WASHINGTON—Today is National Agriculture Day.
On this National Agriculture Day, the Renewable Fuels Association would like to recognize and thank those involved in American agriculture, who provide abundant supplies of food, fuel and fiber to the world. Agriculture is the lifeblood of our industry, helping to produce the cleanest, lowest cost and highest source of octane fuel on the planet.
In 2016, U.S. farmers harvested a record corn crop of 15.1 billion bushels and achieved a new record average yield of 174.6 bushels per acre. In turn, U.S. ethanol facilities produced a record 15.3 billion gallons of ethanol and 42 million metric tons of high-protein animal feed. The U.S. ethanol industry supported 74,420 direct jobs in renewable fuel production and agriculture, as well as 264,756 indirect and induced jobs across all sectors of the economy—while contributing $42 billion to the Gross Domestic Product.
However, the current economic climate is tough for our nation’s farmers. Demand has not kept up with supply, requiring corn growers to sell their commodity below their cost of production. Net farm income fell to a seven-year low in 2016 and the aggregate value of crops hit its lowest point since 2010. But thanks to ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard, agriculture has weathered the storm.
“It is no exaggeration to say that the recent downturn in the farm economy would have been far worse without the ethanol industry’s stabilizing effects,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “That is why the RFA has made increasing demand for ethanol here and abroad our top priority. So, as we celebrate National Agriculture Day, we need to recommit ourselves to increasing demand, building the infrastructure and regulatory environment for higher level ethanol blends like E15 and E30, and removing unfair tariff and non-tariff barriers for free ethanol trade across the globe. If we are to truly honor our nation’s farmers, we must recognize their struggle and promote rural economic stability and growth. At the RFA, we do that every day.”
WASHINGTON—More than 120 military veterans working and investing in the ethanol industry sent a letter to President Trump last week, urging him to include a prominent role for ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in his “America First Energy Plan.”
According to the letter, “many of us have witnessed firsthand the dangers of our reliance on oil imports from hostile and unstable parts of the world. We share your belief that the United States can and must do more to insulate itself from the negative impacts associated with oil import dependence and OPEC manipulation. Your continued commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard and pledge to ‘end restrictions that keep higher blends of ethanol from being sold’ are among the strategies that will help free our economy from the influence of OPEC oil ministers once and for all.”
The veterans signing the letter work in 18 different states—from California and Oregon to Ohio and Wisconsin—and represent 41 businesses or organizations directly involved in the U.S. ethanol industry. They served in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy.
Reacting to the letter, RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen offered the following statement:
“The U.S. ethanol industry is honored to employ so many veterans, and we applaud their efforts to encourage President Trump to prominently include ethanol and the RFS in his energy plan. Driven by the RFS, dramatic growth in ethanol production has played a crucial role in boosting domestic fuel supplies and improving our nation’s energy security. Last year alone, the 15.3 billion gallons of ethanol produced by our industry displaced an amount of gasoline refined from 540 million barrels of imported crude oil.”
WASHINGTON — Renewable Fuels Association Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White has been awarded the Nebraska Corn Board’s 2017 Ethanol Industry Appreciation Award for his years of support.
The award, given Thursday evening during a formal ceremony, is presented to individuals or industry partners who go above and beyond to help ethanol markets and expand demand for ethanol. The Ethanol Industry Appreciation Award was first presented in 2007 and White is the first non-Nebraskan recipient.
“Mr. White leads the effort to increase the availability and consumption of ethanol through consumer education, social media and marketing,” said Dennis Gengenbach, secretary and treasurer with the Nebraska Corn Board. “He is a well-sought out technical expert for the industry on ethanol, E15, E85 and blender pumps.”
“I am very humbled and honored to receive this award from the Nebraska Corn Board,” said White. “I have the unique privilege of interacting with farmers daily, and enjoy the relationships that have developed over the years working together to expand the market for corn and ethanol. Thank you again for this treasured award.”
As part of his job, White works with petroleum marketers and retailers, state and federal agencies, commercial fleets, and individual consumers to increase awareness about the benefits of ethanol and encourage greater development and use of renewable fuels.
