GREEN Team Newsletter - Issue #203
Registration is now open for the 9th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit and Trade Show. The Summit is free, open to the public, and will be held January 27, 2015 at The Meadows Conference Center at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa.
“The Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit provides a great opportunity to listen to experts address state and national issues impacting the future of renewable fuels, as well as network with biofuels professionals and business leaders from throughout the Midwest,” stated IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “Taking into account the unclear impacts of mid-term elections and the uncertain future of the RFS, there’s a no shortage of interest in the 2015 Summit that will bring together industry leaders, decision makers and the general public to shape Iowa’s energy future.”
With discussion over renewable fuels policy at fever pitch, the 2015 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit will discuss state and national issues impacting the renewable fuels industry, including the future of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the impacts of the mid-term elections on U.S. energy policy, and emerging opportunities for cellulosic ethanol, E15, and biodiesel. Featured speakers will be announced leading up to the Summit.
To register to attend, review sponsorship and trade show opportunities, and learn more about the 2015 Summit, please visit: https://iowarfa.org/2015Summit.php.
High School Renewable Fuels Video Contest to Award $2,000 in Cash Prizes to Top Student-Produced VideosNovember 11, 2014
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) recently announced the launch of the 5th Annual “Fuel the Future” Video Contest for Iowa high school students. This year, IRFA is seeking the best student-produced video promoting the use of ethanol, E15, and/or biodiesel. The top three video entries will receive prizes in the amounts of $1,000, $600 and $400 respectively; will be aired at the 2015 Iowa Renewable Fuel Summit on January 27; and will be featured on IRFA’s YouTube® channel.
“The IRFA video contest is now open, and we’re excited to see the creative ways Iowa high school students promote ethanol and biodiesel this year,” said IRFA Communications Director T.J. Page. “With attacks from ethanol and biodiesel opponents ramping up, we can’t wait to see how Iowa high school students set the record straight on renewable fuels through their highly entertaining and informative videos.”
The Fuel the Future contest is limited to students currently attending high school (grades 9-12 in a public, private or home school) in Iowa. Video entries may not exceed two minutes in length and must be submitted to IRFA via DVD, flash drive, or secure web link. To be considered for the contest, all completed video entries must be received in the IRFA office by January 16, 2015. For more information, including the official entry form and contest rules, please visit www.iowarfa.org/FueltheFuture.php
For additional questions, please contact T.J. Page at (515) 252-6249 or tpage@IowaRFA.org.
The winning video from last year’s contest, produced by John Low of Marion and titled “E15: The Fuel of the Future,” can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/iowarenewablefuels.
IRFA also extends a sincere thank you to the law firm of Faegre Baker Daniels for sponsoring this contest for the fifth consecutive year.
November 11, 2014
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) recently congratulated Iowa’s 2014 federal and state election winners, noting the strong support for renewable fuels among the winning candidates.
“It’s not surprising that ethanol and biodiesel enjoy broad, bipartisan support in Iowa,” stated IRFA PAC Treasurer Walt Wendland. “It’s also encouraging to see that renewable fuels will remain in good hands in Iowa. We look forward to working with all of the 2014 election winners for state and federal offices to continue to preserve and advance Iowa’s leadership in renewable fuels production, agriculture and environmental stewardship.”
In the races for federal office, Iowa elected Joni Ernst to the U.S. Senate, and David Young and Rod Blum to the U.S. House. Iowans also re-elected Governor Terry Branstad, and Reps. Steve King and Dave Loebsack. Each winning candidate reported strong support for renewable fuels and the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in IRFA’s renewable fuels candidate survey. To view the survey results, please click here.
November 11, 2014
In a letter to President Barack Obama, several agriculture groups urged the President to intervene in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule and reject cuts to the 2014 renewable volume obligations (RVO) under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), and maintain a strong and growing RFS.
The letter states, “The blending targets and the methodology in your administration’s proposed rule are already causing significant harm to the biofuel sector. These impacts are reverberating throughout the U.S. agriculture economy, and we expect this trend to continue if the targets and the methodology in the rule are not corrected.”
The letter continued, “We’ve worked with advanced biofuel producers to identify new sources of feedstocks. Using newly designed equipment, we’re harvesting corn stover from existing fields to feed low carbon cellulosic ethanol facilities. Across the country, farmers are finding new crops to drive our energy independence with investments in sorghum, barley, wheat, woody biomass, and other dedicated energy crops that will diversify our feedstock supply.
“This innovation pipeline is helping to drive an economic renaissance in rural America. There are four commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants opening in 2014 alone, creating hundreds of new jobs in rural America.”
The groups concluded, “We have invested in response to the signals in the RFS and are poised to deliver the very low carbon fuels you have sought for so long. Instead of reaping the economic benefits of this investment with a build-out of a domestic biofuel industry, the methodology proposed by EPA is offshoring the industry – and our market. This is a decision we cannot afford in America’s heartland. We urge you to ensure that the EPA modifies this damaging rule.”
The National Corn Growers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union, Agricultural Retailers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers, and the Association of Equipment Manufacturesall signed the letter.
To read the entire letter, please click here.
November 11, 2014
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) recently released the results of a poll showing that policies supporting biodiesel production would win a resounding vote of confidence if they were on the ballot. The survey found that three out of four voters (75 percent) support a tax credit for biodiesel, and 76 percent said they support a national renewable fuel standard.
“These numbers reflect overwhelming public support for developing cleaner, alternative fuels so that we’re not so dangerously dependent on petroleum,” stated NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs Anne Steckel. “These policies are popular because they are effective. We’re gradually reducing our dependence on oil. We’re reducing harmful and costly pollution. And we’re creating jobs and economic activity at home. Congress and the Obama administrationshould take cues from the people who elected them and step up to make sure we have strong, stable policies supporting biodiesel production.”
The survey of nearly 1,200 registered U.S. voters was conducted by Moore Information Opinion Research between Sept. 30 and Oct. 2. The survey was commissioned by NBB.
“This is one of those issues that illustrates why voters are so fed up with Washington,” Steckel added. “You have policies with overwhelming support from the public and strong bipartisan support in Congress, yet Washington seems paralyzed with inaction. Jobs are at stake here, and we urge the Obama administration and Congress to act quickly to get this industry back on track.”
Among other findings in the survey, 85 percent of respondents said a candidate’s position on energy issues was somewhat important or very important in their voting decision, and 78 percent said a candidate’s position on alternative fuels was very important or somewhat important.
To read the entire survey, please click here.
November 11, 2014
The Governors’ Biofuels Coalition recently announced that Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will serve as chairman in 2015, and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will serve as vice chairman in 2015.
“I look forward to working with Gov. Nixon to advance the bipartisan work of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition, as the production and use of biofuels increases family incomes in rural America, diversifies our nation’s energy portfolio, and enables consumer choice at the fuel pump,” stated Gov. Branstad.
“Thanks to our corn and soybean farmers, Missouri has long played a leadership role in the development and production of biofuels,” stated Gov. Nixon. “Missouri was one of the founding members of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition, and the Coalition has played a major role in our nation’s energy policies, including the drafting and passage of renewable fuel standards. I’m honored to be asked by Gov. Branstad to serve as the next vice chairman of this organization, and will continue working to strengthen the energy independence of Missouri and our country.”
The 33-state bipartisan organization was founded more than 20 years ago to increase the use of ethanol based fuels, decrease the nation’s dependence on imported energy resources, improve the environment and stimulate the national economy.
November 11, 2014
The Travelers Motor Club and Association Motor Club Marketing (AMCM) recently announced their support of the use of E15 in 2001 and newer vehicles, noting no reports of problems associated with using the cleaner-burning fuel.
“Not one of our over 18 million members has called us with a problem related to the new E-15 fuel or any ethanol blend. Travelers Motor Club and Association Motor Club Marketing support the use of E-15 in vehicles as a safe and affordable alternative to gasoline,” stated Club Co-Owner Gene Hammond, who has worked in the auto club business for 40 years. “Our focus is on providing unmatched service to our motor club members, and in our eyes, real-world experience trumps a study paid for by opponents of ethanol every time. In addition to no service calls or complaints about E-15, the fact is that winter gas line freeze problems have virtually disappeared due to the increased use of ethanol. If you drive a vehicle that has been approved for the use of E-15 and want to try it, we encourage you to try it with confidence.”
“Real-world results trump ghost stories, and the real-world findings from Travelers and AMCM mirror what we have heard from retailers who sell E15; they’ve had no customer complaints and no breakdowns,” stated American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty. “With all the time and money anti-ethanol groups have put into the E15 ghost story, if there were any cars stranded we would have heard about it by now. It hasn’t happened and it’s not going to happen.”
Club Co-Owner Mark Muncey, who has nearly 20 years of experience in the motor club business added, “We decided to research the road service data from our members. Today, four years after EPA approved E-15 and two years after AAA declared it was premature, we can say for certain that our members have not reported any problems with E-15. We support the use of E-15 in vehicles approved by EPA to use the fuel.”
November 11, 2014
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) recently announced that two-thirds of warranty statements and owner’s manuals for model year (MY) 2015 vehicles explicitly approve the use of E15, meaning nearly 63 percent of MY 2015 vehicles will have unequivocal E15 approval from their manufacturers. When paired with MY 2015 flex-fuel vehicle (FFV) production, it is estimated that E15 is auto manufacturer approved for close to 70 percent of MY 2015 vehicles.
“Americans want the freedom to choose what fuel to put into their vehicles. For years, Big Oil has monopolized the market and limited that choice,” stated RFA CEO Bob Dinneen. “But, today’s analysis should send a clear message to the EPA andCongress that E15 is here to stay. Even with falling gas prices, ethanol remains the lowest cost liquid transportation fuel on the planet. If EPA reverses course and embraces the statutory levels of the Renewable Fuel Standard, E15 and higher level ethanol blends will propel our country past the so-called ‘blend wall’ and increased biofuels use will move our country to a clean and sustainable future.”
The RFA analysis revealed several promising trends, including:
- After approving the use of E15 in some of its 2014 Honda and Acura models, Honda Motor Company has extended E15 warranty coverage to all models in 2015.
- All Toyota models in 2015 include explicit E15 approval, up from just a fraction of Toyota models in 2014. Just as in 2014, E15 is approved for use in most, but not all, 2015 Lexus models.
- For the fourth year in a row, General Motors approves the use of E15 in all models. Similarly, E15 is approved in all Ford models for the third year in a row. Vehicles from these two automakers alone account for roughly one-third of sales in the United States.
- Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche, and Volkswagen also expressly approved the use of E15 in their 2015 models.
- Inexplicably, the Chrysler Group failed for the fourth year in a row to approve the use of E15 in owners’ manuals for its models. Still, a significant share of Chrysler output is expected to be FFV-capable, meaning E15 is approved for use in those vehicles.
To view the complete analysis, please click here.
November 11, 2014
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) recently announced registration is now open to attend the 2015 National Biodiesel Conference (NBC) from January 19-22 in Ft. Worth, Texas.
“As it stands today, many uncertainties remain for our industry, but the biodiesel conference does offer some certainty,” stated NBB CEO Joe Jobe. “A proven track record that investment in time and money to participate in this conference will return value to you and your organization in both dollars and your role in the industry. There is no question this is the biodiesel event of the year, only a question of whether you will be there to seize upon the opportunities that it offers.”
For more information on the NBC, please click here.
Registration is also open for the Renewable Fuels Association’s (RFA) 2015 National Ethanol Conference (NEC) taking place February 18-20 in Grapevine, Texas.
“The NEC is the one venue that provides me with the opportunity to meet with and learn from fellow ethanol producers, catch up on important trends in the industry, gain valuable technical information, and preview new technologies and offerings from the latest research and from industry suppliers,” stated RFA President-elect Randall Doyal. “Our small company sends a large contingent of staff and board members to NEC each year because of the value we find in the relationships, the information, and the networking this unique event provides. We get a tremendous amount of business conducted in a very short time. Well worth our investment!”
For more information on the NEC, please click here.
November 11, 2014
Renewable Energy Group (REG) recently announced the commercial-scale sale of its first gallons of renewable hydrocarbon diesel (RHD) from its 75 million gallon per year (MMGY) capacity production facility in Geismar, Louisiana.
“We are pleased to be offering REG-9000/RHD for sale,” said Daniel J. Oh, REG President and CEO. “REG-9000/RHD is a new addition to our fuel product line-up designed to serve our customers’ needs for great fuel that also delivers towards our nation’s energy diversity, environmental and food security goals.”
REG acquired the plant in June of 2014. The advanced biofuel from REG Geismar meets or exceeds ASTM D975 specifications.
November 11, 2014
Growth Energy recently announced a multi-year commitment and new partnership with theNational Future Farmers of America (FFA) organization to build on critical intiatives that prepare today’s students to become tomorrow’s leaders in American agriculture.
“Growth Energy is thrilled to help sponsor several important programs for FFA, including expanded opportunities to continue to educate FFA’s members on critical issues such as the important role that biofuels and energy play in American agriculture. Additionally, together, we will continue to build a robust networking system to attract new agricultural teachers and highlight the opportunities FFA members have as they enter the workforce. Ultimately, this comes down to investing in our most valuable resource —tomorrow’s leaders of American agriculture,” stated Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis.
Specifically, the Growth Energy partnership will focus on assistance in supporting the Curriculum for Ag Science Education (CASE), as well as a personalized career exploration and development resource called “My Journey.” Furthermore, Growth Energy will also support the TeachAg program in efforts to attract more teachers for the enhanced education of FFA members. Additionally, Growth Energy will be leading select National FFA Convention sessions and providing support for FFA during their Washington, D.C. leadership conference.
Buis added, “FFA is critical to the future of American agriculture. As our nation’s farmers become more productive and efficient, it is important that the next generation learns the best ways to provide both food and fuel while understanding the significance of being a true steward of the land and ensuring sustainable farming for generations to come.”