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No. 11; Dec. 13, 2017

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IN THE FAST LANE

NASCAR’S 2017 XFINITY AND CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES AWARDS

 
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On Saturday, Dec. 9, Growth Energy Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs Chris Hogan participated in NASCAR’s 2017 Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series awards program in Charlotte, N.C. He presented the 2017 American Ethanol Green Flag Restart awards for the two series, and noted that it was a particularly special moment as the event took place in North Carolina, one of the first states to introduce E15.


Growth Energy has unique ties to both winning drivers. Just this year, Xfinity Series champion William Byron secured his first career Xfinity Series win at the Iowa Speedway in our entitlement race, the American Ethanol E15 250. Christopher Bell (pictured above with Chris Hogan) made his Camping World Truck Series debut in our 2015 entitlement race, the American Ethanol 200. Both young drivers—Byron was only 19 years old when Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor presented him his trophy for the Iowa win in June—are rising stars in motorsports and represent the competitive and compelling talent filling out NASCAR’s emerging lineup.

For more details contact Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs Chris Hogan.


WORKING FOR YOU

ON THE HILL

Updates on Congressional Hearings

 

Recap of President's Meeting with Senator Cruz

IN REGULATIONS

National Conference of State Legislatures’ Agriculture Task Force

 

U.S. DOT Intent to Repeal ECP Braking Mandate 

IN THE PRESS

Social Media 101 Webinar TODAY

 

New Growth Energy Podcast


Defending the RFS

AT THE PUMP

Fifth Annual Alternative Fuels Conference

 

Minnoco Pink-Out Fundraiser Recap

AT THE PLANTS
Glacial Lakes Corn Processors' Annual Meeting

ON THE ROAD

National Association of Agricultural Educators' 2017 Convention

AT OUR EVENTS

Annual Tobi Award Nominations

UPCOMING EVENTS

2018 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit

Jan. 30, 2018

Altoona, Ia.

Executive Leadership Conference

Feb. 7-10, 2018

Boca Raton, Fla.


ON THE HILL

Updates on Congressional Hearings

On Tuesday, Dec. 12, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittees on the Environment and Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection held a hearing to gather an update from stakeholders on the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles. The witnesses included the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Global Automakers, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the National Association of Automobile Dealers. While the bulk of the hearing focused on the feasibility of future standards and partisan debate about the necessity of more stringent standards, we’re hopeful for more discussion in the future on the importance of high-octane fuels and the benefits of mid-level ethanol blends in achieving future standards. Watch a video of the full hearing here. Growth Energy continues to work with automakers and regulators on the use of these fuels, as seen in our recent comments. We also released a statement on these matters from CEO Emily Skor. 

 

Today, Wednesday, Dec. 13, the same House committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will be holding a hearing on the impacts and future of the North American Energy Trade. The hearing witnesses include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, the National Association of Manufacturers, and Resources for the Future. We expect most of the debate to be about trade in the oil markets, as Canada continues to be the leading exporter of oil to the U.S. There may also be some discussion about the impact on ethanol given Canada’s importance as an ethanol export market and the anticipated expansion of ethanol blending in Mexico.

Recap of President's Meeting with Senator Cruz

Last Thursday, President Trump met with Senator Cruz (R-Tex.), other senators seeking to undermine the RFS, and some members of his cabinet in response to Sen. Cruz’s hold on the nomination of William Northey for Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. 

 

Despite the Cruz coalition’s attempts to spin this meeting in the media as a “negotiation” on RINs, no negotiations of any kind took place. President Trump continues to maintain his support for the RFS and the biofuels industry. Senator Cruz’s unfounded claim that reforms are needed to the RFS is a clear attempt to open loopholes for oil companies and leave America’s heartland behind. Growth Energy is staying in touch with parties involved in these meetings and will continue to advocate for biofuels producers and supporters. 

For more details contact Senior Director of Government Affairs John Fuher.

IN REGULATIONS

National Conference of State Legislatures’ Agriculture Task Force

On Monday, Dec. 11, Chris Bliley, Growth Energy’s vice president of regulatory affairs, joined Doug Berven, vice president of corporate affairs for POET, and Dr. Steffen Mueller, principal economist for the Energy Resources Center of University of Illinois at Chicago, at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) Agriculture Task Force. They spoke on the environmental and economic benefits of ethanol focusing on the market development of E15. NCSL is a nonpartisan organization that represents state legislators and gives them resources and information on emerging issues as they debate these issues back in their own states. 

U.S. DOT Intent to Repeal ECP Braking Mandate

As you will recall in the wake of several high-profile derailments of oil and ethanol trains, the U.S. Department of Transportation moved to implement a number of measures meant to improve rail safety. One of those measures was to require electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) braking systems. Last week, DOT announced its intent to repeal the ECP braking mandate, and we will keep you posted on any further developments.

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

IN THE PRESS

TODAY: Social Media 101 Webinar

The Social Media 101 webinar is being held today, Wednesday, December 13, at 11am EST. This will be the concluding webinar in a series of three that correspond with the three sections of the Member Advocacy Communications Toolkit, which you can read and download on the Growth Energy website (growthenergy.org/toolkit). See a sample page from the Social Media 101 section at right. Click here to view last month's webinar, which reviewed the Community Networking 101 section.

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New Growth Energy Podcast

Last year, AAA estimated that nearly 100 million Americans took a holiday road trip, and we can expect at least that many on the road this year heading home for the holidays. Growth Energy wants to let all those holiday drivers know that E15 (15 percent ethanol) can brighten the season even more by helping them save a little green.

 

In this Driving Ethanol podcast, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor talks about the clean, high-performance fueling option that can save families money.

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Defending the RFS

As you may have seen, a show on the Fox News channel, Swamp Watch, aired a sensational and wildly inaccurate segment on December 10 that attacked our industry with numerous false and misleading claims. Growth Energy, our biofuels champions on the Hill, and the Fuels America coalition are working together to address this negative piece and to ensure that Fox News remains fair and balanced in its coverage by including credible sources (such as our Senate champions) on future shows covering biofuels. We are also briefing reporters on the facts and working to place op-eds in publications that reach similar audiences as those who watch this erroneous show so we can counter its misinformation.

For more details contact Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs Chris Hogan.

AT THE PUMP

Fifth Annual Alternative Fuels Conference

 
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Last week, the Market Development team attended the fifth annual Alternative Fuels Conference, hosted by Convenience Store News and sponsored by Growth Energy. A dozen high-level retail industry leaders attended the conference, including the Director of Fuels from Wawa. Wawa is currently piloting E15 at two locations, one in Pennsylvania and one in Florida. Wawa has requested that Growth Energy work closely with them in 2018 to make their pilot program a success as well as to develop a more robust approach for marketing E15. The roundtable discussion at the conference focused on retailer experience with E15 and best practices for maximizing success.


Additionally, Lance Klatt from Minnoco was awarded the Convenience Store News Fuels Leader of the Year Award (pictured above). Growth Energy helped with the creation of Minnoco alongside the Minnesota Service Station Association. Since its creation, Minnoco has exemplified how retailers can gain a competitive advantage with E15. Minnoco has been instrumental in helping Sheetz, Kwik Trip, and even Holiday with their addition of E15.

Minnoco Pink-Out Fundraiser Recap

 
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Growth Energy is proud that Minnoco continues the Pink Out program each October in order to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, they were able to raise more than $22,000 for Hope for Breast Cancer from the sale of E15, which surpassed their goal of $18,000. Growth Energy and Minnoco established this program in 2015 to help our retail partners bring their E15 sales back up after the RVP period, and we are thrilled that the promotion has become a mainstay regular event. Minnoco’s commitment to their community and to helping such a worthy cause is inspiring, and we’re glad to have played a part. Read more here. 

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

 

AT THE PLANTS

Glacial Lakes Corn Processors' Annual Meeting

 
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Glacial Lakes Corn Processors, the parent company of Glacial Lakes Energy, has about 4,000 shareholders, primarily from South Dakota. A large portion of them attended the company's annual meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 6, in Watertown, S.D., where Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor spoke about the benefits of ethanol use in vehicles and its expanding role in the global economy. As the Watertown Public Opinion noted, Emily said, "We are so competitive globally that you’ve got nations that are starting to put up protective trade barriers. We’re the cheapest octane in the world." Emily also spoke about the need for aggressive marketing campaigns to expand ethanol’s advocates, which includes touting the carcinogen-reduction aspect of ethanol to mothers, as well as touting the fact that ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions to millennials and environmentalists.


Glacial Lakes Energy announced this week that its ethanol plants in Watertown and Mina will finish the year with a profit of $33.7 million, making 2017 the fifth best year on record. As a result, the company will return about two-thirds of its profits to its shareholders while the other one-third will be reinvested into the company.

For more details contact Vice President of Development Kelly Manning.

ON THE ROAD

National Association of Agricultural Educators' 2017 Convention

 
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Last week Communications Manager Meredith Kesler attended the National Association of Agriculture Educators' (NAAE) 2017 Convention in Nashville, Tenn. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet agriculture teachers who are increasingly including information about ethanol and biofuels in their lesson plan. A highlight of the convention was watching a workshop group conduct a classroom experiment that compared the energy released and amount of pollution and emissions coming from kerosene and ethanol flames (pictured above). Growth Energy also hosted a booth at the NAAE teachers' reception, where educators could pick up copies of our fact sheets and hear more about biofuels in the classroom.

For more details contact Vice President of Development Kelly Manning.

AT OUR EVENTS

Annual Tobi Award Nominations

 
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Growth Energy is proud to celebrate the contributions of some our industry’s leading champions with the presentation of the annual Tobi Awards at the 2018 Executive Leadership Conference in February.

 

Tobi Award honorees include men and women who show passion and dedication in the following key industry areas: Advocacy, Market Development, Membership, Public Affairs, Get Biofuel, and Technical.

 

If you’d like to nominate someone for a Tobi Award, please send Director of Operations & Programming Kitty Loyd his or her name, organization, and a brief description of why he or she should receive the award.

 

We also want to recognize the 2017 winners, who continue to work hard for the biofuels industry every day:

  • Advocacy: Amy Davis, Novozymes North America
  • Get Biofuel: Doug Berven, POET
  • Market Development: Jeff Gallic, Thorntons
  • Membership: Mick Miller, DENCO II
  • Public Affairs: Matt Merritt, POET
  • Technical: Amanda Huber, Front Range Energy

 

See you in Boca Raton!

For more details contact Director of Operations & Programming Kitty Loyd.

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

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