“We are disappointed that a sizeable minority of Senators believes in subsidizing the entrenched oil industry at the expense of new domestic fuel sources,” stated IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “After 100 years, the time has come for the taxpayers to stop subsidizing Big Oil. We need an ‘all of the above’ energy policy, not an oil subsidy energy policy.”
LSCP Ethanol Plant Impresses Governor Branstad
Staff Writer Mike Leckband of the Cherokee Chronicle Times said Iowa Governor Terry Branstad (pictured on right) was impressed with the Little Sioux Corn Processors (LSCP) Ethanol Plant in Cherokee County.
When Branstad arrived at the plant, he was greeted by Board Members, then directed on a tour of the facility. The Board was there to answer any questions Gov. Branstad had, and to inform the Governor of significant information regarding the plant, such as: the LSCP ethanol plant began producing ethanol in April of 2003, currently has 45 employees, and sells 90 percent of its ethanol locally.
While on tour, Gov. Branstad was asked about his thoughts of the facility, to which he had an enthusiastic one-word reply, “Impressive.” As the tour came to a close, the Governor discussed legislative issues with the board. The board stressed the need for an E15 differential in any fuel tax legislation with Governor Branstad. Lunch with Branstad and others who were on tour marked the end of the Governor's visit to the plant.
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IRFA and IBB Thank Iowa’s Congressional Delegation for Supporting Smart Energy Policy on National Biodiesel Day
The following letter to the editor was submitted to the Des Moines Register by Iowa Biodiesel Board and IRFA in commemoration of National Biodiesel Day, which was Sunday, March 18.
March 18 is National Biodiesel Day, commemorating the birthday of Rudolf Diesel. Diesel was a biofuels visionary, and ran early models of the engine that bears his name on peanut oil.
Iowa has reason to celebrate. This cleaner burning fuel is generating economic activity, supporting Iowa jobs, and little by little, is making us more energy independent.
Yet, we could do even more. Our plants aren’t all running at capacity – but with smart growth of the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), they could be. The RFS sets a floor of demand for biodiesel at 1 billion gallons in 2012. This policy has been highly effective in stimulating domestic fuels, and yet members of the Obama Administration are blocking modest growth targets.
This month, a bipartisan group of 60 members of Congress from across the country signed letters to the White House urging the Administration to follow through with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to increase the biodiesel volumes to 1.28 billion gallons in 2013. We are proud to say that this includes Sen. Charles Grassley (R), Sen. Tom Harkin (D), Rep. Leonard Boswell (D), Rep. Tom Latham (R), Rep. Bruce Braley (D), Rep. Dave Loebsack (D), and Rep. Steve King (R) - the entire Iowa delegation!
Erratic fuel prices should remind us of why Congress started the RFS in the first place. It diversifies our energy supplies and limits our vulnerability to price spikes. Why back off now? If the Administration rescinds this increase, it would stunt the industry's growth and likely lead to plant closures and thousands of lost jobs—including here in Iowa.
So celebrate National Biodiesel Day, and thank our Iowa Congressional leaders for supporting the RFS. Rudolph Diesel would be proud.
Randy Olson, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board
Grant Menke, biofuels manager of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
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RFA Heavily Anticipating E15 Introduction to Begin Soon
An article in Ethanol Producer Magazine by Kris Bevill claims that after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) March 15 approval for a model Misfueling Mitigation Plan (MMP) for E15, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is moving forward with an aggressive effort to educate fuel retailers on compliance requirements and assisting them in completing the necessary steps to provide E15 to their customers. In a March 19 conference call, RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen said he believes the EPA’s role in approving E15 for consumer use is now largely completed and he expects the fuel to be available for sale in certain areas very soon.
Dinneen noted that because ethanol is currently less expensive than gasoline, marketers should be able to offer E15 to consumers for a less expensive price than E10 or any other fuel. “The job now is largely the industry’s to make E15 a commercial reality,” said Dinneen. More than 20 companies have submitted E15 registrations to the EPA, showing their intent to make E15 readily available to consumers. According to Dinneen, the EPA has approved those registrations and is expected to announce the approvals soon.
The EPA requires companies to create and fund E15 fuel surveys, requiring samples of E15 (and other surrounding fuels) to be tested for ethanol content and Reid vapor pressure on a quarterly basis, as a part of the MMP program. Additionally, the surveys will be used to verify the correct placement and use of required E15 labels on dispensers. Dinneen expects the RFA to make the new MMP available for use by producers and blenders soon, completing the federal E15 regulatory requirements and leaving only state-based regulations to be modified to allow E15 into the market. RFA Vice President of Technical Services Kristy Moore said some states have already taken steps to approve E15 for use in 2001 or newer vehicles and expects retailers in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas to be the first to sell the fuel. Meaning those states could introduce E15 in just a few weeks, according to Moore.
