Tag Archives: ethanol

MANHATTAN, Kan. — A flawed study that takes aim at the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was discussed in a Congressional staff briefing today in Washington DC hosted by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). Kansas Corn Growers Association leaders said they were disappointed in the study funded by NWF, a long-time opponent of ethanol and the RFS. The study makes flawed assumptions about ethanol production, crop planting choices and the environment.

KCGA was especially disappointed to see a K-State researcher playing a major role in the study that judges corn and ethanol production with such a narrow scope. The study claims that the RFS has caused an increase in corn acres leading to environmental harm. The RFS provides market access for ethanol into a fuel market controlled by Big Oil.

“Our corn producers, through their checkoff, fund research at K-State, but we certainly did not fund this questionable study,” Kansas Corn CEO Greg Krissek said. “The corn commission actually funds efforts with K-State that provide their ag educators with needed lab supplies to use in their classrooms to demonstrate the clean air benefits of ethanol. I think our growers will be dismayed to know that K-State Researcher Nathan Hendricks had a hand in this study and that he is on Capitol Hill today with the NWF, an organization that is suing EPA to dismantle the RFS.”

Krissek noted that many factors impact planting decisions. Corn and other commodities have experienced a multi-year economic downturn, and growers make decisions based on what crop offers the greatest economic return. The NWF study failed to take into consideration many factors that affect planting decisions including improved biotech corn varieties that have allowed corn to be planted in areas where it could not be grown well before. In fact, while corn production in Kansas has doubled over the past 20 years, nearly all of the increase is in non-irrigated acres. Other factors include weather patterns that affect planting decisions, as well as changes in markets for other crops.

“The statement that ethanol has driven corn prices up is laughable in view of the low corn prices and profitability our growers have been experiencing for the past few years,” Krissek said. “Many factors figure into planting decisions including weather, improved seed varieties, market demand and profitability. Our Kansas farmers aren’t plowing up virgin prairie to plant $3 corn.”

A recent study by University of Illinois and Auburn University agricultural economists showed that although ethanol production more than doubled between 2007 and 2014, total cropland acres in 2014 were very similar to those in 2007.

“Corn farmers led the charge to create the ethanol industry to build needed market demand for our crops. Those ethanol plants have brought sustained economic growth to our rural communities. Looking at today’s corn prices, I’d hate to think what our price would be without the ethanol industry,” Krissek said. “Ethanol, livestock and exports are the three-legged stool that corn sits on. Without any one of these three, we’d be looking at $2 corn, and farmers would definitely be planting fewer acres. In fact, there would most likely be fewer farmers. I’m sure NWF would like that outcome.”

Kansas Corn Growers Association President Steve Rome, Hugoton, questioned the narrow scope of the study, which ignores environmental efforts from growers, and environmental benefits of ethanol blended fuels.

“Through checkoff funding of conservation research, and conservation efforts our growers are carrying out on their own farms, corn producers in Kansas and across the nation are heavily invested in many efforts that strive to conserve water, protect pollinators and promote soil conservation” Rome said. “We are puzzled how a study can reach these incorrect conclusions about the environmental impact of ethanol production, but at the same time can ignore proven facts about the substantial environmental benefits from the use of ethanol in our fuel which greatly reduces emissions for cleaner air.”

Studies show the use of ethanol in fuel provides many positive environmental advantages reducing auto emissions for cleaner air. The use of ethanol in gasoline in 2018 reduced CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector by 55.1 million metric tons. That’s equivalent to removing 11.7 million cars from the road for an entire year or eliminating the annual emissions for 13 coal-fired power plants.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released the following statement today in response to reports that, under former Administrator Scott Pruitt, the EPA acted to help big refineries profit:

“I am angry by reports that show what we long suspected: former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt ignored the law to help big refineries at the expense of farmers and ethanol producers. The EPA gave ‘hardship exemptions’ to profitable refineries, releasing them from their biofuel blending obligations. According to projections, this could cause the ethanol industry to lose billions of gallons in demand. 

 

“I intend to pursue legislative options to address abuse in the small refinery exemption process. I will also push new leadership at the EPA to make sure the agency is upholding the Renewable Fuel Standard as intended by law.”

