2017 Eye on Biodiesel Awards

Cindy Zimmerman

The National Biodiesel Board presented its annual Eye on Biodiesel awards this week at the organization’s annual meeting in San Diego.

Climate Leader Award – New York City Council Member Costa Constantinides – who sponsored a measure that grows the amount of biodiesel in heating oil in the City from the current two percent level to five percent October 1, 2017, moving to 10 percent in 2025, 15 percent in 2030, and 20 percent in 2034.
Costa award comments Costa media comments

National Energy Leadership Award – Gov. Terry Branstad – The state of Iowa is a national leader in clean energy production and is the number one biodiesel producing state in the country, thanks in large part to strong leadership within the state.

Gov. Branstad accepted the award via video. Gov. Branstad, Energy Leadership Award

Industry Partnership Award – The Illinois Soybean Association Checkoff Program and the American Lung Association in Illinois for the B20 Club – focused on raising the profile of exemplary fleets that use B20 in any type of diesel engine.

Accepting the award were Illinois Soybean Association board member and farmer Jeff Lynn and John DeRosa, director of the American Lung Association in Illinois. Industry Partnership Award Interview with Sarah Mark, City of Moline and Jeff Lynn, IL Soybean Assn.

Influence Award – Ron Flowers – Greater Washington, DC Clean Cities – worked closely with the National Biodiesel Board as well as the National Biodiesel Foundation, resulting in the use of thousands of gallons of B20 blends. He has been instrumental in the DC Government, Smithsonian Institution, American University and many others switching to biodiesel. Ron Flowers, Influence Award

2017 National Biodiesel Conference photo album

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Trump EPA Nominee Questioned on RFS

Cindy Zimmerman

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt answered questions about his support of renewable fuels during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday to serve as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under President-elect Donald Trump.

Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, asked Pruitt about his commitment to uphold the congressional intent of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). “To honor the intent and the expression of the renewable fuel standards statute is very, very important,” Pruitt responded. “It’s not the job of the administrator or the EPA to do anything other than administer the program according to the intent of Congress. And I commit to you to do so.”

Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen was encouraged by what Pruitt had to say. “It is indeed heartening to see Mr. Pruitt reflect the priorities of President-elect Trump and the American people, who overwhelmingly support the increased production and use of American-made renewable fuels,” said Dinneen.

During the hearing Pruitt also said he agrees “without question” that Congress intended the RFS to drive growth in the production and use of renewable fuels like ethanol, that EPA’s waiver authority with regard to the RFS should only be “judiciously used” and that he is committed to ensuring annual RFS volume requirements are released according to the statutory deadlines.

Listen to Fischer’s questioning of Pruitt here: Pruitt confirmation hearing with Sen. Fischer

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Government, RFA, RFS

Iowa RFA Expresses Concerns with Trump Ag Choice

Cindy Zimmerman

President-elect Donald Trump will officially round out his cabinet by nominating former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture just a little more than 24 hours before the inauguration.

As word about the choice spread Wednesday evening, most groups were waiting until the official announcement to respond, but one of the first was the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, which expressed concerns about the views of key Trump nominees overall toward the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Iowa RFA Executive Director Monte Shaw says while they “appreciate that President-elect Trump has shared his pro-renewable fuels standard (RFS) views with each Cabinet nominee…there is concern in the Midwest that no Cabinet pick has a demonstrably pro-RFS track record and that there is no Midwestern representation in the Cabinet.” Shaw says they urge Trump to “create internal balance with his next round of agency leadership appointments, especially within the EPA.”

George Ervin “Sonny” Perdue III is 70 years old and served as governor of Georgia from 2003 to 2011 and was the first Republican governor elected in 130 years. He grew up on a farm, was a veterinarian and operates grain and fertilizer businesses. And even though Georgia is a top poultry producing state – no, he is not related to the Perdue poultry business.

