Iowa On-Farm Biodiesel Program Funding Triples

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Funding has more than tripled for Iowa’s new statewide On-Farm Biodiesel Credit Program to give back to farmers using biodiesel on their farms.

The program, launched in August by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, refunds farmers up to 50 cents per gallon for buying biodiesel blends. Originally funded at $10,000, the Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa Biodiesel Board have joined as partners, providing another $10,000 to the program. In-state biodiesel producers Western Iowa Energy, Western Dubuque Biodiesel and Chevron Renewable Energy Group have each contributed $5,000, bringing total available funds to $35,000.

Under the program, farmers can earn 25 cents-per-gallon for filling up with B11 (11 percent biodiesel) and 50 cents-per-gallon with B20 (20 percent biodiesel), up to a maximum credit of $500.

To be eligible, farmers must purchase blends for an on-farm tank in Iowa actively used for an agricultural operation.
The groups note that the majority of farm equipment manufacturers support up to B20 biodiesel blends while some manufacturers, such as John Deere and Caterpillar, support up to B100 depending on the model year of the equipment.

Program funding is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Program eligibility and rules can be found here.

Biodiesel, Farming

Reuters Withdraws Ethanol Plant Emissions Story

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It is pretty rare for a national news outlet to ever completely retract a story, but on September 26, Reuters withdrew a controversial story released on September 8 regarding carbon emissions at U.S. ethanol plants, a story that was immediately rebuked by the ethanol industry for its faulty conclusions.

Reuters said the story comparing carbon emissions at U.S. ethanol plants and oil refineries has been withdrawn “because of flaws in its interpretation of data that led to inaccurate estimates of pollution at individual ethanol plants.”

According to the retraction:
The errors stemmed in part from a misinterpretation of Environmental Protection Agency data that included emissions from non-fuel products produced by the ethanol plants, such as alcohol for beverages or sanitizer.

Three of the plants named in the story as top industry polluters – owned by Golden Triangle Energy, Central Indiana Ethanol and Green Plains Inc (GPRE.O) – produced mostly non-fuel products, according to the companies. That made the article’s comparison of their emissions to oil refineries inappropriate.

In addition, the emissions estimate for another plant, owned by Marquis Energy, was inflated because Reuters used data on fuel capacity to derive an estimate of plant emissions per gallon of fuel production. The estimate was overstated because the Marquis plant’s actual production was substantially higher than its stated capacity in the data set.

Data on actual production at ethanol plants is not publicly available.

Folks, you just can’t make this stuff up.

Ethanol, Ethanol News

RFA Elects New Board Leadership at Annual Meeting

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The Renewable Fuels Association held its annual membership meeting this week in Milwaukee and elected new board leadership. Erik Huschitt, CEO of Badger State Ethanol, was elected Chairman of the organization, replacing Jeanne McCaherty of Guardian Energy Management.

Huschitt, of Monroe, Wisc., has been with Badger State since January 2002 and currently serves as president of the Wisconsin BioFuels Association. He also has spent years on the board of the Wisconsin Agri-Business Association, which plays a vital role in Wisconsin’s feed and grain industries.

RFA’s board also elected Jeff Oestmann, CEO of Granite Falls Energy, as Vice Chairman. Before becoming CEO of Granite Falls in May 2021, he served as head of biofuels operations at Syngenta and was previously CEO of East Kansas Agri-Energy.

“Erik Huschitt and Jeff Oestmann have proven themselves time and again as thoughtful and strategic leaders deeply committed to the role ethanol can play not just in the communities they serve, but also across our nation and around the world,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “This is a critical and exciting time for the ethanol industry. We know Erik and Jeff will provide outstanding leadership and guidance to the association and the entire industry as we face the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in 2023.”

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

Iowa Biodiesel Board Elects New Chair

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The Iowa Biodiesel Board has elected Nathan Nolte, biofuels sales manager for Ag Processing Inc., to serve as the chair of the Iowa Biodiesel Board.

AGP, a prominent farmer-owned cooperative, is the largest soybean processor west of the Mississippi and is a leading biodiesel producer. The Omaha-based company operates three biodiesel plants, two of which are in Iowa. They are AGP Algona and AGP Sergeant Bluff, which the company says was first commercial scale biodiesel plant in the nation. AGP employs about 640 people companywide. Nolte, who has worked for AGP since 2010, grew up on a farm in southeast Nebraska.

“I’m passionate about the benefits biodiesel can deliver to society, and the value it adds to the business of farming,” Nolte said. “I look forward to the challenge of taking over as chair during a pivotal time in Iowa, as the state implements some of the most comprehensive pro-biofuels state legislation anywhere in the country.”

The Biofuels Access Act, led by Governor Kim Reynolds and passed earlier this year, expands incentives for biodiesel production and encourages the use of ever-higher blends. It is the first piece of legislation passed in the U.S. to incentivize 30% biodiesel (B30).

Biodiesel, biofuels

Fuel Tax Credit Retroactively Extended for Propane Vehicles

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The Propane Education & Research Council is encouraging propane autogas fleet operators to take advantage of the Alternative Fuel Tax Credit, which was included in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Propane autogas fleet operators who apply for the tax credit will be able to claim a credit for every gasoline gallon equivalent of propane autogas purchased, or about 37 cents per gallon. The bill not only extends the credits through Dec. 31, 2024, but fleet owners can also apply for credits retroactively for any fuel purchases made in 2022. Tax exempt entities that use propane autogas from an on-site fueling station for a vehicle fleet also qualify for the incentive.

The new law also extends the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit, which allows operators to claim up to six percent or $100,000 of the cost of installing qualified alternative fuel vehicle refueling property, including propane autogas refueling equipment.

Propane

MN Bio-Fuels Appoints New Executive Director

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The Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association (MN Bio-Fuels) has appointed Brian Werner as its new executive director.

Prior to joining MN Bio-Fuels, Werner was the deputy legislative director / senior legislative assistant for renewable energy and agriculture for Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

During that time, he supported Klobuchar’s work to protect mandatory funding for Farm Bill energy title programs, maintain stability in the implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard, provide economic relief for biofuel producers negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and secure federal investment in biofuel infrastructure.

“After a decade and a half in our nation’s capital working on agriculture and biofuel policy, I am honored and beyond excited to be coming home to lead MN Bio-Fuels. It is clear that farm-based, homegrown biofuels are a key solution to many of the issues we face today – reducing carbon emissions, strengthening national security, promoting rural economic development, and lowering energy costs for consumers,” Werner said.

Biodiesel, biofuels, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Ethanol Report on The Set

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When Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) that authorized the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), annual volume requirements were specified through the year 2022 for renewable fuels. But that does not mean this year is the end of the RFS.

After this year, the law requires EPA to set RFS volumes for 2023 and beyond, in coordination with the Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Agriculture, according to a specific set of factors in a rulemaking commonly referred to as “The Set.”

In this edition of the Ethanol Report, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper and National Corn Growers Association CEO Jon Doggett discuss what the set means for the ethanol industry and farmers.

Ethanol Report 9-27-22 (13:10)

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

Audio, biofuels, corn, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, NCGA, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

Renewable Fuels Industry Holds Briefing on Set Rule

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Fuels America held a webinar briefing with industry stakeholders Thursday about the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program in the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets annual biofuel blending requirements in accordance with volumes determined by Congress through 2022. After 2022, in a rulemaking commonly referred to as “The Set,” the EPA is required to establish volume requirements for 2023 and beyond according to a specific set of factors in the law. Under a consent decree in the matter of Growth Energy v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA is required to propose volumes for 2023 no later than November 16, 2022 and finalize them no later than June 14, 2023.

The briefing included comments from Brooke Coleman, Advanced Biofuels Business Council; Emily Skor, Growth Energy; Jon Doggett, National Corn Growers Association; Geoff Cooper, Renewable Fuels Association; and Donnell Rehagen, Clean Fuels Alliance America.

Cooper said RFA believes a strong SET rule could do much to further carbon intensity reduction efforts. “The RFS is the only statutory program on the books today that requires fuel decarbonization,” said Cooper. “So we believe EPA really has an opportunity to double down on the authority to decarbonize fuels under the RFS.”

Rehagen concentrated more on the biomass-based diesel side of the industry – biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuels. “Beyond the carbon benefits, we are very proud of the fact that we are having some very positive benefits on human health as well,” he said. “Particulate matter is an increasingly significant factor in declining human health and our fuels bring a significant reduction in particulate matter.”

Listen to the briefing here:
Fuels America briefing 58:44

Audio, aviation biofuels, Biodiesel, biofuels, Clean Fuels Alliance, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

DriveClean Initiative Launches

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A diverse coalition of organizations has launched DriveClean, a multi-sector initiative to work on bipartisan legislation creating a market-based, technology-neutral national Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) during the 118th Congress that convenes in January.

The coalition is made up of organizations representing agriculture, utilities, renewable fuel producers, environmentalists, technology firms, EV charging companies, and truck and bus manufacturers. Among those groups are the American Coalition for Ethanol; Alder Fuels; Christianson CPAs & Consultants; ClearFlame Engine Technologies; CleanFuture; Electrify America; e-Mission Control; Great Plains Institute; Low-Carbon Fuels Coalition; Fulcrum Bioenergy; POET; Propel; Rivian; Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), and World Energy – just to name a few.

“The biofuels industry applauds the efforts of the DriveClean initiative, which build on the many successes of the federal Renewable Fuels Standard while leveling the playing field for additional home-grown fuels and technology,” said Geoff Cooper, RFA President and CEO. “Our members are ready to help push Clean Fuel Standard legislation across the finish line and put the U.S. on an achievable path to meeting near- and long-term decarbonization goals.”

“There are few tools that have proven more effective than Clean Fuel Standards for driving rapid decarbonization, as has been seen in states like California. They are performance-based, technology-agnostic, and fuel-neutral, the perfect combination for unlocking the private sector to invest, innovate and drive down carbon emissions,” said Dr. BJ Johnson, Co-Founder and CEO at ClearFlame Engine Technologies, who spoke at the recent 2022 American Coalition for Ethanol Conference.

Listen to his presentation at the ACE here:
ACE22 remarks BJ Johnson, ClearFlame Engine (14:00)

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

USDA Lowers Corn Use Outlook

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report for September calls for lower supplies, smaller feed and residual use, reduced exports and corn used for ethanol, and tighter ending stocks for the 2022-23 corn crop.

Projected beginning stocks for 2022/23 are 5 million bushels lower based on essentially offsetting export and corn used for ethanol changes for 2021/22. Corn production for 2022/23 is forecast at 13.9 billion bushels, down 415 million from last month on reductions to harvested area and yield. The national average yield is forecast at 172.5 bushels per acre, down 2.9 bushels. Harvested area for grain is forecast at 80.8 million acres, down 1.0 million. Total U.S. corn use is cut 250 million bushels to 14.3 billion. Feed and residual use is lowered 100 million bushels based on a smaller crop and higher expected prices. Exports are cut 100 million bushels to 2.3 billion while corn used for ethanol is lowered 50 million to 5.3 billion. With supply falling more than use, ending stocks are down 169 million bushels to 1.2 billion. The season-average corn price received by producers is raised 10 cents to $6.75 per bushel.

corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, USDA