RFA’s Cooper on EPA Actions

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As EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was kicking off his three state ethanol tour last week in Kansas, he was the main topic of a panel discussion on “Surveying the Health of Renewable Fuels Policy under the Trump Administration” was being held at Fuel Ethanol Workshop in Omaha.

Renewable Fuels Association Executive Vice President Geoff Cooper was among the panel participants who discussed what they know about Pruitt’s actions impacting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFA). “What we know is there’s some squirrelly things going on,” said Cooper in an interview after the panel. Those squirrels are mainly the small refinery exemptions that Pruitt has been granting by the dozen.

“We are seeing destruction of demand as a result of these waivers,” said Cooper. “President Trump campaigned through the Midwest on a promise of supporting this industry and those commitments haven’t really added up with the actions of his EPA administrator.”

Listen to Cooper’s take on Pruitt’s actions in this interview: Interview with Geoff Cooper, RFA

2018 Fuel Ethanol Workshop Photos

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Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by Syngenta Enogen

Audio, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, FEW, RFA

Pruitt’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Ethanol Tour

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Renewable Fuels Association CEO Bob Dinneen channeled author Judith Viorst in an editorial post Friday summarizing EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s ethanol “Redemption Tour” last week.

Day 1 of his Redemption Tour had Pruitt telling ethanol producers his role was to provide stability to the market only to be told the company he was visiting would be shutting down a brand new, state-of-the-art renewable diesel plant because of market volatility created by Pruitt’s indiscriminate use of small refiner waivers. The same meeting included farmers telling Pruitt they were “mad as hell” at him.

Trying to deflect criticism, Pruitt told ethanol producers EPA had the authority to expand E15 sales year-around and that EPA could reallocate RINs lost to waivers. But the next day, he said EPA lawyers weren’t so sure about reallocating RINs and RVP could only be done if part of a package in which refiners got something too. Really? 1.6 billion gallons in lost biofuel market share is not enough for them?

Read it here.

EPA, Ethanol, Opinion, RFA

Biodiesel Board Hires Two to Communications Positions

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Kaleb Little

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) last week announced new Director of Communications Kaleb Little and Director of Public Affairs and Federal Communications Paul Winters.

Little has worked in various communications roles at the organization for more than eight years while Winters comes from fellow biofuels trade association Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). His most recent role at NBB was Senior Communications Manager where he oversaw the many communications strategies used to communicate the benefits of biodiesel to the public including member communication pieces, public events, coordination with stakeholder groups, NBB’s numerous online platforms, social media, and more.

Paul Winters

Winters comes to NBB from BIO, where he was Director of Communications, Industrial & Environmental Section since 2003. At BIO, Winters led the integration of their policy advocacy and public relations efforts into a strategic public affairs program and was key in building BIO’s reputation as a thought leader on regulatory policy.

NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen welcomed both to the biodiesel team. “Kaleb has been a key piece of the NBB communications team since his arrival in 2010 and we are extremely pleased to have him move into this formal leadership role on our staff team,” said Rehagen. “Paul has been entrenched in the Renewable Fuel Standard, the Farm Bill, and other biofuels policy efforts for the last decade.”

Biodiesel, NBB

Allgaier Wins NASCAR Iowa 250 presented by Enogen

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It has been a hot day in Iowa, especially on the track at Iowa Speedway. Winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Iowa 250 presented by Enogen is Justin Allgaier, JR Motorsports. Here’s the Syngenta Enogen team in victory lane with Justin, his wife and daughter and the car.

After all the victory lane festivities Justin came over to the media center for a short press conference. I asked him to give a shout out to all the farm dads here at the track today, especially those corn farmers in the stands, many of whom grow Enogen corn.

Listen to my question/answer with Justin here: Enogen Race Winner Justin Allgaier

I have a lot of pre, during and post race day photos for your viewing/sharing pleasure. I hope you enjoy them.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Iowa 250 presented by Enogen Photo Album

Audio, corn, Enogen, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NASCAR, Syngenta

Ready for NASCAR Xfinity Series Iowa 250 presented by Enogen

chuck zimmerman Leave a Comment

The NASCAR Xfinity Series Iowa 250 presented by Enogen is tomorrow at 4pm central. I’m in early to get myself settled in at the media center. I’ve always enjoyed this track and have had the opportunity to visit many times.

Once again this year I’m working with Enogen, Syngenta’s Corn for Ethanol. I have some interviews scheduled and will be taking photos as the opportunity presents itself. In fact, I’m about to do a walk around to see what I can find.


For the sixth consecutive year, Syngenta is sponsoring NASCAR® racing at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.

This year’s featured event is the Iowa 250 presented by Enogen, a 250-lap NASCAR Xfinity Series race, on Sunday, June 17. Enogen® corn helps to enhance ethanol production and provides corn growers the opportunity to be enzyme suppliers for their local ethanol plant. This year, Enogen premiums-to-date paid to Enogen corn growers are expected to surpass $100 million.

If you’d like to hear more about what Enogen is all about then listen in to my interview earlier this week at the Fuel Ethanol Workshop with Jeff Oestmann, Bio-fuels Operations head, Enogen at Syngenta.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Iowa 250 presented by Enogen Photo Album

AgWired Energy, biofuels, Ethanol, NASCAR, Syngenta

Ethanol Report on Custom RFA Motorcycle

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A custom motorcycle that runs on E85 stole the spotlight at the 2018 Fuel Ethanol Workshop in Omaha this week.

The Renewable Fuels Association teamed up with master motorcycle designer Paul Teutul, Jr. to create the patriotic-themed bike that was revealed to the world on the Discovery channel series American Chopper June 11 and Paul Jr. spent time at the trade show meeting and greeting attendees.

In this edition of The Ethanol Report, we hear from Paul Jr. and RFA vice president of industry relations Robert White about the custom bike and how it is part of a larger campaign to educate bikers, boaters and others who have reservations about using ethanol in small engines.

Ethanol Report on Custom RFA Ethanol Motorcycle

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RFA Custom E85 Chopper photos

2018 Fuel Ethanol Workshop Photos

Audio, E85, Education, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, Motorcycle, RFA

Enogen Corn is a Win Win Win

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Enogen® is a win for corn growers, ethanol plants and rural communities, and its footprint just keeps growing.

Syngenta now has agreements with more than 30 ethanol plants with a combined production capacity of approximately 3 billion gallons. As new plants come on board, Syngenta expects ethanol produced with Enogen® corn enzyme technology to be approximately 2.5 billion gallons this year alone.

“Across a growing number of ethanol plants, Enogen corn is helping to fuel enzyme innovation,” said Jeff Oestmann, Bio-fuels Operations head, Enogen at Syngenta.

Oestmann says Enogen was generating a lot of interest at the Fuel Ethanol Conference in Omaha this week. “We’re getting a lot of people here talking to us about the value of Enogen and what it does for their plants,” he said.
“The end game is to increase their margins, and that’s what we’re doing here.”

And speaking of winning, Syngenta is sponsoring NASCAR® racing at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa this weekend for the sixth year in a row. This year’s featured event is the Iowa 250 presented by Enogen, a 250-lap NASCAR Xfinity Series race, on Sunday, June 17.

Learn more about Enogen’s growth in this interview from FEW – Interview with Jeff Oestmann, Enogen

2018 Fuel Ethanol Workshop Photos

Fuel Ethanol Conference content sponsored by

Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by Syngenta Enogen

Audio, corn, Enogen, Ethanol, Ethanol News, FEW, Syngenta

Senate Agriculture Committee Passes Farm Bill

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By a vote of 20 to 1, the Senate Agriculture Committee passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 Wednesday

“The Senate Agriculture Committee’s bipartisan Farm Bill process is a reminder of how things should work in Washington – listening to the folks back home, working through issues with the other side of the aisle, then writing a good bill,” said Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). “Today marks another important step in the road to getting an on-time Farm Bill enacted into law. We urge our colleagues to support this bill.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was the sole dissenting vote, continuing his long-time crusade for payment limitations.

“Setting sound, enforceable limits to farm safety net payments is a straightforward way to exercise fiscal responsibility and close loopholes that exploit the intent of farm programs that allow some non-farmers to game the system and take resources away from real, working farmers,” said Grassley in a statement after the vote. “I’ve been an advocate for making these reforms for more than a decade, so you can imagine my disappointment that they weren’t included in the committee’s legislation. I intend to offer an amendment on the Senate floor to include commonsense payment limits in the 2018 Farm Bill.”

Grassley was the first to make his comments during the mark-up. Here are his remarks.
Sen. Grassley comments on Senate farm bill

Grassley also opposed including the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the farm bill. The legislation to remove federal roadblocks to industrial hemp was included. “By securing my hemp provision in the Farm Bill, we are building upon the successes of the hemp pilot programs and encouraging the great potential of this versatile crop,” said McConnell.

Listen to McConnell’s comments here:
Sen. McConnell comments on hemp legislation in farm bill

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, farm bill, Government

Pruitt Visits South Dakota Farmers

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Farmers and ethanol producers in South Dakota held a good old fashioned tractor rally in Sioux Falls as EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt met with farmers in Reliance about 200 miles west. A crowd of about 250 carried signs as speakers called on the administrator to cease granting waivers to refiners causing demand destruction for both corn and ethanol.

“Corn prices right now are at breakeven or below and we’ve lost 1.5 billion gallons of ethanol to exemptions that EPA has granted to refiners,” said South Dakota Corn Growers president Troy Knecht. “That equals about 570 million bushels of corn.”

An economic analysis from the Renewable Fuels Association estimates the 2016 and 2017 RFS requirements have actually been reduced by at least 1.63 billion gallons so far and the minimum economic impact of these lost gallons is approximately $5.3 billion.

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings says they just want Administrator Pruitt to do his job. “He needs to uphold the RFS as the law of the land and stop the secret waivers and he needs to make good on the president’s promise to allow E15 use year round,” said Jennings.

He just hopes that this is more than just a publicity stunt for Pruitt. “The last thing farmers need is for Administrator Pruitt to come out to farm country and pander to us, only to go back to Washington to continue doing favors for oil refiners,” Jennings said.

Click on the audio files below for Knecht’s remarks at the rally and interview with Jennings.

Remarks by Troy Knecht, SD Corn president

Interview with American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings
ACE, Audio, corn, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Making Chemicals From Ethanol

Cindy Zimmerman 1 Comment

Ron Cascone (right) is wearing a corn hat he won in the trade show door prize drawings, pictured with (also Golden Mic Club member) Ken Skunes, who conducted the drawing.

Participants in the 2018 Corn Utilization & Technology Conference in St. Louis were largely interested in expanding the market for ethanol, and not necessarily in conventional ways.

“We’re hoping to provide alternatives to the sale of ethanol into the fuels market,” said Ron Cascone, principal with Nexant, Inc. “The theme of what I’m doing here is to show that there are options for converting ethanol to chemicals and materials that compete with the petroleum based materials.”

Cascone said his company can offer corn growers knowledge of the chemical industry and the energy industry, recognizing that corn has always been food and feed, but now has grown into an important fuel and chemical raw material resource. He said the analysis of operations and markets his company has been able to provide to the petrochemical industry can also be applied to the bio-based industry, which is largely led by ethanol production.

Cascone chaired a panel on making chemicals from ethanol during this year’s conference, discussing early chemicals made including ethylene for polyethylene, ethylene oxide, and ethylene glycol, and butadiene. Other options discussed included multiple optional routes to butadiene, acetic acid, and various esters.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Ron here: Interview with Ron Cascone, Nexant

Listen to the panel discussion here: 2018 Corn Utilization & Technology Conference - Industry Panel

2018 Corn Utilization & Technology Conference Photo Album

Audio, corn, CUTC, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NCGA