RFA Reacts to EPA Decision on Higher Ethanol Blends

Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen says the Environmental Protection Agency is missing an opportunity to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil and create new economic opportunity by limiting its decision on E15 (15% ethanol/85% gasoline) to only model year (MY) 2007 and newer vehicles.

Renewable Fuels Association Logo“EPA’s scientifically unjustified bifurcation of the U.S. car market will do little to move the needle and expand ethanol use today,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “Limiting E15 use to 2007 and newer vehicles only creates confusion for retailers and consumers alike. America’s ethanol producers are hitting an artificial blend wall today. The goals of Congress to reduce our addiction to oil captured in the Renewable Fuels Standard cannot be met with this decision.”

Dinneen is especially concerned about the labels required at the pump that are likely to lead to confusion among consumers and issues with retailers.

Listen to an interview with Dinneen on the decision here. RFA Reacts to EPA Ruling on E15

Ethanol Report on Export Exchange Turnout

Ethanol Report PodcastThis edition of “The Ethanol Report” features comments from participants in last week’s Export Exchange held in Chicago to promote exports of the ethanol co-product distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS). About 500 buyers and sellers of DDGs from the United States and over 30 countries took part in the two day event.

We hear from event sponsors Renewable Fuels Association (RA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen and U.S. Grains Council (USGC) CEO and president Tom Dorr, as well as Rick Tolman with the National Corn Growers Association, ethanol producers Ray Defenbaugh and Walter Wendland, and South Dakota extension swine specialist Dr. Robert Thaler. We have lots more still to post from that event, but this report provides a nice taste of how it went.

Listen to or download the Ethanol Report here: DDGS Ethanol Report

Ethanol Report With New RFA Chairman

Kaapa EthanolThe board for directors for the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) last week elected Chuck Woodside, General Manager of farmer-owned KAAPA Ethanol in Minden, Nebraska as the new chairman for the organization. The election was held at RFA’s Annual Membership Meeting in Washington, DC. Woodside succeeds Chris Standlee, Executive Vice President of Abengoa Bioenergy, who served for three one-year terms.

Ethanol Report PodcastChuck Zimmerman interviewed Woodside for this edition of “The Ethanol Report” to find out what his goals are for the coming year and key issues facing the ethanol industry. He said that RFA will be most involved in the coming year in efforts to extend current tax incentives for ethanol use, expanding ethanol markets through higher ethanol blend such as E15 and above, modifying fuel regulations to allow greater ethanol blending, challenging regulation of biogenic emissions by EPA, addressing incomplete science with respect to low carbon fuel regulations, developing next generation ethanol technologies, and expanding the market for distillers grains and other ethanol coproducts.

“This is an exciting time for American ethanol production,” Woodside said. “If acted upon correctly, all of the challenges and opportunities before the industry will usher in a golden era of American ethanol production and help turn the corner toward true energy security in this country. The RFA and its members stand ready, as they always have, to help this industry build bridges and move ever forward.”

Listen to or download the Ethanol Report here: New RFA Chairman

Ethanol Report on Export Exchange

This edition of “The Ethanol Report” features comments from Renewable Fuels Association (RA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen and U.S. Grains Council (USGC) CEO and president Tom Dorr about promoting exports of the ethanol co-product distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS).

usgcThe two organizations are working together on the upcoming “Export Exchange” conference that will focus on increasing U.S. exports of DDGS. “This is going to be an opportunity for two and a half days in which people can get together, meet with buyers, meet with producers, listen to nutritionists, analysts and others explain the value of how to use and how to access these products,” says Dorr.

Ethanol Report PodcastDinneen says exports are critical because the industry has already hit “a feed wall” when it comes to use of DDGS in the domestic livestock industry. “While domestic markets for DDGS continue to expand, quite frankly we’ve grown that market pretty rapidly over the last several years and the opportunity for continued expansion domestically are fewer and farther between.” That’s why RFA believes the conference is a must-attend event for ethanol producers. “Because DDG marketing is so important to the bottom line of an ethanol producer. About 40 percent of your feedstock costs can be recovered in the marketing of DDG,” Dinneen said.

The Export Exchange is being held October 6-8 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel in Chicago, Ill. More information and registration is available on-line here.

Listen to or download the Ethanol Report here: Export Exchange Ethanol Report

Ethanol Promotion Success at Sturgis

Promotion of ethanol to motorcycle lovers was a bigger success this year than last.

Ethanol Report PodcastThis edition of the “Ethanol Report” with Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Director of Market Development Robert White takes a look at how their sponsorship at the 70th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally went this year.

RFA Sturgis Fueled with Pride 2010This is the second year that RFA partnered with the Legendary Buffalo Chip campgrounds which is the main venue for the huge motorcycle rally that draws hundreds of thousands each year, and this year was even bigger than last year. “We had a much larger than anticipated crowd,” Robert says. “Attendance was less than 500,000 last year and while the final numbers aren’t in, most are suggesting it was above 800,000 this year.”

