GREEN Team Newsletter - Issue #213
Registration is now open for the 10th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit, taking place January 19, 2016, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) recently announced.
“Our 10th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit is set to be bigger and better than ever,” stated IRFA Managing Director Lucy Norton. “With so much discussion over the Renewable Fuel Standard, and with the Iowa Caucuses right around the corner, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit will be a great place to learn and engage on the latest renewable fuels issues.”
The Summit is free to attend and open to the public. The 10th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit will take place at The Meadows Conference Center at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa on Tuesday, January 19, 2016.
To register to attend, learn more about the Summit, and review sponsorship and trade show opportunities, please click here.
November 11, 2015
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) recently announced the launch of its renewed logo and website, with new features, an enhanced consumer focus, improved tools for retailers, and much more.
“With so much attention on renewable fuels, we’ve redesigned our website and refreshed our logo to better serve audiences of all backgrounds,” stated IRFA Communications Director T.J. Page. “Along with an updated, responsive web design, we’ve added new features like an Iowa E15, E85, and biodiesel fuel station finder, a consumer center to address questions about fueling with biofuels, and an enhanced retailer center aimed at aiding Iowa retailers in their search to find a competitive advantage with renewable fuels blends. A lot has changed with the IRFA website, but what has stayed the same is it’s still a great resource for all things renewable fuels.”
- Enhanced Homepage: Sleek, responsive web design with larger images, a comprehensive menu option, and quick links to take you to the latest and greatest on renewable fuels.
- Fueling Your Vehicle Center: A dedicated page for motorists, complete with fuel recommendations based on vehicle types, and Iowa E15, E85 and biodiesel fueling station finders.
- Retailer Center: If you’re a fuel retailer looking to gain a competitive advantage with renewable fuel blends, this is the place for you. Information on fuels, state tax credits, and more are just one click way.
- Resources and Statistics: Improved stats on the production and benefits of renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel, as well as other great informational resources.
A copy of the new IRFA logo is available upon request for your use. The newly updated IRFA website can be viewed at the same URL: www.IowaRFA.org. IRFA worked with the Urbandale, Iowa-based web design company Webspec Design on the website and logo.
November 11, 2015
America’s Renewable Future (ARF) recently released a midterm report card placing 2016 presidential candidates into three categories—good, needs work, and bad—based on their support of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The midterm report card will serve as a guide for ARF’s supporters, who are looking to support a pro-RFS candidate on February 1, but it will more importantly let candidates know where they stand with Iowans.
“Ethanol and the RFS are top concerns for Iowa caucus-goers and Americans everywhere, because renewable fuel like ethanol is making America cleaner, stronger, and more secure,” stated ARF Co-Chair Annette Sweeney. “We will make sure Iowans know where candidates stand, and ensure all of our supporters see this report card.”
The RFS enjoys broad support from Iowa’s Democrat and Republican caucus-goers, with 76% and 61% respectively saying in a recent poll that they would be more likely to support a candidate who is pro-RFS.
ARF’s report card designates a “good” candidate as one who has demonstrated consistent support for the RFS and Iowa farmers, a “needs work” candidate as one who has given inconsistent and undefined positions on the RFS, and a “bad” candidate as one who has stood against Iowa farmers and the RFS.
Candidates Receiving a “Good” Rating:
- Hilary Clinton (D)
- Martin O’Malley (D)
- Bernie Sanders (D)
- Chris Christie (R)
- Lindsey Graham (R)
- Mike Huckabee (R)
- George Pataki (R)
- Rick Santorum (R)
- Donald Trump (R)
Candidates Receiving a “Needs Work” Rating:
- Jeb Bush (R)
- Carly Fiorina (R)
- John Kasich (R)
- Marco Rubio (R)
Candidates Receiving a “Bad” Rating:
- Ben Carson (R)
- Ted Cruz (R)
- Bobby Jindal (R)
- Rand Paul (R)
“The midterm report card is not the final word, but it puts everyone on notice that Iowans can see whether candidates are preparing to stand with them or against them,” added Sweeney. “We will be releasing a final report card in January, when the middle category will be gone and candidates will either be designated as with us or against us.”
To learn more about the midterm grades, please click here.
November 11, 2015
DuPont recently celebrated the opening of its cellulosic biofuel facility in Nevada, Iowa, with a ceremony including Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and many other dignitaries. This biorefinery is the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant, with the capacity to produce 30 million gallons per year of clean fuel that offers a 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as compared to gasoline.
“Iowa has a rich history of innovation in agriculture,” said Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. “Today we celebrate the next chapter in that story, using agricultural residue as a feedstock for fuel, which brings both tremendous environmental benefits to society and economic benefits to the state. The opening of DuPont’s biorefinery represents a great example of the innovation that is possible when rural communities, their government and private industry work together toward a common goal.”
“Today, we fulfill our promise to the global biofuels industry with the dedication of our Iowa facility,” said DuPont Industrial Biosciences President William Feehery. “And perhaps more significantly, we fulfill our promise to society to bring scientific innovation to the market that positively impacts people’s lives. Cellulosic biofuel is joining ranks with wind and solar as true alternatives to fossil fuels, reducing damaging environmental impacts and increasing our energy security.”
