RFA Launches Summer Fuel Giveaway Contest

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The Renewable Fuels Association is happy to be celebrating summer again by giving away free fuel starting on Memorial Day.

Our country is experiencing record fuel prices, and everyone is looking for a break at the pump. Ethanol has been providing savings for years, but even more so this summer as availability of E15 and E85 grows. To further highlight those savings and educate U.S. drivers on ethanol’s value proposition, the Renewable Fuels Association is again hosting its annual Ethanol Days of Summer Contest with weekly chances to win free fuel.

This year’s contest will be combined with RFA’s Pump up the Savings Challenge to allow consumers more ways to win. Each week RFA will award $250 in free fuel from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Find out more EthanolRFA.org/summer-contest.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

US Welcomes Japan’s Commitment to Double Ethanol Demand

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President Joe Biden met with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Japan this week and released a statement on a number of issues, including ethanol.

Prime Minister Kishida and President Biden welcomed Japan’s commitment to take all available measures to double demand for bioethanol, including for sustainable aviation fuel and on-road fuel, by 2030 to reduce dependence on imported petroleum.

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) thanked U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel for his continued support in expanding the potential for ethanol use in Japan.

“Expansion of bioethanol use in Japan is a strategic goal for the Council,” said USGC Vice President Cary Sifferath. “Ambassador Emanuel and his team at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo have been an essential partner for USGC to discuss the benefits of increased biofuels use to the Japanese consumer and a way for Japan to meet its carbon reduction goals.”

USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand and Sifferath traveled to Tokyo this March for the first time in more than two years. While there, they met with Council staff and government and industry representatives, discussing the five commodities represented by the Council and the country’s continued support of their uses.

Ethanol was a major topic of discussion while in Japan, as the Council leaders met with several organizations and Ambassador Emanuel on the potential for the expanded use of ethanol in the country.

So far in the 2021/2022 marketing year, Japan ranks as the fourth-largest export market for U.S. coarse grains, co-products, ethanol and meat products, purchasing 7,521,368 metric tons (296,101,215 bushels in corn equivalent).

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, International, Trade, USGC

Turn up the Intensity for The ACE

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Turn down the intensity for carbon, turn it up for “The ACE.” Intensity is the theme for the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) 35th annual conference coming up August 10-12 in Omaha.

Katie Muckenhirn, ACE Vice President of Public Affairs, says they are branding the 35-year-old conference as The ACE. “It also stands for the American Conference on Ethanol,” she said.

This year’s ACE agenda will offer a lot of intensity. “It not only embodies this efficiency quest that producers have to drive down their carbon intensity scores, but also how the industry is really concentrating on new markets and growth opportunities.”

That incluees information on sustainable aviation fuel and hydrogen market potential, carbon capture and storage, getting the most out of coproducts 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.

More on the agenda will be released over the coming months and there are still sponsorships availablle. Online event registration is open and reduced rate reservations are available at the event hotel: the Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District. All conference details can be found at ethanol.org/events/conference.

Alltech President and CEO Mark Lyons provides a preview.
Preview of 2022 ACE Conference - Katie Muckenhirn (6:19)

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News

RFA Concerned With EPA Candidates for RFS Review

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At least three of the 20 candidates the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to review the environmental impacts of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for Congress have a serious bias against ethanol, according to the Renewable Fuels Association, and should not be considered.

In comments submitted this week, RFA urged EPA to exclude these candidates from consideration to serve on a peer review of the agency’s upcoming triennial report to Congress, since several of theM have “an obvious ideological bias against commercial agriculture and renewable fuels like ethanol.”

“RFA finds the proposed list to include a disproportionate number of candidates representing certain issue areas, and RFA has concerns about the group’s ability to complete a thorough review without complete and balanced representation,” RFS says in the comments.

Under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, EPA is required to submit regular reports to Congress on the environmental and resource conservation impacts of the RFS, and as part of the process it recruits external candidates to peer-review the report before it is published. For its third report, following two earlier studies submitted in 2011 and 2018, EPA has proposed a list of 20 candidates from which the agency will select up to nine peer reviewers.

In the latest Ethanol Report podcast, RFA president and CEO Geoff Cooper says the main candidates for the committee they have concerns with have been involved with studies that have been debunked recently and in the past.

“EPA is recommending some candidates for this peer review that we believe are not qualified to conduct an objective or impartial review of an environmental assessment related to the RFS,” said Cooper. “And we just don’t think it’s fair or impartial or objective at all.”

The three candidates that RFA specifically objects to are Tyler J. Lark of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, whose previous work related to biofuels has suffered from known flaws and inaccuracies, which have been repeated by him in subsequent recent works.

Jason D. Hill of the University of Minnesota RFA says has shown “a similar history of bias, unwillingness to respond to legitimate critiques of his work, and unsupported and provocative statements about the RFS and corn ethanol.” A third candidate, Timothy D. Searchinger of Princeton University, has had his work on indirect land-use change thoroughly refuted and rejected by the scientific community. RFA encouraged EPA to remove Searchinger from further consideration, as he “cannot be considered impartial or fair-minded.”

RFA concluded by urging transparency in the triennial review process.,In the past, RFA has found significant issues in the prior two EPA triennial reports to Congress, involving some of the same candidates on the list EPA has proposed for this new review of the RFS.

Click here for an RFA analysis of the preliminary 2011 report, and here for a look at two studies that significantly question some of the key results of the 2018 review.

Environment, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA, RFS

Ethanol Report on Travel and Transportation

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The summer driving season gets underway this weekend and despite the highest gas prices in history drivers plan to hit the road and ethanol is making it just a little less painful.

In this edition of the Ethanol Report podcast, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Geoff Cooper discusses Memorial Day gas prices and relief at the pump with higher blends like E15. He also talks about the pending RVO release June 3, preventing bias in an upcoming RFS review, and what needs to be done to address rail challenges. In addition, RFA’s Director of Safety and Technical Programs Missy Ruff joins us to talk about about the industry’s strong record of ethanol rail safety training.

Ethanol Report 5-25-22 (23:49)

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, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

RFA Says More is Needed to Address Rail Challenges

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The Renewable Fuels Association supports regulatory changes proposed by the Surface Transportation Board to deal with rail service emergencies but says more work is needed to resolve the current failures of the system, which have had costly impacts on the U.S. ethanol industry and its customers. RFA submitted comments this week to STB regarding Revisions to Regulations for Expedited Relief for Service Emergencies.

“The U.S. railway system is clearly experiencing significant challenges, and recent service disruptions have had devastating effects on the ethanol industry,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper, noting that roughly 70% of the ethanol produced in the United States is shipped by rail. “These disruptions are hitting our nation’s ethanol producers and their customers hard, since railroads typically carry more than 370,000 carloads of ethanol each year. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that the railroads and STB take action to ensure the robust supply of lower-cost American-made ethanol safely and efficiently reaches fuel consumers in a timely manner.”

RFA expressed support for STB’s proposal to modify petition requirements to make it easier for affected parties to seek relief and minimize logistical disruptions, but also noted that the modified timeline is still too long.

In its review of current rail service deficiencies, RFA noted that average terminal dwell times remain 32% above pre-pandemic times, and the average ethanol unit train dwell time is up 64%, compared to other unit trains at 25%. The average train speed for ethanol unit trains has decreased 14% since the start of 2020, and the rail industry shed 41,000 jobs between November 2018 and January 2022—more than one-fifth of industry employment.

RFA’s comments also urge STB to “ensure that appropriate attention is being paid to the disproportionate deterioration of service for manifest trains, which are utilized by many of our member companies to ship both ethanol and co-products.” For some railroads, the average number of manifest trains holding per day is more than 20 times greater than the number of unit trains holding.

Read more from RFA.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA, transportation

RFA Campaign Promotes E15, Thanks Leadership

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

This week leading up the Memorial Day Weekend, the Renewable Fuels Association is launching a campaign with paid advertising across multiple Midwest states and on social media promoting the benefits of the lower-cost, lower-carbon E15 blend. The ads also thank the Biden administration for ensuring E15 remains available this summer to provide relief to consumers facing record gas prices.

“Thanks to decisive action by President Biden, EPA Administrator Michael Regan and USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack, U.S. drivers will be able to save money throughout the summer driving season with E15,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Drivers choosing E15 can save up to 40 cents or more per gallon at a time when gasoline prices—and oil refinery profits—are reaching record highs. Using E15 will not only save money, but also cut down on pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while bolstering American energy security. It’s the right option for cost-conscious drivers at the right time, and we’re working hard to grow E15’s availability in more markets nationwide.”

E15 is currently available at nearly 2,600 stations across 31 states.

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

Panamanian Delegation Learns About US Ethanol

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Panama group visits USGC headquarters

Panamanian stakeholders were in the United States last week to learn more about the economic and environmental benefits of implementing ethanol blend policies and to become familiar with the various aspects of the ethanol industry and the opportunities to complement local ethanol production with imports.