That gave Robert lots of opportunities to talk with motorcycle owners about using ethanol in their engines, which most of them are doing without even knowing it. “There’s 16 states out there that don’t require labeling at the pump for anything 10 percent and below, so a lot of these guys and gals have been using ethanol for some time and just didn’t know it. So, they are their own case study.”

There was lots of ethanol signage and giveaways at the campground and during the concerts at the venue and RFA also utilized social media for promotions at the event. “I was giving away ethanol t-shirts that were Sturgis 2010 specific on Twitter and Facebook and we had a Facebook Fan Appreciation party where over 100 people showed up and the only way they were invited was through Facebook,” Robert says. Pictures of the event can be found here on RFA’s ethanolpics Flickr photo album.

Listen to Robert tell the story of promoting ethanol at Sturgis in this Ethanol Report podcast. Sturgis Recap Report

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Ethanol Report on the Climate in Washington

It’s August in the nation’s capitol and the climate is hazy, hot and humid with a chance of afternoon thundershowers, which Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen says kind of describes what is happening on Capitol Hill these days as well – especially the hazy and stormy part.

In this edition of “The Ethanol Report,” Dinneen discusses the situation with regard to the ethanol industry’s priority issues – tax incentives and E15.

Ethanol Report PodcastDespite the few legislative days left on the Congressional calendar, Dinneen says he remains hopeful that the blenders tax credit for ethanol will be extended in some form for some length of time before it expires at the end of the year. However, he remains very frustrated with delays in getting E15 or at least E12 approved in the interim by EPA. “EPA continues to be one of the most dysfunctional agencies in the federal government,” Dinneen says. “One wishes that the agency had been as diligent in studying the blow out preventers that BP was using in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Listen to or download the Ethanol Report podcast here. Ethanol Report on Washington Issues

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The Award Winning Ethanol Report

Renewable Fuels Association LogoThe Ethanol Report podcast received a Golden ARC award this week from the Ag Relations Council in the newly revived competition that includes new social media categories. Chuck Zimmerman, president of Domestic Fuel’s parent company ZimmComm New Media received the award Tuesday, presented by ARC President Deron Johnson, during the Ag Media Summit (AMS) in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Renewable Fuels Association LogoMatt Hartwig of the Renewable Fuels Association attended the summit of agricultural journalists this week and exhibited at their Info Expo for the first time. In this edition of the Ethanol Report, he talks about how RFA has been successfully using social media tools like Twitter and Facebook to communicate, and also about a new blog they recently launched called the E-xchange. Matt also discusses the Export Exchange event they are hosting with U.S. Grains Council in October to promote exports of the ethanol co-product DDGs for livestock feed.

Ethanol Report Podcast
Listen to or download the Ethanol Report podcast here. AMS Ethanol Report

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Ethanol Report on Motorcycle Rally Partnership

Ethanol Report PodcastThis edition of the “Ethanol Report” with Renewable Fuels Association Director of Market Development Robert White talks about their sponsorship at the 70th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, August 6-14 in Sturgis, SD.

RFA Sturgis Fueled with Pride 2010Robert, who is an avid motorcyclist himself, says this is the second year they have elected to have a presence at this event, partnering with the Legendary Buffalo Chip campgrounds which is the main venue for the rally. “More than 100,000 people a day trek through this campground,” he said. “Across the campground, we’ll have banners, educational material and promotional giveaways like koozies at all the local watering holes.”

This may seem like an unusual place to promote ethanol, but Robert says it’s really a great American event for them to reach out to a large number of people in a wide demographic range. “We like the opportunity of having that many people in one small area to educate consumers about ethanol,” said Robert. They will be able to talk with them about the safety of low level ethanol blends up to 15 percent for motorcycle engines, as well as the availability of E85 and mid-level blends for the flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) they may have at home.

Listen to more from Robert in this Ethanol Report podcast. Sturgis Ethanol Report

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Ethanol Report From FEW

Ethanol Report PodcastThis edition of “The Ethanol Report” comes from the 26th annual Fuel Ethanol Workshop in St. Louis where Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen gave the keynote address on major issues facing the industry.

FEW 2010In this interview, Dinneen discusses those issues, including increasing the blend rate and renewing ethanol tax incentives, with a message to the industry of the critical need to work together. He also talks about the Global Rebound Effect theory that is being used to challenge EPA on the Renewable Fuels Standard, and he responds to an Environmental Working Group report out this week opposing incentives for ethanol.

Bob was also interviewed live by AgriTalk host Mike Adams, broadcasting live from FEW on Tuesday.

Fuel Ethanol Workshop photo album

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Clean Air Task Force Sues EPA Over RFS2

Earlier this year Big Oil sued the EPA over the biodiesel requirement in the RFS2. Today, the Clean Air Task Force, on behalf of environmental groups including Friends of the Earth, filed suit against the EPA claiming that RFS2 encourages the world to use more oil, which will cause more pollution, because America would be reducing its dependence through the use of ethanol and other biofuels.

