Impact of Lowering RFS on Advanced Biofuels

ethanol-report-adThe comment period is now over for the EPA proposal that would lower the volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard this year, but it will be some time yet before a decision is made since the agency likely has tens of thousands of comments to read.

In this Ethanol Report, several representatives of the cellulosic ethanol and advanced biofuels industry comment on how the proposal would impact them. The report includes comments from:

Chris Standlee, Executive Vice President, Abengoa Bioenergy U.S. Institutional Affairs
Brian Foody, President and CEO, Iogen Corporation
Delayne Johnson, General Manager, Quad County Corn Processors
Brooke Coleman, Executive Director, Advanced Ethanol Council
Bob Dinneen, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO

Listen to or download the podcast here: Ethanol Report with Advanced Biofuels Producers

Subscribe to “The Ethanol Report” with this link.

Happy New Year Ethanol Report

ethanol-report-adIt’s out with the old and in with the new year and on that occasion Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen takes a look back at 2013 for the ethanol industry and a look ahead to what 2014 may have in store.

dinneen-capitolDespite the continued assaults on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2013, Dinneen remains as upbeat and optimistic as ever about the future of the industry. “I can’t look at 2013 and see it as a complete failure,” he said. “There’s certainly challenges but the business is doing just fine and I’m looking forward to 2014.”

Among the topics Dinneen discusses in this end of the year Ethanol Report is the EPA proposal to roll back the RFS and the importance of industry voices during the comment period which ends on January 28. “If we get enough people to shake up EPA and remind them why this program is so important, we will get that changed.” said Dinneen.

Listen to Bob Dinneen reminisce about 2013 and anticipate 2014 in this interview: Happy New Year 2014 Ethanol Report with RFA's Bob Dinneen

Subscribe to “The Ethanol Report” with this link.

AP Story Fact Checking

apA yet-to-be officially published “investigative report” by the Associated Press is causing an uproar in the ethanol industry which is responding ahead of time with fact checking on the article.

The article included interviews with several industry leaders and farmers who are disturbed by what they have read in advance copies. One of those interviewed at length by the AP reporter is Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen.

ethanol-report-adIn this “Ethanol Report,” Dinneen challenges many of the reporters’ conclusions about the environmental impact of ethanol production. Ethanol Report on AP story

RFA Counterpoint Fact Sheet on AP story

Later today there will be a conference call with Geoff Cooper, the head of research and analysis at the Renewable Fuels Association, and Leroy Perkins, an Iowa farmer who was quoted in the AP story. Perkins was interviewed numerous times by AP journalists for the ethanol story and “believes his views on oil alternatives, land use and the environment were intentionally skewed to tell an inaccurate and one-sided story.”

Subscribe to “The Ethanol Report” with this link.

Biofuel Groups Ask to Intervene in RFS Case

Three organizations that represent biofuel producers have asked to intervene in the latest legal challenge to Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

mess-rfsThe Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Growth Energy, and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), filed a motion Friday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to intervene in the challenge against the RFS by Monroe Energy, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM). The lawsuit seeks a reduction of the 2013 volume obligations for all renewable fuels.

The groups are asking the Court’s permission to intervene in this lawsuit on behalf of member companies which would be directly impacted by that action. “Moreover, a reduction in the volumetric requirement for any one type of renewable fuel under the RFS could affect the demand for other types of renewable fuels,” the groups stated in the filing.

In January, the same court upheld EPA’s authority to set advanced and cellulosic biofuel volume obligations at the maximum achievable level, in order to achieve Congress’ intent to promote production and use of renewable fuels. The trade groups will ask the Court to reaffirm this finding.

Dinneen: Lowering RFS Would be Mistake

dinneen-capitolRenewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen fears “the Obama Administration is about to make a huge mistake” in lowering the volume requirements for ethanol under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

In an interview for “The Ethanol Report,” Dinneen says it does appear that the Environmental Protection Agency is planning on changing the Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) for 2014. “I find that hard to believe because this administration has been so strongly supportive of the RFS, of farmers, of a growing renewable fuels industry … this would be a reversal of stunning proportions,” he said. “It guts the program.”

ethanol-report-adDinneen notes that EPA has not yet made the proposal for 2014 and once that happens there will be at least a 30 day comment period. “They’re supposed to have a final rule by November 30, but nobody in this town expects that to happen,” he said. “I do anticipate they will have the rule proposed sometime this month or early next.”

Dinneen also talks about the RFA response to AAA comments about the safety of E15 and how a recent NREL study proves it is safe in this Ethanol Report interview Ethanol Report with RFA's Bob Dinneen

Subscribe to “The Ethanol Report” with this link.

DC Update Ethanol Report

dinneen-capitolThe nation’s capitol is “so quiet you can hear a pin drop” but the American Petroleum Institute (API) is still working to beat the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), and the government shutdown means E15 retailers are unable to get approval.

“EPA right now is not answering the phones so they are not responding to marketers that are looking to offer E15,” says Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen in this edition of The Ethanol Report. “I would hate to think that the political snit that is occurring in Washington today is going to throw up yet another barrier to expanding E15.”

ethanol-report-adDinneen also talks about the API lawsuit filed this week over the volume requirements of the RFS and the possibility that the government shut down would dely EPA’s release of the 2014 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO), due out next month. “But this year, EPA took far too long to get those out,” he said, noting the numbers were just released in August – nine months late without a government shut down. “You want those numbers out as early as possible so the marketplace can respond.”

Listen to Bob discuss these topics and optimism in the ethanol industry here: Ethanol Report with RFA's Bob Dinneen

Subscribe to “The Ethanol Report” with this link.

RFA’s Cooper on Corn Crop and E15

fps13-rfa-cooperThis edition of “The Ethanol Report” features an interview from Farm Progress Show with Renewable Fuels Association Vice President of Research and Development Geoff Cooper on several timely topics, including corn and ethanol production this year, cellulosic ethanol, the importance of the RFS, and sales of E15 ramping up again as summer volatility requirements end.

ethanol-report-adCooper talks about how despite a slow maturing crop and adverse weather conditions, USDA is still calling for a record corn crop of 13.8 billion bushels. He also discusses how retail sales of E15 will be going up again next week after the summer volatility requirements end on September 15.Ethanol Report with RFA's Geoff Cooper

Subscribe to “The Ethanol Report” with this link.

Ethanol Report on RFS Attacks

fps13-dinneenThe attacks on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by the oil industry just keep coming and Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen was at the 2013 Farm Progress Show this week to talk about the latest – a petition for a partial waiver submitted recently to EPA by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM).

ethanol-report-adIn this “Ethanol Report” interview, Dinneen talks about RFA’s letter to EPA urging them to reject the waiver request. “API really doesn’t have standing to even file a waiver because they’re not an obligated party,” he says.

Dinneen also talks about cellulosic ethanol production, RINS, and his reaction to Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL) considering legislative changes to the RFS.

Ethanol Report interview with Bob Dinneen: Ethanol Report on Latest RFS Attacks

Subscribe to “The Ethanol Report” with this link.

Free Fuel Happy Hour at Sturgis Buffalo Chip

RFA at Sturgis Buffalo ChipThe founder and President of the Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground, Rod Woodruff, was the first motorcycle rider to fill up at the Renewable Fuels Association “Free Fuel Happy Hour” yesterday. Rod knows that a high octane E10 blend will run just fine in his motorcycle.

At yesterday’s event around 160 motorcycles made it through the line to get filled up and we’re doing it again today and tomorrow. I interviewed a number of riders and will be sharing those with you in coming days. Internet access has been very sporadic and today I’m heading to Denver for the Cattle Industry Summer Conference.

2013 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Photo Album

Ethanol Report on ACE Project

ethanol-report-adThis edition of “The Ethanol Report” features comments from the groundbreaking of a new cellulosic project in Galva, Iowa where first and second generations of ethanol are literally ‘bolted’ together. Quad County Corn Processors biorefinery broke ground Monday on its Adding Cellulosic Ethanol (ACE) project and this report includes comments from plant general manager Delayne Johnson, Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen and Congressman Steve King (R-IA).

Listen to or download the Ethanol Report here: Ethanol Report on ACE Project

Subscribe to “The Ethanol Report” with this link.

RFA Initiates Talks with Brazilian Ethanol Industry

ed-brazilRepresentatives of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) recently took part in UNICA’s Worldwide Ethanol Summit in Brazil with a two-fold mission. First, RFA represented American ethanol interests at the global event, but it also offered them an opportunity to sit down with their Brazilian ethanol counterparts and discuss how they can work together in a growing international marketplace.

“It was kind of the first step in trying to forge an era of collaboration on issues important to our industry,” said RFA General Counsel Ed Hubbard, noting that it would be in the best interest of the two largest ethanol producing nations to provide supply assurances to other countries considering the increased use of biofuels. “Countries like China, India, and the Philippines and Nigeria that are looking at establishing 5-10% blend mandates.”

ethanol-report-adHubbard says they are being supported in the effort by several agencies of the federal government. “We went down there with the help and assistance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Foreign Ag Service, as well as our friends at the Department of Commerce,” he said. “(The Brazilians) saw that there’s a commitment not only from industry but also from the U.S. government to try to help promote…our commodity around the globe.”

The next step will be more formal talks with Brazil and other countries to work toward a cooperative effort.

Find out more in this Ethanol Report with Hubbard: Ethanol Report on Talks with Brazil

Subscribe to “The Ethanol Report” with this link.

Ethanol Report on Independence and the RFS

Energy IndependenceAs we celebrate our nation’s independence this week, we’re coming up on about five years now since the RFS was strengthened in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. So we thought it was good time to look back and see just what that policy has done to help with that goal which has really been at the root of the development of the ethanol industry over the years.

On this date back in 2009, we quoted Jay Hakes, author of “A Declaration of Energy Independence,” and his definition of energy independence from that book – it is a great one.

Energy Independence is a civilization changing idea, like freedom, one that should be thought of much like we think of our national independence—our liberty, which is both an ideal and a physical reality. Energy Independence can and should be pursued with the same patriotic spirit that fought for, won and sustains American democracy and freedom.

ethanol-report-adIn this edition of “The Ethanol Report,” Renewable Fuels Association Vice President of Research and Analysis Geoff Cooper talks about how the RFS is working toward that patriotic goal, helping to reduce imports of foreign oil, grow the economy with American jobs and keep the red, white and blue flying over a greener nation.

Listen to or download the Ethanol Report here: Ethanol Report on Energy Independence and the RFS

Subscribe to “The Ethanol Report” with this link.

Ethanol Report on RFS-Food Price Study

Ethanol Report PodcastIn this Ethanol Report, John Urbanchuk of ABF Economics talks about a new study, commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association, that shows no direct correlation between the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the overall increase in food prices since 2008.

Listen to or download the Ethanol Report here: Ethanol Report on RFS-Food Price Study

Subscribe to “The Ethanol Report” with this link.

Ethanol Report on Current Events

dinneen-capitolIn ethanol-related news over the past week or so we have seen senators request a probe into the European Union’s anti-dumping duties on ethanol, comments to the House energy committee on the RFS, and legislation introduced for an energy title in the next farm bill.

To find out more about all of those stories and more, we caught up with Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen to get his comments in this new edition of “The Ethanol Report.” We’ll be hearing more from him and others in the nation’s capitol next week when we attend the annual National Association of Farm Broadcasting Washington Watch.

Listen to or download the Ethanol Report here: Ethanol Report on Current Events

Subscribe to “The Ethanol Report” with this link.

Ethanol Report on Efficiency Study

Ethanol Report PodcastA new study indicates that ethanol production is continuing to reduce its energy and environmental footprint.

The study, entitled “2012 Corn Ethanol: Emerging Plant Energy and Environmental Technologies”, found that recent innovations in corn ethanol production have resulted in increased yield per bushel even as less energy is required for production.

In this edition of “The Ethanol Report”, study co-author Steffen Mueller, PhD with the University of Illinois at Chicago Energy Resources Center, talks about the findings and Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen comments on the significance.

Listen to or download the Ethanol Report here: Ethanol Report on Efficiency Study 3:39

Subscribe to “The Ethanol Report” with this link.