“The RFA Board of Directors has made expanding market opportunities for ethanol its highest priority,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “Robert has led those efforts for RFA and does an amazing job. I am grateful the Nebraska Corn Board has recognized Robert’s efforts on behalf of the RFA and I know the entire RFA membership and staff join the Corn Board in their accolades. But more important, we look forward to working with Nebraska’s farmers and others to continue to grow this important value-added market.”
WASHINGTON—In response to the Trump administration’s decision today recalling EPA’s federal fuel economy and emissions rules, and allowing for a data-driven review of the 2022-2025 standards, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen had the following statement:
“Today’s actions allow the opportunity for EPA to slow down, remove politics from the process, and take a more comprehensive approach to fuel economy standards. In 2012, EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration promulgated final regulations establishing the CAFE and GHG standards for 2017-2025. Included in the final rule was a requirement that the agencies conduct a midterm evaluation (MTE) for the 2022-2025 standards and determine whether the standards established in 2012 were still appropriate in light of the latest available data. The RFA filed extensive comments focused on the role of fuels in enabling more efficient vehicle technologies. By rushing through a cursory review to finalize a rule before the transition, the agency clearly did not fully consider our comments, or the comments of other stakeholders.
“In its MTE, EPA correctly identified technologies that will effectively improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases. But they failed to appropriately consider the fuels that will enable those technologies. High octane, low carbon fuels can play a significant role in helping to meet fuel economy targets in the future. That is an omission that must be addressed moving forward if future vehicles can in fact help us address climate change without backsliding on other critical air quality and public health priorities. We look forward to this opportunity, giving EPA a second chance to conduct a more thorough review of fuel economy rules, vehicle technologies, and the fuels that will be necessary to assure success.”
WASHINGTON — The Renewable Fuels Association, TRANSCAER® and Montana Rail Link are hosting free ethanol safety seminars at three locations in Montana this month for emergency responders.
The ethanol safety seminars are funded through a Federal Railroad Administration / TRANSCAER® grant. RFA is a founding member of the Ethanol Emergency Response Coalition (EERC) and this program is based on the EERC’s Training Guide to Ethanol Emergency Response.
Attendees will receive in-depth information on proper training techniques that emergency responders and hazmat personnel need to effectively respond to an ethanol-related emergency. Registration is limited and lunch or dinner will be provided. Certificates of Attendance will be available following the completion of the training.
“Ethanol transportation in gasoline blends or denatured for future use is common in Montana. Understanding its uses, transportation modes, and response issues are paramount for our responders,” said Tony Bacino, manager of Safety and Security for the Montana Rail Link. “We thank the Renewable Fuels Association representatives for bringing their program to Montana and Montana’s front line responders.”
The seminars will be held on the following dates and locations:
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 – Missoula
Missoula Fire Station #4
Missoula, MT 59808
Time: 9:00am-2:00pm MT & 5:30pm-10:00pm MT
Wednesday, March 22 and Thursday March 23, 2017 – Helena
Helena College University of Montana
Donaldson Campus – Lecture Hall Room 125
1115 North Roberts Street
Helena, MT, 59601
Time: 5:30pm-10:00pm MT – 3/22/17
9:00am-2:00pm MT – 3/23/17
Friday, March 24, 2017 – Billings
Billings Fire Department Fire Station 1
2305 8th Avenue North
Billings, MT 59101
(Use North Entrance—EOC Entrance—Downstairs)
Time: 9:00am-2:00pm MT & 5:30pm-10:00pm MT
The seminars are free to attend and open to the public. To register, visit www.rfa.traincaster.com.
WASHINGTON — On Thursday, two bills were introduced in Congress that would extend the Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver to ethanol blends above 10 percent. Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen had the following statement:
“I applaud the leadership of Senators Fischer, Donnelly and Grassley, and Representatives Loebsack and Smith, for calling attention to this critical issue that hinders stations from offering year-round access to E15 and other higher level ethanol blends. Major marketers like Thornton’s, Kum & Go, Sheetz and RaceTrac already offer the fuel blend, but the industry is being hamstrung by EPA’s nonsensical disparate treatment of higher level blends. Ethanol is the lowest cost, cleanest and highest octane source of fuel on the planet. Greater consumer access to higher level blends remains our top priority and we are committed to working with leaders in Congress and the administration to make that a reality.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. ethanol production set a new record of 15.33 billion gallons (bg) in 2016, according to data released today by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA data also show that the average gallon of gasoline likely contained slightly more than 10.0% ethanol in 2016.
