Former EU Ag Commissioner on Biofuels

Franz FischlerBack in 2003, the European Union instituted some major reforms in its agricultural sector, which are now known as the “Fischler Reforms” after the Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries at the time, Franz Fischler.

Among the policies instituted at the time was a very small incentive for farmers to produce crops on set aside land that could be used to make fuel. During an interview with Domestic Fuel at the 51st International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Congress in Japan last week, Dr. Fischler discussed that initiative and what he sees as the future for biofuels in the European Union.

“In my view, in Europe, food production will remain the main purpose of agricultural activities and fuel production will play a minor role, but an increasing role,” Fischler said. “We decided to be very ambitious about what we want to achieve, that is 10 percent of consumption by 2020. But we are also aware of the fact that this is only achievable if we are able to come forward with the second generation biofuels because if we are to do it on the basis of bio-ethanol and bio-diesel we would need almost half of the arable land in the European Union, and this is not going to happen.”

However, the EU is already expecting to import some of their biofuel needs from other countries in an effort to meet their intended goal.

Listen to Fischler’s comments on biofuels here:

Thanks to Pioneer for sponsoring our trip to Japan Pioneer-HiBred

Bio Gasoline Research in Japan

Japan BioGasResearchers at Japan’s National Agricultural Research Center are working on developing Bio-Gasoline from plant oils and animal fats.

According to researcher Ken Taniwaki, bio-gasoline has the same properties as petroleum gasoline and can be run in automobile engines without modifications. “This is not bio-ethanol. This actually contains the same components as gasoline,” he says.

Taniwaki says bio-gasoline can be made from waste cooking oil, “mainly from the palm oil, from the Kentucky Fried Chicken.”

Taniwaki explains more in this interview done last week during the 51st Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists in Japan:

Thanks to Pioneer for sponsoring our trip to Japan Pioneer-HiBred

Ethanol at the EC

Leaders of the biofuels industry in both Europe and the United States are calling on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to disavow a paper issued last week critical of world ethanol production.

Michael MannEurope is well behind the United States in biofuels production and use, but the European Commission is moving ahead with its plans to have biofuels make up ten percent of transport fuels by the year 2020, according to the Commission’s spokesman for agriculture and rural development Michael Mann who says this is a fairly modest. “We’ve also set that some of that will have to come from imports and we will also favor in the long term second generation biofuels,” Mann told ag journalists in Brussels last week on a trip sponsored by BASF Ag Products. “We don’t want too much of our agricultural land to be diverted away from food and feed production. So, its a balance between the importance of biofuels for environmental reasons and to lower our reliance on imported oil, but at the same time not upsetting our food and commodity markets too much.”

European Commission According to Mann, the EU has incentives for rural development of biofuels refineries in place, which are actually grants. “Developing biofuels plants is something you can receive a grant for from rural development funding.” In addition, there is a tariff in place for ethanol imports to the EU and there are incentive payments for farmers to produce crops for biofuels production which was introduced in 2003. “If you have a contract with a biofuel producer to produce the raw materials for biofuel, you can get an extra 45 euros per hectare on that land.”

Mann says they are reconsidering that incentive, in light of the OECD criticism of biofuels subsidies and also because there is now a market because the target is in place.

Listen to Mann’s remarks about biofuels in the EU here (5:50 MP3 File): mann-biofuels.mp3

EPIC Member Happy with Growth of Ethanol Fuel Consumption

President of Cardinal Ethanol Plant and colleagues pictured with Team Ethanol Driver Ryan Hunter-Reay It’s about getting ethanol fuel on the ground with more plants and more pumps for Ethanol Promotion and Information Council advising board member Troy Prescott. Troy is the President of the Cardinal Ethanol Plant in Winchester, Indiana. I spoke with Troy about the development of the ethanol industry at the Chicagoland race track a few hours before Sunday’s PEAK Antifreeze Indy 300 race got underway.

Listen to my interview with with Troy here:


Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 Photo Album

Race to Go Green Winners Call VIP Experience Unforgettable

Sweepstakes winners Jeffrey and Bud Carter Garage tours, autographs from Team Ethanol Driver Ryan Hunter-Reay and meeting Bobby Rahal of Rahal-Letterman Racing was just the beginning of the elite access for Race to Go Green Sweepstakes winners Jeffrey and Bud Carter. The brothers witnessed the finale of Canadian Club Driver Dario Franchitti’s winningest season, claiming the championship in four Indy Racing League races, including the Indy 500 and claiming the IndyCar Series Championship Title. Not to mention a rendezvous with Gene Simmons and “hot lap” ride around the track in an official Indy pace car. To top it all off, it was Bud’s birthday. What more could two guys from southern Illinois ask for? I grabbed a few comments from the brothers about their VIP experience with the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

Listen to my interview with with Jeff and Buddy here:


Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 Photo Album

IRL Finishes Fill Up, Feel Good Season

e-podcast The 2007 Indy Car Series will go down in the racing history books as the first year a major motorsport embraced a renewable and environmentally-responsible fuel source, setting the standard
for the “Greening of Racing”.

This edition features comments from interviews done at the last Indy Car Series race event for this season, the PEAK Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

The “Fill up, Feel Good” podcast is available to download by subscription (see our sidebar link) or you can listen to it by clicking here (5:30 MP3 File): epic-podcast-9-10-07.mp3

The Fill Up, Feel Good theme music is “Tribute to Joe Satriani” by Alan Renkl, thanks to the Podsafe Music Network.

“Fill up, Feel Good” is sponsored by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

Motorsports and Ethanol

Freemont Industries Director of Sales Rob Herbon with nephew Justin SemmlerMotorsports and ethanol are a good fit for Ethanol Promotion and Information Council member Rob Herbon. Rob is the sales director for Fremont Industries in Shakopee, MN. I spoke with him about ethanol’s role in motorsports, what that role has done for the consumer market and what that role has done for his company.

Listen to my interview with Rob here:


Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 Photo Album

Team Ethanol Competing at Chicagoland

Team Ethanol Driver Ryan Hunter-Reay moments before the start of the 2007 Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicago I managed to grab some shots of Ryan Hunter-Reay as he was gearing up just before the race. Earlier, I grabbed an interview with the Team Ethanol Driver getting some final thoughts before the 2007 season closer.
Listen to my interview with Ryan here:


Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 Photo Album

EPIC Member Enjoys VIP Race Experience for the First Time

EPIC members Jeff Boswell President of Seco/Warwick, Lachlan Perks President of Eclipse Inc. and Jim Roberts Eclipse Metals Marketing Manager The 2007 Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 marks the first time the President of Eclipse Inc. has gotten to peer into the cockpit of an IndyCar and meet Team Ethanol Driver Ryan Hunter-Reay. In fact, it’s the first time Lachlan Perks has been to an EPIC sponsored racing event. Lachlan and I chatted about his experience and about ethanol.

Listen to my interview with Lachlan here:


Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 Photo Album

Win Single-Seat Driving Experience

Danica Patrick promoting the newly announced Peak Antifreeze It will be the first time ever that fans can win a Indy single-seat driving experience during the month of May – the month of the Indianapolis 500. Peak Antifreeze and are sponsoring the 2008 IndyCar Series Driving Experience Sweepstakes. The sweepstakes will offer fifteen fans a VIP experience during the Pole Qualifying Weekend and the 2008 Indianapolis 500. Danica Patrick will offer the winners race training and tips before they drive a single-seat a retired IndyCar around the 2 and half mile track.

Listen to Danica commenting on the sweepstakes here:


Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 Photo Album

PJ Chesson Pumps Ethanol Fuel

Indy Car Driver PJ ChessonRyan Hunter-Reay wasn’t the only Indy Car Driver consumers had the chance to meet at today’s ethanol pump promotion. Roth Racing Driver PJ Chesson also came out to help support ethanol. Consumers throughly enjoyed PJ antics at the gas pump. The rambunctious driver washed windshields, scribbled his name in bumper dust and even paid for one woman’s gas.

You don’t want to miss my interview with PJ:

Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 Photo Album

Consumers Fuel Up With E85 and E10

Les DiCarlo with Epic fuel attendantMost customers lined up waiting for cheap gas greeted me, camera in tow, with eager smiles. Happy to be saving some cash and fueling up with ethanol I’m sure. I chatted with a few friendly faces, Les DiCarlo, Jimmy Spayer and Jim Labeau.

You can listen to my interview with Les here:

You can listen to my interview with Jimmy Spayer here. Jimmy drove from Spring Valley, IL, to attend today’s promotion:

You can listen to my interview with Jim Labeau here. Jim filled up his minivan with E85 for the first time:

Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 Photo Album

Ryan Hunter-Reay Embraces Ethanol

Gas City lowers prices of E10 and E85 fuelI think it’s safe to say that all of us a part of the ZimmComm Media crew have been eager to meet ethanol’s new driver Ryan Hunter-Reay and hear what he has to say about driving with Team Ethanol. I lucked out and got to be the first one of the ZimmComm bunch to introduce myself to the Indy Driver. Ryan stressed the importance of brining ethanol education to the community, and he says that consumer education starts at the pump.

You can listen to my interview with Ryan here:

Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 Photo Album

Gas City Encourages Public Awareness of Ethanol

Bill Shireman, Gas City Executive Vice President Gas City Executive Vice President Bill Shireman says his company has been promoting ethanol for about a year and a half. Bill says pump promotions like today’s help educate the public and encourage consumers to fuel up with ethanol fuel blends. Yesterday, the Joliet Gas City was selling unleaded gas for $3.25 and $2.75. During the Epic ethanol pump promotion consumers with flex-fuel vehicles were able to fuel up with VeraSun E85 for just $0.85 cents a gallon and all consumers could fuel up with an E10 ethanol blend for $2.15, which was last year’s Peak Antifreeze 300 qualifying race time.

You can listen to my interview with Bill here:

Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 Photo Album

Pump Promotion Kicks Off Chicagoland Indy 300 Festivities

Mark Lambert, Communications Director for Illinois Corn Growers Association Greetings from Chicago! Well, Joliet actually. I’m in Illinois with the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council to bring you coverage of the 2007 Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. Epic, VeraSun Energy and The Illinois Corn Growers Association kicked off race weekend with an ethanol pump promotion at Gas City near the track in Joliet. Gas City sold more than 2,250 gallons of 10 percent ethanol-blend fuel and 450 gallons of 85 percent ethanol-blend fuel, with one in six cars pumping E85. Just before the promotion got underway I spoke with the Communications Director for the Illinois Corn Growers Association, Mark Lambert, about how much cash consumers would get to save by fueling up with E10 and E85 fuel blends.

You can listen to my interview with Mark here:

Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 Photo Album