Tag Archives: ethanol

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) has been recognized as a 2018 High Octane Champion by Renewable Fuels Nebraska, the trade association for Nebraska’s ethanol industry. The award was developed by the RFN membership as a way to recognize public policy leaders that strongly support Nebraska’s $5 billion ethanol industry.

“Nebraska’s ethanol industry is proud to recognize Adrian Smith as a biofuels leader in the US House of Representatives and as one of this country’s stalwart supporters of the ethanol industry,” said RFN Executive Director Troy Bredenkamp. “At a time when Washington’s political climate for ethanol remains a challenge at best, Representative Smith continues to be a leader in the House on our behalf. This award is a small token of our appreciation and a way to recognize him for all that he does for us.”

Smith has led the legislative effort in the US House to resolve the Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver issue and allow for year-around E15 sales nationwide. This week, the bi-partisan House Bio-fuels Caucus sent a letter to Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging the agency to act swiftly on E15 regulatory reform and Representative Smith was a leader in this effort. If the EPA fails to initiate the rule-making process on the RVP waiver, then there is a high likelihood that the US ethanol industry and consumers will once again see restricted E15 availability for the 2019 summer driving season.

“Knowing how important year-around E15 sales would be to grow the US ethanol industry, Representative Smith introduced legislation that, if passed, would resolve the RVP waiver issue and force the EPA to allow for uninterrupted sales of E15 year around,” said Bredenkamp. “It is this kind of support that needs to be recognized and Nebraska’s ethanol producers want Representative Smith to know we appreciate everything he has done, and continues to do, on behalf of Nebraska and America’s ethanol industry.”

Sioux Falls, SD – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) submitted comments today to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the proposed blending volumes for 2019 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) on the final day of accepting public comments on the proposal.

ACE commented on several facets of the proposed rule including: how EPA exemptions and waivers are harming rural America and violate statutory authority, the need for reallocation of Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) and for EPA to comply with the Americans for Clean Energy et al v. EPA lawsuit, conventional, cellulosic, and advanced biofuel levels, RIN market operations, the need to issue a rulemaking extending the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) relief to blends above E10, encouraging EPA to adopt the latest GREET model with respect to the lifecycle analysis of corn ethanol.

“Unfortunately, EPA continues to take actions which undermine the letter and spirit of the statute and harm the rural economy. While refiners are reporting double-digit profits, the heart of America is being left behind. Farmers are losing money while refiners have the best of both worlds: fat profit margins and minimal RFS compliance costs. EPA needs to discard its refiner-win-at-all-costs mentality and get the RFS back on track.”

“While the proposed rule purports to maintain the 15-billion-gallon conventional blending target for the 2019 RVO, nearly 50 Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) will reduce ethanol blending far below 15 billion gallons.  Known exemptions for 2016 and 2017 have resulted in at least 2.25 billion in demand destruction for U.S. ethanol. These so-called ‘hardship’ waivers flood the market with RINs which refiners can bank, thereby artificially inflating the size of the RIN carryover to more than 3 billion gallons.  As a result, D6 RIN prices have cratered.  One year ago, D6 RINs were fetching approximately 90 cents but SREs have sunk those prices to about 20 cents today, nearly an 80 percent collapse. This, consequently, has reduced the incentive to blend ethanol with gasoline.”

ACE’s full comments will be available at www.ethanol.org on Monday, August 20th.

Sen. Chuck Grassley says the Environmental Protection Agency is no longer considering a controversial provision that would have made exported ethanol and biodiesel eligible for the credits used to measure compliance with the federal blending mandate.

The Iowa Republican makes the inference based on recent dialogue with EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, leading him to conclude the policy is no longer being considered as a potential compromise that would allow for year-round sale of E15.

“Only one thing you can say for certain, that the idea that (former EPA Administrator Scott) Pruitt had and refineries were pushing to have RINs applied to exports, that’s not on the table,” Grassley told reporters Wednesday morning.

The idea of making exported biofuels eligible for Renewable Identification Numbers – the credits used to track Renewable Fuel Standard compliance – has seen a good deal of movement in the last 12 months. Pruitt sent a letter to Capitol Hill in October assuring lawmakers that at the time, EPA had “not taken any formal action to propose this idea, nor will EPA pursue regulations.”

But the idea reemerged earlier this year, leading President Donald Trump to reject a dealthat would have traded the export RIN for the Reid Vapor Pressure waiver necessary for year-round E15 sales.

The export RIN being taken out of consideration would be a win for ethanol interests, but the desire to secure the RVP waiver remains. Grassley said he believes Wheeler is acting on a directive from the White House to find a deal.

“There seems to be a real message from the White House to Wheeler to do something for E15 12 months out of the year, but there has to be something also done for refineries,” he said. “So I think Wheeler is trying to find some balance.”

Wheeler addressed the issue shortly after being named EPA’s acting administrator, telling reporters that any changes to the RFS would need to move as a package. Those comments seemingly eliminated the possibility the agency could pursue the RVP waiver as a standalone action, something Grassley – and a host of pro-biofuel lawmakers and lobbyists – still hopes could happen.

“I can’t say for sure he’s of this frame of mind, but I sure hope he … that we’ve already accomplished what the refineries want, and he would just go ahead with just something for ethanol,” Grassley said, noting the drop in RIN prices since biofuel talks at the administration level began.

Under a provision in the Clean Air Act, E15 – a gasoline mix with 15 percent ethanol – cannot be sold during the summer months, a restriction that begins in June. Grassley said he drew the conclusion from his conversations with Wheeler that he wants to “get it done a long time before next season,” and “there may be some time limit that he has set for himself, and he didn’t say what it was, but if he doesn’t find some sort of compromise, that he’s going to have to move ahead anyway.”

In a statement, EPA spokesman Michael Abboud did not address specific questions about the export RIN, but he noted the agency is working with the White House as well as the Energy and Agriculture departments “to develop a win-win solution for the president that provides regulatory relief for the agriculture community and RIN stability for our nation’s refiners.”