ACE Announces “Gold Standard” Conference Theme

Cindy Zimmerman

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) is setting “The Gold Standard” as the theme for its 37th annual conference, August 14-16, at the Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District.

“ACE is devoting considerable time, effort and resources to help ethanol producers and the farmers supplying them become the gold standard when it comes to producing low-carbon fuel,” said Brian Jennings, ACE CEO. “We invite ethanol producers and industry members to join us in Omaha this summer to discover how they can benefit from the work ACE is undertaking to enhance the value and demand for ethanol.”

“For nearly four decades, biofuel stakeholders have used the ACE conference as a platform to discuss the latest technological advancements and market updates, as well as the industry’s future direction and ambitions,” said Katie Muckenhirn, Vice President of Public Affairs at ACE. “Our industry is setting the benchmark for sustainable energy solutions, and we’re crafting an event agenda that covers topics designed to shape the continued success of this industry.”

Registration is now officially open for the conference which will cover topics like maximizing tax credit opportunities under the Inflation Reduction Act, the retail marketplace for E15 and E85, farm-to-biofuel carbon market collaborations, trade developments and more. The conference also offers breakout sessions with subjects falling under three different tracks: leadership and management, technology and carbon.

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Ethanol, Ethanol News

RFA Safety Program Continues Winning Streak

Cindy Zimmerman

The Renewable Fuels Association safety program continues its winning streak, receiving its 12th consecutive National Achievement Award from TRANSCAER, a national hazardous materials safety coalition. In addition, RFA’s Director of Safety and Technical Programs Missy Ruff received an Individual Recognition Award for her efforts.

“The U.S. ethanol industry continues to maintain an excellent safety record, which is a direct result of RFA’s ongoing efforts to prepare ethanol producers, shippers, first responders, local community leaders, and others,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “We are honored to again receive this award from TRANSCAER, and I am especially proud to see our director of safety and technical programs, Missy Ruff, continue to be recognized for her leadership and commitment to the industry’s safety.”

Speaking of safety, RFA is has two events focused on safety coming up next month. A Train the Trainer Ethanol Emergency Response webinar is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CDT Tuesday, June 4, open to anyone with the responsibility or interest in teaching operator-level ethanol emergency response. Click here for information and to register.

On Wednesday, June 5, an Ethanol Safety and Steel Drum 101 webinar will be offered from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT. Participants will get an in-depth look at proper training techniques needed when responding to an ethanol-related emergency and gain helpful information to better comprehend the components of steel drums. Click here for information and to register.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA, safety

Ethanol Groups Petition Supreme Court Over SRE Decision

Cindy Zimmerman

The Renewable Fuels Association, together with Growth Energy, filed a petition in the Supreme Court of the United States Monday requesting review of a Fifth Circuit Court opinion on proper venue for challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s small refinery exemption (SRE) petitions under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

In a November 2023 decision, the Fifth Circuit concluded that it was an appropriate venue to hear a challenge brought by oil refiners whose SRE petitions had been denied by EPA. RFA intervened in the Fifth Circuit case on behalf of EPA and argued that the only proper venue for SRE challenges is the D.C. Circuit Court because SREs are nationally applicable and have nationwide scope or effect.

Similar challenges brought by refiners were transferred or dismissed in the Third, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts, as those courts all affirmed they were not the proper venue to review a nationwide policy issue. In addition, the dissenting opinion in the Fifth Circuit case, written by Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham, agreed that the Fifth Circuit was an inappropriate venue and that the challenge should have instead been heard in the D.C. Circuit.

“As our petition makes clear, the Fifth Circuit never should have heard this challenge brought by refiners,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “As underscored by five other Circuit Courts and the dissenting opinion in the Fifth Circuit, the D.C. Circuit is obviously the only proper venue for reviewing EPA’s denial of small refinery exemption petitions. The Supreme Court should overturn the Fifth Circuit’s flawed opinion and ensure that any SRE challenges are considered by the singular D.C. Circuit venue.”

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

USGC Provides Ethanol Education in Latin America

Cindy Zimmerman

USGC image

As many countries across Latin America (LTA) seek to develop energy transition policies, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) along with the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) have partnered to train government officials and industry and refinery representatives on the benefits of ethanol and its use in gasoline blending.

The training program began in February 2024 with the launch of a virtual course in which more than 380 people from 13 Latin American countries registered. The course content included six modules on various topics, including biofuels and climate change, global ethanol markets and sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

“The last two weeks have been very fruitful, as the program has held face-to-face workshops in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico and more recently Peru. More than 160 participants from eight countries have gained a greater understanding of the topics covered in the virtual course and have learned about international experiences with ethanol blends from the United States, Argentina, Bolivia and Colombia, among other countries,” said Juan Diaz, USGC LTA regional ethanol consultant.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, Grains, International, USGC

Senate Resolution Opposes EV Tax Credit Rule

Cindy Zimmerman

Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) is one of six Senators who joined to introduce a resolution of disapproval last week opposing the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s final rule implementing the 30D Clean Vehicle Credit for electric vehicles with batteries containing Chinese sourced materials like graphite. The resolution was sponsored by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and co-sponsored by cosponsored by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Mike Braun (R-IN).

“President Biden wants to prop up America’s transition to EVs by keeping Chinese graphite flowing into the United States. As usual, China will profit richly off the administration’s ‘green’ energy dreams. If Joe Biden wants to force EVs on Americans, he should at least find another source of graphite,” said Senator Fischer.

A similar resolution is expected to be introduced in the House.

Electric Vehicles

Iowa Renewable Fuels Issues Forum Scheduled

Cindy Zimmerman

Candidates for the Republican nomination for Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District will address key issues for the state at the Rural and Renewable Fuels Issue Forum to be held May 30 at the Western Iowa Tech Community College in Cherokee.

