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No. 35, June 06, 2018



White House Announces Indefinite Postponement of Proposed Changes to RFS


The White House announced last night an indefinite postponement of the proposed rules changes for biofuels, including RVP relief and potential RINs on exports. This follows seven meetings at the White House over the course of six months. We would like to thank Secretary Perdue and Senators Grassley and Ernst for continuing to advocate against ideas that would destroy demand for biofuels and for advocating for ways to restore and advance our growth opportunities. Our voice matters and our active engagement and your outreach to our champions helped shape today’s White House decision. We will continue to refocus the conversation toward ways to help improve farm income and expand access to lower cost biofuels. Growth Energy remains committed to defending our members and keeping the RFS strong.

As you may have also seen, Growth Energy, along with our industry allies, petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to change their regulations to account for the lost ethanol volume due to retroactive small refinery waivers. This petition is only the most recent example of how Growth Energy stays at the forefront of biofuels, both through its members and staff.

“The EPA’s dramatically expanded practice of granting small refinery exemptions and failing to reallocate the obligations undermines the RFS and has already reduced volume obligations by hundreds of millions of gallons,” Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said. “America’s farmers are the ultimate victims of the agency’s giveaways to refiners, and this abuse of power has to stop.”


Yesterday our legislative champions took a public stand against any possible negative outcome from the White House on this deal. Today, we are confident that our efforts to represent your interests in D.C. and across the nation and globe have paid off. We ask that you help us in continuing to keep pressure on the Administration to ensure President Trump keeps his promise on RVP, which remains an important component for rural growth. Growth Energy will continue to monitor the situation and remain actively engaged on any developments.

For more details, contact Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Chris Bliley or Vice President of Government Affairs John Fuher.



Rutter's Joins the Growth Energy E15 Family


Veteran Craig Willis Takes Growth Energy Reins on Global Markets


Growth Energy Welcomes New General Counsel Joseph Kakesh


Member of the Week: POET Hudson


Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo

June 11 - 13

Omaha, Neb.

Coke Zero Sugar 400 

July 7

Daytona Beach, FL



Rutter's Joins the Growth Energy E15 Family


We are proud to announce that Rutter’s has joined Casey’s, Family Express, Holiday, Kum & Go, Kwik Trip, MAPCO, Minnoco, Murphy USA, Protec Fuel, QuikTrip, RaceTrac, Sheetz, Thorntons, and Cenex in offering E15 at nearly 1,400 stations across 30 states. Rutter’s announced that they will begin selling E15 at various locations in Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.


Rutter’s is a privately owned and family managed group of companies that includes convenience stores, a dairy and beverage company, and a real estate company. With roots dating back to 1747, Rutter’s 271-year history makes it the oldest vertically-integrated food company in the United States. Rutter’s is widely recognized as an industry leader in food service, innovative technology, and customer service, receiving awards for International Convenience Retailer of the Year, 1st Nationally in Brand Loyalty and Customer Fit, and Food Service Retailer of the Year.  Rutter’s is currently guided by family leadership with Scott Hartman as president and CEO, Todd Rutter as president of Rutter’s beverage company, and Tim Rutter as president of M&G Realty

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



Veteran Craig Willis Takes Reins on Global Markets for Growth Energy

Growth Energy is happy to welcome Craig Willis to our team as our new Senior Vice President of Global Markets effective as of June 1. A storied veteran of the ethanol industry, Willis joins Growth Energy after more than 25 years at ADM, where he served as President of the Ethanol Business since 2015. Willis’ successes in spearheading commercial development, opening new markets abroad, and helping to lead Prime the Pump as a board member give him a head start in building out an aggressive strategy for further growth for the entire ethanol sector.


“I am looking forward to knocking down barriers and building on the success of Growth Energy’s work both in facilitating the advancement of E15 with Prime the Pump and increasing ethanol’s global footprint,” said Willis. “I grew up on a farm in the midst of the ag crisis, so I understand that ethanol is the only true way to grow demand for corn and I’m excited join an exceptional team at Growth Energy to continue providing pathways for even greater market expansion for American ethanol and its coproducts.”


A graduate of the University of Illinois’ Agricultural Economics Program, Willis is a bright new addition to our team and we look forward to working with him to keep Growth Energy at the forefront of global biofuel markets.


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



Growth Energy Welcomes New General Counsel Joseph Kakesh

We are proud to welcome our new General Counsel Joseph Kakesh to the Growth Energy team. Kakesh has lengthy legal experience with trade associations, regulatory programs, and environmental litigation. Prior to joining Growth Energy, he was Of Counsel at Wiley Rein, LLP. Kakesh originally moved to D.C. to earn his Ph. D. at Georgetown University, however he quickly realized that his passion lay in the direction of law and policy. After working on environmental law issues, including the Clean Air Act, at his previous position, Kakesh became interested in the industry.

"I really enjoy working on legally complex issues, and the biofuels industry certainly provides an opportunity to combine legal analysis with a deep-dive into technical issues facing the industry. I’m excited by the industry because of the economic and environmental benefits biofuels can provide in the United States and abroad."


"I’m excited about working with a team of really dedicated professionals and helping the organization grow and continue to be the preeminent renewable fuels trade association in the country.  There are many fascinating legal and political issues facing the industry right now, and I’m very glad to be a part of it."


We are very excited to have Joseph on board and feel he will be a valuable addition to our growing association.


For more details, contact General Counsel Joe Kakesh.




Member of the Week: POET Hudson


Pictured: Team members donated a park bench to commemorate the passing of a former employee who retired from the plant (left); Team members gathered to wish Tom Ellens, Plant Engineer, the best before he was deployed in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel. Ellens is Captain of the 80th Training Command. We're proud and thankful for Tom’s service to our country! (right)

For our member spotlight this week, we are pleased to highlight our member, POET - Hudson! You can follow them on twitter @POETbiofuels for their latest updates!


Name of company and city/state in which you’re located:

POET Biorefining – Hudson

Hudson, South Dakota

Management Team:

  • General Manager: Jeremy Halgerson
  • Plant Manager: Colin May
  • EHS Specialist: Kellie Turner
  • Plant Controller: Crystal Clay
  • Maintenance Manger: (position open)
  • Commodities Manager: Russ Hazel
  • Material Manager: Rob Scroggs
  • Maintenance Supervisor: Terry Waterman
  • Quality Manager: Ben Lambertz
  • Plant Engineer: Tom Ellens
  • Shift Supervisors: Josh Watkins, Jerred Beehler, Nate Williamson, Matt Jurgensen

How long has the company been in operation?

We have been in operation for nearly 14 years and opened our doors in 2004.


Do you make any ethanol co-product?
In addition to producing ethanol, we also produce corn oil and DDGS.


How long have you been a GE member?
We have been a member of Growth Energy since its inception in 2008.


What do you consider some of your company’s main accomplishments?
We are proud to say that we were the first plant at POET to implement its patented BPX process. Additionally, we were the first to implement POET's patented corn oil separation process, both of which have improved our performance. We are also very proud of our recent plant expansion in 2016.


What's your website address?


What do you like about being a member of Growth Energy?
Our membership in Growth Energy helps our team members to stay informed about the political happenings that pertain to our industry. This association gives our members and local advocates a strong, unified voice that can be heard by the decision makers in our country. Tickets to NASCAR races are a nice perk as well!

Any other fun facts?
Our team supports many local community and charitable organizations. Just a few of the organizations that the plant and team members show support for are listed here: Alcester-Hudson Backpack program; Siouxland Youth for Christ program; local school district lunch progrm; support for the local volunteer fire department; team member participation in the Adopt a Highway program; and many more.

For more details, contact Vice President of Development Kelly Manning


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

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