I don’t know about you but I’m a bit confused about this logic as are others including the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

“To blame American biofuels for increasing global oil use defies simple common sense,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “By this tortured logic, any effort that environmental activists support to reduce America’s reliance on oil would be responsible for lowering U.S. oil demand, reducing global oil prices, and inciting increased consumption somewhere else in the world. Increasing mileage standards, deploying electric vehicles, and any other measure designed to reduce U.S. oil demand would be penalized with carbon emissions from increased global oil consumption under this rubric. It simply doesn’t pass the sniff test.”

The suit is based on the theory “Global Rebound Effect” which is explained above. Many also consider this theory, when relating to biofuels, to be as ridiculous as penalizing American farmers for environmental decisions made in other parts of the world, also known as “Indirect Land Use.” In this instance, environmentalists are laying blame on biofuels for the worldwide increase in oil use at the same time they are acknowledging the energy security benefits biofuels offer as America curbs it’s petroleum use. We should consider naming this the “Less for us, more for you” theory.

Dinneen supports America’s decision to move towards energy independence and said, “As the leading energy consumer in the world, America was right to take proactive steps to reduce our reliance on petroleum and set an example for the world. These environmental groups are implicitly making the case for keeping U.S. oil demand and prices high, rather than displacing imported oil with biofuels. Blocking the use of biofuels will not reduce global oil consumption, but rather increase it as America must look for more sources of oil, which too often comes from environmentally questionable practices like deep water drilling and tar sand conversation.” Continue reading

Ethanol Report on Exports

Ethanol Report PodcastAs Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president Bob Dinneen was in Seville, Spain talking about American ethanol in the world market, the organization released a new report on rising U.S. ethanol exports.

“The Paradox of Rising U.S. Ethanol Exports: Increased Market Opportunities at the Expense of Enhanced National Energy Security?” highlights how the nation quickly evolving from a net importer of ethanol into a net exporter, sending our home-grown fuel to countries like Canada and the Netherlands, and even Brazil and OPEC nations in Middle East.

The question becomes, do we want to export our biofuels and the benefits they provide, or do we want to use them here at home to help secure our energy future? Or both?

RFA’s Matt Hartwig discusses the issue in this edition of “The Ethanol Report.”

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Ethanol Report on Oil Spill Response

Ethanol Report PodcastAddressing the tragedy hitting the Gulf of Mexico and coastal areas requires both an aggressive short term response and an equally aggressive long term energy and environmental strategy. Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen is asking the Obama administration to take action to help increase the use of ethanol, starting with immediately allowing up to 12 percent ethanol in gasoline. This edition of “The Ethanol Report” features Dinneen’s comments on actions to promote increased ethanol production and use that could be taken in response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Ethanol Report on Scaling the Blend Wall

In this edition of “The Ethanol Report,” Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Director of Market Development Robert White talks about what RFA is doing to help ethanol scale the rapidly approaching blend wall. He discusses the BYO Ethanol program to get blender pumps installed, encouraging EPA to grant a waiver to allow up to 15 percent ethanol in regular gasoline, and reaching out to consumers to increase consumption of ethanol blends. Robert also talks about how RFA is up for a couple of national awards this week from the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) for their 2009 marketing campaigns.

Ethanol Report PodcastRFA won regional NAMA awards for their Sturgis Motorcycle Rally t-shirt design, the Flex-Fuel Challenge website, and the BYO Ethanol campaign ad. They will find out Wednesday at the Best of NAMA awards in Kansas City if any of them received national recognition.

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Ethanol Report on Prices

Ethanol Report PodcastPrices for ethanol are down right now compared to gasoline, which means drivers are saving money at the pump when they fill up with ethanol blends. But we could be saving even more if blenders could add up to 15 percent ethanol in regular gasoline.

In this edition of “The Ethanol Report,” Renewable Fuels Association Vice President for Research Geoff Cooper talks about the current price differential between gasoline and ethanol and how much could be saved if the blend level were higher than the current ten percent.

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Ethanol Tax Incentive Loss Would Mean Lost Jobs

RFA DinneenAccording to a report out today from the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), failure to extend the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) would reduce U.S. ethanol production capacity by 38% and eliminate 112,000 jobs in rural communities already hemorrhaging employment opportunities.

“Ethanol has provided an unparalleled, value-added opportunity for agriculture and rural America,” said RFA President Bob Dinneen. “Supporting nearly 400,000 jobs, America’s ethanol industry is building a strong foundation for a robust renewable fuels industry in this country. Failure to provide the kind of assurance investors require to continue building out this industry by extending the tax incentives would be shortsighted, relegating future generations to a reliance on both foreign oil and foreign renewable fuels.”

Ethanol Report PodcastThe RFA is advocating for a long term extension of VEETC, the Small Producers Tax Credit, the Cellulosic Ethanol Tax Credit, and the offsetting tariff on imports. According to the study “Importance of the VEETC to the U.S. Economy and the Ethanol industry,” failing to extend the tax incentive would idle an additional 4.56 billion gallons of production, based upon the 2010 expectation of 12 billion gallons of domestic ethanol production.

Listen to or download a special Ethanol Report interview with Bob Dinneen on the study here: