Farmers, Car Dealers and Oil Companies Sue Over EV Push

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An unlikely coalition of farmers, car dealers, and the oil industry have joined together to push back against the push for mandated electric vehicles.

The National Corn Growers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation and six auto dealers representing 16 brands and collectively operating dozens of dealerships in major markets across the country joined the American Petroleum Institute today in filing a lawsuit in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s light-duty and medium-duty vehicle emissions standards for model years 2027-2032. The groups said EPA exceeded its congressional authority with the regulation and rendered a decision that values one tool for fighting climate change over others.

NCGA and AFBF argue that the emissions standards, which require 68% of new passenger vehicles and 43% of new medium-duty trucks and vans to be electric by 2032, “ignore the proven benefits corn ethanol offers in reducing greenhouse gas emissions” and will hurt farmers by driving up the cost of farm vehicles and forcing farmers to “rely on a charging network that does not yet exist in rural areas.”

AFBF, Ag group, corn, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NCGA

Renewable Diesel Growth Impacts Feedstock Trade

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USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) reports that tremendous growth in demand for renewable diesel over the past few years is resulting in significant impacts to global feedstock trade.

Renewable diesel, like biodiesel, is produced from the same renewable feedstocks such as vegetable oils, animal fats, or used cooking oil (UCO). The difference is that renewable diesel is produced using a hydrogen treatment which makes it chemically equivalent to petroleum diesel and can therefore be blended at higher levels and transported using existing pipelines.

As a result, the United States is rapidly expanding imports of animal fats and vegetable oils to both use as feedstocks for renewable diesel production and to backfill other feedstocks, like soybean oil, that have been diverted to renewable diesel production.

The report says the drastic expansion of renewable diesel production has been policy driven and while it is expected to continue to grow and alter feedstock markets the rate of growth “will be highly dependent on federal and state policies, availability of feedstocks, and sustained U.S soybean meal export gains.”

Read the report.

Biodiesel, biofuels, renewable diesel, USDA

Iowa Corn Pumped for NASCAR Series Race

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Iowa Corn is pumped up for the first-ever NASCAR Cup Series race in the state, happening this weekend in Newton, Iowa. The Iowa Corn 350, Powered by Ethanol, will showcase the performance of ethanol at the fastest short-track on the planet, which is surrounded by corn fields.

“As a farmer, seeing NASCAR run on ethanol is a proud moment. It’s proof that our hard work growing renewable crops can power something as thrilling as a race car, while also driving us towards a greener future.” stated Stan Nelson, a farmer from Middletown and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board President. “Gearing up for the weekend ahead, I am pleased to share with the NASCAR family how we utilize higher blends of ethanol to make a sustainable difference every day with a cleaner-burning, more affordable fuel option at the pump.”

The Iowa Corn 350, Powered by Ethanol, will take place at 6 p.m. CT, Sunday, June 16, 2024, and be shown live on USA Network.

corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NASCAR

Study Shows Plug-in Hybrid Flex Fuel Vehicle Advantages

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A new study released by the Renewable Fuels Association this week documents the economic and environmental benefits of the world’s first plug-in electric hybrid flex fuel vehicle (PHEFFV), concludes that it offers distinct advantages over fully electric vehicles.

Last year, RFA converted a 2022 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid electric vehicle to a flex fuel vehicle capable of operating on gasoline and any blend of denatured ethanol up to 85 percent. After a 15-month study on the vehicle, RFA found some impressive results when using E85, including:
– Reductions in lifecycle GHG emissions that rival, or outperform, the GHG reductions achievable with many battery electric vehicles;
– Substantial reductions (when compared to gasoline-powered vehicles) in emissions of harmful tailpipe pollutants like nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), and carbon monoxide (CO);
– Lower cost of ownership and operation (purchase price, fuel cost per mile) than a similar BEV; and
– No meaningful loss in fuel economy, with the Escape experiencing just a 1.5 percent reduction in miles-per-gallon compared to the EPA estimated rate using E10.

According to the report, “Combining plug-in technology and flex fuel capability makes this vehicle the most adaptable and flexible in the world. It can be refueled with any fuel at any time, offering optimal convenience and affordability to the consumer. The PHEFFV overcomes many of the barriers to BEV adoption commonly cited by consumers, including limited driving range, high purchase price, reliability, and lack of refueling (recharging) infrastructure.”

Read more from RFA.

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

FEW Awards Honor Industry Leaders

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Jeanne McCaherty, Guardian Energy, received Women in Ethanol award

Jeanne McCaherty, CEO of Guardian Energy Management and former Renewable Fuels Association chair, was recognized with this year’s Women in Ethanol Award (WIE) at the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW) Tuesday.

McCaherty was awarded this honor during the second annual award ceremony. Ethanol Producer Magazine recognized women within the ethanol industry and highlighted the crucial role women play in the growth and success of the ethanol industry. The award ceremony celebrated all women who have made significant contributions to the industry, whether it be through scientific research, business leadership, or advocacy efforts.

In addition to McCaherty, David Zimmerman, CEO of Big River Resources, LLC, and Mark Yancey, CTO of D3MAX and SAFFiRE Renewables, LLC, were recognized at the 40th annual FEW being held in Minneapolis this week.

Zimmerman received the 2024 High Octane Award for his leadership, integrity, and passion for the biofuels industry. Zimmerman has led the company to achieving financial goals, prioritizing a safe work environment, and guiding the industry’s trade organization. Along with being CEO, he is a current board member of Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Association, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Illinois Renewable Fuels Association, and Wisconsin Renewable Fuels Association.

Yancey was awarded the 2024 Award of Excellence for contributions to the industry through research, technical advisory, and development activities. Yancey has over 30 years of experience in the ethanol industry including project development, technology commercialization, and has assisted in developing seven bioenergy plants. His current responsibilities include the development and design of the D3MAX process and licensing the D3MAX technology to customers. The first commercial D3MAX plant is in operation at Ace Ethanol in Stanley, Wisconsin.

Other honors presented Tuesday at FEW include the 2024 recipients of the Kathy Bryan Memorial Scholarship, Cali Gutz and Peyton Graves. Cali will be attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Peyton will be attending Purdue University–West Lafayette this fall. In addition, former BBI owner Mike Bryan received the 2024 Distinguished Service Award for his advocacy, leadership, and commitment to ethanol production worldwide.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO congratulated all of this year’s honorees, in particular Zimmerman and McCaherty who serve on the RFA board.

“RFA is thrilled to see David Zimmerman and Jeanne McCaherty being recognized for their invaluable contributions to the U.S. ethanol industry,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Our association—and the entire ethanol industry—is lucky to have such thoughtful and passionate leaders in our midst. The industry as we know it today simply would not exist without the vision and dedication of people like Jeanne and David. We congratulate them on their well-deserved awards and look forward to celebrating their achievements today at the FEW.”

The 40th annual FEW began on Monday, June 10, and will run through Wednesday, June 12 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, FEW, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

ISO Updated Marine Fuel Specs Include Biodiesel

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The International Standards Organization (ISO) recently updated its specifications for fuel use in marine applications, including biodiesel blends up to B100, ensuring their suitability and safety for use in nearly every distillate and residual fuel grade.

According to Clean Fuels Alliance America, this marks a significant step forward in promoting sustainable fuel options within the maritime industry.

By adopting the updated spec, ISO aims to facilitate the integration of low-carbon liquid fuels including biodiesel into the marine fuel supply chain, contributing to greater greenhouse gas emissions reductions and supporting efforts to combat climate change.

ISO 8217:2024 ensures that biodiesel blends up to 100% meet rigorous performance standards, maintaining engine efficiency and reliability. The specification addresses critical parameters such as viscosity, flash point, and sulfur content, guaranteeing that biodiesel blends perform on par with conventional marine fuels.

“With the adoption of this updated specification, we are paving the way for higher blends of biodiesel use in marine transportation,” said Scott Fenwick, Technical Director at Clean Fuels Alliance America. “Biodiesel offers a viable solution for reducing emissions now while promoting sustainability on a global scale.”

Biodiesel, biofuels, Boats, Clean Fuels Alliance

Sustainable Aviation Caucus Created in Congress

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Representatives Sharice Davids (D-KS) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) this week announced the creation of the Congressional Sustainable Aviation Caucus (CSAC).

Co-chaired by Davids and Johnson, the caucus will work to reduce the aviation industry’s environmental impact and maximize its financial sustainability. By accessing federal policy, holding forums, and bringing together public and private partners, the caucus will play a key role in the integration of new technologies into the nation’s aviation network.

“The aviation industry is flying towards a more sustainable future. From sustainable aviation fuel to Advanced Air Mobility to hydrogen aviation, there are a lot of shifts we can expect to see in the coming years,” said Rep. Johnson. “Congress should advance legislative priorities that support innovation through biofuels, national security, and passenger safety.”

