Iowa Governor Signs Biofuels Access Bill

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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the Biofuels Access Bill into law on Tuesday morning surrounded by farmers and biofuels supporters on a family farm outside of Prairie City. The bill makes Iowa the first state in the nation to adopt an E15 standard and expands access to higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel across the state, lowering fuel prices for consumers.

“I’ve never been prouder than I am today to be the Governor of the number one ethanol and biodiesel-producing state in the country,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Iowa’s biofuel production powers our economy and fuels the world, and this historic bill sets the stage for the single largest expansion of biofuels in our state’s history. We’re sending a message that can’t be ignored: America’s energy is growing right here in Iowa’s fields.”

Gov. Reynolds made the bill a top priority this year and it received strong bipartisan support in the state legislature. Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw says the legislation is “nation-leading policy that will greatly expand consumers’ ability to find lower-cost biofuels at pumps across the state. Iowa is now the first state to have an E15 program and the first state to incentivize B30. Iowa is now truly the leader in both biofuels production and biofuels policy.”

The bill increases a Biodiesel Production Tax Credit from 2 to 4 cents per gallon while updating the state’s Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Program to increase access to higher blends of biofuels. It extends current fuel retailer tax credits for B11 and higher, while introducing new credits for higher blends like B20 (7 cpg) and even B30 (10 cpg).

“Iowa joins the ranks of Illinois, Minnesota and others with some of the most forwarding-thinking legislation that values the production and use of biodiesel,” said Clean Fuels Alliance America CEO Donnell Rehagen. “Along with renewable diesel, it is our nation’s best option here-and-now to decarbonize the heavy-duty transportation and home heating oil sectors.”

Gov. Reynolds’ bill signing took place on land farmed by Will and Cassie Cannon. Listen to remarks from the event here:
Iowa governor signs biofuels access bill 10:35

Audio, Biodiesel, corn, E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News

RFA Hits Back at Ad Attacking RFS

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Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Chief Economist Scott Richman hits back at a new ad campaign by an oil refiners coalition that blames high gas prices on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in a blog post explaining the inconvenient truth that refiners are making record profits while consumers pay at the pump.

“Here’s what’s really going on: as the marketplace anxiously awaits the final RFS volumes for 2020-2022, oil refiners are attempting to divert attention away from their unprecedented profit margins and the impact those margins have on gas prices,” writes Richman. “Once again, at a time when ethanol is clearly saving drivers money at the pump, oil refiners and their allies are trying to mislead policymakers and the public about the real causes of higher gas prices.”

Read Richman’s explanation of gas price economics.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

USDA Corn Outlook for Lower Production, Higher Prices

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USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates released Thursday report the 2022/23 U.S. corn outlook is for lower production, domestic use, exports, ending stocks, and higher prices.

The corn crop is projected at 14.5 billion bushels, down 4.3 percent from last year. The corn yield is projected at 177.0 bushels per acre, 4.0 bushels below the weather adjusted trend presented at USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum in February. The very slow start to this year’s planting in the major corn producing States and the likelihood that progress by mid-May will remain well behind normal reduce yield prospects. Despite beginning stocks that are up relative to a year ago, total corn supplies are forecast to decline 2.7 percent to 15.9 billion bushels.

Total U.S. corn use in 2022/23 is forecast to fall 2.5 percent on declines in domestic use and exports with corn used for ethanol unchanged relative to a year ago on expectations of flat U.S. motor gasoline consumption. With total U.S. corn supply falling more than use, 2022/23 U.S. ending stocks are down 80 million bushels from last year. The season-average corn price received by producers is projected at $6.75 per bushel, up 85 cents from a year ago and if realized would be the highest since $6.89 reached during 2012/13.

corn, USDA

The 35th ACE is Coming up in Omaha

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The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) 35th annual conference is coming up August 10-12 in Omaha with a whole slate of topics guaranteed to inform ethanol producers and the broader industry about the current market and policy dynamics at play, as well as to equip producers with practical insights they can implement to improve their operations.

“The ACE conference is designed to make good use of the attendee’s time by incorporating a variety of general sessions and breakouts in a condensed day-and-a-half agenda,” said Katie Muckenhirn, ACE Vice President of Public Affairs. “I was pleased with the feedback from biofuel professionals offering to share their technical expertise and insight at this year’s event and we’re working on incorporating many of those ideas into an agenda that provides resourceful takeaways.”

This year’s general session coverage will feature new uses and markets for ethanol, farm-to-biofuel carbon market opportunities, trade developments, and an energy market outlook, as well as insight on the ethanol retail marketplace and future demand opportunities. Further, more intimate breakout sessions will cover the latest in technology updates, strategic planning advice, and ways for ethanol plants to lower their carbon score and raise their profitability.

More specifically, sessions will include information on sustainable aviation fuel and hydrogen market potential, carbon capture and storage, getting the most out of your co-products — like distillers corn oil, carbon intensity scoring, hiring practices and labor challenges, IT security, driving value to agriculture through low carbon solutions, tax credits in new project investments, and more. ACE has also invited key officials at the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to speak during the event.

“Central to the discussions we plan to host this year is how can we set the industry up for success to continue playing an integral role in the climate conversation and evolving to take advantage of new technologies and markets,” Muckenhirn added. “The 35th anniversary event theme ‘intensity’ encompasses this focus; we encourage you to turn it down for carbon and turn it up for us by joining ACE this summer in Omaha.”

Find out more at ethanol.org/events/conference.

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Events

RFA Welcomes Mikayla McKenna to Communications Team

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The Renewable Fuels Association welcomes Mikayla McKenna as new Communications Manager based in the St. Louis office.

McKenna’s experience includes interning with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), the American Feed Industry Association and the Iowa Corn Growers Association.

”We’re pleased to have Mikayla join the team at RFA,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “As someone who was raised on a farm, excelled at her university studies in agriculture and has shown herself to be an excellent communicator, Mikayla brings a valuable background to the organization as we deal with the many opportunities and challenges facing the industry. We know Mikayla will hit the ground running and look forward to the many contributions she has to offer.”

McKenna earned an undergraduate degree in Agricultural Communications and International Agriculture at Iowa State University, where she was involved in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council, the Dean’s Student Advisory Committee, Sigma Alpha Professional Sorority, the Iowa Corn Collegiate Advisory Team, the Agriculture Communicators of Tomorrow Club, and taught as an agricultural communications peer mentor. McKenna’s outstanding involvement and leadership led her to receive the Fall 2021 Iowa State CALS Council Outstanding Ambassador of Agriculture and Life Sciences senior award. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree from Oklahoma State University in International Agriculture, focusing on international trade and agricultural policy.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

Nebraska Renewable Fuels Month Features Student Social Media Campaign

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May is Renewable Fuels Month in Nebraska and high school students took on the mission of educating their peers about reducing their energy use and carbon footprint through the Field to Fuel student social media contest. Students were tasked with planning a one-week social media campaign to promote Renewable Fuels Month – a celebration recognized in May by Nebraskans and sponsored by Nebraska Ethanol, Nebraska Corn, Nebraska Soybean, and Renewable Fuels Nebraska.

Aditi Rai, a junior at Elkhorn South High School, received first place honor this year for her social media content, which will be featured on the Nebraska Ethanol Board’s social media throughout Renewable Fuels Month. Rai also received $1,000 from the Nebraska Ethanol Board, which she plans to donate to her school’s Unified Green Team – a club dedicated to recycling and taking care of the community.

“When I first heard about the competition, I wasn’t sure,” Rai said. “I didn’t know much about renewable fuels or designing a social media plan. However, it was really a valuable experience. I learned a lot about renewable fuels and even more things I can do to help the environment.”

Renewable Fuels Month recognizes the importance of renewable biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel. The month of May typically kicks off the summer driving season, making it a great time to fuel up on biofuels to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money.

Biodiesel, biofuels, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Diesel Would Be Higher Without Bio and Renewable

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The national average for diesel fuel hit another record $5.54 a gallon Monday but a new study released by Clean Fuels Alliance America shows prices would be four percent higher without current U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel production.

The study, “The Offsetting Impact of Expanded Biomass Based Diesel Production on Diesel Prices,” was prepared by World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Services (WAEES). It finds that U.S. production of biodiesel and renewable diesel consistently reduces distillate fuel prices by increasing the supply and the price impact increased to a 4% benefit in 2020 and 2021.

“Biodiesel and renewable diesel meet more than 6 percent of the nation’s need for diesel fuel, and the industry increased production and supply even during the economic emergency of the last few years,” said Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs for Clean Fuels. “With mounting inflation and environmental concerns, as well as the need to increase energy security and reduce reliance on oil from unstable countries, it’s more important now than ever before to maintain U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel production.”

The WAEES study notes that even small changes in the supply of diesel fuel will result in relatively larger changes in the diesel fuel price.

“Today’s study shows that U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel production generates a 4 percent decrease in the price of diesel fuel,” Kovarik continued. “At today’s national average price for diesel fuel, the savings is equal to about 22 cents per gallon. That price benefit flows through the entire economy. Diesel fuel keeps essential items, like food and commodities, as well as other retail goods moving across the country. With the current shortage and cost of diesel fuel, a price increase associated with the reduction of biodiesel and renewable diesel production would be passed along to consumers in the costs of numerous indispensable items.”
Read the study.

Biodiesel, biofuels, Clean Fuels Alliance, renewable diesel

EPA Administrator Regan on Agri-Pulse Newsmakers

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The latest episode of Agri-Pulse Newsmakers is out and the featured interview is with EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

EPA sent its proposed biofuel blending requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard to the White House Office of Management and Budget for final review this week in an effort to get those finalized by June 3. Agri-Pulse host Spencer Chase asked Regan if biofuels groups will be pleased with the final result.

“We want to get the program back on track,” said Regan. “So, yes, we believe the industry will see the strategy in getting the program back on track and looking at 2022 as that jump off point.”

Asked what the agency would do going forward to keep the program on track, Regan said, “Doing what we are currently doing which is taking it more seriously than previous administrations ever have,” said Regan. “We’re already focused on 2023 and beyond.”

Regan was also asked about a permanent fix for E15. Watch the whole interview below.

Newsmakers is also available as a podcast and/or you can sign up to get free access to Newsmakers.


Agri-Pulse, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News

RFA Celebrates Safety Recognition Milestone

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The Renewable Fuels Association has received its 10th consecutive TRANSCAER National Achievement Award for training first responders and others in ethanol emergency response and safety, marking a decade of leadership in the area of ethanol industry safety.

The award recognizes RFA’s work in 2021, when more than 1,500 attendees received hands-on instruction via 35 training opportunities supported by the association. Since its inception in 2010, RFA’s award-winning safety program is responsible for training over 15,000 individuals via more than 370 training sessions and events. RFA has trained individuals from all 50 U.S. states and 39 other countries. In addition, RFA in 2021 updated eight training modules, recording videos to go along with each module, and posted the refreshed training materials on TRANSCAER’s LMS system.

RFA Director of Safety and Technical Programs Missy Ruff has served on the TRANSCAER executive committee and as chair of the National TRANSCAER Task Group, winning an Individual Recognition Award from TRANSCAER for 2021.

The TRANSCAER initiative is a national outreach effort focused on assisting communities prepare for and respond to possible hazardous material transportation incidents. RFA currently offers online ethanol safety training programs and “train the trainer” sessions.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, safety

Nominations Sought for Ethanol Awards

Cindy Zimmerman

Awarding of the annual High Octane Award and Award of Excellence is a tradition for the Fuel Ethanol Workshop, coming up next month in Minneapolis. Nominations for the awards are being accepted through May 6.

The Award of Excellence, established by BBI International in 2000, recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the fuel ethanol industry through their research, technical advisory and/or development activities.

The High Octane Award acknowledges a person who has helped the ethanol industry mature and progress over the years. This award, established in 2000 by BBI International, recognizes a person whose passion and unstoppable pursuits have significantly benefited the ethanol industry. The High Octane Award honors a person for his or her passion and unstoppable pursuits that just seem to drive their daily routines and commitments.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, FEW