Advanced #Biofuels Industry Supports Increased RVOs

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

The advanced biofuels industry has come out in support of the EPA’s increased Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) as part of the 2017 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The Cellulosic Biofuel category will increase from 230 million gallons in 2016 to 311 million gallons in 2017. Renewable fuels in this category must reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by at least 60 percent as compared to traditional fuels. In addition, the Advanced Biofuels category is increasing 19 percent going from 3.61 billion to 4.28 billion. This category encompasses biomass-based diesel, cellulosic biofuel, and other biofuels that achieves at least 50 percent lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Advanced Biofuels Association logoIn response to the new rule that increases volumes across all categories, Michael McAdams, Advanced Biofuels Association (AFBF) president, stated, “We congratulate EPA on getting the RVO rule out ahead of schedule. Like last year, it sends a clear signal to the market of the federal government’s intention to stand behind the RFS program. We are also happy to see the confidence and support of the biomass-based diesel pool by continuing to recognize the fact it is growing steadily. And, we welcome increases in both the advanced and cellulosic pools. Those are truly the fuels of the future that deliver the most significant contribution to sustainability.”

bio-newBrent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section noted that the organization and its members welcome the EPA’s change of course. “By abandoning its legally flawed reliance on general waiver authority as a basis for departing from statutory biofuels volumes requirements, EPA has sent a strong signal that it will support the biofuels industry and grow advanced and cellulosic biofuel production.” Erickson added that “the final 2017 rule adheres to Congress’s intent in enacting the RFS statue and ends several years of instability in the RFS program….

BIO continues to strongly disagree with EPA’s prior interpretation of its general waiver authority under the RFS statute and with EPA’s ongoing stockpiling of carryover RIN credits. The RFS statute does not allow EPA to rely on demand-side factors under the oil industry’s control as a basis for decreasing the fundamental requirement to use as much renewable fuel as the biofuel industry can produce. And the statute does not grant the agency leeway to create a permanent carryover RIN bank.”

Advanced Biofuels Business Council logoAdvanced Biofuels Business Council Executive Director Brooke Coleman stated, “Administrator McCarthy and her team deserve a lot of credit. Administrator McCarthy said they would get the RFS back on track and they did. It’s a strong rule across the board and moves the conversation forward. We have moved past the imaginary blend wall. The biofuels industry continues to innovate. The merchant refiners saying they cannot comply with the RFS are now implementing cost-effective changes at their refineries to blend more renewable fuel. President-elect Trump will no doubt hear from a shrinking group of RFS naysayers, but I think he understands that the RFS is working, supports a strong manufacturing base across the country and reduces our dependence on foreign oil. We are looking forward to working with EPA and the next Administration on further accelerating the commercial deployment of advanced biofuels.”

advance biofuels, BIO, Cellulosic, RFS

Blessings on this Thanksgiving

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

thanksgivingAt this time of Thanksgiving we pause to count our blessings.

The freedom of this great country in which we live
Its opportunity for achievement and freedom to worship
The friendship and confidence you have show in us

For this and so much more we are deeply thankful.

Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving from the ZimmComm/AgWired team.

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#Biodiesel Industry Reacts to 2017 RVOs

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued the final 2017 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) with increased volumes for all categories as part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The real winners of this news are the consumers, said the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) in a statement.  Under the new RFS rule, Biomass-Based Diesel standards, of which includes biodiesel, will increase to 2.1 billion gallons in 2018. This is an increase from 2 billion gallons in 2017.

National-Biodiesel-Board-LogoNBB CEO Donnell Rehagen said that the benefits of the RFS extend far beyond the biodiesel industry. The use of renewable fuels such as biodiesel support high paying jobs and clean air across the country.

“Though we are poised to top these numbers this year, growth in advanced biofuels still sends positive signals to the marketplace,” noted Rehagen.

Under the new RFS rule, the Advanced Biofuels category will increase to 4.28 billion gallons in 2017 up from 3.61 billion gallons in 2016. NBB said that Biomass-Based Diesel will continue to fill a large portion of this Advanced Biofuels category. Rehagen said that while the new standards reflect modest growth in the standards, they remain below the more than 2.6 billion gallons of biodiesel and renewable hydrocarbon diesel expected in 2016.

“While NBB applauds the increased volumes, there is room for more aggressive growth. The U.S. biodiesel industry can do more. The production capacity and feedstock are clearly available as the market is already topping these levels. Rehagen added, “We will work with the incoming Administration to help them understand the benefits provided by our growing domestic biodiesel industry and the potential to support additional jobs and investment in rural economies.”

