Growth Energy Ads Urge E15 Action

cindy zimmerman

Growth Energy has launched a new radio and digital ad campaign telling listeners in the Midwest that it’s “make or break time” for the rural economy.

The ads encourage farmers and ethanol stakeholders to call on President Trump to lift federal restrictions on the sale of E15 fuel blends, a move that would boost farm income amid the sharpest agricultural downturn since the 1980s.

“Outdated regulations kick back in on June 1st, cutting consumers off from a lower-cost product that supports farmers and rural manufacturing,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “President Trump promised Midwest lawmakers that he would fast-track a long-overdue fix, but oil lobbyists have held E15 hostage for years, and the White House needs to hear from rural communities. Too many American farmers are struggling to make ends meet, but we can deliver immediate relief by simply letting consumers make their own choices about American-made biofuel.”

Each year from June 1 to September 15, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules governing Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) limit the sale of E15 in many markets around the country, under guidelines that were drafted before E15 hit the market. The result is lower demand for biofuels and the crops that are used to make them during the summer months of vacation travel tim

Listen to the ad here: Growth Energy E15 radio ad

AgWired Energy, Audio, Ethanol, Growth Energy

New Fuel Solution From Renewable Energy Group

Carrie Muehling

REG Ultra Clean Diesel is the newest diesel fuel from Renewable Energy Group, Inc.

REG Ultra Clean Diesel, among the lowest emission diesel fuels on the market today, is a patent-pending fuel made of a proprietary blend of renewable diesel and biodiesel. REG Ultra Clean Diesel is California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved for year-round use throughout California under the Alternative Diesel Fuel Regulation. Versus CARB diesel, REG Ultra Clean Diesel reduces total hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide emissions by 15 percent, particulate matter emissions by 40 percent, and, emits less nitrogen oxides (NOx). The fuel offers even greater emissions reductions when compared to conventional diesel.

“REG Ultra Clean Diesel significantly reduces emissions, blends easily with petroleum diesel and is one of the lowest carbon intensity fuels of any kind on the market today,” said REG’s Gary Haer, Vice President, Sales & Marketing. “REG is uniquely positioned to offer this biodiesel and renewable diesel blended product. We are committed to delivering low-carbon solutions and meeting our customers’ demand for cleaner products.”

The company introduced the new fuel at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach, California.

Biodiesel

B20 Makes Big Splash in Minnesota

Cindy Zimmerman

MN Sen. Amy Klobuchar is first in line for B20 biodiesel

Minnesota made history May 1, becoming the first state to transform virtually all of the diesel supply for sale in the state to B20, a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.

“We often refer to Minnesota as a ‘trailblazer,’ but somehow that just doesn’t seem adequate anymore,” said National Biodiesel Board (NBB) CEO Donnell Rehagen. “Upgrading virtually an entire state’s diesel to contain 20 percent biodiesel represents a seismic shift in our country’s liquid energy supply.”

NBB presented its Eye on Biodiesel Impact award this year to Mike Youngerberg, who currently serves as the Executive Director of the Minnesota Biodiesel Council and has been working since 1986 to advance soybean industry priorities as a staff member for Minnesota Soybean.

“We’ve had bipartisan support for the effort,” said Youngerberg in an interview at the National Biodiesel Conference earlier this year. He says the advancement of biodiesel in the state has been called the “Minnesota Miracle.”

Listen to the award presentation and Mike’s remarks: Mike Youngerberg award

Learn more about Mike in this interview: Mike Youngerberg interview

Audio, Biodiesel, NBB

RFA: Ethanol Saves Consumers at the Pump

Cindy Zimmerman

After a long, cold winter many families are ready to hit the road and go somewhere warm and fun for summer vacation, but the Energy Information Administration is already warning drivers that they are likely to see the highest gasoline prices in four years. The good news is that ethanol is helping to offset higher prices at the pump, according to a new analysis from the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

Pump prices have already begun to increase, with the average retail price for regular gasoline reaching $2.85/gallon last week, the highest since November 2014. However, the RFA analysis says 10% ethanol blends (E10) alone could save consumers at least $39 billion this year. The analysis of wholesale gasoline and ethanol price data shows that blending E10 has reduced wholesale gasoline prices by at least 27 cents per gallon, or 14%, compared to ethanol-free gasoline (E0).

The cost savings to consumers would be even greater if E15 (15% ethanol, 85% gasoline) were used in approved vehicles nationwide in place of E10, the analysis found. Specifically, the savings would be at least 34 cents per gallon, or 17%, for E15 consumers. Using E15 in approved vehicles would help consumers across the country save approximately $45 billion on gasoline, or $386 per household.

A group of senators this week asked President Trump to authorize sales of E15 this summer, starting June 1. Currently, consumers who are blocked from accessing E15 for three months of the year are unnecessarily spending at least an extra 7 cents per gallon on gasoline. Nationally, that translates to $6 billion, or approximately $80 per household.

Read the analysis here.

E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

May is Renewable Fuels Month in Nebraska

Cindy Zimmerman

Nebraska drivers are being encouraged to get their motors running with savings on biofuels every Friday in May at retailers in three major cities to celebrate Renewable Fuels Month in the state.

Select retailers in Omaha, Grand Island and Bellevue are offering discounts on ethanol blends and one location is discounting biodiesel as well.

Renewable Fuels Month is coordinated through the Nebraska Ethanol Board, the Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Soybean Board. Several promotional events are also being posted throughout the month on their social media platforms. Visit www.AmericanEthanolNE.org and www.BiodieselNE.com for more details.

Biodiesel, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Retailers

Senators Push President for E-15 RVP Waiver

Cindy Zimmerman

With a growing number of “small refinery” exemptions being granted by EPA to not-so-small companies, a bipartisan group of senators is asking President Trump to allow 15% ethanol fuel (E-15) to be sold during the summer all over the country starting this year.

In a letter to the president Monday, 18 ethanol state senators made two specific requests. First, they ask that EPA provide an expected timeline for an administrative Reid Vapor Pressure or RVP waiver. Second, they request the agency allow for the sale of E-15 during the upcoming summer driving season in the meantime.

“Lifting these barriers will create a new market for surplus crops, while strengthening our energy security and delivering a jolt to the rural economy,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “We continue to be grateful to our champions in Congress for pushing the EPA to make good on the president’s commitment to year-round E15 sales.”

“It is unacceptable for EPA to drag its feet to allow E15 and higher ethanol use year-round while it makes time to rubber stamp so-called ‘hardship’ waivers enabling refiners to escape their legal responsibility to blend ethanol under the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings.

A report from Reuters on Monday said that EPA granted a small refinery hardship exemption to CVR Energy, owned by billionaire and presidential advisor Carl Icahn.

ACE, E15, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Growth Energy, RFS

Biodiesel #1 for Green Fleets

Cindy Zimmerman

And the survey says …. biodiesel is the top alternative fuel choice for fleet trucks.

According to the latest Fleet Purchasing Outlook study conducted by the NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry, 75 percent of fleet respondents planning to acquire trucks in 2018 anticipate maintaining or increasing use of diesel engine powered trucks, indicating that diesel is still the powertrain of choice among the majority of work truck fleets. Additionally, the survey indicated that biodiesel is now the most popular alternative fuel option on the market, followed by E85, CNG and Electric Hybrid. Survey data shows 18 percent of fleet participants use biodiesel now – up from 15 percent in 2017. And in terms of future alternative fuel interest, biodiesel also takes top honors, with more fleets planning to acquire or continue using biodiesel than any other alternative fuel option.

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is featuring some of the latest industry advancements this week at the Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, California. On display will be a customized 2018 Freightliner Cascadia truck supplied by NBB member company Optimus Technologies® that can use B100 biodiesel, like the one that served as a backdrop for the National Biodiesel Conference stage.

