"At the same time I was able to save the small refineries from certain closing. Great for all!" -- Pres. "The Donald" Trump's Aug. 11 Twitter update of ongoing RFS Policy Change Negotiations which have now been stalled.
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"The Iowa renewable fuels industry accounts for more than $5 billion (roughly 3 pct) of Iowa's GDP, generating $2.5 billion of income for Iowa households and supporting almost 50,000 jobs throughout the state. Year-round access to E15 represents a long-overdue step toward creating a truly competitive fuel market, where cleaner, lower-cost biofuel blends are available to all consumers. This means stronger markets for farm families across Iowa who have been struggling with ongoing low commodity prices and trade tensions." Naig said.
"In addition to allowing year-round sales of E15, the EPA's proposed regulatory changes would modify certain elements of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance system to improve the renewable identification number (RIN) market."
Iowa is expected to have nearly 1,000 E-15 pumps at 200 stations statewide by the end of 2019.
(Source: Iowa Dept. of Agriculture, Crop Life, 30 April, 2019) Contact: Iowa Dept. of Agriculture, Mike Naig, Sec., (515) 281-5321, www.IowaAgriculture.gov
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"These new findings provide further evidence that biofuels from America's heartland reduce greenhouse gases even more than we thought, and that our farmers and ethanol plants continue to become more efficient and effective," said Secretary Sonny Perdue. "Expanding the sale of E15 year-round will provide consumers with more choices when they fill up at the pump, including environmentally friendly fuel with decreased emissions. I appreciate EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler moving expeditiously to finalize the E-15 rule before the start of summer driving season," Perdue added.
The study, led by Dr. Jan Lewandrowski of USDA's Office of the Chief Economist, and published in the journal Biofuels, supports findings of other research that ethanol has a significantly better GHG profile than previously estimated.
The study attributes much of these additional benefits to revised estimates of the impacts of land-use change as a result of demand for ethanol. Where previous estimates anticipated farmers bringing additional land into production as a result of increased corn prices, recent analysis finds only modest increases in crop acreage. Additional improvements at ethanol refineries, combined with on-farm conservation practices that reduce GHG emissions, such as reduced tillage and cover crops, have further decreased emissions associated with corn ethanol. The study projects that with added improvements in refineries and on farms, a reduction of over 70 pct in lifecycle emissions is possible by 2022.
The study is available for download HERE. Additional information on the greenhouse gas profile of biofuels is available at www.usda.gov/oce/oeep. (Source: USDA, 2 April, 2019) Contact: USDA, www.usda.gov
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EPA is also proposing regulatory changes to modify elements of the renewable identification number compliance system under the Renewable Fuel Standard program to enhance transparency in the market and deter price manipulation. Proposed reforms to RIN markets include: prohibiting certain parties from being able to purchase separated RINs; requiring public disclosure when RIN holdings exceed specified thresholds; limiting the length of time a non-obligated party can hold RINs; and increasing the compliance frequency of the program from once annually to quarterly.
Download details on proposed rulemaking HERE. (Source: US EPA, Irrigation & Green Energy, Mar., 2019) Contact: US EPA, www.epa.gov
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There are 25 ethanol plants producing approximately 2.5 billion gpy of ethanol from more than
700 million bushels of corn grown by Nebraska farmers.
(Source: Bosselman Enterprises, Grand Island Independent, 14 Dec., 2018) Contact: Bosselman Enterprises, (308) 381-2800, www.bosselman.com
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The petitioners contend that rather than follow the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, which only allows land cultivated before 2007 to grow corn and soybeans for biofuels, the EPA, at Trump's instruction, has been adhering to a change in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) which allows new land to be farmed as long as the total amount of U.S. farmland dedicated to biofuel feedstock production doesn't exceed 402 million acres.
The EPA estimates cropland in the U.S. has increased somewhere between 4 million and 7.8 million acres since 2007, but is uncertain how much of that is cultivated for biofuel feed stock production.
The petitioning conservation groups say recent mandates to increase the use of corn and soybeans in gasoline have led to more habitat destruction, water pollution, and greenhouse gases. (Source: wfiy, National Public Radio, Oct., 2018)
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The program will be kicked-off in state-owned fleet vehicles and will
assesses the effects of E-15 and E-30 blends on vehicle performance, fuel economy and emissions control systems.
The pilot program is expected to launch within the next few weeks. (Source: Office of Gov. Pete Ricketts, NTV ABC, 27 Sept., 2018) Contact: Office of Gov. Pete Ricketts,
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"While there are certainly positives coming out of this meeting, there are several major potential pitfalls that will need to be mitigated as the administration sets out to implement these policies.
"(The) Farmers Union supports the administration's promises to make E-15 available for year-round use, yet it is absolutely essential we move our transportation fuel market into higher blends of ethanol like E-30. We also appreciate that a cap will not be put on RIN prices, as this would disincentivise the blending of homegrown, renewable fuels in our transportation fuel sector.
"However, this agreement contains no offset for the dozens of hardship waivers that the administration has handed out to oil refiners. These have waived up to 1.6 billion gallons in RFS volume requirements, effectively destroying demand for the surplus of corn that is keeping farm prices low for farmers. The agreement also includes a particularly detrimental plan to assign RIN credits to biofuel exports, which would both devastate domestic demand for biofuels and likely provoke our trading partners into retaliation.
"We urge the (Trump) administration to immediately begin implementing a plan that expands use of higher blends of ethanol, as our nation's family farmers need to be rid of burdensome stocks to start earning a decent price from the market. The administration must also avoid any plan that includes RIN credits for biofuel exports and pursue actions that restore the demand for biofuels that was lost as a result of hardship waiver handouts."
The meeting concluded with an agreement to allow year-round use of E15 gasoline, a limit on RFS 'hardship waivers' being handed out to refiners, and the possibility that RIN credits could be applied to exports of renewable fuel. No cap on RIN prices, nor any offset for the hardship waivers that were handed out to large refiners were included in the agreement. (Source: National Farmers Union, The Pig Site, 10 May, 2018)
Contact: National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, https://nfu.org
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Sheetz, which has operations across southwestern Pennsylvania, added 340 biofuel-capable fuel pumps at 77 locations in 2015.
(Source: Sheetz, Pittsbugh Business Times, 23 Oct., 2017) Contact: USDA Farm Service Agency, www.fsa.usda.gov; Sheetz, (814) 946-3611, http://corporateofficehq.com/sheetz-corporate-office
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Magellan operates the longest pipeline system for refined products and L-P-Gs in the United States, extending about 9,700 miles from the Gulf Coast and covering Iowa and 14 other states across the central U.S.
(Source: Magellan Midstream Partners, Iowa Renewable Fuels Assoc., Radio Iowa, 27 September 27, 2017) Contact: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
Magellan Midstream Partners, (918) 574-7000, www.magellanlp.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News E-15, Ethanol Blend, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,