Pearson Fuels Recieves $1.35M for E85

Joanna Schroeder

Pearson Fuels (RTC Fuels, LLC) has been awarded $1.35 million for the installation of E85 dispensing equipment at 19 existing fueling stations throughout California. The monies were part of $3.27 million allocated by the California Energy Commission (CEC) for projects that will help the state reduce transportation sector emissions. CEC estimates the E85 fuel market in the state will eventually be the largest in the U.S. with approximately 55,000 new flex-fuel vehicles purchased in the state each year. However, there are relatively few E85 pumps throughout the state so the project includes collecting data on station operations to help provide a demonstration on the feasibility of developing stations to sell E85.

PearsonFuels_prices“These awards will increase the availability of alternative and renewable vehicle fuels, and will help to fulfill the Governor’s goal of significantly expanding the market for zero emission vehicles in the state,” said Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller. “Additionally, these investments benefit all Californians by improving air quality, creating jobs and reducing petroleum use.”

The approved awards were made through the CEC’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118. The program is slated to invest approximately $90 million during this fiscal year to develop new transportation technologies, as well as alternative and renewable fuels. Additional technologies will be needed to help meet the state’s climate emission reduction goals.

In addition, the awards will help fulfill Gov. Brown’s executive order directing state government to support and facilitate the rapid commercialization of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in California, with a 2025 target of having 1.5 million ZEVs on the state’s roads. They will also aid in the installation of additional infrastructure to support 1 million ZEVs in the state by 2025.

The ECEC also approved four awards totaling $2,550,000 to increase the storage, distribution and dispensing of alternative fuels in the state.

biofuels, E85, Electric Vehicles

Iowa Renewable Fuels Marketing Awards

Joanna Schroeder

John Gilroy from Harney Oil Company in Coralville, Iowa and Jim Becthold from Linn Coop Oil Co. in Marion, Iowa have been awarded the 2013 Secretary’s Biodiesel and Ethanol Marketing Awards. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey presented the awards that were created by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to recognize fuel marketers that have gone above and beyond in their efforts to promote and sell renewable fuels.

Iowa Ag Secy Bill Northy Photo IPTV“Both winners have gone to great lengths to make biodiesel and ethanol more available to Iowa drivers and I appreciate the effort and investment they have made to promote these home-grown fuels,” said Northey. “Iowa is fortunate many retailers like Harney Oil Company and Linn Coop Oil Company that make the extra effort to ensure that the fuels we produce in this state are available to customers.”

Becthold, who won the Ethanol Marketing Award, was close to becoming the first retailer in the country to sell E15 last summer, but couldn’t get the fuel. But with perseverance, he didn’t achieve his goal of becoming first to sell the fuel blend in America, but he did become to first retailer in Iowa to sell E15. An avid supporter, he is funding a consumer ethanol marketing campaign and is also promoting the benefits of E15 to other retailers across the country.

Gilroy won the Biodiesel Marketing Award for his efforts to increase availability of biodiesel in the state. His facility has a heated storage tank, allowing the sale of 100 percent biodiesel year round and this past year, he expanded his tank. In 2012, he enabled marketers to sell nearly 12 million gallons of biodiesel to Iowans.

The Secretary’s Ethanol and Biodiesel Marketing Awards were designed to recognize businesses that market the renewable fuels they have available through creative efforts including, but not limited to: hosting special events highlighting their renewable fuels, development of creative signage, initiation of new advertisements or marketing efforts, and dramatically increase renewable fuel availability.

advance biofuels, Biodiesel, Cellulosic, Ethanol, Retailers

Biodiesel Production Exceeds 1 Billion Gallons

Joanna Schroeder

Biodiesel PumpAccording to statistics provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) biodiesel production in the U.S. broke the 1 billion mark for the second consecutive year. The total volume of nearly 1.1 billion gallons was roughly flat over 2011 production, exceeding it by just 6 million gallons.

“These numbers reflect the ongoing growth and development of our industry and represent real jobs at plants across the country,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).”Biodiesel continues to account for the vast majority of the nation’s Advanced Biofuel production and is playing a significant role in diversifying our energy supplies with clean, American-made fuel.”

According to EPA numbers. production for the month of December totaled just 59 million gallons, the lowest monthly volume of the year. The December total marked the close of a year-end slump in which biodiesel production dropped significantly as Congress failed to renew the biodiesel tax incentive. However, with the new year brought the $1-per-gallon incentive renewal as part of the “fiscal cliff” legislation.

“It’s difficult not to wonder how much additional production and jobs could have been created if the biodiesel tax incentive had remained in place in 2012,” Steckel said. “It was a missed opportunity that significantly hurt many producers. But we are pleased that Congress reinstated the tax credit earlier this month and we expect significant growth in 2013.”

EPA’s reports biodiesel production as part of its Biomass-based Diesel category in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The EPA numbers show a total of just over 62 million gallons of Biomass-based Diesel for the month of December, but that figure includes several million gallons of renewable diesel production.

advance biofuels, Biodiesel, biofuels, NBB

EC Proposes Duties on Imported Ethanol

Joanna Schroeder

Following an investigation that concluded U.S. exporters sell ethanol to Europe at illegally low prices after receiving subsidies, The European Commission (EC) has proposed a rare duty on all U.S. producers of ethanol. In response, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office expressed its disappointment in the EC proposal, seeking anti-dumping duties of 9.5 percent on American ethanol. The EC distributed a proposal to member states with a request that the regulation is adopted by February 22, 2013.

Ethanol ExportsThe American ethanol industry has been vocal on the issue and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy, jointly released a statement. “America’s producers and marketers of ethanol are outraged by the news that the European Commission has proposed to the European Council an anti-dumping duty equivalent to 62.3 Euro per tonne on all ethanol produced in the United States, regardless of who produces the product or who sells it. This decision is unprecedented. Not only does it fly in the face of over 30 years of consistent practice by the EC, but it also violates numerous provisions of the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Antidumping.”

Bob Dinneen, president of RFA added, “This proposal is legally vulnerable on numerous grounds. They selected six producers for investigation and none were found to be dumping; nonetheless, duties are being imposed. In addition, all those producers not selected for review are also being penalized, again with no dumping having been found.”

“We are exploring every option to overturn this decision. Our producers and trading companies cooperated fully with the Commission’s requests for information. In the end, it was all ignored in favor of what can only be described as a political decision to erect an artificial trade barrier,” concluded Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis.

According to an article in Reuters, shipments of ethanol from the United States to the EU are worth more than $930 million, or 700 million euros, a year.

biofuels, Ethanol, Exports, Growth Energy, International, RFA

Ethanol By-Product Officially Non-Hazardous

Cindy Zimmerman

The ethanol by-product and livestock feed known as distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) is now officially recognized as a non-hazardous cargo by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

bargesThe official IMO classification became final and mandatory under the code of the International Maritime Organization on Jan. 1, 2013, after action by the U.S. Grains Council on behalf of its member organizations like the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA).

“While DDGS have effectively been shipped as a non-hazardous cargo for years now, the final classification by the IMO is an important success which will benefit corn farmers across the country,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson. “This status provides additional assurance that DDGS buyers and producers can access the lower freight rates assessed for non-hazardous cargo. U.S. farmers work diligently to ensure at every point in the process that we continue to provide the stable, consistent, quality product that our export markets expect.”

The classification provides savings in the form of lower freight costs which, in turn, increase the return to ethanol plants producing the high quality feed ingredient. Exports of DDGS from the United States have increased tremendously in recent years.

corn, Distillers Grains, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NCGA

Latest HSUS Poll Hacked

Talia Goes

Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Should we sit down with HSUS in ‘common cause’?”

The results of this poll are skewed due to the hacking by HSUS. In the end, the poll read that eighty one percent voted Definitely, fifteen percent said Never, and four percent thought we Should in some cases. The attempt to affect our poll results has the HSUS/PETA goal of an end to animal agriculture. They are working to get the livestock industry to make concessions that drastically change production methods. When that happens it becomes a very slippery slope very quickly. It will only be a short matter of time before allowing chickens more room in cages becomes allowing all animals the right to life. Treating animals humanely is not the same as treating them like they are humans – but many activists see no difference.

The hacking we are referring to was having almost 400 poll responses to the Definitely answer come in during a few hours one night last week and none since. If you take them out, the answer Never would have been the highest result by far.


Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “How many machines (tractors, etc.) does your farm own?” Some of the urban folk believe that if you own more than 1-2 pieces of machinery, that would classify you as a large farmer. We disagree with that. So let’s see how many pieces of equipment most farmers/ranchers own. Let us know!

ZimmPoll is sponsored by New Holland Agriculture.


Book Review – Demystifying Food From Farm to Fork

Joanna Schroeder

This week I read, “Demystifying Food from Farm to Fork,” by Maurice J. Hladik. Many of you may be familiar with Hladik, an agricultural expert who has spoken at events all around the world including Commodity Classic. The goal of the book is to take a look at food production from “farm to fork”.

demystifying-food-from-farm-to-forkAs with many concepts, farm to fork can be defined in many ways. Hladik defines it as, “Pertaining to the human food chain from agricultural production to consumption. In other words, from our readers farm to my table.”

As Hladik takes the reader through the varying stages in between the planting, growing and harvesting of food through manufacturing and eventually to the table, he explained the pros and cons, addressed any surrounding controversies and presented both sides of each argument. For this I was very impressed, as many writers take the view of “it’s my way or no way”.

Hladik also points out certain areas that he says are portrayed in the media as myths. One area he addressed was that of ethanol production and food prices. He writes, “There is a widespread conviction that the use of massive quantities of corn for the production of ethanol, and to a lesser extent soy beans for biodiesel, substantially contributes to hunger throughout the world….In reality, there is enough food in the world to go around, but getting it to all those who need it is a challenge.”

He continues by writing that the world does not need all the corn and other grains that are dedicated to biofuel production, and thus corn might as well be used for this purpose (he also rightly points out that a diet solely of corn does not constitute a balanced diet). In addition, he explains during his examination of “food versus fuel” that because of the increased need for corn for ethanol, along with the fact that growers are harvesting more bushels per acre than ever before, that should the unforeseen happen, the corn can be diverted to other areas – in essence, ethanol production is “money in the bank”.

This book is very well suited to those of us who are not very familiar with agriculture, and gives the reader a good, brief introduction into all the steps it takes to deliver our food to the table.

biofuels, book reviews, food and fuel

Bioenergy Bytes

Joanna Schroeder

Bioenergy Bytes

Iberdrola Renewables Completes 3 Wind Farms

Joanna Schroeder

IRI_Groton-3336Iberdrola Renewables has completed three new wind energy projects in the U.S. The wind farms were all commissioned in December 2012, representing a total investment of approximately $700 million, and most of the power has already been purchased via long-term contracts. The three projects include:

  • The Manzana Wind Power Project located in Kern County, California includes 126 GE 1.5MW wind turbines, with the capacity to produce 189 MW of wind energy each year. Lease payments to landowners are estimated to be more than $30 million over the life of the wind farm.
  • The Hoosac Wind Power Project is located in Monroe, Massachusetts and expands into Florida, Massachusetts. The wind farm consists of 19 GE 1.5 MW wind turbines with the ability to generate 28.5 MW annually. Lease payments to landowners are estimated to be $3 million over the life of the wind farm.
  • The Groton Wind Farm is situated along two ridge features in the town of Groton, New Hampshire. The wind farm consists of 24 Gamesa G87, 2.0 MW wind turbines and has the capacity to produce 48MW per year.

“These projects have begun delivering the environmental benefits of clean, renewable energy, but they also create significant economic impacts resulting from hiring numerous local workers and companies, and making long-term tax and lease payments to the local communities,” said Martín Mugíca, president and CEO of Iberdrola Renewables, LLC. “Each project represents the culmination of years of hard work, and we could not do it without the vision and support of our shareholders, customers and employees.”

Earlier in 2012, Iberdrola Renewables completed a 46-MW project in Pennsylvania, a 100-MW project in Iowa and a 304-MW project in Ohio.

Alternative energy, Electricity, Energy, Wind

Register Now for Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit

Cindy Zimmerman

irfa-lucy-nortonIf you want to spend a day next week with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, author and energy security expert Anne Korin, Growth Energy President Tom Buis and USDA Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager – today is the last day of pre-registration for the 7th Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit on January 30 in Altoona.

Registration is free and you can register on site, but Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Managing Director Lucy Norton says it’s good to know about how many people will be attending. “It’s open to the general public,” said Norton. “We encourage everyone to come out and hear more and learn more about renewable fuels.”

Much of the summit is focused on the importance of renewable fuels to Iowa, one of the leading states in the production of both ethanol and biodiesel. “The summit is the way that the renewable fuels industry gets the word out on renewable fuels and what it means to the state economy, for the federal economy,” Norton said, noting that both Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will be at the event this year.

Norton says the Iowa RFA will be encouraging attendees to sign a letter to Chrysler. “We are asking Chrysler to follow suit with General Motors and Ford and approve their vehicles for the use of E15,” she said.

Find out more about what is in store at the 2013 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit in this interview: Lucy Norton with Iowa RFA

Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit information and registration.

Audio, Biodiesel, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA