Ethanol Industry Worth $2.7 Billion to MN Economy

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Minnesota’s ethanol industry contributed $2.7 billion to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022, according to a new study by the University of Minnesota Extension, sponsored by MN Bio-Fuels.

The study found the industry produced 1.34 billion gallons of ethanol last year, up from 1.27 billion gallons in 2021, resulting in $8 billion in economic activity through sales and supported 25,820 jobs in Minnesota. The study said the ethanol industry also contributed $1.9 billion in income for Minnesota residents and paid $183.8 million in state and local taxes in 2022.

“This economic impact report from the University of Minnesota Extension shows that the ethanol industry continues to play a major role in Minnesota’s economy. Among other critical findings, the report notes that last year ethanol plants across the state purchased 479 million bushels of corn from Minnesota farmers, employed nearly 26,000 Minnesotans, produced 3.95 million tons of dried distillers grains for Minnesota livestock, and 409 million pounds of corn oil for biodiesel and sustainable aviation fuel applications. The takeaway, as the report so succinctly states, is that ‘ethanol production creates economic activity in Minnesota’,” said Brian Werner, executive director at the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association (MN Bio-Fuels).

The study said the 3.95 million tons of dried distillers grains produced in 2022 was enough to support 1.9 million cows, 2.4 million pigs and 59.3 million turkeys and chickens.

“For context, Minnesota farms have 2.2 million cattle, 8.6 million pigs, and 37.5 million head of turkeys,” the study said.

In addition, the study said the 409 million pounds of corn oil produced by Minnesota’s ethanol industry in 2022 was sufficient to produce 53.1 million gallons of biodiesel. Minnesota’s biodiesel production capacity is 85.5 million gallons.

corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Preliminary Agenda Announced for 2023 FEW

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Ethanol Producer Magazine has announced the preliminary agenda for the 2023 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW) taking place June 12-14, 2023 in Omaha, Nebraska.

This year’s agenda includes three co-located events: Biodiesel Summit: Sustainable Aviation Fuel & Renewable Biodiesel, Carbon Capture & Storage Summit, and the annual Ethanol 101.

“In addition to ethanol production, management, and product diversification for ethanol producers, this year’s agenda is covering multiple topics about carbon capture and storage, biodiesel and renewable diesel production, as well as sustainable aviation fuel production,” says John Nelson, vice president of operations, sales and marketing at BBI International. “And as we have in the past, the agenda will allow those new to the industry to learn some of the basics in Ethanol 101, taking place Monday, June 12th.”

Ethanol, Ethanol News, FEW

Ethanol Report with More #NEC23 Highlights

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The centerpiece of the 2023 National Ethanol Conference was a new concept vehicle that runs on both electricity and up to 85 percent ethanol.

In this edition of The Ethanol Report, Renewable Fuels Association VP of Industry Relations Robert White talks about the new Flex Fuel EV, which has already become a trade show star. We also hear from Jeff Wilkerson, Government Policy and Regulatory Affairs with Pearson Fuels, who was on a panel at the NEC talking about E85 in California, where sales last year topped a million gallons. And Phillip Morris with the Locust Street Group provides some insights from the latest consumer focus group study presented at the NEC.

Ethanol Report 3-23-23 17:52

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.

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Audio, automotive, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, National Ethanol Conference, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

Senators Reintroduce Next Generation Fuels Act

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Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), together with Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), this week led bipartisan colleagues in reintroducing the Next Generation Fuels Act, legislation that would leverage higher-octane fuels to improve engine efficiency and performance.

“Instead of continuing to buy more oil from foreign adversaries, we should be increasing the use of ethanol made by biofuel producers right here in the United States. The Next Generation Fuels Act would help put America back on the path to energy independence while easing the pain at the pump. It’s good for consumers, good for farmers and biofuel producers, and good for the environment. This is the right approach to energy policy, and I’m proud to work with my colleagues to reintroduce this bill,” Grassley said.

“I’ve long pushed for investments in readily-available, domestically-produced biofuels, which are good for drivers and farmers alike,” Klobuchar said. “By allowing the use of higher biofuel blends in our fuel supply, our bipartisan legislation will benefit our economy, decrease prices at the pump, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper said, “Americans will continue to rely on liquid fuels and internal combustion engines for decades to come, and this legislation will ensure drivers have access to more efficient high-octane, low-carbon, lower-cost fuels for their vehicles well into the future. We look forward to working with clean fuel supporters in both chambers of Congress to turn this bold vision into a reality.”

“Enactment of the clean fuel performance-based §45Z tax credit late last year in the Inflation Reduction Act enables ethanol and other clean fuel producers the opportunity to obtain a tax credit based on their unique carbon intensity score,” said American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings. “Enactment of the Next Generation Fuels Act would complement that tax credit by helping lower pump prices while enabling greater engine efficiency and biofuel demand, and we look froward to promoting the legislation during our fly-in next week.”

ACE, E15, E85, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

USDA Under Secretary Supports US Ethanol in Panama

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USGC photo: USDA Undersecretary Alexis Taylor (top right) witnesses signing of Ethanol MOU In Panama

USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis Taylor is on a trade mission to Central America-Dominican Republic and supporting U.S. ethanol on the way.

The mission included Taylor witnessing a memorandum of understanding signing between the U.S. Grains Council and the Panamanian Sugar Cane National Industry on ethanol blending.

“Our U.S. industry and the Panamanian industry are coming together to help grow this ethanol market here,” said Taylor during a media call from Panama on Wednesday. The country recently began to implement legislation allowing ethanol blending up to 5% and working with sugarcane farmers to produce it locally and increase the blend to 10%.

The MOU recognizes the importance of assessing the role and benefits of biofuels and ethanol in the promotion of economic growth, diversification of the energy matrix and decarbonization of transportation in the global energy transition to address global greenhouse gas emissions.

Taylor held a media call from Panama City, Panama Wednesday to discuss the trade mission.
USDA Under Secretary Alexis Taylor from Panama City, Panama (15:18)

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, International, Trade, USDA, USGC

EPA Holds Virtual Hearing on Proposed E15 Waiver

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The Environmental Protection Agency held a virtual hearing Tuesday on the recently proposed rule for a permanent waiver to allow eight states to sell E15 year round. For ethanol stakeholders, comments boiled down to one message: EPA took too long to respond to the governors’ request and must do something immediately to implement a waiver before summer.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper reminded the agency that it had a statutory duty to approve and implement the governors’ petition within 90 days—which would have been no later than July 27, 2022. Instead, the proposal was issued just three weeks ago, and EPA now proposes deferring implementation until 2024.

“If there truly is a problem with implementing the governors’ petition this summer, it is a problem of the Administration’s own making,” Cooper said. “EPA’s seven-month delay in taking any action at all on the petition has put the marketplace in a real jam—and it should be EPA’s responsibility to get us out of that jam. If the Agency truly believes it cannot implement this petition in time for the summer of 2023, then it should consider using other regulatory authorities to ensure consumers have uninterrupted access to lower-cost, lower-carbon E15.”

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Ron Lamberty testified that while EPA justifies delaying the effective date of the rule to 2024 by saying it had to thoroughly consider challenges to every step of the supply chain from refinery to delivery, “EPA conspicuously gives zero consideration to the economic impact their delay will have on E15 retailers and the consumers who use the fuel.”

“Retailers who have offered E15 and consumers who have purchased E15 in 2020, 2021, 2022, and who will be able to use it in 2024, will now have to quit selling and using E15 for three and a half months because of EPA foot-dragging,” Lamberty said. “More importantly, the retailers and consumers using E15 do so because it costs 5 to 15 cents less than E10 and 40 to 75 cents less than non-ethanol gasolines. Now they’ll have to spend more for fuel during the busiest time of the year because EPA didn’t get its work done on time.”

ACE, E15, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

Second Part of Iowa Carbon Study Released

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The second part of a study looking at potential impacts if Iowa prevents carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) projects was released this week by Decision Innovation Solutions (DIS) and the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA), finding that farm income could drop by more than $1 billion annually.

DIS concluded: “Ethanol production in the state of Iowa has brought tens of billions of dollars in increased economic activity to the state and has been a significant factor in the rise in net farm cash income for Iowa’s farmers. That economic activity could be lost if Iowa’s ethanol plants are not enabled to be competitive with ethanol plants in other states that have access to carbon capture and sequestration via pipelines or direct injection into deep, underground saline formations.”

Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) commissioned DIS to conduct an all-encompassing economic impact study based on a scenario where Iowa ethanol plants are excluded from using CCS while pipelines in the surrounding states go forward. The first phase of the study found that current market and policy dynamics would result in Iowa ethanol production becoming noncompetitive. As production migrates out of state by the end of the decade, Iowa ethanol production could contract by 75% with Iowa farmers losing local markets for over 1 billion bushels of corn annually.

“Ethanol production has done more to increase farm income than anything else over the last twenty years,” stated IRFA executive director Monte Shaw. “If Iowa legislators adopt laws that prevent ethanol production from remaining competitive in the state, they are also imposing an 85 percent pay cut on farmers who produce corn. This would be as unwise for the state as it would be unwelcome for our farmers. IRFA continues to ask all Iowans to unite behind a fair and equitable path forward for CCS projects in this state.”

Shaw held a virtual press conference Monday to announce the study results with David Miller, Chief Economist of Decision Innovation Solutions, and Iowa corn grower Tim Recker.
Iowa RFA study phase two results (24:36)

Audio, biofuels, Carbon, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Farming

Nuseed Launches 2023 Carinata Program at Classic

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Look, up in the sky! It’s a mustard seed! It’s a cover crop! No, it’s super Carinata sustainable aviation fuel!

Once a lowly Ethiopian mustard seed with little to offer for human consumption, this plant is growing in popularity as a certified sustainable non-food cover crop that can be used as a low-carbon feedstock for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

“Carinata is an exciting crop,” said Roger Rotariu, Nuseed North American Marketing Lead. “We position it as a cover crop for the Southern U.S. grower with yield potential and profitability opportunities.”

The Nuseed Carinata program pays growers for what they grow and how they grow it. Growers receive contract payment for the grain harvested from the cover crop and for certifiable sustainable farming practices, like reduced tillage and lower synthetic nitrogen applications.

“Carinata is grown for a specific downstream market and that is sustainable aviation fuel,” said Rotariu. “So it’s a feedstock to allow planes to continue to fly and meet the carbon requirements that we all know are coming in the future.”

Rotariu says carinata has all the benefits of a cover crop for farmers, with a profitability advantage.

Learn more in this interview with Rotariu from Commodity Classic.
Classic 23 interview with Roger Rotariu, Nuseed (8:04)

Audio, aviation biofuels, Commodity Classic, feedstocks, SAF, Sustainability

RFA Provides Comments on California LCFS

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The Renewable Fuels Association submitted comments last week to the California Air Resources Board that identified several areas in CARB’s proposal and underlying analysis that need improvement.

The top area of improvement cited by RFA Chief Economist Scott Richman is immediate approval of E15 for use in California. “Migrating all E10 to E15 in California today would result in approximately 2 million metric tons annually of additional GHG reductions,” says Richman.

Richman also noted that while the California Transportation Supply (CATS) model used by CARB incorporates the average carbon intensity (CI) of ethanol in the market today and assumes that CI improvements will continue in the future, it assumes that the CI of ethanol produced at facilities using carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) will be flat over time. “On the contrary, it is reasonable to expect substantial reductions in the CI of ethanol broadly, and that ethanol with CCS in particular is likely to achieve steady reduction and, ultimately, net-zero emissions over the next two decades.”

Finally, the current low credit prices under the LCFS are clearly inhibiting new investment in low-carbon fuel production. The long period of time (up to three years) to update the LCFS given the regulatory process in California is creating uncertainty as to the longer-term trajectory of the program, and the incorporation of a compliance acceleration mechanism into the LCFS could potentially address this problem.

Read the comments.

Carbon, carbon capture, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Low Carbon Fuel Standard, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

California E85 Sales Surpass 100 Million Gallons

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California drivers set a new record buying E85 (85% ethanol) fuel last year, up 66 percent over 2021 and more than doubled the pre-pandemic record set in 2019, according to new data released by the California Air Resources Board.

The Renewable Fuels Association reports that California drivers purchased over 103.5 million gallons (mg) of E85 flex fuel, up from about 62.5 mg in 2021.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said drivers are seeking out options at the pump that are both more affordable and better for the environment. “E85 substantially reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to gasoline, and the fuel typically sells for 25 to 40 percent less in California. This new data show that when E85 is made available and effectively promoted, FFV drivers will absolutely respond,” said Cooper.

Cooper noted that the surge in E85 sales in California is due to a combination of factors. “These results show what is possible when policies like the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard and federal Renewable Fuel Standard are combined with smart promotional and marketing campaigns,” he said. “The California E85 experience should serve as a model for other states to emulate.”

RFA Member Pearson Fuels is California’s largest provider of E85 and has witnessed how the momentum is growing for E85. “Part of the massive growth last year came from severe gasoline price spikes, which saw E85 priced nearly $3 per gallon cheaper than regular unleaded gasoline,” said Doug Vind, managing member of Pearson Fuels. “In 2022 alone, we estimate FFV owners using E85 saved upwards of $200 million at the pump. As we continue to add stations, our 2023 volumes are tracking ahead of last year – so we expect solid growth again.”

E85, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA