Monday, November 30, 2015

EPA Finally Releases Renewable Fuel Levels for 2014, 2015 and 2016

Food and Fuel America -
Proving that the government moves at a snail's pace, the EPA finally released the volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2014, 2015 and 2016.  

That's right, they finally got around to 2014.

Better late than never.

While higher than the initial numbers proposed earlier, they still fall short of the Congressional mandate.

Final Renewable Fuel Volumes
Cellulosic biofuel (million gallons)33123230n/a
Biomass-based diesel (billion gallons)1.631.73 1.902.00
Advanced biofuel (billion gallons) 2.672.883.61n/a
Renewable fuel (billion gallons)16.2816.9318.11n/a
Source: EPA

Predictably, the American Petroleum Institute (API) complained that the numbers are too high.

"EPA must do more to ensure Americans have access to fuels they want and can safely use in their vehicles until Congress can repeal or significantly reform the outdated Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), API President and CEO Jack Gerard said following EPA’s release of the 2014, 2015, and 2016 RFS mandates Monday." 

API's message: We need to drill more.  Frack more.  And buy more foreign oil

Supporters of American grown biofuels were disappointed in the EPA's decision as well.

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE)

“While we appreciate that the Administration made incremental improvements compared to the proposed RFS rule, unfortunately, today they are choosing to side with those who say ‘no, we can’t’.  Regrettably, EPA’s final RFS rule protects the old way of doing business by obstructing consumer access to cleaner fuels, stifling competition in the marketplace, and undermining innovation. 

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA)

“EPA’s decision today turns our nation’s most successful energy policy on its head. When EPA released its proposed RFS rule in May, the agency claimed it was attempting to get the program back on track. Today’s decision, however, fails to do that. It will deepen uncertainty in the marketplace and thus chill investment in second-generation biofuels. Unlike Big Oil, the ethanol industry does not receive billions in tax subsidies and the RFS is our only means of accessing a marketplace that is overwhelmingly and unfairly dominated by the petroleum industry."

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA)

“While we are pleased to see the EPA take a step forward and revise its original proposal, the fact remains that any reduction in the statutory amount will have a negative impact on our economy, our energy security, and the environment. It is unfortunate that Big Oil’s campaign of misinformation continues to carry weight in the court of public opinion, and in this decision."

So the US has a crippled biofuels policy.  "We support it, but not really."

That's no way to run a country.


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#ethanol #gas #gasoline #RVO #API #petroleum #corn 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Stand Up to Big Oil - Sign the Petition!

Fuels America logo

Fuels America, a coalition of organizations committed to protecting America's Renewable Fuel Standard, has a petition available today to tell President Obama and the EPA to stad up to Big Oil.

A quick summary from their alert:
The EPA just proposed a major change to the RFS that deals a devastating blow to farmers, small business owners, and workers across rural America -- a threat that could kick us back to the 1980s, when farmers faced a major crisis and thousands of families lost their entire livelihoods.

The petition can be accessed HERE

More information from Fuels America is available HERE.


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Monday, June 1, 2015

Obama Administration Wants Less Ethanol

Environmental Protection Agency EPA Logo
The Obama administration, through the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), proposed lowering the amount of ethanol blended into the nation's fuel supply.

Score a win for Big Oil.  And a loss for American consumers.

In its proposal, the EPA set new lower limits despite the intent of Congress when it passed the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2007.

The EPA proposed that refiners blend just 17.4 billion gallons of renewable fuels in 2016.  

That figure is well below the 22.3 billion gallon amount set by Congress.

Not surprisingly, the American Petroleum Institute wasn't happy with the new lower amounts.  It wants even less cleaner burning ethanol competing against gasoline.  In it's statement, API President and CEO Jack Gerard called for just 9.7% of the nations fuel be ethanol.  And it's no surprise that they want the RFS legislation re-opened and even repealed altogether.

Isn't that nice.  Less American-made ethanol and more foreign oil.

Ethanol groups weren't too pleased either with the lower amount.  

In it's statement the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) stated:
“Today’s announcement represents a step backward for the RFS. EPA successfully enforced a 13.8 billion gallon RVO in 2013. The industry produced 14.3 billion gallons of ethanol last year. There is no reason to promulgate an RVO rule that takes us backward. All it will do is result in an ever-increasing supply of renewable fuel credits (RINs) that will further discourage private sector investment in infrastructure and technology. This doesn’t make sense."
And Growth Energy stated:
“It is unfortunate that EPA chose to side with the obligated parties who have deliberately refused to live up to their obligation to provide consumers with a choice of fossil fuels or lower cost, higher performing, homegrown renewable energy at the pump... 
Now the obligated parties, controlled primarily by Big Oil, have refused to live up to their obligation and the initial read on EPA's proposal is they have simply acquiesced to the demands of Big Oil. 

The proposal is not final.  So you can be sure both sides will spreading the love around Washington DC and the nation to get another number.

Source: US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


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Friday, May 29, 2015

USDA Offers $100 Million for Ethanol Blender Pumps

 The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that it will invest up to $100,000,000 to increase the number of gas pumps that blend higher amounts of ethanol into the fuel.  

These pumps are often called "blender pumps" and can be used to dispense fuel up to 85% ethanol for vehicles designed to use flex fuels.

The goal is to increase the amount of ethanol available to motorists by building the infrastructure of available pumps.

According to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsak:
"USDA is helping to ensure the infrastructure is in place for consumers to access more renewable fuels, expand marketing opportunities for farmers, and grow America's rural economies."
The announcement also mentioned that the goal of the program is to double the amount of pumps capable of supplying higher blends.
Source: USDA

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Senator Grassley Takes to the Floor in Support of Biofuels - "Chain Restaurants, Chicken Producers Smear Homegrown Biofuels"

Senator Chuck Grassley (IA) took to the floor of the US Senate this week to respond to the misconceptions found in a Wall Street Journal piece.  Specifically, he responded to the myths from the chain restaurants and chicken producers regarding cleaner burning, American-made renewable fuels.

Here are a few key points the senator made:

"I’m going to take this opportunity to do a simple fact check of some of the most egregious claims.
First, they claim that since 2005, when the Renewable Fuel Standard was first adopted, costs of vital food commodities, including corn, grains and oilseeds, poultry, meat, eggs and dairy have risen dramatically.  
This is pure myth.
The fact is, consumer food prices have increased by an annual average of 2.68 percent since 2005.  
In contrast, food prices increased by an average of 3.47 percent in the 25 years leading up to passage of the RFS.  
Prices for chicken breast have been nearly flat over the past seven years, averaging $3.43 per pound in 2007, and just 3 pennies more, to $3.46 per pound in 2014.  
Corn prices are expected to average $3.50 per bushel this year, according to USDA.  
This would be the lowest price in nearly 10 years, and 17 percent below the average price of $4.20 a bushel in 2007, when the RFS2 was enacted.  
That’s a fact:  with ethanol production at record levels today, corn prices are lower now than they were in 2007.
It’s been proven time and again by the EPA, USDA and others – there is no correlation between corn prices or ethanol production and retail food inflation or food prices.  It’s just a fact.
Second, they claim that as a result of the RFS, corn is being “diverted” from livestock feed to ethanol.  Again, this claim is false.
Corn used for ethanol has come from the significant increases in corn production since 2005.  
In 2005, American farmers produced 11.1 billion bushels of corn.  
In 2014, they produced 14.1 billion bushels.  
And, one-third of the corn used for ethanol production is returned to the market as animal feed.  The amount of corn and corn co-products available for feed use is larger today than any time in history.  
So, it’s hardly being diverted."

Senator Grassley's full transcript can be found HERE.


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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

NASCAR Green with American E15 Ethanol

NASCAR has the largest renewable energy projects in professional sports and the world.  And it's an important part of NASCAR's Green program.

Since 2011, NASCAR has been using E15 ethanol, made from corn grown in America that has reduced racetrack greenhouse emissions by 20% while increasing horsepower.

And recently, NASCAR raced more than 7 million competitive miles of facing action using E15 in all NASCAR vehicles.

Think Green.  Think American. Think Ethanol.

Source: NASCAR Green


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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Farmland Movie Now Streaming on NetFlix

Farmland, a feature-length documentary by Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Moll, is now streaming on NetFlix.

Every American has a reason to watch this movie. Every American should watch this movie.

Though 24-hour cable news, social media and even a talk-show doctor, the constant chatter is negative.

To hear the activists tell it, our food supply is poisoned by greedy, corporate bad guys.

But that is far from the case.

Most Americans have never met or had a real conversation with a rancher or farmer.

The film presents an honest look at the lives of the hard-working men and women who grow and raise our food.

Check it out via NetFlix and DVD.

Watch the trailers HERE.

Source: Farmland The Movie