Total ethanol production in 2016 was up 3.5% from the previous high of 14.81 billion gallons in 2015. The data also suggest domestic ethanol disappearance of 14.4 billion gallons in 2016 (14.06 bg of input by blenders/refiners and 340 mg of “supply adjustments”), along with exports of 1.05 bg.
U.S. gasoline consumption totaled 143.37 bg, up 1.9% from 2015 and a new all-time record. The data imply an average ethanol blend rate across the U.S. of 10.04%, meaning higher level blends like E15 and E85 saw increased market penetration.
EIA also reported that a new monthly production record was established in December, with output averaging 1.047 million barrels per day.
“It was another fantastic year of setting new records for America’s ethanol industry. My hat is off to the hard-working men and women of this industry, who work every day to make our nation more energy secure, more economically vibrant, and more environmentally sustainable,” said Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). “Driven by the Renewable Fuel Standard and attractive blending economics, domestic refiners and blenders used more ethanol than ever before. In the end, 2016 will forever be remembered as the year we left the fictional ‘blend wall’ in the dust once and for all.”
SAN DIEGO — For the second consecutive year, the Renewable Fuels Association is partnering with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration to host an International Buyer Program (IBP) today at the National Ethanol Conference. The program is designed to introduce U.S. ethanol sellers to foreign buyers in an effort to expand U.S. exports.
Through the department’s network of offices in U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide, the IBP recruits pre-screened foreign buyer delegations and brings them to selected trade shows and conferences in the United States, connecting U.S. companies with international buyers.
At this year’s IBP, 18 international companies are scheduled to attend from seven top ethanol export markets: China, South Korea, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, India and Brazil. Sellers from 18 U.S. ethanol producers and marketing companies are also scheduled to attend.
“With U.S. ethanol exports topping more than 1 billion gallons last year, the IBP has become an important and helpful tool to help expand our domestic industry,” said RFA General Counsel Ed Hubbard, who is organizing the effort. “The highlight of this program will be individualized business-to-business meetings, giving both buyers and sellers the opportunity to directly interact. This is a highly sought-after event and we look forward to helping to connect trading partners around the globe.”
ITA staff will be available to assist U.S. existing and potential ethanol exporters and the program will also include key discussions on Mexico’s energy reforms, as well as a Latin America Roundtable to discuss ethanol and trade policy in the region.
For more information on the program, visit IBP.NationalEthanolConference.com.
SAN DIEGO — The U.S. ethanol industry added $42.1 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product and supported nearly 340,000 jobs in 2016, according to a new study commissioned by ABF Economics. The study, released today by the Renewable Fuels Association at the 22nd annual National Ethanol Conference, looked at the contribution of the ethanol industry to the U.S. economy in 2016.
“The ethanol industry continues to make a significant contribution to the economy in terms of job creation, generation of tax revenue and displacement of imported crude oil and petroleum products. The importance of the ethanol industry to agriculture and rural economies is particularly notable,” the study found.
According to the analysis, the production and use of 15.25 billion gallons of ethanol last year also:
“As these figures show, growth of the U.S. ethanol industry clearly ripples throughout our economy,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “Our industry produced nearly 340,000 jobs last year and displaced more than 500 million barrels of imported oil, bringing well-paid jobs to local communities that are helping a domestic energy industry. The footprint of the U.S. ethanol sector touches every consumer in every city. This study provides definitive proof that the U.S. ethanol industry is helping to power the country’s economic engine.”
“The ethanol industry is a strong contributor to the U.S. economy, bringing jobs and tax revenue, while helping to displace imported oil,” said Economist John Urbanchuk, the study’s author and a managing partner at ABF Economics. “Continued growth and expansion of the ethanol industry through new technologies and feedstocks will enhance the industry’s position as the original creator of green jobs, and will enable America to make further strides toward energy independence,” he added.
The full study, prepared by the RFA, can be found here.
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