Led by the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC) Latin America regional ethanol consultants, Juan Diaz and Carlos Suarez, the group visited Washington, D.C., before traveling to Iowa to see the ethanol industry in action. While in Washington, the group visited USGC headquarters and
had the opportunity to hear from other organizations including the National Corn Growers Association, Renewable Fuels Association, and Growth Energy.

In Iowa, the group visited the Iowa Corn Growers Association in Des Moines, several convenience stores, POET’s bioprocessing facility in Jewell, and ended up on the farm of Will and Cassie Cannon, who also hosted Gov. Kim Reynolds Biofuel Access Bill signing this week. Cannon talked about the visit during his remarks when the governor visited the farm.

“When we hosted the group last week, they asked my why is ethanol good, why should they consider it in Panama,” Cannon said he gave them three answers. First, he said, was the amazing productivity of the American farmer to grow corn. “My second answer is that ethanol is a way to lower our emissions and clean our environment,” said Cannon. “Number three, it’s a way to lower prices and make it easier on family budgets.”

Cannon said a fourth reason is national security. “And so that’s why I’m really proud as a farmer to contributing to ethanol.” Listen to Cannon’s remarks as he introduces Gov. Reynolds.
Iowa governor signs biofuels access bill 10:35

Audio, corn, E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, USGC

New Study Shows Biodiesel Benefits at the Local Level

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Clean Fuels Alliance America has just released the latest results of a groundbreaking study on the air quality benefits of biodiesel, particularly in the context of underserved Environmental Justice communities.

The latest study from Trinity Consultants, conducted on 15 high-risk air quality communities coast-to-coast, reinforces that switching to biodiesel results in substantial health benefits. Specifically, the benefits include decreased cancer risk, fewer premature deaths, reduced asthma attacks and fewer lost workdays. B100 can achieve these benefits by reducing pollution in applications among the hardest to decarbonize –heavy-duty transportation and residential heating.

Expanding on Phase 1, completed last year, the report focused on communities in Phoenix; Las Vegas; Houston; Detroit; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Chicago; St. Louis; Indianapolis; Cleveland/Akron/Canton, Ohio; Boston; Buffalo, New York; Port of Elizabeth, New York/New Jersey; Charlotte, North Carolina; Philadelphia and the District of Columbia. The majority of the sites are named in the American Lung Association’s State of the Air report as among the “most polluted cities.”

The Trinity study found that replacing diesel fuel with biodiesel in Washington D.C. alone could reduce the symptoms of asthma (such as needing to use an inhaler) by nearly 13,000 incidents per year. It also found that annual lost workdays could be reduced by almost 5,700, representing close to $1.5 million in economic activity. Overall, the economic benefit of improved health in the Washington, D.C., area would total over $262 million each year.

Clean Fuels Alliance America CEO Donnell Rehagen said, “Although we’ve seen a decrease in diesel particulate matter overall thanks to improving technologies, a large gap remains between EJ and non-EJ communities. The time to act is now. Biodiesel and renewable diesel can make a difference in quality of life today – not waiting decades into the future.”

Learn more from Clean Fuels Alliance America.

Biodiesel, Clean Fuels Alliance, renewable diesel

FEW to Feature Ethanol Producer Keynote

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The 2022 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW) will feature a Producer Keynote Address for the first time in its 38 year history.

The address will be given by Todd Becker, President, CEO and Director of Nebraska-based Green Plains Inc. Under Becker’s leadership, Green Plains is transforming its fleet of ethanol plants into more diversified biorefineries. Recently, Green Plains announced that ongoing product and technology innovation has led to the unprecedented production of greater than 60 percent protein concentrations at its Wood River biorefinery.

With a focus on ethanol’s role in lowering the carbon intensity of transportation fuels, the general session will also include Bruce Rastetter, CEO of Summit Agricultural Group, with an update on the planned Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline, which will capture and permanently store up to 20 million tons per year of carbon dioxide from dozens of Upper Midwest ethanol plants. Earlier this month, Summit completed its equity fundraising, which resulted in more than $1 billion in total equity commitments.

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor will kick off the FEW with a policy update, followed by a panel of industry association leaders to unpack the industry’s top policy and regulatory achievements, challenges and objectives. This year’s policy roundtable includes: Chris Bliley, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Growth Energy; Troy Bredenkamp, Senior Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, Renewable Fuels Association; and Brian Jennings, CEO, American Coalition for Ethanol.

The 2022 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW) is June 13-15 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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