Biodiesel, Fleet, Trucks

Report Says Icahn Refinery Received RFS Waiver

Cindy Zimmerman

Reuters published an exclusive report today citing two anonymous sources who claim EPA granted a small refinery hardship exemption to CVR Energy, owned by billionaire Carl Icahn, the power behind last year’s attempt to dilute the Renewable Fuel Standard by changing the point of obligation.

CVR Energy just released its 1st quarter earnings last Thursday, posting a net income of $66 million, compared to $22 million in the first quarter of 2017. CVR CEO Dave Lamp credited the increase to “a reduction to CVR Refining’s estimated Renewable Volume Obligation and lower Renewable Identification Number prices.”

Audio file – CVR Energy CEO Dave Lamp, 2018 Q1 report

The company’s Coffeyville, Kansas refinery has a capacity of 132,000 barrels per calendar day (bpcd) and the Wynnewood, Oklahoma has a 74,500 bpcd capacity – just under the 75,000 barrel cut off for a “small refinery” under the EPA’s definition.

During a House Energy subcommittee hearing last week, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt was asked directly by Maryland Democrat Rep. John Sarbanes if Carl Icahn’s CVR Energy had applied for a waiver. Pruitt replied that he was “not sure” and did not directly answer whether the company might have received one, saying “These exemptions are governed by statute…” before being interrupted by Sarbanes saying, “You’re going to find that out for us..because it raises serious questions about conflicts of interest.”

Listen to that exchange here: Rep. Sarbanes questions EPA Admin. Pruitt

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Oil, RFS, RINS

RFA Urges CARB to Use More Ethanol

Cindy Zimmerman

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is urging the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to allow greater market access for ethanol blended fuel to help the state reach its climate policy objectives.

According to comments submitted by RFA, ethanol has played a key role in the success of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and could do more if certain regulatory actions are taken to allow greater market access.

CARB held a hearing last week to consider amendments that would expand the LCFS through 2030 and increase the stringency of the required carbon intensity (CI) reductions and RFA Executive Vice President Geoff Cooper provided oral testimony at the hearing in addition to the group’s written comments.

CARB’s own data show that ethanol is responsible for reducing GHG emissions by 14.5 million metric tons (CO2-equivalent), or 45% of the total reductions achieved under the LCFS to date, RFA noted in its comments. In addition, data released by CARB last week shows that the ethanol used in California has an average CI that is 31% lower than gasoline.

RFA’s comments offered several recommendations that would allow ethanol to make even greater contributions to the LCFS goals, including:

• Expediting approval of new pathway petitions for cellulosic ethanol produced from grain kernel fiber.
• Amending current regulations to allow for the sale of E15 (15% ethanol, 85% gasoline) in California. A recent study by Life Cycle Associates shows that introduction of E15 would significantly increase LCFS credit generation, reduce gasoline consumption, and enhance the near- and long-term sustainability of the program. If California allows the sale of E15 beginning in 2020, the study shows cumulative GHG reductions achieved under the LCFS increase by 15-19 MMT CO2e by 2030, depending on the mix of ethanol sources.
• Revising default lifecycle GHG assessment model assumptions regarding grain sorghum production.
• Beginning a process to consider other options for further decarbonizing the remaining liquid fuels in the California mark

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Low Carbon Fuel Standard, RFA

Ethanol Report on Pruitt and the RFS

Cindy Zimmerman

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt has been “unapologetic” under questioning this week about granting dozens of small refinery hardship exemptions, and Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen believes he will continue to do so unchecked.

In this edition of the Ethanol Report, Dinneen talks about how the exemptions have effectively cut the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by over 1.5 billion gallons, and how he believes Scott Pruitt is working against the wishes of President Trump.

Listen here: Ethanol Report on Pruitt and the RFS

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Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, RFA, RFS