Yesterday I traveled to Tallahassee, Florida to testify at a hearing of the Florida House of Representatives Regulatory Affairs Committee on HB 4001 which is a bill to repeal the Florida Renewable Fuel Standard. This hearing was actually an extension of one held previously that ran out of time to conclude. You can watch the session here. The portion on HB 4001 starts about 39 minutes in and you can easily fast forward to it.
When you see the bill sponsor, Representative Matt Gaetz, introduce the session you’ll understand my compulsion to attend to try to help clear up the numerous things he said about ethanol that are just plain wrong. These include the now completely dis-credited food vs. fuel debate, that it harms automobile engines, that it is bad for the environment, etc. It’s all out of the play book of large oil companies and large food company interests. I was not alone in opposition to this bill. Some of the others testifying in opposition included Bradley Krohn, President, United States EnviroFuels, LLC and Bobby Likis, Bobby Likis Car Clinic. There were a number of others that you’ll see in the video recording.
Unfortunately, the bill passed by a narrow margin. A companion bill is in the Florida Senate, SB 320. After the session I spoke with both Bradley and Bobby to get their thoughts on the action taken by this committee.
Bradley says his company has been developing a 30 million gallon advanced ethanol plant project which will use sugar cane and sweet sorghum as primary feedstocks. They are very close to construction. He says the House committee got it wrong, buying into a lot of myths about ethanol. This sends a chilling effect to the financial community for investing in advanced biofuel projects in the state of Florida. His company is in the process still of funding their project. He says it sends a message that Florida doesn’t care about economic stimulus and job creation. There was an attempt to pass this bill last year that stalled on the Senate side and he hopes that will happen again this year.
Listen to my interview with Bradley Krohn here: Interview with Bradley Krohn
Bobby Likis also testified and corrected a number of factual errors that were presented to the committee, especially on how ethanol performs in an engine. He was very disappointed by the committee vote in the face of overwhelming evidence that the Florida RFS is working and reducing the cost of gas to Floridians. He says it will make him fight harder to make sure the bill doesn’t pass at the Senate. He says that if it does pass and the price of gas goes up in Florida we should call it a Gaetz Tax!
Listen to my interview with Bobby Likis here: Interview with Bobby Likis
This morning Bob Dinneen, CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, will give his annual state of the ethanol industry speech at the 2013 National Ethanol Conference, scheduled for 8:15am pacific time. We’re streaming it live for you. Just click on the play button to watch. There may be a short commercial to sit through to get started. Thank you.
Post Update: Here is the recording of this morning’s speech:
Video streaming by Ustream
We will update this post after the session with either the recorded video or the audio of Bob’s speech.
Ever wondered how to find local biodiesel retail filling stations? Now you don’t need to with the BiodieselNow smart phone app.
BiodieselNow, a new app offered by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), gives users the ability to quickly find biodiesel fueling stations, track fuel purchases and earn rewards.
Introduced today at the 2013 National Biodiesel Conference, the app is available for both Apple and Android devices and provides valuable mapping information on biodiesel fueling stations across the US.
BiodieselNow app users can stay up-to-date on the latest biodiesel news, including federal and state regulations, quickly locate biodiesel fueling stations, and easily log their biodiesel usage along the way. Every gallon of fuel purchased earns biodiesel reward points that are redeemable toward biodiesel merchandise in NBB’s online store.
“This app puts America’s advanced biofuel in the palm of your hand. We are very excited to be able to participate more actively in the mobile communication world and use the latest technology to get even more people tuned in to biodiesel,” said Doug Whitehead, Director of Operations of NBB. “As the biodiesel industry continues to advance and consumption grows, we feel it’s important to help users find those retail locations and improve communication between NBB and the industry.”
There are hundreds of retail stations making biodiesel blends available to the public both at filling stations and fuel docks. The BiodieselNow app could not have been launched at a better time and makes finding those stations easier than ever before. Download the app today to find biodiesel, now.
You can find the app in the iTunes Store and Google Play.
2013 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album
The opening general session of this year’s National Biodiesel Conference was a fantastic look back at 20 years of the National Biodiesel Board and 10 years of this conference. After some opening educational sessions the first general session took place.
Here are some excerpts from this morning’s opening speech by Joe Jobe, CEO of the NBB.
In thinking about what I wanted to say today it occurred to me that the past and future of the biodiesel industry can best be described in three distinct eras. These eras are distinct for the biodiesel industry but also distinct as stand-alone eras in history.
The first 10 years, is what I think of as biodiesel’s childhood. The second 10 year era, roughly the past decade, is what I think of as biodiesel’s teenage years. And like many teenagers, the industry was awkward, rebellious, and emotionally unstable during this period.
And then finally I will talk about the next ten years, which I believe is the era where biodiesel enters early adulthood.
Biodiesel will be in its 20’s during this period and like most people in their 20’s, this era will provide a lot of exciting growth, development, and innovation to look forward to – as long as we stay dedicated and unified as an industry.
You can listen to all of Joe’s opening speech here: Joe Jobe Opening Speech
We’ll have more to share from today’s activities as time permits!
2013 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album
Hello and welcome to the 2013 National Biodiesel Conference. We’re at the Mirage in Las Vegas and ready to get some momentum going for the industry.
Joanna Schroeder and I will be here providing coverage which will include photos and interviews so check back often. In fact, I’ve already got a photo album started: 2013 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album
While we’re here, Cindy will be over at the Wynn covering the National Ethanol Conference. Yep, they are at the same time this year. It is making it interesting for your biofuel bloggers to get it all done but we will.
At today’s U.S. Custom Harvesters luncheon, sponsored by New Holland, retired General Wesley Clark, co-chairman of Growth Energy, took the stage. The organization is holding their 30th annual convention which is co-located with the 2013 AG CONNECT Expo in Kansas City, MO.
Gen. Clark says his passion was the military and now his passion is national energy security and the move away from dependence on foreign oil. I have recorded his remarks for you to listen to or share below.
You can listen to or download General Clark’s remarks here: General Wesley Clark Remarks
I am attending this week’s show and sharing stories on AgWired.com and PrecisionPays.com.
2013 AG CONNECT Expo Photo Album
For the first time ever the National Biodiesel Conference will be held in Las Vegas. The Domestic Fuel team will be there. Here’s where you can find registration information.
To get a preview of what’s to come listen in on an interview with Jessica Robinson, Director of Communications for the National Biodiesel Board. The conference theme is Momentum. Jessica says the theme fits on several levels. To start with, the National Biodiesel Board and biodiesel is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Then you have to look at the challenging year the industry had in 2012. Now NBB feels like it is poised for new growth in 2013. It is the first time the conference has been held in Las Vegas.
You can listen to my preview interview with Jessica here: Preview Interview with Jessica Robinson
Appy New Year from the ZimmComm Team here on Domestic Fuel.
We’re betting that many of you now have a new smartphone or tablet. So whether it’s an iPad of any version or an Android you can get your Domestic Fuil on it most easily via the AgWired App! Within the app you’ll also find the news feeds from our other ZimmComm News Network websites, AgWired.com; PrecisionPays.com and WorldDairyDiary.com. You’ll also find our main Twitter feeds and the feed from our YouTube and Flickr accounts.
Best of all it’s Free!
So click here to find out where you can get the AgWired App and have an Appy New Year.
Because it’s already growing you might want to consider taking a few seconds to send someone a Fuels America e-Card.
The holidays are upon us.
That means parties, gift giving, and finding that perfect card to send to your loved ones.
Send your friends and family a Fuels America holiday e-card to spread the joy and holiday spirit this season:
Whether young or old, everyone’s life can be improved by renewable fuel, especially during the holidays. Just this past Thanksgiving — the busiest travel time of the year — ethanol helped American families reduce their gasoline usage by an average of $29.13.
That reduction in gasoline usage means more money to spend on gifts for your friends and your loved ones this season.
So don’t just spread holiday cheer — spread the word about the benefits of renewable fuel at the same time. Send a Fuels America e-card now.
Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, ” What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?” We know there are more choices but those included in our last ZimmPoll included the basics.
Our poll results: Thirty-three percent said turkey; twenty-five percent said other; twenty-one percent said pumpkin pie; fifteen percent said sweet potatoes/yams; and six percent said Cranberry sauce/relish.
Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “What gadget is on your Christmas wish list?” Are you hoping for a new smartphone? A new tablet? An upgraded item or nothing at all? Let us know!
ZimmPoll is sponsored by Rhea+Kaiser, a full-service advertising/public relations agency.
I voted. Have you?
It really is a civic duty and I hope you’ll take the time today to get it done. I’m not writing this to encourage you to vote for a certain person or issue. Hopefully you will have become familiar with the issues in your state and know what to do. As far as the Presidential race, you’ve got a clear choice. I can’t see how anyone can be undecided.
So, let’s get out there and get it done. The results will have a major impact on how we run our businesses in this country and you folks involved in the renewable fuels industry will not be unaffected. If you want to know my vote I’ll be happy to tell you. If you know me well you already know!
I don’t know if you use FourSquare but if you check in from your voting location using the #IVoted hashtag you’ll show up on their voting map.
Maas Companies of Rochester, MN will liquidate the former Northwood Mills Oilseed Plant, a state of the art oilseed processing facility located outside of Grand Forks, North Dakota at a Sheriff’s Foreclosure Auction on November 27. The auction will be conducted on-site at the plant, 530 35th Street NE, Northwood, North Dakota. Here is some more information:
Northwood Mills opened its doors in 2007 but struggled with the economic conditions and volatile pricing for its products. The 40 Acre plant operated for approximately two years, the equipment is pristine and ready for a new owner. The auction offers the plant for sale as one lot including all real estate, process and auxiliary equipment, storage and completed furnished office space. Originally the plant was used for soybean crushing but later crushed canola, sunflowers, corn germ and flax with outputs ranging from 200-300/tons per day. The plant offers excellent access to transportation for both raw materials and finished products via highway and rail with expansion availability for a 30 car rail spur on the BNSF line.
Maas Companies Inc, a company specializing in the selling of commercial and industrial assets of Rochester, Minnesota will conduct the auction. Tyler Maas, Sales & Marketing Director states, “the sheriff’s foreclosure sale offers the plant to a new buyer at a significant savings over the approximate $10.2 million dollars that was spent to design and build the facility. In this economy, an auction offers new buyers a great economic opportunity.”
Check open house dates after the break. Continue reading
The President of the Chicagoland Speedway believes that Illinois Farmers and American Ethanol have been great partners for NASCAR.
“NASCAR’s a great platform for them to get their important message out there about the role that farmers play in our overall well being,” said Scott Paddock during an interview at Saturday’s Dollar General 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. “And also the value of American ethanol and that blend. If it’s good enough for the world’s best stock car drivers, it’s certainly good enough for American consumers,” Paddock added, noting that ethanol is a cleaner burning fuel and helps the country be less dependent on foreign oil.
The Chicagoland race featured an Illinois Family Farmers exhibit in Champions Park outside the track that featured lots of information about agriculture, corn and ethanol, as well as a farm equipment display by New Holland, the Official Agricultural Equipment of NASCAR®.
Listen to an interview with Scott here: Interview with Scott Paddock
2012 NASCAR Dollar General 300 Race Photos
This morning at Chicagoland Speedway the driver of the American Ethanol car, Austin Dillon, paid a visit to the Family Farmers exhibit in Champions Park outside the track. He made some remarks to the people who had gathered around to see him before signing autographs.
I was able to get a moment with Austin. He says he’s always excited to come to the midwestern tracks in the heart of corn country where a majority of the feedstock that’s making the Sunoco Green E15 he’s racing on is grown. He’s glad that corn growers can come out to see him race and have a good time at the track.
Listen to my interview with Austin here: Interview with Austin Dillon
Listen to Austin’s remarks to the crowd here: Austin Dillon Remarks
I just updated my photos from here at the track and you can find them here: 2012 NASCAR Dollar General 300 Race Photos