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No. 50, Sept. 20, 2018

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ON THE HILL

Growth Energy Welcomes House Biofuels Caucus for Voicing Support of RFS, E15

This week, 24 members of the House Biofuels Caucus, led by Co-Chairs Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Collin Peterson (D-MN), sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging the Administration to lift the summertime E15 waiver and to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard. 
The letter also calls on the EPA to "put an end" to secretive refinery exemptions that "hurt farmers and prevent market growth of ethanol."

 

“We’re deeply grateful to our rural champions for standing united behind a strong RFS and fighting for better, more affordable options at the fuel pump,” said Skor. “It is vital that the EPA uphold President Trump’s commitment to American biofuels and immediately tear down outdated regulatory barriers against the summertime sale of E15. Opening the market to year-round competition will help to revitalize farm income and restore growth in rural communities hit hardest by the agricultural downturn.”

 

This letter is a perfect example of the growing importance of biofuels across the nation, both for to consumers and to the rural communities it supports. Just last week, Growth Energy launched an E15 Now bus tour, that carried the same message across the Midwest, and held their annual Biofuels Summit to meet with lawmakers, both of which are discussed more below.

 

It is imperative that the administration and our nation's lawmakers reverse the damage caused by Small Refinery Exemptions, ensure year-round sales of E15, and keep the RFS strong, in order to support rural growth and innovation. Growth Energy continues to act as the nation's leading biofuels advocate and will keep you informed of any legislative updates.

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

 

AROUND THE GLOBE

Growth Energy Submits Comments to UK Department of Transport on E10 Blended Fuel

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Earlier this week, Growth Energy, along with the U.S. Grains Council and the Renewable Fuels Association, submitted joint comments to the United Kingdom's Department of Transport (DoT) on its consultation of implementing a nationwide E10 ethanol blend. The UK's DoT announced in July that it would consider increasing its ethanol blend from E5 to E10, as well as considering whether to reintroduce an E5 protection grade fuel and introduce new labeling requirements for ethanol fuels. Our comments addressed concerns over the effects that an E10 blend would have on the UK's consumers and producers:

 

"Ethanol has a number of proven benefits including reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, reductions in harmful tailpipe pollution such as carbon monoxide and particulates, consumer cost savings, as well as job and agriculture development," the comments read. "In the UK, there are 31.3 million vehicles on the road and only 250,000 deemed to be incompatible with an E10 blend. There is no reason to deny the benefits of ethanol to British consumers."

 

Currently, the UK only allows an E5 blend and has faced delays in considering an E10 blend. Earlier this month, the UK's largest ethanol producer, Vivergo Fuels, Ltd., announced that they would be shutting down their plant due to trade complications and the lack of resolution on approving an E10 blend. By submitting these comments, Growth Energy and its allies aim to achieve the goal of substantially reducing transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions to combat global climate change and provide consumers with more affordable, cleaner fuel. We will continue to lead the biofuels industry in representing our interest across the globe and keep you informed of any important updates.

For more details, contact Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Chris Bliley, or Senior Vice President of Global Markets, Craig Willis.

 

WORKING FOR YOU

AT THE PUMP

Growth Energy Reaches 1,600 Retail E15 Sites Around Nation, Secures Commitments more than 2,800 by 2023

IN REGULATIONS

EPA Expected to Release Notable Changes to RFS Webpage Today at Noon

IN THE COURTS

Legal Update: Still no Transparency From EPA Regarding Small Refinery Exemptions

IN COMMUNICATIONS

RVP E15 Now Grassroots Campaign Bus Launches Among Members

ON THE HILL

Recap: Growth Energy Members Flooded Congress During Biofuels Summit

IN OUR ASSOCIATION

Cardinal Ethanol Celebrates 10-year Anniversary by Giving Back to Community

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Teach Ag Day

September 20

NACS Conference

October 8-10

 


AT THE PUMP

Growth Energy Reaches 1,600 Retail E15 Sites Around Nation, Secures Commitments for 1,600 More by 2023

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Today 1600 retail stores across offer E15, and nearly 1500 of those are not in Reformulated Gasoline (RFG) markets, so labeling is required to be changed twice a year. Growth Energy estimates retailers will spend $3.6 million in 2018 to change over labels from RVP season to regular driving season.

 

Consumer demand is growing every day with E15 with  American drivers logging more than 5 billion miles on the fuel just recently. Retailers are experiencing both the increase in traffic and store sales. The latest billion miles milestone was reached in the midst of Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) restrictions on the sale E15 fuel across most of the country. During summer months consumers only have access to E15 in RFG markets or if they drive flex fuel vehicles.

 

Several of the largest retailers in the US are now offering E15, including Sheetz, Kwik Trip, Thorntons, RaceTrac, Casey’s General Stores, Kum & Go, Protec Fuel, Minnoco, MAPCO, MurphyUSA, Family Express, Cenex, Rutters, and QuikTrip. Retailers who offer E15 and are attracting new customers and beating their competition with the choice. In many cases, E15 sales are higher than midgrade and premium. E15 typically retailers for a price point of $0.03-$0.10 per gallon less than regular fuel creating a competitive advantage for retailers.

 

Growth Energy has been working hand-in-hand with fuel retailers for the past six years to bring E15 access to more and more American drivers. With Prime the Pump and partners, Growth Energy has doubled the number of E15 stations four years in a row to include more than 1600 sites across 30 states. In addition to the stores currently selling E15, Growth Energy and Prime the Pump have secured commitments for more than 2,800 retail sites that will offer E15 by 2021. Growth Energy continues to improve the nation’s biofuels infrastructure to match the growth of the past year by working with leading retailers to maximize their competitive advantage with E15.

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

 

IN THE COURTS

Legal Update: Still no Transparency From EPA Regarding Small Refinery Exemptions

Growth Energy has been pressing EPA for the past several months to provide the public with information regarding the recent marked increase in small refinery exemptions.  Such exemptions should be granted only in the most limited circumstances involving disproportionate economic hardship, but EPA appears to have neglected this requirement over the past two years, approving at least 48 exemption applications in 2016 and 2017 alone.  Failure to reallocate biofuel blending obligations covered by these exemptions results in a significant loss of demand that directly harms the biofuels industry.

 

Soon after it heard about the drastic rise in small refiner exemptions, Growth submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests seeking information regarding them.  Rather than offer transparency, or even a response, EPA has claimed elsewhere that almost all information regarding the exemptions, including the names of the refineries receiving them, are exempt from disclosure as confidential business information.  As a next step, Growth, along with RFA, filed a lawsuit in federal court demanding that EPA properly respond to the FOIAs.  The added legal pressure on this issue – to be decided by the courts rather than by EPA – should hopefully spur the Agency to give the industry the information it deserves.  Stay tuned.

For more details, contact General Counsel, Joe Kakesh.

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IN REGULATIONS

EPA Expected to Release Notable Changes to RFS Webpage Today at Noon
 
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The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release changes to their website on their Renewable Fuel Standard webpage later today. While it is not yet clear what the specifics of the changes will be, they are expected to provide some Renewable Identification Number (RIN) transaction and price transparency, as well as some limited information about the controversial handouts of Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs). Among these changes that we understand may be made will be some limited RIN transaction data and some RIN pricing information, as well as better tools to analyze RIN generation and feedstock information. Perhaps most importantly, however, we hope to see significantly more information on SREs, but at this point, we only expect to see limited aggregated data on applications, approvals, and denials. 

 

Growth Energy along with our industry allies and congressional champions, have repeatedly called on EPA to improve transparency around SREs because of the impact they’ve had on our industry. While we expect this new information to be a step in the right direction toward transparency, we will closely monitor its release and will continue to push towards restoring lost biofuel demand. 

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

 

IN COMMUNICATIONS

RVP E15 Now Grassroots Campaign Bus Launches Among Members

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Nebraska Representative Adrian Smith stopped by to show his support for E15 Now!

Last week, Growth Energy launched its E15 Now bus across the Midwest to spread the word about biofuels and help members promote the story of ethanol. Along with the E15 Now! bus, we have developed a number of resources for members to access to help them in their own efforts to promote the implementation of year-round E15 sales now. Our new website, E15now.com is just one example of our latest efforts to secure relief for our rural communities and bring consumers more affordable, cleaner fueling options. To find out how you can help or to have the E15 Now bus visit your event, please feel free to contact Leigh Claffey or Kelly Manning to find out more.

For more details, contact Director of Communications, Leigh Claffey.

 

IN OUR ASSOCIATION

Cardinal Ethanol Celebrates 10-year Anniversary by Giving Back to Community

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Last Thursday, Cardinal Ethanol, LLC, celebrated their 10-year anniversary by thanking their community for its continued support. In addition to hosting a golf outing, they held a silent and live auction to raise funds for Squad 1, a collaborative managed emergency service apparatus run by the Union City Fire Department. In addition to this special fundraising event, Cardinal Ethanol also hosted a community pancake breakfast for almost 250 community members. Check out the photos above of the celebration!

For more details, contact Vice President of Development, Kelly Manning.

 

ON THE TRACK

Check out the Latest Edition of American Ethanol and the Special Feature on Ethanol Advocate Chad Greenway

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The latest addition of American Ethanol magazine features ethanol advocate Chad Greenway in a special look back at his career and his roots in agriculture. After 11 seasons on the Minnesota Vikings, Greenway retired from his career a respected veteran looking for the next step. Engaging with those roots through the America Needs Farmers organization, he became an enthusiastic supporter of ethanol.

 

“I’m proud to be an advocate not only for the biofuels industry but for the backbone of our country and, really, the backbone of my family,” he added. “Both sides of my family are tied to farming, whether it’s crop insurance or putting the blades in the ground. It’s an important industry for me, and something that I truly value and take pride in.”

 

To see the rest of Greenway's story, check out the latest addition of American Ethanol Magazine here.

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

 
 
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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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