ASA-logoAmerican Soybean Association President Richard Wilkens, who is a soybean farmer from Greenwood, Deleware, said that although the levels provide opportunities, they don’t take full advantage of the opportunities that biofuels, such as biodiesel, provide. “EPA will raise the overall volumes relative to the Proposed Rule and increase the total Advanced Biofuels volume requirements for 2017 from 4.0 billion gallons to 4.28, an increase of 19 percent. That’s a plus for biodiesel as the primary source of Advanced Biofuels.” Wilkins noted, however, that EPA chose not to raise the Biomass-based diesel volume requirements within that Advanced Biofuel pool for 2018.

When EPA issued its proposed rule, ASA clearly stated that the 2.1 billion gallon mark did not adequately capture the capacity of the biodiesel industry,” he said. “To see the volume remain at 2.1 billion gallons as they were in the Proposed Rule is frustrating. We know we can do more.”

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advance biofuels, Biodiesel, NBB, REG, RFS

#Ethanol Industry Reacts to Increased RVO’s

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its the final Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for the 2017 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The rule has increased the conventional biofuels category that includes corn ethanol, to 15 billion gallons per year, up from 14.8 billion proposed back in May. With the news, the biofuels industry has come out to applaud the EPA.

ACE logo“As more ethanol was blended with record-high consumption of gasoline this year, ACE urged EPA to increase the 2017 implied conventional biofuel volume to the statutory level of 15 billion gallons and we are very pleased EPA has agreed to do so,” said Brian Jennings, the executive vice president of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE). “For the last couple of years, EPA has unfortunately sided with oil companies and refiners instead of rural voters to ‘ride the brakes’ on RFS blending volumes, relying on excuses such as the make-believe E10 ‘blend wall’ and lower gasoline use to reduce renewable fuel use below statutory levels. But we are supportive of the move to increase volumes for 2017 without a ‘blend wall’ excuse. U.S. gasoline use is expected to rise again in 2017, so increasing RFS volumes will help restore some confidence to the rural economy and reassure retailers that it makes sense to offer E15 and flex fuels like E30 and E85 to their customers.”

“Nevertheless, we remain opposed to EPA’s misapplication of the RFS general waiver authority to use ‘infrastructure constraints’ as an excuse to limit renewable fuel use below statutory levels for 2014, 2015, and 2016, which is why we are party to Americans for Clean Energy et al. vs EPA, a lawsuit pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. We look forward to the Court taking up our case early in 2017 and deciding in our favor.”

growth-energy-logo1Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said in a statement that the organization is looking forward to working with the EPA along with the Trump administration on further implementation of the RFS. She also stated, “We are pleased that the EPA’s rule finally achieves the statutory volume for conventional biofuel as called for by Congress. The Renewable Fuel Standard is our country’s most successful energy policy. It continues to inject much needed competition and consumer choice into the vehicle fuels marketplace. It enables greater consumer adoption of cleaner biofuels that displace toxic emissions and reduce harmful emissions, while creating American jobs, spurring innovation and lowering the price at the pump.

Today’s announcement by the administration validates the critical importance of cleaner burning, less expensive biofuels, like ethanol. The American ethanol industry is a true success story, and with increased volumes, producers can unleash their full potential to ensure that higher blends, such as E15, are available to consumers and producers can continue to innovate by leveraging 21st century fuels for 21st century cars.”

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ACE, biofuels, Ethanol, Growth Energy, Iowa RFA, NCGA, RFS

RFA Thanks EPA for #Ethanol Commitment

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is thanking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by increasing renewable volumes across the board for 2017. This includes raising the conventional biofuel category back to where the statute intended – 15 billion gallons per year from 14.8 billion gallons as proposed in May of 2016. In response, RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen said that they are very happy and at the end of the day, this is a win for consumers.

bob-dinneen-at-2016-nec“What this means is that there will be additional gallons of high octane, low cost renewable fuels like ethanol available in the marketplace and consumers are going to benefit,” Dinneen told AgWired. He said it sends a strong single to investors that the EPA is behind this program and they can “invest with confidence with next generation biofuels and invest in confidence in the infrastructure to accommodate higher level blends. Because EPA with this rule is clearly demonstrating that it is not going to be looking backwards as API would like and is looking forward,” added Dinneen.

