No. 67, Jan. 31, 2019



Skor Participates in RFS Panel at National Biodiesel Conference

Last Thursday, January 24, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor participated in a panel discussion at the 2019 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo on the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) over the next ten years and the successes our industry achieved in 2018. During the panel, Skor emphasized the critical success of the RFS in improving farm income, increasing domestic energy supplies, reducing carbon emissions, and keeping fuel costs low at the pump.


"I am most proud that we got the president to commit to year-round sales of higher blends of ethanol with E15," Skor said. "Give us a chance to compete and we will win in the marketplace ... Every year when we assess our success as an organization, the first thing is 'did anything happen to the RFS? No.' and that's a success. Every year we see attempts to cut or cap our ability to grow and that is a non-starter for us."


As Skor noted, this was large in part due to Growth Energy's advocacy efforts to ensure that our industry and the RFS stayed strong, including over 400 meetings we had with congressional offices in 2018. She also underlined the effects that unnecessarily repealing the RFS would have in destabilizing the farm economy and ethanol sector, and the important role that advocacy and education have in combating such efforts.


To listen to the full panel discussion, visit the conference website here. Additionally, to listen a recent interview with Brownfield Ag News on the panel, visit their website here.

For more details, contact Vice President of Communications, Elizabeth Funderburk.



Growth Energy Submits Testimony to State of Washington on Low Carbon Fuel Standard
North Carolina Governor Issues Executive Order to Reduce Emissions


Growth Energy Submits Comments to Province of Ontario on E15 by 2025
Colombia Initiates Countervailing Duties Investigation on U.S. Ethanol Exports


Longest Government Shutdown in U.S. History Ends After 35 Days


Retailer of the Week: Protec Fuel Management


Member Highlight: DSM


Growth Energy Executive Leadership Conference
Feb. 6-9, Palos Verdes, CA
Commodity Classic
Feb. 28 - Mar. 2, Orlando, FL


Growth Energy Submits Testimony to State of Washington on Low Carbon Fuel Standard
Washington state's legislature continues to debate legislation that would enact a low carbon fuel standard for the state. Yesterday, the state Senate Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee held a hearing on SB 5412, a bill that would require a 10 percent reduction in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 2028 and a further 20 percent reduction by 2035.
Growth Energy provided testimony, which highlights the success of higher blends of ethanol fuel, like E15, in reducing harmful greenhouse gas and other toxic emissions. The testimony also calls for a more clearly defined role for biofuels in achieving the state's climate and environmental goals.
"By encouraging the use of higher ethanol blends such as E15 – which can be used in all passenger vehicles model year 2001 and newer, 9 out of 10 vehicles on the road today as well as by using E85 in flex fuel vehicles – the state can immediately see continued reductions in both greenhouse gas and toxic air emissions," out testimony notes. "Washington has millions of tons of biomass that with further development of cellulosic technologies could be converted to ethanol and used in today’s vehicles, but without a clear role for the growth of ethanol, this type of development and investment could be sidelined."

The companion legislation, HB 1110, has been approved by the Washington State House Environment and Energy Committee and has been referred to the Transportation Committee.
To view yesterday's hearing, please visit the Washington State Senate website here. Growth Energy will continue to keep you updated on important biofuels related legislation and regulation across the United States.
North Carolina Governor Issues Executive Order to Reduce Emissions

In October, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order to address climate change and transition the state to a clean energy economy. To oversee and implement this executive order, Governor Cooper formed the Climate Change Interagency Council.


Growth Energy and our members have been engaged with the relevant agencies in North Carolina to discuss the importance of biofuels and the use of higher ethanol blends, such as E15, to address climate change in transportation. There are currently more than 74 retail locations selling E15 in North Carolina, which represent not only the importance of this market, but also the opportunity for significant growth as this order is implemented


The next meeting of the Governor’s Interagency Council will be held on February 19th and the agenda for that meeting can be found here. Growth Energy plans to participate to advocate for the importance of biofuels in the state, and stress the environmental and economic benefits of higher blends of ethanol fuel.

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


Growth Energy Submits Comments to Province of Ontario on E15 by 2025

On Monday, Growth Energy and the U.S Grains Council submitted joint comments to the Province of Ontario supporting the expansion of biofuels blending in their Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan. The plan sets out a commitment to implementing a 15 percent renewable content in gasoline by 2025 and our comments applauded the effort and highlighted the retail success of E15 in the United States.