Candidates U.S. Representative Randy Feenstra and Kevin Virgil have both confirmed their attendance at the event sponsored by the Agribusiness Association of Iowa, Iowa Biodiesel Board and Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

During the forum each candidate will be given the opportunity to address a series of questions impacting rural Iowa, including topics on farming, livestock production, renewable fuels, and rural life.

Rep. Randy Feenstra hails from Hull, Iowa where he has served in several different capacities in Hull, Sioux Center and as a Senator at the statehouse before winning the Republican nomination for the 4th congressional district in 2020. Leading up to his role of U.S. Representative, Feenstra held a career in sales and as a professor at Dordt University. He was reelected in 2022 and now seeks a third term.

Kevin Virgil is an O’Brien County native. Virgil served in the Army and later joined the Center Intelligence Agency (CIA). He has also led a career on Wall Street and as an entrepreneur when he co-founded a data analytics company called Polysentry. He now seeks the nomination for Iowa’s 4th district.

Biodiesel, Ethanol, Ethanol News, politics

Groups Urge Treasury to Finalize Clean Fuels Credit

Cindy Zimmerman

Over two dozen organizations representing all segments of the renewable fuels industry sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen this week urging her to finalize and publish guidance for the §45Z Clean Fuels Production Credit as soon as possible.

The credit, which was created in the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, is designed to incentivize domestic production of low-carbon fuels on a technology-neutral basis. The value of the credit is based on the life-cycle greenhouse gas emission score of each fuel.

“With the Sec. 45Z credit set to take effect January 1, 2025, our member companies and organizations may face significant headwinds and business risk if this guidance is not published promptly,” the groups write. “Any extended delays in publication of guidance for the Sec. 45Z credit may disrupt project timelines, impede capital flows, and threaten existing production and demand for low carbon renewable fuels.”

Among the 25 organizations signing the letter were Clean Fuels Alliance America, Airlines for America, American Soybean Association, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, National Corn Growers Association, National Oilseed Processors Association, Renewable Fuels Association, SAF Coalition, and U.S. Canola Association.

aviation biofuels, Biodiesel, Clean Fuels Alliance, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Court Rejects Oil Industry Challenge to RFS

Cindy Zimmerman

A D.C. Circuit Court ruling on Tuesday upholds EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standards for 2020-2022 and rejects the oil refining industry’s challenges to the rule. The Court found that EPA acted appropriately in setting RFS standards for those years, including a supplemental volume requirement to comply with a 2016 D.C. Circuit Court decision.

“Once again, renewable fuel producers claim that EPA’s standards are set too low, while petroleum refiners contend they are too high,” read the court’s opinion. “We hold that EPA complied with the law and reasonably exercised its discretion in setting the renewable fuel requirements for the three years at issue. We therefore deny the petitions for review.”

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper said the decision will help set the tone for future RFS rulemakings. “Specifically, we are pleased that the Court confirmed EPA’s approach to assessing certain statutory factors and considering the benefits of renewable fuels,” said Cooper. “Further, we are strongly encouraged by the Court’s confirmation of EPA’s authority to account for potential small refinery exemptions on a prospective basis when setting standards. Finally, we are pleased with the Court’s decision to uphold EPA’s authority to impose a supplemental 250-million-gallon volume in 2022 to make up for the volume that EPA improperly waived in 2016.”

RFA and other biofuel stakeholders intervened in the lawsuit in support of EPA.

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

Clean Fuels Makes Governing Board Changes

Cindy Zimmerman

Clean Fuels Alliance America announced recent changes within its Governing Board.

Courtney Lawrenson, Vice President – Oils and Energy at AGP, has been appointed by the board to serve as Second Vice-Chair succeeding Gary Louis who recently retired from his role with Seaboard Energy as as President and CEO. Peter Ostenfeld-Rosenthal, incoming President and CEO at Seaboard Energy, joins the board as a new member replacing Louis. In addition, Kerry Fogarty, Quality Control Manager at Incobrasa Industries, Ltd. joined the board filling a vacancy left by the resignation of Danielle Brannen, who represented New Leaf Biofuel.

Clean Fuels has also welcomed several new members over the past eight months who share a commitment to sustainable industry growth. These include Alliance Technical Group, North Carolina Soybean Producers Association, Nuseed, PepsiCo, RenStar, RICHARD, Westmor Industries, WayTrade.

“We are witnessing unprecedented growth driven by increasing awareness of the environmental and economic benefits of our fuels,” said Donnell Rehagen, Clean Fuels CEO. “Our Governing Board and our members play a vital role in advocating for policies that support this growth and drive innovation in clean fuel technologies.”

Biodiesel, Clean Fuels Alliance

LanzaTech Earnings Soar on SAF

Cindy Zimmerman

LanzaTech is reporting a six percent increase in revenue the first quarter of this year over 2023, thanks in part to a boost from its sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) investment in LanzaJet.

“The robust growth in LanzaJet and the SAF market more broadly mirrors the rising demand for our waste-based ethanol, reflecting the expansion and impact of our commercial project pipeline, as well as the growing focus on and adoption of alternative aviation fuels. We’re laying the groundwork for the emerging carbon economy, supported by our steadfast commitment and clear financial path forward, ensuring our efforts today shape a sustainable, deliberate future.” said Jennifer Holmgren, Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer of LanzaTech.

LanzaJet opened its 10 million gallon per year ethanol-to-sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) facility in January 2024 and is on track for production of fuel in the second quarter 2024. Located in Soperton, Georgia, LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels represents one of the most promising SAF technologies in nearly a decade to reach commercial readiness.

aviation biofuels, biojet fuel, Ethanol, Ethanol News, SAF, Uncategorized