Government, Iowa RFA, RFS

GM Announces 20 for B20 in Diesel Vehicle Lineup

Cindy Zimmerman

General Motors is fueling America’s future with biodiesel by expanding its B20-capable lineup to include new cars, crossovers and trucks.

John Schwegman, Director of Commercial Product and Medium Duty Product for General Motors, delivered the news during the general session at the 2017 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in San Diego Tuesday.

“Diesel propulsion deserves wider consideration by fleet managers across the country,” Schwegman said. “With biodiesel production and retail distribution expanding, and so many proven benefits, we believe more fleets will embrace the technology as part of their sustainability plans. If our diesel customers fueled exclusively with biodiesel, we estimate that consumption of petroleum-based fuels would be reduced by hundreds of million gallons annually.”

Listen to Schwegman’s announcement here: GM announcement at #NBB17

Including 2017 and 2018 models, Chevrolet and GMC will offer one of the largest portfolios of vehicles capable of running on B20, a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent ultra-low sulfur diesel. READ MORE

2017 National Biodiesel Conference photo album

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New NBB CEO and Chairman Kick Off #NBB17

Cindy Zimmerman

National Biodiesel Board CEO Donnell Rehagen and Chairman Kent Engelbrecht of ADM kicked off the 2017 National Biodiesel Conference in San Diego Tuesday with a look at how biodiesel has continued to triumph over the years despite being an underdog.

“NBB was created by a visionary and insightful group of soybean organizations in 1992, before biodiesel even existed in the United States,” said Rehagen, who was just named CEO of the organization in October 2016. “Think about that…a trade association was created for a product that didn’t exist.”

Rehagen noted that the biodiesel industry is preparing for the new administration. “Like so many others we are eager to see what the coming months and the Trump Administration will mean for renewable energy, for tax reform and for the RFS,” he said. NBB will be redoubling its efforts in DC this year by hiring a second lobbyist and a Director of Advocacy whose job will be to increase member company outreach on Capitol Hill.

Engelbrecht, who was elected NBB chairman in November, says they are very optimistic about the future. “We all know the hard fights will continue. But we also understand and appreciate the history and the strengths that the industry and NBB share,” he said. “We are tried and proven underdogs.”

Listen to their comments here: Rehagen and Engelbrecht, general session

Listen to Rehagen’s press conference here: NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen meets the press

2017 National Biodiesel Conference photo album

Audio, Biodiesel, Biodiesel Conference, NBB

Ethanol Industry Thanks Trump in New Ad

Cindy Zimmerman

The renewable fuels industry is thanking incoming President Donald Trump with a new television ad airing this inauguration week. The new ad will be airing during MSNBC’s Morning Joe program and will also appear on digital channels.

“Donald Trump’s campaign united millions of voters who care deeply about America’s leadership on clean, homegrown energy,” said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). “Strong support for the RFS will drive billions in new investments and ensure that consumers don’t have to choose between low prices and clean, homegrown fuels. We’re grateful for the President-elect’s support and urge him to stand strong against those who seek to undermine the single most effective clean energy policy working to lower our dependence on oil.”

The new ad features Trump’s comments that “family farms are the backbone of this country” and his promise to protect the Renewable Fuels Standard. It was produced by Fuels America, a combined effort of several industry organizations, including RFA, Growth Energy and BIO.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Fuels America, RFA

#Ethanol Fan Childress to Join NASCAR Hall of Fame

Cindy Zimmerman

Racing legend and American Ethanol supporter Richard Childress will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame this week.

A self-made racer and owner, Childress helped move NASCAR to 15 percent ethanol and also serves as a board member for Growth Energy. “He helped introduce the sport to ethanol, demonstrating time and again the performance benefits of higher-octane, homegrown fuels,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “We could not be more excited to join loyal fans across the country in celebrating his recognition by the Hall of Fame.”

“I’m a farmer myself and I understand the livelihood of farmers and I think it’s great for America what they are doing to help us not to have to depend on as much foreign energy….I hope some day we can run it all on ethanol,” said Childress during a 2011 American Ethanol NASCAR event in Kansas City.

Childress got his start in 1969 and earned 76 top-10 finishes in 285 races before handing over driving duties to Dale Earnhardt in 1981. He later founded Richard Childress Racing, a 12-time NASCAR championship-winning organization that continues to drive innovation in the sport.

In 2011, Childress was among the leaders who helped launch the NASCAR Green initiative, which included a switch to Sunoco Green E15, a 21st century fuel containing 15 percent American ethanol. Since then, NASCAR has surpassed 10 million miles on the fuel. E15 is also available off-the-track, and American consumers have driven more than 500 million miles on the blend, reducing emissions, saving money, and boosting engine performance.

American Ethanol, Ethanol, Growth Energy, NASCAR

Fueling Biodiesel’s Future in San Diego

Cindy Zimmerman

Biodiesel enthusiasts are converging in San Diego this week for shows and announcements at the industry’s largest gathering of producers, distributors and fans.

The 14th Annual National Biodiesel Conference & Expo officially kicks off this morning with an overview of the industry at the conference’s General Session, which is followed by numerous breakout sessions where experts will present on the latest trends in the industry. Local fans will be particularly interested in the discussion in the session, “California’s Thriving Low Carbon Markets.”

“The General Session is one event attendees won’t want to miss,” said Donnell Rehagen, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board, which produces the annual conference. “Not only will they get presentations on what’s been accomplished and what’s expected ahead, we are looking forward to a very special announcement from General Motors that will be exciting news for biodiesel fans everywhere.

Attendees will also enjoy the Biodiesel Vehicle Showcase that kicks off Tuesday in the Expo Hall. There they will find the latest biodiesel-capable vehicles, technologies and special announcements on what to expect in the future.

Watch for the latest from the National Biodiesel Conference here and on the conference blog.

2017 National Biodiesel Conference photo album

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New UN Report Shows Food vs Fuel Fallacy

Cindy Zimmerman

A new report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) finds that food prices declined for the fifth year in a row in 2016, down 1.5 percent from 2015. That included a steady decline in cereal prices- which includes maize or corn – which fell 9.6 percent from 2015 and were down 39 percent from their 2011 peak.

At the same time last year, the U.S. ethanol industry set records for both production and exports, and the final 2016 corn harvest is estimated at 15.1 billion bushels, 11% higher than 2015.

“The FAO news clearly demonstrates that increased ethanol and corn production has not driven up food prices,” said Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen, who notes that U.S. ethanol production will use just 2.95% of global grain supplies, the lowest in six years. “As yet another analysis has found, it’s time to put an end to the demonstrably false ‘food vs fuel’ myth that our opponents inexplicably continue to pass off as fact. There is more than enough corn to both feed and fuel the world.”

Dinneen said the FAO report backs up findings of a recent analysis commissioned by the RFA, which found that retail food prices were “not impacted in any demonstrable way by expansion of U.S. grain ethanol production under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) over the past decade.”

corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, food and fuel, Food prices, International, RFA

Biofuels and China Impact Crop Outlook

Cindy Zimmerman

Dr. Pat Westhoff of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri brought attendees of the American Farm Bureau Federation‘s Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show last week an outlook for the 2017-2018 crop demand.

Overall, he says, look for 2017 to follow a similar trend of 2016, with prices continuing to be below average. With an emphasis on the patterns of growth in populations and the advancements already made in grains and oilseeds, Westhoff outlines how harvest has increased by 17 percent while the world per capita consumption is increasing at 16 percent yearly.

“China and biofuels accounted for all the growth in per capita consumption since 1980,” Westhoff said. “Ethanol production and an increase in Chinese consumption per capita has had the greatest effect on grains and oilseeds global markets. Remove those two factors and we have about the same per capita use of grains and oilseeds.”

You can listen to his predictions here: AFBF Crop Outlook with Pat Westhoff

2017 AFBF annual meeting photos

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