RFA Elects First Woman Chairperson

Cindy Zimmerman

Jeanne McCaherty, CEO of Guardian Energy Management LLC, was elected chairperson of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) this week, becoming the first female chair in the organization’s history, and first among any national ethanol trade association. The election occurred at RFA’s annual membership meeting, held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As CEO of Guardian Energy Management, McCaherty, of Prior Lake, Minn., provides executive management for Guardian Energy LLC, Guardian Energy Holdings LLC, and Hankinson Renewable Energy LLC, three leading ethanol biorefining businesses. She has a master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Missouri and serves on the Board of Directors for the Renewable Product Marketing Group LLC, and the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Biofuels Association. McCaherty, a longtime proponent and advocate for low-carbon renewable fuels, also serves on the Minnesota Governor’s Biofuels Council to develop recommendations to increase the incorporation of biofuels in transportation fuels in Minnesota. She succeeds Neil Koehler, co-founder and co-CEO of Pacific Ethanol, in chairing the RFA Board.

Erik Huschitt, CEO of Badger State Ethanol, was elected as the RFA board’s Vice Chairman. Huschitt, of Monroe, Wisc., has been with Badger State since January 2002 and currently serves as president of the Wisconsin Biofuels Association. The RFA board also re-elected Treasurer Charlie Wilson, Trenton Agri Products; Secretary Rick Schwarck, Absolute Energy; and President Geoff Cooper, RFA’s Chief Executive Officer.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Ethanol Remains Top Priority with New NCGA President

Cindy Zimmerman

It’s a new year for the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) with new president John Linder of Edison, Ohio who took over the post on October 1.

Linder, along with his brother, Mike, and wife, Cheryl, run a fifth-generation farm raising corn, soybeans, soft red winter wheat and soybeans for seed in central Ohio. In addition to traditional row crop farming, he also has livestock experience. Previously, Linder served as the Corn Board liaison to the Market Access Action Team, on the Resolutions Committee and chaired the Finance and Engaging Members Committees. Additionally, he represented NCGA at the National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research and the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center.

In a virtual press availability the day he took over as president, Linder took questions from the ag media, many of them pertaining to ethanol, the Renewable Fuel Standard, and EPA’s handling of small refinery waivers. Linder says he has already discussed the importance of implementing the Tenth Circuit Court decision on waivers with EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and will be meeting with him again this week on a farm in Ohio. “It’s the law, it was in the original RFS and the Tenth Circuit Court agreed with us so that’s what we need to remind him everyday that we have to obey the law.”

NCGA president John Linder press conference

Audio, biofuels, corn, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NCGA

Ethanol Production and Stocks Hit Low Levels

Cindy Zimmerman

The latest Energy Information Administration data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association shows a significant drop in ethanol production and stocks for the week ending September 25.

According RFA, ethanol production scaled back by 2.8%, or 25,000 barrels per day (b/d), to 881,000 b/d—equivalent to 37.00 million gallons daily and the smallest output in fifteen weeks. The four-week average ethanol production rate declined 1.2% to 913,000 b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 14.00 billion gallons (bg).

Ethanol stocks dropped by 1.5% to 19.7 million barrels, which was 15.2% below year-ago volumes and the smallest reserves since the end of 2016. Inventories thinned across all regions except the Gulf Coast.

In addition, gasoline demand remains 6.7% lower than a year ago, and refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol at 840,000 b/d, equivalent to 12.88 bg annualized, was 9.0% below the year-earlier level as a result of the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

RFA Pleased with Progress on COVID Relief

Cindy Zimmerman

The House of Representatives passed another COVID economic relief package last week which provides for $2.2 trillion in coronavirus relief and includes an important provision to help renewable fuel producers impacted by the pandemic. The package includes the Renewable Fuel Reimbursement Program provision which, if passed into law, would provide a 45-cent-per-gallon payment for qualified fuel produced by eligible producers from Jan. 1 through May 1 of this year.

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper says the legislation represents a “potential lifeline for the 350,000 men and women whose jobs depend on a healthy and vibrant ethanol industry.”

“Just recently, a study by university economists found that ethanol producers will experience roughly $8 billion in losses this year due to the pandemic’s impact on world fuel markets,” said Cooper. “While market conditions have improved since the spring, the ethanol industry is still struggling to fully recover from the pandemic, and ethanol producers across the country remain under financial stress.”

The package is considered dead on arrival in the Republican controlled Senate, which is on break now until Oct. 19 after three Republican senators tested positive for COVID-19. The revised Heroes bill is independent of ongoing negotiations on a different package between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, which would result in a new bill that would need to be separately drafted and voted on in both houses.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Biodiesel Industry News

Cindy Zimmerman

The National Biodiesel Board welcomes Matt Herman as the organization’s new Director of Environmental Science. Previously, Herman held positions with the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and as Manager of Sustainability for Renewable Energy Group. As Director of Environmental Science, Matt will work closely with NBB’s advocacy team and the membership to ensure that laws and regulations properly reflect the sustainable nature of biodiesel products.

Also this week, NBB welcomed the Renewable Energy Group‘s announcement that Bob Kenyon will be joining the company as Vice President, Sales & Marketing effective September 30, succeeding Gary Haer following his decision to retire in March of next year after 20 years with the company. Haer served on the National Biodiesel Board for many years and became the first biodiesel producer to be elected Chairman in 2011.

“Gary helped see our industry through some challenging times and his steadfast leadership as our former Governing Board Chair was exactly what we needed,” said NBB CEO, Donnell Rehagen.”His passion and advocacy for biodiesel, renewable diesel, and agriculture in general, helped our industry grow to be nearly 3 billion gallons today. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Gary for his dedicated and selfless service to our industry.”

Kenyon brings deep knowledge of the oil and gas industry with more than 26 years of experience in fuels operations and downstream marketing. Most recently, Kenyon served as President of Atlas Oil Company in Taylor, MI. Atlas Oil Company is one of the largest fuels distributors in the country, delivering over 1 billion gallons of fuel annually to customers in 49 states. As a member of the senior management team, Kenyon will lead the teams that oversee the sales, marketing and customer care for REG’s high quality products including biodiesel, renewable diesel, REG Ultra Clean® and blended fuels.

Biodiesel, NBB, REG

Ethanol Report 9-30-20

Cindy Zimmerman

The coalition of farm and ethanol groups behind the case against Small Refinery Exemptions under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that was decided in January is still waiting for EPA to implement the court decision after eight months.

Meanwhile, ethanol producers and farmers are still waiting on the administration to make good on promises made a year ago. And at the same time, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic this year could cost the industry as much as $8 billion, while Congress has yet to approve aid for producers.

This edition of the Ethanol Report podcast includes comments from Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Geoff Cooper; National Corn Growers Association president Kevin Ross; National Farmers Union Biofuels Advisor Anne Steckel; American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings; Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN); and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

Ethanol Report 9-30-20 (16:58)

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 2008.

Choose an option to subscribe

ACE, Audio, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, NCGA, NFU, RFA, RFS

Ethanol Again Fuels Crappie Masters National Champion

Cindy Zimmerman

Crappie Masters voice Brian Sowers with champion Eric Cagle

The Crappie Masters National Tournament Trail Championship was held this past weekend near Monroe, Louisiana where more than one hundred teams competed in the two-day tournament.

Eric Cagle was crowned the National Champion for his haul of fourteen fish weighing a total of 28.81 pounds. For his efforts, Cagle took home a grand prize of $30,000, along with a $2,000 bonus from the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council for using E10 in his boat.

The Renewable Fuels Association co-sponsors the Crappie Masters Tournament Trail to spread the message that 10% ethanol is safe to use in marine engines, has performance and environmental benefits, while higher blends beyond E10 are great for light duty and tow vehicles. Every National Tournament Champion in the past six years fueled their boats with E10, as well as dozens of state and national tournament winners over the years.

While the COVID pandemic did impact the Crappie Masters and tournaments were halted for a period of time, several states started loosening COVID restrictions and lockdowns in late April and early May, allowing many state chapters to resume hosting tournaments with appropriate protocols in place to keep folks safe.

Watch Crappie Masters host Brian Sowers interview the winner here.


Boats, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, Video

Study Pegs Ethanol Industry COVID Impact at $8 Million

Cindy Zimmerman

A new study published in the Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization finds that ethanol producers will experience roughly $8 billion in losses this year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on world fuel markets.

The study, conducted by agricultural economists from the University of Florida and Arizona State University, estimates ethanol producer losses due to COVID-19 at $7 billion, with the economic loss growing to between $7.9 to $8.6 billion when unemployment effects are included. However, the authors say their estimates likely “understate the cost of COVID-19” to the ethanol industry because the impact of the pandemic on co-product output, demand and prices is not included.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said the new study corroborates the findings of an RFA analysis published in July, which found pandemic-related losses could be $7 billion or more, and it underscores the need for emergency relief for the industry.

“While market conditions have improved since the spring, the ethanol industry is still struggling to fully recover from the pandemic, and ethanol producers across the country remain under financial stress,” Cooper said. “There is strong bipartisan support for providing assistance to renewable fuel producers in both the House and Senate. We remain hopeful that a fourth COVID-19 aid package, with emergency relief for ethanol producers, will finally be pushed over the goal line in the weeks ahead.”

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Secretary Perdue Says Congress Must Approve Ethanol Aid

Cindy Zimmerman

Despite estimates that ethanol producers could lose up to $8 billion this year, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue says he has no authority to make payments to plants through the Commodity Credit Corporation under the latest round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2).

The secretary confirmed that he believes Congress has to approve any aid for ethanol producers, meat processors, or any industry that provides further processing for agricultural commodities. “Collin Peterson is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and it’s up to him,” said Perdue. “Congress through a majority vote could change it at any time.”

Perdue made those comments during a stop in Jay, Florida on Monday on a tour of crop damage from Hurricane Sally.

Secretary Perdue visits Florida panhandle photo album

Press availability with Secretary Perdue – comments on storm damage, disaster aid, CFAP2 and more
Secretary Perdue press avail (5:34)

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, USDA

Energy Bites 9/28

Cindy Zimmerman


Chief Ethanol Now Producing USP Grade Ethanol – Chief Ethanol is now producing USP Grade Ethanol at its plant in Hastings, Nebraska. Chief Ethanol has modified its current process operations to produce higher grades of ethanol for use as the active ingredient in hand sanitizer and is able to provide long-term supply of higher grades of ethanol into industrial alcohol markets.
RFA Welcomes Orion Oil as Newest Associate Member – Based in Miami, Fla., Orion Oil is a fuel distributor that also operates gas stations and convenience stores in South Florida. RFA recently assisted the company on a grant application for the USDA Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP).
Equipment Companies Continue March Toward Increasing Biodiesel in Heating Industry – The National Biodiesel Board notes advancements in the home heating industry as it continues its march toward a low carbon liquid future during the 2020 Heating & Energizing America Trade Show (HEAT Show). Key advancements in research and development continue to bring increased Bioheat® use industry wide.
Fuel Retailers and Consumers Fuel Up for Cancer Research – Starting October 1, drivers can help Fuel the Cure for breast cancer by filling up with higher blends of ethanol at participating locations. More than 35 Nebraska gas stations will donate 3 cents for every gallon of higher ethanol blends sold in October to support cancer research at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha. The Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Ethanol Board, along with Renewable Fuels Nebraska, sponsor Fuel the Cure in conjunction with retail stations.
RFA’s Ed Hubbard Joins Green Seal Board of Directors – Green Seal® recently announced that Jim Jones, previously Assistant Administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Edward Hubbard Jr., General Counsel for the Renewable Fuels Association, have been elected to Green Seal’s Board of Directors. Edward Hubbard has been General Counsel for the Renewable Fuels Association since 2011, where he steers the international public policy agenda for America’s leading ethanol industry trade association.
Biodiesel: Better, Cleaner, Now is Booming Across Airwaves – The National Biodiesel Board’s latest national advertising campaign hit airwaves this month with biodiesel and renewable diesel education aimed at key decision makers on the benefits of these advanced fuels. The campaign is supported by the United Soybean Board, U.S. Canola Association, and a dozen Qualified State Soybean Boards. A major component also includes targeted advertising in the Washington D.C., mid-Atlantic, and California markets.
Weekly Ethanol Production for 9/18/2020 – According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending September 18, ethanol production slowed, shifting 2.2% lower, or 21,000 barrels per day (b/d), to 906,000 b/d—equivalent to 38.05 million gallons daily and the smallest output since June. The four-week average ethanol production rate declined 0.6%.
PERC Resource Highlights Maintenance Advantages of Propane Autogas – To highlight the ease of propane autogas vehicle maintenance, the Propane Education & Research Council released a new online resource for fleet owners. The free guide, available on Propane.com, outlines the main benefits of propane autogas vehicle maintenance, including its cost benefits, reduced downtime, and simplified winter maintenance.
Student Scientist Wins $2000 Grant from National Biodiesel Foundation – The National Biodiesel Foundation awarded this year’s $2,000 Beth Calabotta Sustainable Education Grant to Kayla Kittrick, who is currently working towards her Master of Science in Public Health at National University in Maine and her Associates in Science in Biotechnology at Southern Maine Community College all while working at a biorefinery. Kittrick is also a co-chair of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel.

autogas, Biodiesel, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NBB, Propane, RFA