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No. 22, Mar. 7, 2018



Growth Energy Remains Engaged on White House RFS Talks


We continue to monitor developments as a result of last week’s White House meeting regarding the RFS. As mentioned last week, the meeting brought together a large group of stakeholders, including:


  • The President of the United States
  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • The National Economic Council (NEC)
  • Senators Grassley (R-Iowa), Ernst (R-Iowa), Cruz (R-Texas), and Toomey (R-Pennsylvania)
  • Members of the biofuels industry, including Growth Energy’s Board members and retail partners
  • Members of the refining industry. 


President Trump left the meeting with an understanding that RVP relief for higher ethanol blends reduces RIN costs and makes lower-cost biofuel blends available to more consumers. Senator Cruz and the refiners continue to push their position that RVP relief is not enough, and that RINs should be capped at 10 cents. We continue to strongly oppose the oil refiners' aggressive proposal, which would reduce biofuel demand and hurt American agriculture.To that end, we saw the National Corn Growers issue a firm resolution opposing a cap on RINs.


We will continue to stay actively engaged on these discussions among the administration and will keep you apprised as any new developments occur. 

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



Growth Energy, Kwik Trip Host E15 Expansion Webinar

Washington State Regulatory Update 

Growth Energy Congratulates Bill Northey on USDA Confirmation 

Member of the Week: Green Plains, Obion

Novozymes' Randal Holmes Ultra4 Racing Profile


Leadership Summit

March 19 - 21

Sonoma, CA

STP 500

March 25

Martinsville, VA

NACS State of the Industry 

April 10 -12

Chicago, Il



Growth Energy, Kwik Trip Host E15 Expansion Webinar


Last week, Growth Energy and Kwik Trip partnered with Ethanol Producer Magazine (EPM) to host a webinar discussing the growth of E15. There were approximately 150 attendees for the webinar representing retail companies, industry associates, and Growth Energy members, indicating a strong interest in the topic. For those of you who missed last week’s presentation, “Growing E15 Adoption,” you may view an archived copy of the webinar at your convenience.


Consumers and retailers continue to embrace E15, and consumption is growing where the fuel is available thanks to the work of Growth Energy and its leading retail partners, like Kwik Trip. In the webinar, Growth Energy’s VP of Market Development, Mike O’Brien, and Kwik Trip’s Manager of Fuel Procurement and Marketing Strategy, Joel Hirschboeck, broke down the growth of E15, discussed milestones and momentum within the market, provided insight on customer research, and covered barriers and obstacles to further growth.


Kwik Trip has increased sales by offering their customers more choices at the pump with E15. They have also been an industry leader, deciding to pursue E15 offerings aggressively—going from having no E15 sites in April of 2017 to more than 300 sites in just a few months.


We encourage you to watch the webinar to understand how consumer demand is growing with E15.

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


Washington State Regulatory Update 

As you might recall, the Washington Legislature is nearing the end of its legislative session.  After passing through two committees, HB 2338, legislation that would implement a low carbon fuel standard in the state, was not considered in the State House ahead of the February 14th deadline for “crossover” to the State Senate.


We will continue to monitor in the event circumstances change, but Growth Energy believes it unlikely that this legislation will receive further consideration this session. There is also legislation that would impose a carbon tax of $12 per metric ton on carbon emissions beginning in 2019 (SB 6203). SB 6203 was heard in the Senate Ways and Means Committee on February 15th; however, late last week, the bill sponsor announced publicly that he did not have enough votes to approve the legislation.

While we do not expect further action on these bills this session, there may be executive actions and potential ballot initiatives that we will continue to monitor and keep you informed of. 

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


Growth Energy Congratulates Bill Northey on USDA Confirmation 

Last week,  Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor released the following statement applauding the confirmation of Bill Northey as a U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary:


“We are thrilled Mr. Northey is approved; he will be a fantastic addition to the USDA. Having served as the Secretary of Agriculture for Iowa, Mr. Northey has first-hand knowledge and experience regarding how the integration of biofuels into both domestic and international fuel markets has positively impacted the farming economy in America.”

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


Member of the Week: Green Plains Obion 


Growth Energy is excited to continue our new regular Weekly Rundown feature: Member of the Week! Each week, we'll introduce you to one of our association's members and get to know them on a more personal level. This week it's Green Plains Obion!


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

Green Plains Inc. We’re headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska and have 17 plants across the United States. The information below is about our plant in Obion, Tennessee.


  • Management Team:
    • President/CEO: Todd Becker
    • Plant Manager: Scott McCLellan
    • Operations Manager: Allan Dotson
    • EHHS Manager: Charles Baller
    • Manager: JohnAnn Harris
    • PSM Manager: Kathy Austin
    • Plant Controller: Patti Sullivan
    • Maintenance Manager: Shaun Bailey
    • Production Manager: Shawna Bishop
    • Commodities Manager: Tracy Brown
  • How long has the company been in operation?
    • The first grind at Green Plains Obion was November 9, 2008.
  • Do you make any ethanol co-products?
    • Aside from the 120 million gallons of ethanol that we produce annually at Obion, this plant also produces 307 thousand tons of distillers grains and recover 15 thousand pounds of corn oil each year.  
  • How long have you been a GE member?
    • Green Plains is one of the co-founding members of Growth Energy.
  • What do you consider some of your company’s main accomplishments?
    • In ten years, Green Plains has become the second largest consolidated owner of ethanol production facilities in the world. We produce more than 1.5 billion gallons of ethanol each year, 4.1 million tons of distillers grains and recover 343 million pounds of corn oil. We are a fully diversified commodity-processing business with operations in 23 states that touch several aspects of the agriculture supply chain, including: energy services, cattle feeding, vinegar production, transportation and distribution services.
  • What's your website address?
  • What do you like about being a member of Growth Energy?
    • We appreciate Growth Energy’s dedication to its members and their committed support to the ethanol industry. They’re effective communicators who are always ready and willing to answer any questions we may have. We truly feel like they’re in our corner and consider them as an extension of the Green Plains team.
  • Any other fun facts?
    • Green Plains Obion is one of two total ethanol plants located in Tennessee and is responsible for producing over half of the annual 230 million gallons in the state. Obion focuses on exporting ethanol to surrounding states and sends its distillers grains internationally to China. In 2016 Green Plains Obion built a grain storage facility that can hold over 5.5 million bushels of grain and is one of the largest of its kind.

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


Novozymes' Randal Holmes Ultra4 Racing Profile


Randal Holmes currently works as a Supply Planner for Novozymes, a bio technology company whose products are used in the ethanol industry. Randal has been with Novozymes for 15 years, having previously served as a Chemical Operator, Production Coordinator, and Detailed Scheduler. However, when he is not working in the world of biotech, Randal spends his time competing in the Ultra 4 Racing Series – a grueling hybrid of two popular off-road racing sports.


Randal is proud to exclusively run E15 in his Ultra 4 buggy, which he decided to do after attending American Ethanol’s inaugural Engine Performance Workshop hosted at Richard Childress Racing in Welcome, N.C. in late 2017.


“The workshop answered a lot of questions for me about ethanol blends and E15, so that made the decision easy,” Randal said. “E15 helps me run cooler which is important – and higher blends help reduce engine knock which is great in this sport too. When you’re in the sand, especially, you’re on the pedal the whole time because it’s hard to get traction and you have to keep moving, so knowing that the fuel is actually helping the engine perform under that stress is great. Not to mention we’re obviously racing on outdoor trails, so the environmental benefits of ethanol are great too – the fuel helps keep the engine and environment cleaner. Once I made the switch to E15, Novozymes was nice enough to come on board and support, so we’re excited for the coming season.”


When asked about the perception of ethanol in off-road racing, Randal gave his opinion on the potential to change some minds. “I think people in the off-road community are maybe a little scared to use higher blends because they’ve bought into some of the myths that you’ll hear. I’m just out here trying to prove that E15 works. I have a stock factory engine in the buggy, so if I can run E15 with no modifications to the engine anybody can. The races are hard enough to even complete on their own. My position is – if I didn’t have the confidence that E15 was going to actually benefit me and help me compete – why would I use it? And I hope that by going out and showing people that it works they will start to come around.”


Check out the new American Ethanol Racing website to read the full feature story and learn more about Ultra4 Racing!

For more details, contact Manager of Communications Austin Dabney.


The Weekly Rundown is the weekly newsletter for Growth Energy's members. It is published 52 times a year by the communications staff at Growth Energy. For more information, email

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