“For decades now, North American farmers and ethanol producers have continued to benefit from tariff-free borders,” the comments noted. “With an existing North American supply chain, Ontario can rest assured that the increase in demand from a move to 15 percent ethanol will be met by this vibrant marketplace. Collectively, the North American industry is poised to assist Ontario attain its ambitious climate goals and to support this ambitious provincial move.”


Growth Energy has previously submitted comments on Canadian biofuels regulations in 2017 and 2018, and our 2019 comments thanked Ontario's Ministry of the Environment for considering those comments in their plan. The environmental and economic benefits of higher-blend ethanol fuels like E15 can provide benefits directly to the people of Ontario and help achieve Canada's long-term climate goals.


“We appreciate the ministry taking our previous comments of March 2017 and January 2018 into account and strongly support the proposal to increase the ethanol content of gasoline to 15 percent by 2025. As we noted in our earlier comments, increasing ethanol concentrations in fuel presents tremendous benefits to the public in the form of lower GHG emissions, lower levels of other pollutants, improved fuel properties (cleaner and cooler burning), and economic benefits to Canada’s critical agricultural economy.”


Growth Energy and USGC's full comments can be found here and the full Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan can be found here.


Colombia Initiates Countervailing Duties Investigation on U.S. Ethanol Exports

On Tuesday, January 29, the Colombian Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism (MINCIT) officially initiated an investigation into U.S. ethanol exports to the country. The decision by MINCIT to investigate U.S. ethanol exports overlooks the important role that American-made ethanol plays in supporting the country in reaching their blending requirements.


Growth Energy supports forging strong trade ties abroad and fostering biofuels markets by opposing trade barriers like countervailing duties and anti-dumping laws that limit the free market. Colombia and the United States have had a long relationship of open and reciprocal agricultural trade and we are committed to maintaining that relationship. We will keep you updated on any important developments as the investigation proceeds.

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


Longest Government Shutdown in U.S. History Ends After 35 Days

Last Friday, January 25, Congress agreed on a deal to temporarily end the partial shutdown and fund the government for a period of three weeks. The government shutdown delayed a number of important legal and regulatory processes, including the completion of a rule to allow the sale of E15 fuel year-round by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and putting a hold on ongoing any ongoing legal cases in the federal courts. Despite the delay, EPA has reiterated throughout the shutdown that they are still on track to complete an E15 rulemaking by the summer deadline.


Growth Energy will keep you up-to-date on the status of the E15 rulemaking process, as well as updates on key biofuels- related legal cases.

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


Retailer of the Week: Protec Fuel Management

Protec Fuel Management was launched in 1999 as a full-service provider of fuel and risk management. In 2006, a client wanted to be the first in Texas to offer E85 and asked Protec to design, install, and supply the fuel for a new flagship station. Throughout the years, they have become the leading distributor of E15 and E85 to independent retailers, and perfected that process with branded and unbranded stations.

Protec was among the first companies to apply for and deploy the Prime the Pump program. In 2014, Protec Fuel launched 24 stations with Prime the Pump across Georgia, Florida, and Texas. They have aggressively added E85 and E15 stores in 16 states, including 250 locations in 2018 with the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership, in the years since.

“The way we see it, Protec is a proactive partner that helps clients introduce new fuel products that fit the needs and wants of the community each location serves. We offer a lot more than fuel, and help our clients understand how to fully harness the opportunities presented by higher blends of ethanol,” said Chief Operating Officer, Steve Walk. “That includes strategies to improve store profitability and efficiency.”

As a company, they are plugged into the demographic and consumer trends that point the way forward. With the vast majority of vehicles on the road being compatible with E15, the opportunity is clear. Customers that try E15 quickly become comfortable with it. Though some of that increase can be attributed to improving the fueling equipment which brings a clean, modern look to the store, Walk said customers like having options at the pump.

As E15 increases in availability, more customers are choosing it. Protec Fuel typically observes E15 sales displacing 35-45 percent of 87 “regular unleaded” sales, more commonly E10, but in some cases, their stores are selling as much as 60 percent. Figures the company believes underscore the impact of their point of sale marketing and employee education programs. 

Looking to 2019 and beyond, Protec is enthusiastic about opportunities in Mexico and the Caribbean.  “From our headquarters in Florida and large operations in Texas we are uniquely positioned to service these “frontier” markets,” said Walk. “It would be an adventure.”

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


Member Highlight: DSM

DSM is a Growth Energy Associate member based out of Elgin, IL with over one hundred years of experience in biotechnology. Learn more about DSM by visiting their website here, their biofuels website here, and by hearing why they joined Growth Energy below.

Key Ethanol Team Members:
  • Atul Thakrar - President
  • Hans van der Sluijs - Business Director
  • Johan van Doesum - Innovation Director
  • Kelly Hawkinson - Marketing & Sales Director
  • Mark Drake - Sales Manager
  • Chris Streckfuss - Account Manger
  • Mickel Jansen - Senior Bioprocess Manufacturing Specialist
  • Raquel Rinke - Application Laboratory Manager
  • Angie Richardson - Technical Service Specialist
  • Matt Wilson - Technical Service Manager


How long has the company been in operation?

DSM has over one hundred years of experience in biotechnology. Our Bio-based Products and Services business unit has been in operation since 2007. In January 2012, we established the POET-DSM joint venture to produce cellulosic biofuel, a market-leading investment in the biofuel industry.


What are your primary products related to the ethanol industry and what other products do you produce?

DSM has a full portfolio offering of yeast and enzymes for starch, fiber and biomass conversions that increase yield and improve efficiency. Our newest product, eBOOST™, is a low glycerol yeast for high-yield starch fermentation. We also have been pioneering the way with our yeast and enzymes for fiber and biomass conversions.


What do you feel is your primary value addition to our industry?

We have a dedicated and growing team that works with our customers and the biofuels industry to determine what is most needed to deliver products that bring higher performance and reliability to the market. DSM is both purpose-led and performance driven. Continuous research and development of new products is one of our core passions. We utilize innovation to drive value for our customers, communities and stakeholders in the biofuels industry.


What are some recent events or initiatives that you are proud of as a company?

DSM is the leading innovator of low glycerol yeast technology and launched eBOOST™, our latest low glycerol yeast for high-yield starch fermentation, at last year’s FEW conference. Since the introduction, eBOOST™ has demonstrated increased yields in ethanol, efficiency and robustness at multiple customer facilities. We are also proud of the years of commitment and continuous collaboration within the POET-DSM joint venture to produce cellulosic biofuels.  We take pride in the relationships we build with our customers and our commitment to helping them achieve long-term success.


Are there any upcoming projects or products you are excited about for the ethanol industry?

DSM has recently added to our commercial and technical service team and are excited about our expanded ability to provide additional support for the commercialization of the products we have in the market and in our development pipeline, which will be coming to market soon. We are focused on expanding the use of eBOOST™ in the starch fermentation market. Also, we have been selected as the enzyme supplier of choice for fiber conversion at the Ace Ethanol and D3MAX facility that is currently under construction. In Emmetsburg, we are starting up the first of its kind on-site manufacturing of enzymes to supply Project Liberty. If you have interest in these areas, we encourage you to get to know our growing team, so they can keep you informed of the latest advances as they become available.


In what ways do you support or engage with your local community?

We aim to do something meaningful in all the communities we operate in across the globe. DSM partners with global organizations focused on nourishing communities in need, which includes the World Food Programme and UNICEF, World Vision International, Vitamin Angels and Partners in Food Solutions and Africa Improved Foods. Locally we are involved with the Boys and Girls Club of Elgin, Illinois and the Community Crisis Center, among others.


How long have you been a Growth Energy member?

DSM Bio-based Products and Services is pleased to be a new member of Growth Energy. DSM has been a member of Growth Energy through the POET-DSM joint venture for multiple years now and we wanted to expand our support to the industry with this additional membership. 


What do you like about being a member of Growth Energy?

DSM is committed to building a sustainable future for generations to come which is aligned with Growth Energy’s strategy. We greatly appreciate Growth Energy’s commitment to the biofuels industry and the work that you do to increase the awareness for the benefits of biofuels.

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 or visit our website

You're receiving this newsletter because you've subscribed to Growth Energy's The Weekly Rundown.

Not interested anymore? Unsubscribe instantly.

Copyright © 2019 Growth Energy.