Numerous initiatives are underway to advance sustainability goals through the adoption of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and the integration of technologies that improve aircraft fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and save money in the long run. The CSAC will provide a forum to stay informed about these initiatives and to assess the policies, processes, and resources needed to further environmental gains, enhance fuel supply resiliency, and strengthen national security.

biofuels, biojet fuel, Ethanol, Ethanol News, SAF

Biofuels Help Drive Economic Impact

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The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has just released a new report on “The Economic Impact of the U.S. Industrial Bioeconomy” that spotlights economic activity tied to the transformation of renewable biomass into fertilizers, bioplastics, biofuels, bio-lubricants, and other industrial bioproducts.

“Our abundant natural resources, unparalleled agricultural sector, and strong leadership in the sciences have combined to establish America’s industrial bioeconomy as a powerful engine for U.S. growth,” said Curt Blades, Senior Vice President of Industry Sectors & Product Leadership at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. “These are high-tech jobs, often in union-heavy supply chains like those for biofuels, that add value to the economy at every stage. With the right support from Washington and a continued focus on renewable products, this segment has the potential to turbo-charge U.S. manufacturing.”

According to the report, in 2023, the U.S. industrial bioeconomy supported nearly 644,000 domestic jobs, contributed $210 billion to the U.S. GDP, and drove $49 billion in wages. In terms of total economic output, the top five states were Illinois, Iowa, California, Nebraska, and Minnesota. Other states, Georgia and Ohio, broke into the top five when looking specifically at direct and total employment, respectively.

The report was commissioned by AEM together with a coalition of organizations including Clean Fuels Alliance America, National Corn Growers Association, Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Association, ADM, Aemetis, Bayer, Bunge, Marquis Energy, Novonesis, and POET.

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Iowa RFA Criticizes Sierra Club Report

Cindy Zimmerman 1 Comment

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) is blasting a report from the Sierra Club Iowa Chapter this week claiming the Summit Carbon pipeline project in the state will need over three billion gallons of water and threatens to drain the aquifer.

“Today’s ‘so-called’ study from the Iowa Sierra Club is no more based in reality than the report they released a few weeks ago claiming that CCS does not lower the carbon intensity of Iowa ethanol production. There is simply no basis in fact for the numbers they are throwing around,” said IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw

“It appears they have exaggerated the potential water usage by at least a factor of four. To put it in context, one inch of rain across Chickasaw county alone equates to 8.8 billion gallons of water, roughly 10 times what is needed for all CCS projects across the state annually. According to Iowa State University, Chickasaw county averages roughly 2.7 inches of rain per month over the last 123 years.”

The Sierra Club report claims “Summit’s 31 carbon capture facilities across Iowa will require 3.36 billion gallons of water from Iowa’s aquifers annually—equivalent to adding 10-11 new ethanol plants in Iowa” and calls for the Iowa DNR to deny any water withdrawal permits for Carbon Capture.

“If they truly believe Iowa is in the middle of a water crisis, maybe they should start crunching the numbers on how much water it takes to keep an 18-hole golf course green in August,” said Shaw. “This is nothing more than another baseless attempt at scaring people.”

carbon capture, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA, water

U.S. Ethanol Exports Jump in April

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For only the second time in history, U.S. ethanol exports in April exceeded the 200-million-gallon (mg) mark, increasing 34% to 214.2 mg, the highest volume since the record set in March 2018, according to the latest Trade Monitor report from the Renewable Fuels Association.

Canada continued to be the largest importer for the 37th consecutive month, taking in 62.3 mg, a 31% increase and six-month high. The United Kingdom saw an 80% surge to a record 34.2 mg. Conversely, exports to India and the European Union decreased to 18.3 mg (-15%) and 13.9 mg (-31%), respectively. Several other larger markets reached multiyear highs, including Oman (12.4 mg), Brazil (11.9 mg), Nigeria (10.1 mg), Mexico (9.8 mg), and the Philippines (8.8 mg). Notably, April was the first time since May 2022 that significant volumes landed in Brazil. Year-to-date U.S. ethanol exports totaled 662.5 mg, up 38% from the same period last year and marking the highest volume in six years.

Meanwhile, exports of the ethanol co-product dried distillers grains (DDGS) declined eight percent in April to 970,164 metric tons (mt) despite growth across most larger markets.

Shipments to Mexico rebounded by 36% to 233,715 mt, maintaining its position as our top DDGS customer for the fourth straight month. Indonesia set a record with a 14% increase to 126,042 mt, surpassing South Korea, which saw imports fall by 14% to a five-month low of 123,357 mt. Other larger markets showed growth, including Vietnam (99,862 mt, +10%), Canada (60,801 mt, +9%), the European Union (47,541 mt, +69%), Ireland (47,343 mt, +122%), and Morocco (40,597 mt, 150%). The remaining 20% of U.S. DDGS exports were spread across 29 countries. Year-to-date DDGS exports reached 3.91 million mt, up 22% compared to the previous year.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA