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No. 48, Sept. 08, 2018

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ON THE HILL

Judge Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings This Week, Growth Energy Reviews
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Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings are in full swing this week. In his twelve years as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Kavanaugh has written a number of opinions on environmental regulation. Two cases are of special note to the renewable fuels industry:    

 

Questioning EPA's reasoning to reduce 2016 RVOs:

In 2017, Judge Kavanaugh authored an opinion in a case brought by Growth and others in the renewable fuels industry that struck down EPA’s decision to use its “general waiver” authority to reduce the 2016 total renewable volume obligation (RVO) based on EPA’s determination that there was an “inadequate domestic supply” of renewable fuels.  Kavanaugh wrote that EPA’s interpretation was faulty and that EPA may not consider factors such as downstream distribution constraints and demand for higher biofuel blends when deciding to reduce volumes based on supply. The court instructed EPA to fix its 2016 RVO. To date EPA has not acted on the order or restored the 500 million gallons of renewable fuel obligations lost due to EPA’s improper exercise of its general waiver authority.

 

Questioning EPA's Partial E15 Waiver:

In a 2012 case, Judge Kavanaugh dissented from an opinion upholding EPA’s partial approval of Growth’s petition for a waiver of federal fuel requirements that allowed E15 to be sold in the United States for only model year 2001 and newer vehicles. Although the case was not decided on its merits (the court found that none of the challengers had standing to bring the suit, and simply tossed it out), Judge Kavanaugh argued that “EPA ran roughshod over the relevant statutory limits” when allowing for the partial waiver. Kavanaugh continued that EPA is only authorized to grant a waiver for E15, if in doing so, it determines that E15 would not harm the emissions control system of “any” vehicle. In his view, the word “any” covered every single model year from 1975 to the present, and it did not allow for a partial waiver that covers only a subset of model years. 

 

Growth will continue to monitor the hearings and keep you updated on any relevant developments.

For more details, contact Vice President of Government Affairs, John Fuher.

 

WORKING FOR YOU

IN REGULATIONS 

Growth Energy Submits Comments to CARB on Modifications to CA Low Carbon Fuel Standard

AROUND THE GLOBE

USDA FAS Releases July Ethanol Export Numbers, Still On Track to Continue Record Year

AT THE PUMP

Growth Energy Releases 'Marketing to Millennials' Article, Part Four of Miniseries on E15 Retail Practices

 

LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER: Growth Energy's Mike O'Brien to Lead Webinar for Fuel Retailers on Benefits of E15

ON THE TRACK

American Ethanol, RCR Partner Unveisl Surprise Throwback Paint Scheme at Darlington Throwback Race

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Biofuels Summit

September 10-15

Washington, D.C.

RVP Enforcement End-date

September 15

 


IN REGULATIONS

Growth Energy Submits Comments to CARB on Modifications to CA Low Carbon Fuel Standard

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Last week, Growth Energy staff submitted comments to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on their modifications to California's low carbon fuel standard (LCFS). Our comments focused on additional changes to CARB's life cycle analysis and opposed their proposal to provide overly generous credits to support electric and hydrogen fuel infrastructure. In our comments, we provided evidence to CARB on the potentially negative impacts that their proposed LCFS modifications would have on GHG emissions. Additionally, our comments suggested that CARB consider alternatives to the LCFS, such as those suggested by Growth Energy earlier this year. To view our comments in full, please go here. Growth Energy will continue to monitor important biofuels regulations around the country.

For more details, contact Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Chris Bliley.

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AROUND THE GLOBE

USDA FAS Releases July Ethanol Export Numbers, Still On Track to Continue Record Year

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The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) released their export numbers for July, 2018, reporting a decrease from June exports. Despite the sharp slowdown in numbers from June to July, ethanol exports still appear to be on pace to set a year record. Government data released this morning shows that the U.S. exported 104 million gallons (mg) of ethanol in July.  While this is a sharp departure from the 151.4 mg shipped in the previous month, the slowdown was expected by most, as Brazil's ethanol demand has dropped due to the ongoing sugarcane harvest.

 

While Brazil remains the biggest customer for the U.S. year-to-date, with 364.7 mg exported thus far, shipments trended lower in July at only 18.8 mg, down from 35.6 mg in June. By comparison, in calendar-year 2017, the U.S. shipped 428.1 mg in total exports to the country, meaning we are still on track to outpace last year's total export number. As discussed above, Brazil's large sugarcane harvest has contributed to the drop in exports this month. However, given the strength of exports to the country earlier this year, American exporters should expect an uptick in numbers as we go into the end of the year.

 

Canada was the largest destination at 37.4 mg, for the month of July, 2018, and saw a marginal increase in our exports to them. As a result, the year-to-date exports to Canada to are now at 196.9 mg and slightly ahead of where they were last year. In 2017, the U.S. shipped 326.3 mg to the country in total, but with very strong export numbers from early-2018, exporters should expect to see a slight increase over last year's export numbers.

 

"Historically the gasoline-ethanol price spread is very wide right now, which means blending is very attractive," Craig Willis, Senior Vice President of Global Markets, said, discussing end-of-year predictions. "With such a wide spread we can expect exports to continue to stay on track for a record year, despite the rise of many tariffs across the globe."

 

Among other top export destinations, India closed 2017 as the number three destination and continues that trend in 2018 coming in at 11.6 mg for the month, bringing its year to date total to 81.7 mg.  Other notable destinations for July were South Korea 8.1 mg, Cyprus 5.9 mg, Columbia at 5.1 mg, and Saudi Arabia at 4.3mg.  It should be noted that no material shipments were made to China, and haven’t been since March 2018, as the current 70% tariffs on U.S. imports have closed trade between the two countries. Should those tariffs fall before the end of the year, we can expect to see even stronger numbers than those suggested above. More information on U.S. ethanol exports can be found on the USDA's FAS website.

For more details, contact Senior Vice President of Global Markets Craig Willis.

 

AT THE PUMP

Growth Energy Releases 'Marketing to Millennials' Article, Part Four of Miniseries on E15 Retail Practices

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Growth Energy has been working closely with the leading retail publications to target executive level fuel marketers and buyers at convenience stores nationwide. As part of our on-going efforts to influence more retailers to offer E15, the market development team has created a six-part miniseries of articles as well as a fuel retail booklet that discusses the best marketing practices for selling. The fourth article in this series is titled, “Marketing to Millennials: Tout the Environmental Benefits of E15," and highlights the opportunity retailers have to target Millennial Shoppers.

 

"The fuel retail business is no stranger to millennials. Retailers already are thinking creatively about how to get them into their stores to purchase products, whether by promoting more eco-friendly packaging or nutritious, healthy snacks,” explains Mike O’Brien, Vice President of Market Development for Growth Energy. “Fuel is no different. Ethanol blended products have been around for nearly a century, and with millennials seeking out more environmentally friendly options, retailers who offer E15 have a competitive advantage with this important audience.”

 

By looking at what is important to Millennials and taking advantage of technology, retailers are at a competitive advantage.

 

To view our booklet, visit our website.

Last Chance to Register: Growth Energy's Mike O'Brien to Lead Webinar for Fuel Retailers on Benefits of E15

Growth Energy Vice President of Market Development Mike O'Brien will present a webinar today, Thursday, September 6th for fuel retailers looking to increase their sales by offering E15.

 

The webinar will be moderated by Convenience Store News Editorial Director, Don Longo, and, in addition to hearing from Mike, Afshin Mohamadi, a Principal at Quadrant Strategies, will present. Attendees will gain insight from these industry experts who will present on the most up-to-date E15 consumer research, layout the best marketing practices with E15, and examine case studies of specific branding efforts, promotions, and marketing.

Registration is now open for this free webinar to be held today, Thursday, Sept. 6, at 2 PM ET, and this is your last chance to participate. For more information on the event and to register, go here. You won't want to miss this opportunity to hear how Growth Energy continues to lead the industry in biofuels market innovation.

For more details, contact Senior Vice President of Market Development, Mike O'Brien.

 

ON THE TRACK

American Ethanol, RCR Partner Unveils Surprise Throwback Paint Scheme at Darlington Throwback Race

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Pictured above: Austin Dillon and members of the RCR team at the unveiling of the throwback version of Dale Earnhardt's iconic "Silver Secret" paint scheme.

On Labor Day Weekend, American Ethanol partnered with Richard Childress Racing to unveil an awesome special edition throwback paint scheme for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 Darlington Throwback Race. The American Ethanol throwback car paid homage to Dale Earnhardt’s “Silver Secret” No. 3 car from the 1995 NASCAR All-Star Race that he rolled off the trailer as a complete surprise to the NASCAR community.

 

The Darlington Throwback Race has become an increasingly popular part of the NASCAR Cup season and an iconic event for many. Fans are able to partake in the sport's rich history and admire the throwback paint schemes of bygone heroes and legends of the past. This year's unveiling of the "Silver Secret" made a particularly big splash, however, and American Ethanol and RCR were able to roll out the Dale Earnhardt classic to much fanfare.

 

Earnhardt was known for his iconic black No. 3 car and “Man in Black” persona, and up until that point, special edition paint schemes were not a part of the sport. The Quicksilver No. 3 car was the first of its kind, and rolling it out as a total surprise made a lasting statement in the sport. We were proud to recreate that moment with Austin Dillon and the RCR team, and you can be a part of that history, too by purchasing these special edition, iconic throwback Darlington die casts today.

 

More information on how to pre-order a throwback die cast can be found here. Please note, a minimum order must be met in order for Lionel to produce the die casts, so pre-ordering one does not guarantee that you will receive a car. If the minimum order is not met, your card will not be charged.

For more details, contact Manager of Communications, Austin Dabney.

 
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The Weekly Rundown is the weekly newsletter for Growth Energy's members. It is published 51 times a year by the communications staff at Growth Energy. For more information, email team@growthenergy.org

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