The data also suggests that the impact of small refinery "hardship" waivers under the RFS took a toll on the industry. On a per-station basis, sales of E15 were lower in the first few months of 2019 than during the same period the year before. This change can be attributed to the fact that the EPA granted numerous exemptions under the RFS to small refineries, causing the price of RFS compliance credits (RINs) to fall. thus reducing the incentive for retailers to offer blends of fuel with higher ethanol content, reducing their ability to discount higher blends relative to gasoline.
The full RFA analysis is HERE (Source: RFA, 4 Feb., 2020)
Contact: RFA, Scott Richman, Economist, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association, RFA, Ethanol, Ethanol Blend,
The NCB program provides grant assistance to help ethanol blend fuel retailers upgarde existing equipment to delver ethanol blends.
Nine of Casey's first 12 upgraded locations are in Omaha. Other upgraded locations are in La Vista, Papillion and about 46 miles north in Norfolk.
This summer, Casey's added Unleaded88 infrastructure to more than 60 of its locations. In Nebraska, the retailer also began offering E85 at its stores in Ogallala and Cozad.
(Source: Nebraska Corn Board, Columbus Telegram,10 Jan., 2020) Contact: Nebraska Corn Board, Roger Berry, Market Development, (402) 471-2676, www.nebraskacorn.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Nebraska Corn Board, E15, Unleaded88, Ethanol, Ethanol Blend,
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved E15 for all vehicle models year 2001 and newer. (Source: New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, Biofuels Int'l. 21 Nov., 2019) Contact:
New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, 800-554-4501, www.ny.gov › agencies › department-agriculture-and-markets
More Low-Carbon Energy News E15, Biofuel Blend,
Additionally, this past summer saw the number of stores offering Unleaded 88 increase with the addition of 149 stores bringing the nation-wide total to more than 2,000 retail fuel stations, according to the release. (Source: Growth Energy, Green Car Congress, 19 Oct., 2019) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Elizabeth Funderburk, (202) 545-4000, EFunderburk@GrowthEnergy.org, www.growthenergy.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News E15, Ethanol Blend, Ethanol, Growth Energy,
To begin repairing the damage, Skor called on the EPA to uphold the president's commitment to farmers and biofuel workers. "Midwestern lawmakers and governors have seen the damage firsthand and worked with the president to secure a deal that would start to undo the damage -- a deal that would honor this administration's commitments to farmers, biofuel producers, rural America, as well as small refineries. But instead, the EPA has undercut the president's promise and has yet again tilted the table in favor of the nation's largest oil companies -- all at the expense of the American farmer," Skor said.
Skor urged regulators to use the rolling average of actual exempted volumes from the three most recently completed compliance years in the final rule, as promised by the administration. She also called on the agency to formally bind itself to the revised methodology for future years and expedite work to remove additional barriers to the sale of E15.
"EPA must fix this rule immediately by properly accounting for exempted gallons and restoring lost demand. American biofuel producers and farmers cannot afford anything less," concluded Skor. (Source: growth Energy, PR, 30 Oct., 2019)Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Elizabeth Funderburk, (202) 545-4000, EFunderburk@GrowthEnergy.org, www.growthenergy.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, Growth Energy,
The agreement will ensure the blending of 15 billion gallons of ethanol with fuel supplies starting in 2020 and will also ensure the biomass-based diesel volume is met. EPA will also start the process for streamlining labeling and removal of other barriers for the sale of E15 fuel.
Among other changes, the EPA will begin to account for projected numbers of gallons exempted when coming up with Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) for refiners, which means greater certainty for farmers and producers. It will ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol are blended into the nation's fuel supply starting in 2020. Additionally, the USDA will invest in infrastructure projects to facilitate higher blends of biofuel, such as E85.
(Source: US EPA, McDonough County Voice, Various Other Media, 4 Oct., 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, Biofuel, Ethanol Blend, USDA, US DOE,
Month-over-month, official government data tells a very different story. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the ethanol blend rate has remained within normal statistical variation, despite the flood of "hardship" waivers. EIA data shows:
These blend rates have been stable for the past few years, underscoring the truth that ethanol demand is premised partially on the RFS, partially on demand for clean octane and partially on other factors -- not SREs.
Similarly, when it comes to mid-level ethanol blends like E15, there is no data indicating that SREs are reducing demand. E15 and other mid-level ethanol blend sales have been growing all year and, in the case of E15, sales are higher at this point than they were last year, according to the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.
As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. Under the now vanquished administrator Greg Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was denied.
(Source: American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), EIA, Business & Industry Connection, 3 Oct., 2019) Contact: AFPM, Derrick Morgan, Snr, VP, (202) 586-8800, www.afpm.org; EIA, www.eia.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, "Hardship" Waiver, Ethanol.Ethanol Blend, EIA,
"Dear President Trump,
"We are writing on behalf of the more than 300,000 corn farmers across the country who are being negatively impacted by a perfect storm of challenges in rural America. The 31 new Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers to big oil companies, recently approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and bringing total waivers issued under your Administration to 85, could not have come at a worse time for agriculture.
"Ethanol plants in several states, including Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota and Mississippi have closed or idled. These closures have cost 2,700 rural jobs and impacted demand for more than 300 million bushels of corn. Corn farmers are beginning harvest and continuing to lose markets to deliver their corn. Frustration in the countryside is growing.
"Corn farmers are not asking for a special deal. We are simply asking, as we have been for the past two years, that your EPA uphold the law. To effectively stop the harm caused by RFS waivers, EPA needs to account for projected waivers beginning with the pending 2020 RFS volume rule. Accounting for waivers in the annual RFS volume process restores integrity to the RFS. It also allows your Administration to continue granting waivers, as allowed by the law, while keeping the RFS whole."
"While adding gallons and improving market access for higher blends of ethanol are all policies farmers appreciate and support, future waivers will continue to minimize the RFS, unless your Administration acts to account for waivers beginning this coming year first.
"We were pleased to see press reports indicating that, following a meeting with farm-state lawmakers, an agreement had been reached to address the harm caused by waivers. With more than 4 billion gallons waived out of the RFS, we appreciate you listening to our elected representatives about what is needed to restore meaning to the RFS. Farmers across the country are anxiously awaiting the release of more details about this agreement. Ethanol plants will continue to close if you don't act soon, creating a rippling effect throughout the rural economy.
"Corn farmers are appreciative of your past support for agriculture and ethanol. We especially appreciate your efforts to remove the barrier to year-round sales of E15, but EPA's current use of waivers undermines growth potential for higher blends of ethanol, reduces demand, lowers the value of our crop, and puts the outlook for the rural economy in jeopardy.
"Mr. President, we firmly ask that you uphold your commitment to America's farmers and the RFS." (Source: Ag Ohio, Various Trade Media, Sept., 2019)
Editor's Note: For our reader's convenience, we have underlined the few lines that actually call on Trump to
honestly do his job and uphold the RFS. The remaining five paragraph's are, in our opinion, little more than flattery to the White House.
More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump, "Hardship" Waivers, Corn Ethanol,
The Unleaded 88 Expansion Program provide funds for duel dispensing, piping, hardware and signage for distribution of blended of Unleaded 88 E15 or higher.
(Source: North Dakota Corn Utilization Council, KFGO Radio, 16 Sept., 2019)
Contact: North Dakota Corn Utilization Council, Jerry Wehlander, Chairman, www.ndcorn.org; North Dakota Ethanol Council, Jeff Zueger, Chairman, 701-355-4458, www.ndethanol.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News North Dakota Ethanol Council, Ethanol, E85,
has been a long-time advocates of removing the unnecessary and outdated barrier to year-round E15, which took several years to accomplish. This present action is a continuation of NCGA efforts to increase corn grind by expanding the sales of higher ethanol blends. NCGA will be joining efforts with other ethanol advocates as the legal process continues. (Source: NCGA, High Plains Journal, 15 Sept., 2019) Contact: NCGA, (636) 733-9004, (636) 733-9005 -fax,
More Low-Carbon Energy News NCGA, E15, Ethanol, Ethanol Blend,
"The latest reports say President Trump 'felt misled' about the EPA's most recent batch of small refinery exemptions. That's hardly a surprise. The EPA spent months trying to paper over the devastating impact these refinery (waiver) handouts have had on farm communities and rural workers in America's biofuel sector. They can't hide the simple fact that dozens of biofuel plants have cut production, and ethanol consumption fell for the first time in 20 years in the wake of these exemptions. Closures in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Florida, Virginia, Texas, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Nebraska are only the beginning.
"Just today, the world's largest ethanol producer closed a major plant in Indiana and cut production across seven states. Hundreds of millions of gallons of production are offline, and hundreds of millions of bushels of grain are falling in value, just as farmers face the worst economic conditions in a generation.
"The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) creates an incentive that opens the market to biofuel blends, including the E15 that President Trump personally embraced. These exemptions destroy that incentive, pure and simple. You cannot carve billions of gallons from America's biofuel targets and still keep this administration's promises to farm families. EPA needs to account for these lost gallons immediately and start repairing the damage before more rural communities lose hope for a comeback."
Growth Energy represents producers and supporters of ethanol working to bring consumers better choices at the fuel pump, grow America's economy and improve the environment. (Source: Growth Energy, 21 Aug., 2019) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Elizabeth Funderburk, (202) 545-4000, EFunderburk@GrowthEnergy.org, www.growthenergy.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy, RFS, Renewable Fuel Standard,
"Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) back in 2007, signed into law by George W. Bush -- a lifelong oil and gas guy. The law was passed to encourage investment in advanced biofuels like biodiesel, renewable diesel and renewable jet fuel. Biodiesel producers responded, making the investments and building an industry that today produces more than 2 billion gallons of transportation fuel each year. This market also provides added value to feedstocks such as soybean oil, used restaurant oil and animal fats.
"The oil industry feverishly insists that the ethanol industry isn't harmed by small refinery exemptions because production has grown. But what about biodiesel? They never mention us because they know that small refinery exemptions disproportionately affect biodiesel because of the way the RFS is constructed.
"We have said again and again -- biodiesel is very different from ethanol. The president (Trump) was instrumental in clearing the path for higher blends of ethanol year-round when he lifted the RVP waiver this summer, which we were supportive of. He and his EPA administrator have mentioned E15 when they have spoken about what they believe to be the minor impact of exempting RFS gallons. It's as though they think we are dumb enough to not understand that they are giving with one hand but taking away with the other.
"Now, back to biodiesel. E15 does nothing to expand demand for biodiesel. Ethanol is not biodiesel. In fact, the RFS recognized this by establishing its own category for biodiesel, separate from ethanol, called biomass-based diesel. Policymakers at the time recognized the need to segment biodiesel and renewable diesel within the bigger RFS pool so that growth in those products could be differentiated in the overall program and we would see advancements of biofuels in both the gasoline and diesel sector.
"Fast forward to 2019 and we now have an EPA that, two months ago, proposed a draft rule to hold the biomass-based diesel category flat for 2020, keeping it at 2.43 billion gallons for the second year in a row and then, just last week, the same EPA grants nearly one-half billion gallons of biomass-based diesel waivers. To highlight the hypocrisy in this action, while filing the draft rule two months ago, the EPA documented, in writing, the fact that they expected to grant zero (that's zero as in none, zilch, nada) gallons of small refinery waivers in 2020. And we're supposed to understand and accept that move?
"Biodiesel and renewable diesel year after year fill more than 90 percent of the RFS volumes reserved for advanced biofuels. But EPA complains that advanced biofuels have not materialized quickly enough to meet the goals of the RFS. Now -- as seen last week -- the agency is holding its thumb on the industry and blocking growth. Not only blocking growth, but helping to reduce demand through small refinery exemptions.
"As the agency continues to hand them out to every refiner that asks, the damage could reach $7.7 billion or 2.54 billion gallons, according to Scott Irwin, an agricultural economist from the University of Illinois. A 'small' oil refinery, by RFS definition -- one that processes 75,000 bpd of oil and produces nearly a billion gallons of fuel a year -- would have an RFS obligation to use just 20 million gallons of biodiesel or renewable diesel. Many U.S. biodiesel producers are smaller than that -- just one small refinery exemption would eliminate their entire market. And the EPA granted 31 of them.
"President Trump vowed to protect and defend American farmers. In fact, he calls them patriots. But his actions will put the biodiesel producers those same farmers depend on for their market, out of business. It's already happening, and it's having a devastating impact on rural communities across the nation.
"President Trump and EPA Administrator Wheeler should clearly know what this means to the workers, producers, farmers and investors in the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry -- their new round of unwarranted RFS exemptions just destroyed jobs and a valuable marketplace for hardworking Americans, including those patriotic soybean farmers who Trump has called on to be his willing allies in the trade dispute with China. If this is how the EPA administrator treats the president’s allies, I'd hate to see how he treats his enemies.
(Source: NBB, 15 Aug., 2019) Contact: NBB, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB, Biodiesel,
The rule change has the potential to create a significant increase in market demand for corn-based ethanol as well as other advanced fuels such as cellulosic ethanol. Even so, the administration continues to undermine the enforcement of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) through its abuse of the small refiner "hardship" exemptions (SREs) which have had a drastic effect on renewable fuel demand over the past two years, according to Attis. "Attis encourages the Administration to continue its support of the nation's farmers and renewable fuel producers by limiting SREs to those refiners who truly have encountered hardships by complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard," the Attis release notes.
Attis Biofuels, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Attis Industries Inc., currently operates a 100 million gpy corn-based ethanol facility in Fulton, NY and has plans to expand the production of renewable fuels to include cellulosic ethanol and various other advanced biofuels, according to the release. (Source: Attis Ind., PR, June, 2019)
Contact: Attis Ind., David Winsness, President of Attis Innovations, Jeff Cosman, CEO, 678-580-5661, www.attisind.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Attis Industries, Biofuel, E15, Ethanol Blend, RFS,
(Source: Growth Energy, Various Media, June, 2019) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Elizabeth Funderburk, (202) 545-4000, EFunderburk@GrowthEnergy.org, www.growthenergy.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy, E15, Ethanol Blend, Biofuel Blend,
The change removes a barrier to wider sales of E15 and is expected to expand the market for ethanol -- although immediate effects on the market are expected to be minimal since only about 1,000 to 1,500 of more than 150,000 U.S. gas stations currently sell the higher-ethanol blend, according to the EPA Office of Air and Radiation. (Source: EPA, PBS New, 31 May, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News E15 news, Ethanol Blend news,
According to Klobuchar, EPA waivers that allow small refineries to avoid the requirements are "misguided" and manipulated by financial institutions and the biofuels credit trading market. The senator proposed new compliance standards and additional oversight. Klobuchar also supports year-round sales of E15.
To date in the presidential primary race, Klobuchar is near the bottom of the pack and playing on the small refinery waiver program could play well in the Corn-husker State.
As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct (Source: IJR, Various Media, Reuters, 25 May, 2019) Contact: Sen. Amy Klobuchar, www.klobuchar.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/mobile/email-amy
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, Biofuel Blend,
"The proposed RIN market reforms are unnecessary, as EPA has yet to see data-based evidence of RIN market manipulation. Reforming a system that, while certainly not perfect, is working as intended with no evidence of manipulation has the potential to disrupt and even undermine the system that obligated parties use to demonstrate compliance with the RFS. We ask that the agency use this proposed rule as an opportunity to provide transparency to the small refinery exemption process and address the timing of granting these exemptions. Increasing transparency in the small refinery exemption process is what is actually needed to prevent manipulation in the RIN market.
"Right now, retroactive small refinery exemptions are having the most negative impact on RIN markets, destroying demand for more than 360 million gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel. Rather than unneeded reforms that could further disrupt the RIN market, EPA should increase transparency around the small refinery exemptions, end its practice of encouraging retroactive petitions, and ensure that annual volumes that it set are met,"Kurt Kovarik, VP federal affairs, added.
(Source: NBB, 30 April, 2019) Contact: NBB, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board, E15, RINs ,
"We are not fighting against year-round E15 sales just for fun -- we oppose EPA's reckless proposal because it will increase the availability of a fuel that destroys marine engines and jeopardizes the safety of boaters," said NMMA senior VP of government and legal affairs Nicole Vasilaros. "With more than three in five Americans mistakenly assuming that any gas sold at gas stations is safe for all of their products, it is clear that the federal government has shirked its responsibility to effectively protect consumers from a fuel deemed so dangerous that its federally prohibited from being used in countless consumer products. And the last thing the government should do is pump more E15 into the fuel supply. Instead of jamming through a policy that almost nobody likes, EPA should focus on preventing consumers from misfueling -- including better labeling and stronger safeguards at the pump.
"EPA's decision to expand the sale of E15 gasoline to the summer months makes no sense. It is clearly contrary to the law and it reverses nearly 30 years of statutory interpretation from the agency. Studies have shown that E15 gasoline can damage vehicle engines and fuel systems -- potentially leaving Americans with expensive car repair bills as a result of bad policy from Washington. In fact, nearly three out of four vehicles on the road today were not designed for E15." said API VP of downstream and industry operations Frank Macchiarola.
"To make matters worse, the agency's proposed changes to the RINs market could increase costs for fuel producers and lead to higher prices for consumers. Additionally, fuel producers who have complied with the law and have already made capital investments and business decisions based on the existing RFS and RINs program will be faced with uncertainty and a moving goal post." (Source: American Petroleum Institute, NMMA, PR, 30 April, 2019) Contact: API, Frank Macchiarola, Dir., (202) 682-8114, www.api.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, American Petroleum Institute, E15, Ethanol, Ethanol Blend, Biofuel,
"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
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, Ethanol Blend, E15,
"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
More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA, Ethanol, Corn Ethanol, Carbon Emissions, GHGs,
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
More Low-Carbon Energy News E-15, E15, Biofuel Blend, EPA, Alternative Buels, Renewable Fuel, Biofuel,
The proposed rule does not have to be approved by Congress to be finalized, but it does have to be published and put out for public comment. In order for E15 to be available for summer sales, the process has to be completed before June 1, 2019.
(Source: US EPA, Feedstuffs, 8 Mar., 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA, RINs, E15, Biofuel Blend,
" As the Senate proceeds to consider the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), I write to encourage you to secure tangible documentation from Mr. Wheeler that EPA will resolve two critically important issues before casting your confirmation vote: finalizing a legally -defensible Reid vapor pressure (RVP) rule to allow E15 use year-round before June 1, and reallocating ethanol blending obligations waived for 2016 and 2017 through the Small Refinery Exemption (SRE) provision of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
"I urge you hold Acting Administrator Wheeler to this high standard because of the harm done to renewable fuels by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Prior to his confirmation by the Senate, Mr. Pruitt pledged to support the RFS as the law of the land and the President's commitment to expanding ethanol use. However, while leading EPA, he undermined the RFS through an unprecedented number of backdoor refinery waivers which erased more than 2 billion gallons of ethanol blending obligations between 2016 and 2017. Furthermore, he refused to reallocate those blending obligations to other refiners, as called for under the law, and failed to initiate a rulemaking to allow E15 use year-round despite the fact it is a priority for the President. EPA's broken promises and abuse of the RFS compel Acting Administrator Wheeler to repair the damage by reallocating the blending obligations and finalizing a legally-defensible rule to allow E15 use year-round before June 1.
"During his recent confirmation hearing, Acting Administrator Wheeler assured Environment and Public Works committee members that EPA is 'still on schedule to issue a final rule allowing year-round E15 sales' but added there 'may be a slight delay' due to the recent government shutdown. The shutdown is not a credible excuse for a delay in the E15 rulemaking. In fact, recent history proves the Trump Administration can expedite high-priority rulemakings.
"Take for example the USDA newly-proposed work requirements for recipients of supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits. In December, as Congress was negotiating the Farm Bill, the Senate insisted that House conferees drop new food stamp work requirements from the final legislation. In response, to secure enough Republican votes in the House of Representatives to pass the Farm Bill conference report, USDA put forward a rulemaking to impose the work requirements through executive action. The Farm Bill conference report was adopted by Congress on December 12. The President waited to sign the Farm Bill until December 20, the same day USDA published the SNAP work requirement rulemaking.
"In just eight days USDA was able to issue a rule at the direction of the President to fulfill a promise to Republicans in the House of Representatives. It has been more than 100 days since the President Directed EPA to initiate a rulemaking to allow E15 use year-round. What is taking EPA so long to act? There is no better way to guarantee the RVP rule and reallocation of refinery waivers are addressed than by insisting Mr. Wheeler provide tangible evidence of his intentions on these issues prior to voting to confirm him.
"The RVP rule is particularly time-sensitive. Under EPA's existing and outdated RVP regulations, E15 cannot be sold in most areas of the country from June 1 to September 15, leaving just four short months from today to complete the rulemaking process. Unfortunately, EPA needlessly
plans to combine the RVP rule with reforms to the way Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) are handled under the RFS. RIN reforms are highly-controversial among oil refiners so EPA's proposal will likely pit refiners against each other, causing a protracted dispute. If RIN reforms prevent EPA from finishing the RVP rule by June 1, it will result in another summer that E15 cannot be sold in many parts of the country when fuel demand is at its peak. Acting Administrator Wheeler should be encouraged to decouple RIN reforms from the RVP rule to ensure E15 can be offered for sale by June 1." (signed) Brian Jennings, CEO
American Coalition for Ethanol. (Source: ACE, 29 Jan., 2019)Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, Ron Lamberty, VP, (605) 334-3381, https://ethanol.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News ANdrew Wheeler, American Coalition for Ethanol, Andrew Wheeler, Ethanol.Ethanol Blend,
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
More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel, Ethanol, Ehanol Blend,
The plan builds on the amended Ethanol in Gasoline & Greener Diesel regulations that will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
Download details of Canada's Clean Fuel Standard HERE. (Source: Prov. of Ontario, Farm Progress, 3 Oct., 2018) Contact: Advanced Biofuels Canada, Ian Thomson, Pres.,
(604) 947-0040, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.advancedbiofuels.ca
More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuels Canada, E15, Biofuel, Biofuel Blend,
The EPA is set to release a proposed rule in February 2019 to allow year-round E15 sales in time for the driving season in Jun (Source: Cooperative Producers Inc., DTN, 5 Nov., 2018) Contact: Cooperative Producers Inc., (402) 463-5148, email@example.com,
More Low-Carbon Energy News E15, Ethanol, Ethanol Blend,
The RFA noted it will continue to work with interested retailers serviced by the six Growmark-owned terminals to assist them with the transition to offering E15 at retail. (Source: Renewable Fuels Association , Growmark Energy, 5 Nov., 2018)
Contact: Growmark Energy, (309) 557-6000, firstname.lastname@example.org,
www.growmark.com; RFA, Bob Dinneen, Pres., (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA, Biofuel Blend, E15,
"President Trump has revitalized our economy in part by rolling back counterproductive, job-killing federal mandates and regulations, but this move would undo some of that success by preserving the harmful renewable fuel standard (RFS) at the expense of taxpayers and consumers. Rather than trying to make this market-distorting boondoggle viable with yet another rule written by bureaucrats in Washington, DC, he (Trump) should consign the costly and misguided RFS to the dustbin as well. The best way to make a mandate easier to meet is to eliminate it."
Americans for Prosperity, founded in 2004, is a U.S. libertarian/conservative political advocacy group funded by David H. Koch and Charles Koch. As the Koch brothers' primary political advocacy group, it is one of the most influential American conservative organizations. (Source: Americans for Prosperity, 11 Oct., 2018) Contact: Americans for Prosparity, Brent Gardner, Gabrielle Braud, Press, GBraud@afphq.org, www.AmericansForProsperity.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, Renewable Fuels Standard, Biofuel, Ethanol,
E15 sales are currently blocked from the beginning of June through the middle of September because the fuel blend does not meet ozone standards spelled out in the Clean Air Act.
It is even more widely speculated that Trump's move is focused on stroking his biofuels and farm belt base before for the November mid-term elections.
(Source: CNBC, Various Media, 8 Oct., 2018)
More Low-Carbon Energy News E15, Trump, RFS, Biofuel,
Prairie Horizon produces more 40 million gpy of ethanol and grinds 15 million bpy of grain to produce 127,000 tpy of high protein livestock feed (DDGs).
(Source: Prairie Horizon, USA Clean Fuels, Hays Post, 1 Oct., 2018) Contact:
Prairie Horizon USA Clean Fuel, (785) 543-6719, www.prairiehorizon.com; Phillips County Healthcare Foundation, www.pchc.foundation
More Low-Carbon Energy News DDGs, Ethanol, Biofuel, Prairie Horizon USA Clean Fuels,
(Source: Growth Energy, Convenience Store Decisions, 3 Oct., 2018) Contact:
UNL88.com, www.UNL88.com; Growth Energy, Mike O'Brien, VP Market Dev., Emily Skor, CEO, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy, Biofuel Blend,
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,
More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol Blends, E15, E30, Biofuel, Flex-Fuel,
Exactly what they would offer US refiners and importers to support the change remained unclear and under discussion , but a quick approval of the change risk an almost certain court challenge. An announcement is reportedly expected in October.
(Source: Argus News, Others, 24 Sept., 2018)
More Low-Carbon Energy News E15, Ethanol, Ethanol Blend,
In a joint letter, the groups stress that small-refinery waivers have given refiners "exactly what they asked for: artificially low RIN (renewable identification numbers) credit prices and weaker biofuel blending requirements." Ethanol RIN prices have been trading between 20 and 30 cents since May as a result of the waivers, or a decrease of about 80 pct since last fall, the groups said.
"A strong RFS that follows the law is critically important to ensuring market access for ethanol and biodiesel and to giving consumers additional choices at the pump. I will reiterate to acting Administrator Wheeler when he visits Iowa next week the need to support the RFS, allow year-round sale of E15 and end the small-refinery waivers that have cut ethanol demand by 1.5 billion gallons over the past two years."
Iowa has the capacity to produce 4.4 billion gpy of ethanol, including 55 million gpy of cellulosic ethanol and 400 million gpy of biodiesel, all from approximately 1 billion bushels of corn. The biofuels industry contributes about $5 billion to the state's DGP. (Source: Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig, CBC OnLIne, 12 Aug., 2018) Contact: Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig, www.iowaagriculture.gov/MichaelNaig.asp
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, Ethanol, Ethanol Blend,
"On the surface, the numbers appear positive. Conventional biofuels like corn ethanol are set at 15 billion gallons and cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel and total advanced levels are all proposed to increase. But the EPA's decision to grant numerous small-refinery waivers and to not reallocate those volumes as the law envisioned, undercuts the 15 billion gallon level.
"These small refinery waivers have created the backdoor destruction of 1.5 billion gallons of ethanol demand. That means 500 million bushels of corn will be left in the bins, putting added pressure on already low commodity prices. Every RFS category is reduced by these small refiner waiver exemptions. In fact, it almost wipes out the proposed increase for advanced biofuels.
"And the 15 billion gallons ethanol number is in reality more like 13.5 billion. To put that in context, nearly 1 billion gallons less ethanol than was blended into U.S. gasoline in 2017. That is not progress. That is not the letter or spirit of the RFS. And that is not what President Trump promised the voters of Iowa. This issue must be addressed. The criteria for exemptions must be reasonable and transparent, and any exemptions must be reallocated to the remaining obligated parties. Correcting the small refinery exemption excesses need to be in the final rule. 15 billion gallons must mean 15 billion gallons.
"The former head )Pruitt) of the EPA often said that the decision to allow year-round sales of E15 was a matter of authority, not policy.
The EPA has publicly acknowledged it has the authority, so it's time to act.
It's also time for the EPA to stop ignoring a court order to restore 500 million gallons of conventional ethanol demand that was illegally waived by the Obama Administration for the 2016 compliance year." (Source: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R), 18 July, 2018) Contact: Office of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, https://governor.iowa.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol, RFS, Ethanol Blend, Hardship Waiver, E15,
"With the departure of the previous EPA Administrator (Pruitt) , I hope EPA will take this opportunity to return to implementing the RFS as intended by Congress. Pruitt's seemingly sole focus on helping merchant refiners ignore or skirt their longstanding obligations under the RFS has further shaken the rural farm economy while undermining Congress' goal of increasing renewable fuel use in the United States.
"EPA's misapplication of the small refiner (hardship) waiver authority has destroyed an estimated 2.25 billion gallons of biofuel demand in 2016 and 2017 alone. The 2019 proposal does nothing to reallocate the gallons of ethanol lost due to RFS waivers, nor does it restore the 500 million gallons of biofuel demand lost because of EPA's actions in misapplying the economic harm waiver in the 2016 RVO as determined by the courts that ordered EPA to return those gallons as well. This RVO rulemaking is the perfect place for EPA to restore these biofuel volumes under the RFS, allow for E15 and higher blends to be sold year-round, and discard of its refiner win-at-all-costs mentality."
As previously reported, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance.(Source: American Coalition for Ethanol, Convenience Store Decisions, 19 July, 2018)
Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, Ron Lamberty, VP, (605) 334-3381, https://ethanol.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News American Coalition for Ethanol, RFS, Pruitt, HJardship Waiver,
" It's time to turn the page on the disastrous demand destruction practices of Scott Pruitt and start a new chapter." -- Kyle Gilley, POET Snr. VP External Affairs , Communications
More Low-Carbon Energy News POET news, Pruitt news, E15 news,
"He had completely undermined the ethanol industry. He was handing out waivers like candy. The last number I saw was 2.25 billion gallons of ethanol had been waived from the RFS. President Trump continues to talk about giving E15 full-year access, and these refiner waivers are just unacceptable." -- Lisa Richardson, Exec. Dir., South Dakota Corn Growers Association
More Low-Carbon Energy News Pruitt, Ethanol, RFS, Ethanol Blend, Renewable Fuels Association,
The Growth Energy release credits the not-for-profit Prime the Pump market development campaign for: doubling the number of E15 stations four years in a row to include 1,400 stations across 30 states; securing commitments of more than 2,800 retail sites that will offer E15 by 2021 generating approximately 350 million new gpy of ethanol; and adding three major new retailers to the program in 2017, including a game-changing partnership with Kwik Trip which successfully rolled out E15 at 300 sites in just four months.
Both Growth Energy and Prime the Pump are arguing for relief from the current Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) limitations to further spur the growth of E15 sales.
Volatility defines its evaporation characteristics of a liquid fuel; RVP -- expressed in pounds per square inch (psi) -- is a common measure of and generic term for gasoline volatility. The RVP of gasoline can range from 7 to 15 psi. Ethanol itself has a very low volatility: -2 psi RVP. The higher the RVP of a fuel the worse its emissions are.
(Source: Growth Energy, Green Car Congress, 21 June, 2018)Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org;
Prime the Pump, http://primethepumpfund.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy, Ethanol Blend, E15, Biofuel, Prime the Pump,
Coleman says the RFS renewable fuel obligation rule for 2019 is expected out soon but if the waivers keep getting granted, then the numbers called for in that rule don't mean anything because refiners aren't held accountable to them. (Source: Advanced Biofuels Business Council, May, 2018) Contact: Advanced Biofuels Business Council, Brooke Coleman, Exec. Dir., www.advancedbiofuels.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuels Business Council , EPA, Pruitt, RFS,
"We're pleased the USDA is taking up the president's call to action and pressing for an immediate E15 fix, before the start of the summer driving season. As Secretary (Sonny) Perdue has noted, a flood of illegitimate waivers from the EPA has resulted in 'demand destruction' for U.S. farmers at a time when rural communities can least afford it. Even petroleum giants like Marathon are now expecting 'small refinery' handouts.
"Regulators should, instead, focus on the president's plan to reallocate lost biofuel gallons that were siphoned away by EPA waivers. President Trump promised to protect statutory targets under the Renewwable Fuel Standard (RFS), and we support Secretary Perdue's efforts to ensure the EPA upholds that commitment to rural families.
"There is no reason to delay action or attach unrelated gimmicks designed to benefit a few refinery owners. EPA Administrator (Scott) Pruitt should stand by his word in 2017, when he vowed not to pursue an export scheme that would cannibalize demand for U.S. biofuels, destroy farm income, and spark retaliatory tariffs against the entire fuel and farm supply chain." (Source: Grwoth Energy, SCD, 24 May, 2018)Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy, Biofuel,
"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
More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard , Biofuel, Biodiesel, E-15, National Farmers Union,
"For farmers, ethanol blending equals corn demand. Farmers care about RIN values, not because we want them to be high, but because we want the RIN market mechanism to work freely to incentivize (ethanol) blending. Increased blending will, in turn, lower RIN values, exactly the way the RFS is intended to work. Government manipulation of the RIN market, on the other hand, disrupts the incentive to blend."
An Iowa State study concluded that:
a leading Renewable Fuel Standard reform proposal considered by policymakers would allow E15 sales throughout the year and implement a cap on D6 RIN prices between $0.10 to $0.20/RIN;
while year-round sales of E15 would encourage retailers to sell the fuel, capping D6 RIN prices would reduce consumption of E15 and E85:
a cap on D6 RIN prices between $0.10/gal to $0.20/gal would likely reduce the effective ethanol mandate from 15 billion gallons to about 14.3 billion gallons in 2018; and
unless increased ethanol exports compensate for the reduced mandate, corn prices would decrease under the proposal's D6 RIN price cap. (Source: NCGA, Farm Equipment, 9 Mar., 2018) Contact: NCGA, (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News NCGA, Corn Ethanol, Ethanol Blends, RFS,
"Blending more homegrown, cost-efficient biofuels into the fuel supply is the ready-made solution to lowering prices at the pump while also dramatically reducing emissions.
"Federal experts agree that ethanol slashes emissions by 43 pct over the full energy life-cycle-from farm to engine but that the level of carbon savings is rising with each passing year, thanks to innovations in biofuel production and precision agriculture. We must reduce emissions in the transportation sector and that means deploying higher ethanol blends like E15 and E85 as well as mid-level ethanol blends like E30 alongside advanced and cellulosic biofuels. A strong Renewable Fuel Standard is vital to that effort, and we urge the Environmental Protection Agency to reject calls from a few fossil fuel advocates who want to hold back the rapid growth of ethanol production in rural America," Bliley says.
"We need to get some accountability in the RIN market. There is a lot of speculation that goes on with respect to RINs, there are enforcement issues, fraud that occurs ... there is a lot to be done to get accountability and reform in the RIN market.
"Whether or not the EPA can take action to allow sales of E15 year-round. In the past, the EPA has said they could not issue a Reid Vapor Pressure, or the tool used to measure the evaporative emissions of fuel, for E15 for the summer months. Meaning, the fuel couldn't be sold during that time." -- US EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt commenting on Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) associated costs and their impact on
a recent Philadelphia refinery bankruptcy.
More Low-Carbon Energy News Scott Pruitt, RFS, RINs, Ethanol, Biofuel,
The grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and are often based on geography as the program aims for an even distribution of E15 – E85 flex fuel pumps across the state.
(Source: Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Radio Network , 18 Oct., 2017) Contact: Nebraska Corn Board, Roger Berry, Market Development, (402) 471-2676, www.nebraskacorn.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Nebraska Corn Board, Flex Fuel, E15, E85, Ethanol Blend, Corn Ethanol,
The EPA fuel waiver will make it easier for gasoline and diesel supplies to be distributed by relaxing Clean Air Act regulations that require special blends be made available to meet state-specific emission requirements.
Current EPA emission rules don't allow for E15 to be blended in the summer because of its high fuel volatility and pressure rating. The new waiver relaxes those requirements for reformulated gasoline and low volatility gasoline through Sept. 15, opening up an opportunity to sell more E15 from the Gulf Coast to the Mid-Atlantic.
(Source: RFA, Washington Examiner, 30 Aug., 2017)
Contact: RFA, Geoff Cooper, Snr. VP, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News E15, Ethanol Blend, RFA, Fuel Emissions , EPA, Scott Pruitt,