The new DuPont facility will create about 80 to 90 permanent jobs and employ 150 seasonal employees, while collecting the plant’s feedstock from a 30 radius of the facility. When running at capacity, the plant will process on stover bale per minute, and yield 40 gallons of ethanol per bale.
To learn more about the new facility, please click here.
November 11, 2015
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association’s (IRFA) biodiesel producers today sent a letter to all members of the Iowa Congressional delegation urging them to help level the energy playing field by pushing for swift passage of a multi-year biodiesel tax incentive.
“While facing more than a century of uninterrupted subsidies for petroleum, the biodiesel tax incentive has been allowed to expire four times in six years,” stated IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “Now more than ever, the biodiesel community needs certainty and a level playing field in order to continue to build upon the vast energy security, economic and air quality benefits producing and using biodiesel currently provides to this country.”
The letters stated, “We urge you to do all you can to push for swift passage of a tax extenders package that includes an amendment to shift the biodiesel tax incentive to a producer’s credit, as was unanimously passed out of the Senate Finance Committee in the Tax Relief Extension Act of 2015 (S.1946) on July 21, 2015.
“The biodiesel tax incentive is a proven job creator that is critically important to the U.S. biodiesel industry, and specifically to Iowa biodiesel producers. However, the $1.00 per gallon incentive lapsed on January 1, 2015, marking the fourth time in six years that the incentive has expired—even as favorable tax incentives for petroleum have continued uninterrupted for more than a century. This has created significant disruption and uncertainty in the industry. It is imperative that Congress end this piecemeal tax policy for biodiesel by passing a long-term tax incentive that paves the way for growth.
“S. 1946 would extend the incentive through 2016, and importantly it also includes a common-sense reform long advocated by the U.S. biodiesel industry. As you know, U.S. tax dollars and energy policy should be aimed at incentivizing domestic production, not foreign production. Under the existing structure of the credit, biodiesel produced overseas can qualify for the tax incentive if it is blended in the U.S. Subsidizing foreign manufacturing is obviously not the intent of Congress, and we should close this loophole by reforming the credit as a domestic production credit, consistent with S. 1946. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this change would save U.S. taxpayers some $90 million per year. It will also streamline administration of the incentive by the IRS to prevent waste, fraud and abuse.”
The IRFA letters were sent to Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, and Representatives Rob Blum, Steve King, Dave Loebsack, and David Young.
A copy of one of the letters is available here.
November 11, 2015
A new survey conducted by America’s Renewable Future (ARF) shows that, once informed about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), 79 percent of Republican and 90 percent of Democrat caucus-goers from Iowa think the RFS is good for the nation. In addition, 76 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of Republicans said they would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate that supports the RFS.
“This isn’t a Republican thing or a Democrat thing, it’s an America thing” said ARF Executive Director Eric Branstad. “This is an American thing. This represents the future.”
Among the other findings:
- 75 percent of Republicans and 87 percent of Democrats endorsed lower greenhouse gas emissions, compared to gasoline, as a good reason to continue the RFS.
- 88 percent of Republicans and 93 percent of Democrats react favorably to the strong job and wage benefits the RFS ensures for Iowa.
- 86 percent of Republicans and 92 percent of Democrats say the hundreds of thousands of American jobs the RFS ensures across the country are a good reason to continue the program.
The survey was conducted by Selzer & Company, which in late September, contacted about 400 Democratic and 400 Republican Iowa voters likely to attend the February presidential caucuses. The voters were asked some general questions about energy and renewable fuels and then more specific questions about ethanol and the RFS, was described with this sentence.
For more on the poll, check out this Ethanol Producer Magazine article.
November 11, 2015
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) recently released a report pointing out that, while nearly 30 countries attending December’s climate talks in Paris have submitted action plans that call for using biofuels as a means of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the United States did not mention the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in its plan, nor did it acknowledge the important role biofuels have played in significantly reducing GHG emissions from the transportation sector over the past decade.
The report notes that transportation-related emissions, which account for 27 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions, have “steadily trended downward since adoption of the RFS, and current levels are 10 percent below 2005 levels.” The report also notes that both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) cite that the use of biofuels has had a positive net impact on reducing GHG emissions.
“It is unquestionable that biofuels have delivered substantial GHG emissions reductions from the transportation sector over the past decade,” said RFA’s President and CEO, Bob Dinneen. “And these emissions reductions would not have been possible without the adoption of the RFS. Inexplicably, the United States’ initial submission to COP21 completely ignores past GHG reductions and the future promise of even greater reductions as the RFS drives further improvements in biofuels technologies.
“It is ironic that the climate talks will take place just as EPA is due to release its final rule on the 2014-2016 RVOs. If EPA sticks to its initial proposal, it will roll back the single most successful climate change program the world has ever seen. The administration wants to be viewed as a leader on climate change; then it must do what nearly 30 other countries who are attending COP21 plan on doing and embrace, not ignore, biofuels. ”
To read the report, please click here.
