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.”

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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.

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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.

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Ethanol Report on What’s Wrong With RFS2

In this edition of “The Ethanol Report,” we hear from Geoff Cooper, Vice President of Research and Analysis for the Renewable Fuels Association, about what is right and what is wrong with the rule for the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard released early last month by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Ethanol Report PodcastThe good news is that the RFS2 improves upon the rule EPA proposed last year, and that it is much better than what California is using to determine lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. The bad news is the continued reliance on the non-scientific indirect land use change. EPA’s new calculations determined that corn ethanol was better than they first thought when it comes to indirect land use change, so they cut that penalty in half, while they totally eliminated it for sugarcane ethanol – a move that has RFA mystified.

This podcast was recorded at the recent National Ethanol Conference, where RFS2 was the main topic of discussion. We reference a presentation done at the conference by EPA’s Sarah Dunham, which you can find in a previous post here on Domestic Fuel.

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Ethanol Report From National Ethanol Conference

Ethanol Report PodcastIn this edition of “The Ethanol Report,” we hear from both the chairman and the president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association at the 15th Annual National Ethanol Conference held in Orlando, Florida this week.

Chairman Chris Standlee of Abengoa Bioenergy talks about the mood at the event, RFA’s new membership award, and developments toward second generation ethanol. President and CEO Bob Dinneen discusses how the industry fared in 2009, the new RFS2 rule from EPA, and the importance of keeping ethanol incentives in place to continue growth.

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Ethanol Report on RFS2 Rules

Ethanol Report PodcastIndustry reaction to the Environmental Protection Agency announcement today of much-delayed rules for the second phase of the Renewable Fuel Standard has come quickly and is mostly positive.

In this edition of “The Ethanol Report” podcast, Matt Hartwig with the Renewable Fuels Association talks about their reaction and what the rule means for the industry.

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Another Exciting Year for Ethanol

Ethanol Report Podcast2010 promises to be another exciting year for ethanol, according to Matt Hartwig with the Renewable Fuels Association.

“Like the last two, three, four years in the industry, 2010 promises to fulfill on excitement,” he says in this edition of “The Ethanol Report” podcast. That includes work on extending the blenders tax credit, increasing the ethanol blend level, implementing the RFS2 and watching state action on low carbon fuel standards.

Matt also previews the upcoming 15th annual National Ethanol Conference in Orlando, February 15-17. Register before Friday for the early bird discount on registration and room rates at the Gaylord Palms Resort.

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Ethanol Report on E85 GPS Application

If Santa is bringing you a new Garmin or TomTom GPS for Christmas, you can use it to find E85 fuel for your Flex Fuel Vehicle (FFV) to get you over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house this holiday season.

We’ve already told you about the new applications available from the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), one for the TomTom and one for the Garmin, both designed to guide FFV owners to E85 stations.

Ethanol Report PodcastIn this holiday edition of “The Ethanol Report,” we hear more details about the apps from RFA Director of Market Development Robert White and what they are working on down the road for other GPS devices and even the iPhone. The available applications can be downloaded now from ChooseEthanol.com.

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