 

The Trump administration has pledged to finish a proposal allowing year-round E15 sales by the summer driving season, but one Midwestern governor is skeptical.

Nebraska Governor Pete Rickets told Bloomberg News he doesn’t expect the rule to be finished by Memorial Day, when the summer driving season begins. The Environmental Protection Agency is working quickly to move the proposal, yet to be released and delayed by the government shutdown.

The proposal would eliminate barriers that prohibit year-round sales of E15 fuels, gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol. Ricketts applauded the E15 move when it was announced in October, as the proposal would boost ethanol consumption at a time of stale margins for the ethanol industry.

Ricketts told Bloomberg News he spoke with EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler about three weeks ago to encourage him to get the E15 change “done as quickly as possible.” The regulatory process including publishing of the rule and comment period can take four to five months.

WASHINGTON— The Renewable Fuels Association is pleased to announce that GROWMARK Energy has started offering pre-blended E15 at 17 additional terminals. GROWMARK announced in November that its company-owned terminals in Amboy, Ashkum, and Petersburg, Ill., Fort Dodge, Iowa, and St. Joseph, Mo., would start offering pre-blended E15, but today announced 17 more terminals.
Effective immediately, GROWMARK will offer pre-blended E15 at several Magellan Terminals: Bettendorf, Iowa, Carthage, Mo., Des Moines, Iowa, Doniphan, Neb., Enid, Okla., Fort Smith, Ark., Heyworth, Ill., Kansas City, Kansas, N. Little Rock, Ark., Oklahoma City, Okla., Omaha, Neb., Palmyra, Mo., Scott City, Kansas, Sioux Falls, S.D., Springfield, Mo., Topeka, Kansas, and Wichita, Kansas.
Materials will be available only Sept. 16-April 30, unless a formal rulemaking allowing a one pound RVP waiver is issued.
As reported previously, RFA has worked with GROWMARK on a number of issues related to offering E15 at the terminals, including regulatory compliance, participation in the EPA’s required fuel survey, and adoption of RFA’s Misfueling Mitigation Plan (MMP).
“We are excited of news that GROWMARK Energy will expand its offering of E15 at more terminals,” said Renewable Fuels Association Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White. “GROWMARK Energy continues to provide new opportunities for retailers and ultimately greater competition in renewable fuels that benefits consumers. We look forward to more exciting news from GROWMARK Energy. RFA will continue to work with interested retailers serviced by these terminals to assist them with the transition to offering E15 at retail.”
More information about GROWMARK Energy is available at www.growmark.com.
ORLANDO— The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is pleased to announce its 2019 Industry Award is being awarded to East Kansas Agri-Energy (EKAE), an ethanol and renewable diesel biorefinery in Garnett, Kan. RFA presented the award to the board and staff of EKAE today at the 24th annual National Ethanol Conference (NEC).
RFA’s Industry Award recognizes companies or individuals who have made a significant contribution to the U.S. fuel ethanol industry through technology innovative, market development, consumer education, policy advocacy, and other efforts.
“This year’s recipient checks more than one of those boxes,” said Geoff Cooper, RFA President and CEO. “This is a company that has embraced new technologies, led the way in promoting new markets for E15, and last year, in particular, demonstrated remarkable leadership in advocating for ethanol and defending the RFS during a very challenging time for our industry.”
In June 2018, EKAE hosted then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for a tour of the plant and a discussion about ethanol and the RFS. Pruitt had just issued 48 RFS compliance exemptions to “small refiners,” eliminating 2.25 billion gallons in renewable fuel blending requirements.
“When he got to EKAE, Pruitt was met by a firm and well-prepared group of ethanol industry advocates that refused to be intimidated,” Cooper said. “In a discussion that lasted for over an hour, East Kansas leaders made sure Pruitt got the message about the devastating impact of his small refinery waivers on the ethanol industry and farmers.”
In March 2018, Paul Teutul, Jr., chose East Kansas as the backdrop to unveil the RFA’s custom E85 motorcycle. The unveiling was featured on the Discovery Channel’s American Chopper show last summer. Not only did the episode showcase the ethanol-powered motorcycle, but it gave the EKAE board and staff an invaluable opportunity to tell ethanol’s story to viewers around the world.
Cooper also recognized EKAE for its groundbreaking renewable diesel project, its role in making E15 available at retail for the very first time in 2012, and for taking top EPA officials on a plant tour the day before a pivotal RFS hearing in Kansas City in 2015.
Open since 2005, EKAE operates a 48 million gallon per year ethanol plant that also produces more than 200,000 tons per year of high-quality distiller grains, in both wet and dry form. The biorefinery also produces 5 million pounds of corn oil each year from more than 16 million bushels of locally sourced corn.
ORLANDO— Today at the 24th annual National Ethanol Conference, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) released its 2019 Ethanol Industry Outlook and Pocket Guide, known around the world as the go-to sources for reliable information and data on America’s ethanol industry.
The annual Outlook publication provides policymakers, regulators, consumers, the media, and renewable fuel advocates with key statistics, trends, insight, and analysis on the latest developments in the U.S. renewable fuels industry, as well as commentary on what to expect in 2019. The publication also features a detailed listing of every fuel ethanol plant in the country, along with production capacity.
The Pocket Guide to Ethanol contains much of the same information as the Outlook, but in an abbreviated format and smaller size.
“For 18 years, RFA’s annual Outlook publication has served as the ‘Ethanol Bible,’ full of the facts, figures, and analysis that inform our advocacy and outreach efforts,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “This year’s Outlook is especially useful in offering insight into the impacts of small refiner exemptions and trade wars on our markets in 2018, but also highlights the good news of expanded retail offerings of E15 and flex fuels, record ethanol exports, and ethanol’s incredible impact on job creation and the economy.”
A new study released today finds that the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) has been a tremendous success in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with nearly 600 million metric tons of GHG reduction since 2007. Actual GHG reductions under the RFS2 have far surpassed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) original expectations of 422 million metric tons, according to the study. The analysis was conducted by Life Cycle Associates, a California-based scientific consulting firm, and commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Foundation (RFF).
The findings, which come as two House committees hold climate change hearings this morning, highlight the important role that ethanol and other biofuels can play in efforts to fight climate change and reduce GHG emissions.
“The RFS2 has resulted in significant GHG reductions, with cumulative CO2 savings of 600 million metric tonnes over the period of implementation,” according to the study. “The GHG reductions are due to the greater than expected savings from ethanol and other biofuels. These emissions savings occur even though cellulosic biofuels have not met the RFS2 production targets. Biofuels have achieved and exceeded the GHG reductions estimated by EPA.”
As outlined in the report, the larger-than-expected GHG reductions are due to:
  • The adoption of technology improvements in the production of corn-based ethanol, resulting in far greater GHG reductions than originally estimated by EPA;
  • The GHG emissions of petroleum are higher than the baseline estimates originally projected by EPA; and
  • Advanced biofuels like biodiesel, renewable diesel, and renewable natural gas have contributed additional GHG reductions, even though actual cellulosic biofuel production has been lower than initially projected.
Using the latest available data and modeling tools, the study found that the conventional ethanol consumed in 2018 reduced GHG emissions by 43 percent compared to petroleum, even when hypothetical “land use change” are included. That compares to EPA’s initial projections that conventional ethanol would achieve only a 20 percent GHG reduction versus petroleum.
“As this study demonstrates, renewable fuels like ethanol are an incredibly effective tool for reducing GHG emissions,” said Geoff Cooper, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). “And with renewable fuels, we don’t need to cross our fingers and wait for the development and commercialization of a new technology. Ethanol is available here and now to help our nation decarbonize our transportation fuels in a cost effective manner. As the new Congress turns its focus to climate change and efforts to reduce GHG emissions, we encourage lawmakers to recognize and build upon the incredible success of the RFS.”
The 600 million metric tons of GHG reduction achieved under the RFS is equivalent to the GHG savings that would result from removing roughly half of the nation’s automobiles from the road for a full year or shutting down 154 coal-fired power plants for a year, according to EPA.
A copy of the study is available here.
Learn more about The Renewable Fuel Association at: https://ethanolrfa.org/