment to remove regulatory barriers to E15 expansion and fully enforce the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

RFA notes that ethanol is currently selling for 40-50 cents per gallon less than gasoline at blending terminals and a recent study shows that ethanol significantly helps dampen gasoline price shocks that result from sudden oil market disruptions. In fact, the study found that if renewable fuels were removed from the fuel supply, gas prices would be more than $1 per gallon higher.

The September gas price study, by independent economist and energy expert Dr. Philip K. Verleger, Jr., looked at oil market disruptions over nearly 50 years and provided an example in which the availability of ethanol avoids a significant impact to U.S. gasoline prices from a supply disruption.

“Retail prices would today be above $4 per gallon were renewable supplies removed from the supply mix,” Verleger writes. “The lower gasoline prices, in turn, allowed consumers to spend more on the things they wanted rather than motor fuels. … The economic benefit of lower gasoline prices that is directly attributable to the availability of renewable fuels adds one to two percentage points to the U.S. GDP every year.”

Read the study.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, gas, RFA

New Report Outlines Clean Fuels Policy for the Midwest

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

A new report details how a good clean fuels policy for the Midwest should be designed, recommending a “technology-neutral, portfolio approach that encourages a fair and competitive marketplace and benefits producers, consumers, agriculture, utilities, jobs, and public health.”

The Clean Fuels Policy for the Midwest white paper is the result of nearly two years of analysis and stakeholder discussion by the Midwestern Clean Fuels Initiative. Facilitated by the Great Plains Institute, the Initiative brings together fuels producers and marketers, nonprofit and research organizations, scientists and engineers, and agriculture and industry stakeholders. The Initiative’s consensus white paper illustrates broad support for a policy by diverse interests across the region. The paper is intended to inform further discussion of new and existing clean fuels policies and how they could be tailored to benefit the Midwest.

A Clean Fuels Policy evaluates all fuels based on lifecycle carbon accounting and assigns each fuel production method a unique carbon intensity (CI) score that is a complete “well-to-wheels” carbon equivalent emissions. For example, a CI score for gasoline or diesel includes emissions from crude oil extraction, transportation, refining, and combustion in a vehicle. A CI score for biofuel includes emissions from farming, biofuel production, transport, and combustion in a vehicle. A CI score for electricity includes emissions from production of electricity (including all relevant upstream emissions), sources of electricity, and the efficiency of electric vehicles.

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) are among the diverse group of stakeholders known as the Midwestern Clean Fuels Initiative.

“This reunification is based on a shared vision for the Midwest to be a bigger part of the solution to climate change, but in a way which also spurs economic growth. We strongly encourage Midwest governors and legislators to read the white paper and consider new clean fuel policies which will expand economic activity and cut GHG emissions,” said ACE CEO Brian Jennings, co-funder/co-founder of the Clean Fuels Policy white paper process.

Read the report.

ACE, Biodiesel, biofuels, Energy, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Ethanol Report on Badger State Billion Gallons

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

When Badger State Ethanol (BSE) began production in 2002 with a nameplate capacity of 40 million gallons per year, it would have taken them 25 years to hit a billion gallons – but they did it in 18, and with a current capacity of 85 million gallons a year they will celebrate the next billion in less than 12 years.

In this first Ethanol Report podcast of 2020, Badger State Ethanol CEO and General Manager Erik Huschitt, who also serves on the board of the Renewable Fuels Association, talks about reaching the billion gallon milestone and the significance it has for their community, the state of Wisconsin, and the nation.

Ethanol Report 1-6-20 (11:22)

The Ethanol Report is a podcast about the latest news and information in the ethanol industry that has been sponsored by the Renewable Fuels Association since 2009. Click here to subscribe.

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, Podcasting, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

Badger State Ethanol Hits Billion Gallon Milestone

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Badger State Ethanol (BSE) in Monroe, Wisconsin is starting 2020 by passing the 1 billion gallon milestone at its 85 million-gallon-per-year facility. BSE began production in 2002 with a nameplate capacity of 40 million gallons per year.

To put 1 billion gallons in perspective, Erik Huschitt, CEO and General Manager of BSE, said, “In a vehicle that gets 23 miles per gallon, you could go around the earth 923,000 times and at 60 miles per hour, it’d take you 43,750 years to complete.”

Although the ethanol industry has had more than its fair share of challenges over the past year, Huschitt said reaching this milestone is a great opportunity to accentuate the good ethanol brings to local communities and the agricultural economy, as well as his appreciation for the support the company’s received along the way.

Badger State Ethanol is a member of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Huschitt serves on the board. “All those involved in the operation, from investors to staff, should be very proud of the hard work they all put into a facility that supports the community around them. The company supports dozens of good jobs, adds value to locally grown crops, and plays an important role in providing consumers with cleaner and more affordable fuels at the pump,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper.

ACE, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Iowa Pink at the Pump® Campaign Raises $20K

Cindy Zimmerman

Iowa fuel retailers and drivers raised over $20,000 for breast cancer research and support services during the 4th annual Pink at the Pump® campaign, co-sponsored by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) and Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPM).