To make it as easy as possible for retailers to make E15 readily available to consumers, the RFA has published a 44-page E15 Retailer Handbook with the goal of providing retailers with comprehensive information on E15 in simplified terms. Moore said of the handbook, “Even though E10 and E15 are nearly identical fuels, there is some additional regulatory work with E15 and we want to make that as less cumbersome and burdensome as possible." To access the handbook go to: http://ethanolrfa.3cdn.net/62e6e5d16c896ef941_tzm6vusyl.pdf
According to RFA Marketing Director Robert White, the BYO Ethanol campaign, a joint venture between the RFA and the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) to inform and educate retailers on the benefits of blender pumps, will also play a vital role in E15 education efforts because blender pumps are the least expensive way for retailers to offer E15. White doesn’t expect E15 to push E10 out of the marketplace, because of the large number of vehicles and small engines that will require a lesser blend, but rather be a great addition to the marketplace.
RFA and ACE are hosting a free E15 webinar for retail station owners and marketers on April 5. To
register go to: http://byoethanol.com/
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Free Biodiesel Workshop for Retailers and Distributors
A free biodiesel workshop at the Waterloo Elks Lodge #290 located at 407 East Park Ave., is set for Thursday, April 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Register by April 9, by calling (515) 334-1028 or by visiting www.communication-insight.com/client/biodiesel/rsvp.html.
The retailer program takes place from 9:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and includes lunch. This part of the free event focuses on information regarding meeting Iowa tax incentive requirements, RIN trading, pricing and extracting values, maintaining quality control throughout the biodiesel supply chain, grant opportunity education, and instruction on marketing biodiesel to fleet customers.
The fleet program also includes lunch, and takes place from noon until 3:00 p.m. This section of the free event encompasses information on incorporating B20 into year-round fleet use, integrating biodiesel blends into fleets, and education on biodiesel’s economic value to fleets.
This event is brought to you by: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Iowa Clean Cities Coalition, Iowa Biodiesel Board, United Soybean Board, Iowa Soybean Association, Renewable Energy Group and Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa.
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Ethanol Grassroots Fly-In Brings Big Turnout to Capitol Hill
The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and more than 60 of its grassroots
members visited Capitol Hill on March 27 and 28 for the group’s “Biofuels Beltway March” annual fly-in.
The ethanol advocates participated in 196 meetings with Members of Congress or their staffs in the course of the two days, bringing ethanol information to lawmakers representing 47 states. The group’s priorities included highlighting the effectiveness of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), emphasizing how ethanol helps lower prices at the pump, the safety and affordability of E15 ethanol blends, and other issues such as oil subsidies and the clean octane value of ethanol.
“With gasoline prices and energy issues taking center stage in the national discussion recently, I can’t think of a better time for our grassroots members to make the case for how ethanol is part of the solution to moderating pump prices and reducing our dependence on foreign oil,” said Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of ACE.
Among information given to lawmakers during the fly-in was a letter ACE wrote with other national biofuels groups and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) urging Congress to continue supporting the RFS. A full copy of the letter can be viewed here.
“We wanted to send a clear message to Congress that we stand united in support of the RFS and that it has played a critical role in saving billions of dollars for consumers at the pump and reducing oil imports to below 50 percent,” Jennings said.
Fly-in participants came from 13 different states, and represented a diverse group of ethanol plants and other companies with an interest in agriculture and the biofuels industry.
The group was addressed by special guests U.S. Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and John Thune (R-SD) on March 27.
For members who were not able to be a part of the DC fly-in, ACE for the second year organized a “Virtual Fly-In,”which made it possible for ethanol supporters to send email messages to Members of Congress to coincide with the group’s face-to-face meeting. The messages urged Congress to continue to keep the Renewable Fuels Standard intact. Additional messages to Congress may be sent through ACE’s Legislative Action Center at
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Biodiesel Production Slips After Late 2011 Growth
According to a March 21 press release from the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), the U.S. biodiesel industry produced 135 million gallons of fuel in the first two months of 2012, according to new numbers released by the EPA Wednesday.
The volume is an increase over the same period last year, when production totaled less than 80 million gallons. But it is down from the record production late last year when the industry exceeded 100 million gallons per month for five consecutive months and reached a peak of 160 million gallons in December.
Anne Steckel, NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs, said the drop-off reflects lost momentum this year after Congress allowed the biodiesel tax incentive to expire and the Obama Administration delayed finalizing next year's biodiesel volume requirement under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
"These are solid numbers that show the biodiesel industry is on pace to meet the 1 billion gallon RFS requirement this year, but they also reflect some of the missed opportunities for growth and jobs that we've seen with the loss of the tax credit and the continued uncertainty about next year's RFS volume," Steckel said. "With the tax credit and clear RFS growth in place, we think these numbers would be better."
Last year, the biodiesel industry produced a record of nearly 1.1 billion gallons, supporting more than 39,000 jobs across the country and helping to reduce U.S. dependence on skyrocketing global petroleum prices.
Biodiesel is the first and only EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel in commercial-scale fuel production across the country. Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as agricultural oils, recycled cooking oil and animal fats, it is produced in nearly every state in the country. Biodiesel can be used in existing diesel engines and meets strict specifications of ASTM D6751.