With 15 billion gallons of biofuels, including corn ethanol, blended in to the fuel supply, Dinneen said this gets ethanol to about 10.8 percent across the gasoline pool. This will drive, he continued, new gallons into E15 and other higher octane blends of ethanol.

When asked why the EPA had not raised the gallons sooner, Dinneen explained that the EPA believed there was not enough infrastructure to accommodate the levels required by the statute. But with infrastructure programs like USDA’s Biofuels Infrastructure Program, along with more terminals offering E15, the EPA is now confident the marketplace is ready for more biofuels. “So between rising gasoline demand enabling more E10, but certainly the rise in infrastructure enabling other higher level blends, EPA is more than comfortable at this point requiring 15 billion gallons,” said Dinneen.

Going forward, Dinneen said they will continue to watch the Hill in light of API’s campaign calling for the RFS to be restrained and to roll-back volumes to no more than 9.8 percent of ethanol to be used in gasoline.

“Well that’s just absurd,” said Dinneen, “when we can clearly get more than 10.8 percent that is going to be required of this RVO. But API is going to double-down on its campaign and that battle will continue. The Renewable Fuels Association, the ethanol industry and farmers across the country are going to fight hard to protect this program. The demand for corn through ethanol production has been the single-most value-added market for farmers and at a time when farmers are harvesting the single largest crop in history. For the American Petroleum Institute to be saying no, we need to be cutting back on this program, I think is a slap in the face to farmers and we will not let it happen,” said Dinneen.

To learn more about what the increased RVO’s mean for the ethanol industry, including continued efforts to increase infrastructure, listen to the interview with Bob Dinneen here: RVO Interview with Bob Dinneen, RFA

Audio, biofuels, E15, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, RFS

EPA Boosts Final 2017 RVOs

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

epa-150The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced final renewable fuel volume requirement increases under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.

“Renewable fuel volumes continue to increase across the board compared to 2016 levels,” said Janet McCabe, the agency’s acting assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. “These final standards will boost production, providing for ambitious yet achievable growth of biofuels in the transportation sector. By implementing the program enacted by Congress, we are expanding the nation’s renewable fuels sector while reducing our reliance on imported oil.”

Under the rule, total renewable fuel volumes grow 1.2 billion gallons from 2016 to 2017, a 6 percent increase. EPA has increased conventional renewable fuel volumes for 2017, meeting the 15 billion-gallon congressional target. Cellulosic biofuel, which must achieve at least 60 percent lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reductions, has been increased 35 percent over the 2016 standard.

In addition, the standard for biomass-based biodiesel has been increased by 100 million gallons to twice that of the minimum congressional target. The advanced biofuel standard increases 19 percent over the 2016 standard.

Industry reaction to the news coming the day before Thanksgiving has been overwhelmingly positive.

advance biofuels, Biodiesel, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News

NCGA Optimistic About New Administration

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

NCGA president Wesley Spurlock and CEO Chris Novak at NAFB Trade Talk

NCGA president Wesley Spurlock and CEO Chris Novak at NAFB Trade Talk

The National Corn Growers Association is optimistic about what a Trump presidency can mean for agriculture.

“It is great to have the election behind us, and we really are watching and putting our names out, and working with them in order to get ag knowledge into the different areas of administration,” said NCGA President Wesley Spurlock during an interview at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting recent annual meeting. “They’ve got a tremendous amount of people to appoint, and the more ag knowledge that we have in there, the better we’ll be as we move forward into the future.”

Spurlock says they are hopeful the Trump administration will have a friendlier Environmental Protection Agency. “There’s too many lawsuits against EPA right now…and what they have done by not staying with statute on the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said Spurlock. “We look forward to having a fresh look coming out of EPA.”

Listen to more of Spurlock’s thoughts on a Trump Administration in this interview: Interview with Wesley Spurlock, NCGA

NCGA CEO Chris Novak is also optimistic about the future, believing that the new administration offers some major opportunities for American farmers who continue to produce record crops.

“We need a strong Renewable Fuel Standard, we need EPA to adhere to the law,” Novak said. “We know from this election season that reforming regulation means giving us access to the tools that allow us to continue to innovate, and that we need to bring science into policy. These are all themes we’ve heard from President-elect Trump, so there is an opportunity for farmers in this next administration.”

Listen to our full interview with Novak here: Interview with Chris Novak, NCGA

View and download photos from the event here: 2016 NAFB Convention

Coverage of the NAFB convention is sponsored by
NAFB Convention is sponsored by FMC
Audio, corn, NCGA, RFS

Introducing New Propane Autogas Filters

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

A new filter is now available tailed for propane systems. Alliance AutoGas has partnered with Donaldson Company and the new line of LPG filters are designed to remove potentially harmful particulate matter and heavy ends from propane autogas systems. The filters are available through nationwide propane equipment distributors.

donaldson-filter-photoDonaldson has more than a 100 year history of developing innovative engine air filters. That, said Alliance Autogas, made them a good fit to develop the propane system filter as the organization brought to market the first and only Plug and Play Engineered system for propane as well as the several other products including the Staubli Quick-Connect Refueling Nozzle and the Propane Evacuation Pump.

As propane becomes more popular, the two companies worked together to bring filters to market that are designed to eliminate potential fuel contamination issues with autogas fuel dispenser systems. According to a news release, a highly efficient primary LPG particulate filter was developed to remove 99% of harmful particulates 0.5 micron and larger as well as a secondary absorbent carbon filter specifically engineered to remove heavy ends, without removing the odorant from propane.

The filter housings are made from a high phosphorus nickel-plated steel, meeting current NFPA 58 (5.17.1.3) requirements for Pressure Containing Metal Parts, unlike other currently available autogas filtration products. The dual filter design can be tailored to a fleet’s specific need. The filters can be sold and installed separately or together, to ensure a customized solution.

Propane

National Biodiesel Foundation Elects New Directors

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

nbb-biodiesel-nbf-logoAs part of the annual National Biodiesel Board meeting, the National Biodiesel Foundation elected new board directors. In addition, the Foundation acknowledged out-going President of the Board Mike Cunningham who severed in the position for two years. During this time he oversaw the Foundation’s efforts including the expansion of biodiesel sustainability research, and efforts to improve land use change modeling. He will continue to participate as a director.

The new officers are as follows:

  • Jeff Lynn, President — Illinois Soybean Association;
  • Mark Caspers, Vice President — Nebraska Soybean Board; and
  • Lindsay Fitzgerald, Secretary/Treasurer – Renewable Energy Group.

“This is an exciting time for the Foundation. We have funded cutting edge indirect land use change research. Our work has reduced the carbon score associated with biodiesel. The improved score proves how sustainable biodiesel really is, and making it more economical for users,” explains Jeff Lynn. “A big part of this position is fundraising for our critical projects. In fact, next Tuesday [November 29th] is National Giving Tuesday. I hope that everyone takes a few minutes from holiday shopping to give back and donate to the Foundation through our website.”

advance biofuels, Biodiesel

PERC Highlights Propane on the Farm at #NAFB16

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

There is a lot happening in the world of propane Cinch Munson with the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) told Agwired during the recent National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) conference. One area of growth is in the engine markets including irrigation, school buses, delivery vehicles and pick-ups. Munson said they are also seeing good efficiency improvements across a lot of equipment. Another topic that PERC was discussing during Trade Talk was incentives available for farm equipment.

nafb-16-percRight now Munson said propane is relatively cheap so people who are switching to propane are saving money.

“The Propane Council is offering incentives towards the purchase of qualifying equipment,” said Munson who noted that the program will be changing in 2017. “We’re encouraging people to use the incentive in 2016 while it’s there because in 2017 you’ll work through your dealer to get your incentive. Right now it’s an open enrollment program so we’re encouraging people to go to propane.com to see what incentives are available and to learn more about the advantages of propane on the farm,” said Munson.

The farm incentive program has just celebrated its fifth anniversary and Munson said the program has helped the industry.

“The Propane Farm Incentive Program is ultimately a research program for the propane industry,” said Munson. PERC works with equipment manufacturers to develop propane powered equipment. They then use the farm incentive program to see how the equipment is performing on the field. “Over five years we’ve seen that people are very happy about how propane equipment is operating today,” said Munson. “Manufacturers are committed to making equipment that is efficient, clean and reliable and in the field performance is being proven that propane is all those things,” he added.

To learn more about propane on the farm and propane incentives, listen to Cindy’s interview with Cinch Munson here: Interview with Cinch Munson, PERC

View and download photos from the event here: NAFB Convention Photo Album

Coverage of the NAFB convention is sponsored by
NAFB Convention is sponsored by FMC
Audio, NAFB, PERC, Propane