Seventy-four retail stations donated three cents of every gallon of Unleaded 88 (15% ethanol) sold from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31, 2019 to National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) and The Hormel Institute. “We are thrilled that this year’s Pink at the Pump® campaign featured a record number of participating stations and raised a record-breaking amount of funds for such a worthwhile cause,” said IRFA Communications Director Cassidy Walter.

NBCF provides help and inspires hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education, and support services. The Hormel Institute is a global, cutting-edge research facility with a seven-decade history of making significant scientific discoveries on better ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer.

E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA

SIRE Repurchases Bunge’s Stake in Iowa Ethanol Plant

Cindy Zimmerman

Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy (SIRE) has repurchased the stake Bunge North America had in its Council Bluffs, Iowa ethanol plant. The purchase of Bunge’s Series B membership units effective December 31, 2019 ends the company’s 13-year ownership interest in SIRE.

As part of the transaction, the two Series B directors appointed by Bunge, Andrés Martín and Brett Caplice, resigned from the SIRE board. In addition, the two companies revised commercial agreements.

SIRE chairman Karol King says the partnership with Bunge starting in 2006 has been invaluable for the plant’s growth. “SIRE is very pleased today to be in the position to go forward as an entity wholly-owned by our farmer and community members, with Bunge’s ongoing support for our ethanol marketing.”

SIRE will assume responsibility for originating corn and selling dried distillers grains produced by the plant. Under a revised agreement, Bunge will continue to purchase all of the ethanol produced by SIRE, while SIRE will also continue to lease rail cars from Bunge under existing lease agreements.

Ethanol, Ethanol News

Put 2019 in the Rear View Mirror

Cindy Zimmerman

2019 may not have been the best of years for agriculture, but there’s always 2020.

ZimmComm spent the year as usual, traveling along the Agriblogging Highway to nearly 40 events around the country from Beltwide Cotton Conferences in January to American Seed Trade Seed Expo in December. Click on the photo below to see where we have been and some of our favorite people we have seen in 2019.

2019 in Pictures by ZimmComm

Top Viewed Energy Posts of 2019

Sec. Perdue Comments on Ethanol and SREs
Passing of Dale Tolifson
Ethanol Industry Mourns Loss of Randy Ives
Trump Praises Refinery Waivers
Ethanol Producers United in Comments to EPA
ACE Honors Randy Ives with Merle Anderson Award
Couple Takes Personal Story to DC
Japan Deal Good for Grains and Ethanol
Luke Perry’s Ties to Farming and Biodiesel
Lawmakers Rally for Biodiesel Tax Incentive

ZimmComm Announcement

Cooper to Keynote Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit

Cindy Zimmerman

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper will present the keynote address at the 2020 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit on January 16th of the new year in Altoona, Iowa.

“America’s ethanol producers have a powerful story to tell,” Cooper said. “Whether you’re concerned about jobs and market opportunities in rural communities, clean and sustainable fuel choices in urban cities, or protecting our nation’s security with a domestic fuel supply, ethanol is an excellent fuel choice to address those concerns and more. We in the industry need to be bold in sharing that story.”

Cooper will also participate in a policy roundtable at the Summit to discuss the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Joining him will be David Cobb, director of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board; Anne Steckel, biofuels advisor for the National Farmers Union; and James Carstensen, federal government affairs manager for DuPont.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, who has been on the front lines of the fight against refinery exemptions to the RFS while working diligently on a state level to grow biofuels use in Iowa, will also address the Summit.

The 2020 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit will take place at the Prairie Meadows Conference Center on January 16, 2020. The Summit is free to attend and open to the public, but registration is required. To register to attend or learn more about the Summit, please visit: IowaRenewableFuelsSummit.org.

Biodiesel, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA, RFA

Ethanol Groups Applaud House Passage of USMCA

Cindy Zimmerman

Ethanol organizations are praising the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) yesterday on a bipartisan vote of 385-41.

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings says the new agreement solidifies a multi-billion-dollar export market while providing more certainty to farmers.

“Canada is the most reliable export market for U.S. ethanol over the course of time, while Mexico continues to be the largest buyer of U.S. Distillers’ Dried Grains (DDGs) and holds great potential for increasing U.S. ethanol exports,” said Jennings. “While USMCA doesn’t directly address ethanol specific trade provisions, the passage of this agreement is key to maintaining positive relationships with our neighbors to the north and south and future opportunities in these markets for ethanol, the fastest-growing agricultural export in the U.S.”

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) released new fact sheets that highlight the significance of the Canadian and Mexican export markets to U.S. ethanol producers.

In 2018, Canada ranked second for ethanol exports from the United States, purchasing 350 million gallons, and ranked in the Top 10 for distillers grains. Canada has imported more ethanol from the United States since 2012 than any other country in the world.

Mexico was the top export market for U.S. distillers grains in 2018, importing more than 2 million metric tons, and ranked in the Top 10 for ethanol exports.

“America’s ethanol producers are encouraged by the approval of USMCA in the House, and we urge the Senate to act swiftly to ratify the agreement,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “USMCA is a good deal for the U.S. ethanol industry, the farmers who support us, and our industry’s partners in Canada and Mexico.”

ACE, biofuels, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, RFA, Trade