To view the EPA's numbers, visit the EMTS website at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/rfsdata/2012emts.htm
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Ethanol Dominates U.S. Gasoline Supply
Ethanol blends are dominating the U.S. gasoline landscape. According to the latest OPIS and AXXIS rack information, the number of wholesale terminals supplying only conventional clear gasoline with no ethanol has decreased to just nine out of about rack 325 locations in the United States.
This trend has been gaining ground in the last couple of years, making ethanol the dominant fuel nationwide. E10 now accounts for 95 percent of U.S. gasoline sales.
In comparison, Iowa—the largest ethanol producing state—has seen sales remain at a constant over the last five years. Ethanol blended fuels account for about 80 percent of total fuel sales in the state. Nationally, Iowa ranks 44th in ethanol consumption outpaced by California and East Coast states where ethanol has captured 100 percent of the fuel market.
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U.S. Navy Secretary Favors Increase in Armed Forces’ Biofuels Use
In an article by Benjamin Haas, of Bloomberg News, United States Navy Secretary Ray Mabus (pictured on right) said he’s working to increase the use of biofuels by the armed forces because falling behind on the technology raises security risks for the nation.
“The risk is that other countries get ahead in those technologies, and they’re producing the jobs and not us,” stated Mabus at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Conference in New York on March 21, 2012. “I don’t want to trade oil from overseas for biofuels from overseas. I don’t want to fall behind.”
Mabus said that currently, the U.S. Navy is spending $4.5 billion per year on fuel and is considering ways to use renewable fuel as an alternative to oil. Each $1.00 increase in the cost of a barrel of foreign oil adds $31 million to the Navy’s energy bill. Mabus also stated that the Navy will use a 50 percent blend of biofuels at war games near Hawaii next July.
“We’re trying to drive down our exposure to energy-price fluctuations,” Mabus stated. “We’re only doing this to be better war fighters.” According to the Energy Information Agency, the U. S. imports about half of its oil from overseas.
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Midwestern Governors Association Applauds EPA for E15 Decision
The Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) recently commended the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its decision regarding the safety of E15 and moving the implementation of E15 as an option for consumers one-step closer to reality.
In February, the EPA confirmed that E15 satisfies the emissions and health effects data requirement, pushing E15 closer to the marketplace.
This decision was built upon earlier decisions in October 2010 and January 2011 in which, EPA said that E15 posed no mechanical problems for cars, pickups and SUVs made in model year 2001 and later. According to Growth Energy, these vehicles represent almost 70 percent of the auto fleet and more than 75 percent of the fuel consumed. With the most recent EPA approval, biofuel producers and fuel blenders can now apply for fuel registration with the EPA for approval.
The Midwest stands the most to gain, being the nation’s top biofuels industry cluster and this homegrown energy source spurs economic opportunities in Midwestern states, including high-paying jobs and increased incomes for the region’s innovative and productive farmers. The entire country will also benefit from the industry’s growth and production as well, with lower fuel prices, increased exports, cleaner burning fuel and a decreased reliance on overseas oil.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Chairman of the MGA said, “The biofuels industry helps increase domestic clean energy production—creating jobs and economic vitality throughout the Midwest. Biofuels help decrease fuel costs for Midwestern families and help diversify our nation’s energy portfolio.” Branstad went on to note, “I look forward to working with my fellow governors to further national implementation of E15.”
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Growth Energy Conference Focuses on E15 and NASCAR Partnership
Growth Energy’s third annual Executive Leadership Conference held March 8 – 11 was focused around E15 and the group’s NASCAR partnership. “Getting E15 into the market is the single most critical step we can take for this industry,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. “And we will not back down until we succeed.”
Growth Energy President Jim Nussle said the industry is now “at the cusp of a new market frontier with E15.” Although some wanted to “celebrate the status quo,” Growth Energy members want to push forward. Nussle reminisced on how long it took for E10 to saturate and take a significant place in the market, but noted the industry has a lot of good reasons to be optimistic and said, “This isn’t going to be easy, but nothing worthwhile probably is.”
American Ethanol’s NASCAR partnership was another focus point of the event in Las Vegas. “We’ve created an unbelievable partnership,” said Vice President of Marketing for NASCAR Steve Phelps. “I think it’s one of the best partnerships in all of sports.” He also went on to tell attendees about how the sport is getting the message out through broadcasting and other media.
Read the entire article from Ethanol Producer Magazine here.
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New Holland Agriculture Emphasizes Support for Ethanol
New Holland Agriculture announced a large, new national “blue is back” advertising campaign at the 2012 Commodity Classic emphasizing the blue tractor company’s support for homegrown fuel, according to a Domestic Fuel article by Cindy Zimmerman. New Holland North American Vice President Abe Hughes noted that they believe more acreage will be planted this year than any time in recent history, and part of the reason is ethanol.
“Ethanol’s success means our success,” stated Hughes when introducing Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis during the 2012 Commodity Classic. New Holland held a “Club Blue” event for their retailers to discuss their new national marketing campaign. “We’re real believers in ethanol at New Holland,” stated Hughes, adding that New Holland is a leader in biomass harvest equipment.
To read the entire Domestic Fuel article, listen to an interview with Abe Hughes, and/or hear Tom Buis’s comments at the New Holland event click here.
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