November 11, 2015
Biofuels coalition Fuels America recently launched a new TV ad campaign to counter the petroleum industry’s attempts to mislead policymaker and consumers with blatant misinformation.
President Obama and the EPA have a choice to make on the Renewable Fuel Standard, and they need to decide whose advice to take, Fuels America noted.
On one side, the President’s own Cabinet secretaries, scientists and advisors have publicly called for protecting a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). They see that the RFS has strengthened America’s rural economy while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
But on other side, the oil industry is up to its old tricks — funding bogus research studies that spread blatant lies about ethanol. These so-called “inconvenient facts” and newfound concerns about the environment are a laugh when they come from Big Oil.
When it comes to advice on the RFS, President Obama can look no further than his own cabinet. RFS supporters include the likes of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Both McCarthy and Vilsack see the RFS as a great American success story and a vital part of the solution to climate change.
At a recent energy conference, Secretary Vilsack made it clear that his department has a commitment to supporting the RFS. “This is the right thing to do for the country and certainly the right thing to do for rural America.”
McCarthy was even more direct in drawing the connection from the RFS to the environment. “President Obama is fully committed to addressing the challenge of climate change. And he knows as well as you do that RFS is a tool we need to bring to the table.”
“Once again, Big Oil is trotting out the same old misinformation it has been using for a decade in attempts to mislead the public, maintain its monopoly on the motor fuels market and prevent consumer choice by keeping Americans addicted to foreign oil,” stated Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. “But there is no denying the data and the facts. Ethanol is better for our environment. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions, cleans our air and provides consumers savings and a choice at the pump. It also reduces our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, sends money right back into the American economy to create jobs and revitalizes rural America. Our industry is proud of our record and contributions. We will debate oil anytime on who is better for the environment. No beaches have been closed due to an ethanol spill, nor have wars been fought over ethanol. The renewable fuels industry is a win-win for America. Renewable fuels provide a cleaner, greener future that is changing the way we feed and fuel the world.”
To watch the full TV ad, please click here.
November 11, 2015
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) recently announced that registration is now open for the 21st Annual National Ethanol Conference (NEC), taking place February 15 – 17, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana, with the theme “Fueling a High Octane Future.”
Founder and CEO of Citizens for Affordable Energy John Hofmeister is set to headline this year’s NEC. Mr. Hofmeister is the former president of the Shell Oil Company and authored the book “Why We Hate the Oil Companies: Straight Talk from an Energy Insider.” After retiring from Shell in 2008, Mr. Hofmeister founded Citizens for Affordable Energy, a public policy education firm that promotes sound energy security solutions for the United States, including a range of affordable energy supplies, efficiency improvements, essential infrastructure, sustainable environmental policies, and public education on energy issues.
“John Hofmeister is an innovative and energetic leader on issues surrounding energy security,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “As a former oil company executive, he not only possesses an insider’s understanding about how the oil industry actually operates but, because of his background, when he speaks he does so with a very credible and authentic voice. Mr. Hofmeister is the perfect choice for next year’s NEC because he wholeheartedly believes that the key to providing consumers with clean, affordable, and secure sources of energy is to implement policies that promote diversity in our energy supply.”
To learn more about the NEC, please visit: NationalEthanolConference.com
November 11, 2015
This year’s NBC will be on the water in Tampa, and you’ll see some big differences to the NBC format. First, the NBC has expanded meeting and sitting space to make our Expo Hall an easy place for you to meet clients and do business. Second, new sessions and schedules recognize one of the most valuable assets of this event is the people you see and meet. With many restaurants in easy walking distance, the venue is perfectly positioned for evenings to host key clients, engage new contacts and interact with biodiesel leaders. The NBB encourages you to consider a sponsorship this year; we have a host of great options to showcase your company or can build one to meet your specific needs.
This event has proven time and again your investment in time and money to make the trip 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 how you’ll capitalize on the opportunities it presents.
To learn more, please visit: BiodieselConference.org/2016
November 11, 2015
Story Construction’s history dates back to 1934 when James Thompson & Sons initially brought their construction business to Ames, Iowa. Through changes in focus and ownership over the years, our name is now Story Construction, a merit shop contractor offering comprehensive services of General Construction, Construction Management and Design-Build.
The markets where Story works include Renewable Energy; K-12/Higher Education; Senior Living; Churches/Christian Schools; Government/Public; Industrial/Commercial/Food Processing; Medical/Research; and Water/Wastewater Treatment.
Story is employee-owned with leadership via a Board of Directors: Mike Espeset, President; Pat Geary, Chief Operating Officer; and Steve Tenney, Chief Financial Officer/Secretary-Treasurer.
Story is currently licensed to do business throughout Iowa and in eight nearby states: Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota and Wisconsin. In today’s competitive commercial construction market, Story is proud to have celebrated 80 years in business in 2014.
Story Construction’s purpose – Building Successful Relationships by Doing the Right Thing – is what drives our success. Every day, in every dealing with owners, partners, subcontractors, suppliers and each other, we are held accountable to our Core Values: Hardworking, Fair, Integrity, Honest, Helpful and Planful.