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No. 8; Nov. 22, 2017





On Wednesday, Nov. 15, about 15 mechanics and auto enthusiasts arrived in Welcome, N.C., at the headquarters of Richard Childress Racing (RCR) for Growth Energy and American Ethanol's first-ever engine performance workshop. The day began at the RCR Museum, where everyone was able to explore the racing team's storied history. Mike Dillon, Vice President of Competition at RCR and driver Austin Dillon's father, then led the group on a tour of the Cup Shop.


After a lunch break, the engine performance workshop began in the RCR board room, where POET's Vice President of Corporate Affairs Doug Berven, Aaron Miller from Nth Moto (an exotic car performance, racing, and fabrication facility), and ECR Engines' Technical Director Dr. Andy Randolph all spoke to attendees. Doug gave everyone a rundown on the benefits of ethanol as well as information on different blends (E10, E15, and mid-high level). Aaron then kicked off the “engine performance” section of the presentation by discussing his experience with ethanol at Nth, which included why he views ethanol as safe and reliable, how it boosts performance, and how it promotes engine longevity and health. Dr. Andy then presented all the ways ethanol provides value to consumers and NASCAR teams alike and even performed a couple live demonstrations that really showed off the benefits of ethanol.


When the presentation was over, Dr. Andy led a tour of ECR Engines to close out the day. Our audience proved to be very engaged and interested, and the team received positive feedback from all attendees.

Everyone who came to this first workshop will receive a certificate of completion and also provide valuable feedback as we move this program forward. Next steps include exploring how to implement a “lite” version of the workshop at auto shows, Anthony Taylor/Kyle Mohan drift races, and NASCAR races. We're also looking into how to turn this programming into a class that's available online. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting new venture!

For more details about the American Ethanol workshop, contact Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs Chris Hogan.





News on Tax Reform and Nominations; Upcoming Hearings


RVO Watch and Brazil Update


New Growth Energy Podcast


Community Networking 101 Webinar Recap


Sino-U.S. Biofuels Summit


Holiday Drivers Could Save Nearly $4 Million by Choosing E15



NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards

Nov. 29, 2017

Las Vegas, Nev.

ASTM Meeting

Dec. 3-7, 2017

Houston, Tex.

Alternative Fuels Seminar

Dec. 6-8, 2017

Phoenix, Ariz.

Executive Leadership Conference

Feb. 7-10, 2018

Boca Raton, Fla.


News on Tax Reform and Nominations; Upcoming Hearings

Last week saw House approval of tax reform legislation as well as approval in the Senate Finance Committee. Both bills reduce corporate tax rates, adjust individual income tax brackets, and make other changes. Of note for our industry, both the House and Senate legislation has provisions on the treatment of pass-through income: The House version has a 25 percent maximum rate while the Senate legislation has a 17.4 percent deduction. Neither bill includes tax credit extensions for the cellulosic tax or biodiesel tax credit, nor do they include a change to the master limited partnership (MLP) to include renewable fuels. Amendments were introduced in the Senate to include these items but were ultimately not considered. We will continue to work with our champions to get these important provisions included before the end of the year.

The Government Relations team has also been tracking a number of nominations for roles at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). On Nov. 8, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) committee held a hearing on the nominations of Kathleen Hartnett White to be a member of the Council on Environmental Quality for the White House, and Andrew Wheeler to be Deputy Administrator for the EPA. We are still waiting on committee and confirmation votes by the full Senate for both nominations. On Nov. 9, Bill Wehrum was confirmed by the Senate to serve as the Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. 


Additionally, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been called to testify in front of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Dec. 7 as well as in front of the Senate EPW committee on Jan. 31, 2018. We will be tracking both of these hearings and will be sure to keep you up to date!

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



RVO Watch and Brazil Update

We continue to await final 2018 RVOs in the wake of Administrator Pruitt’s letter to Midwestern senators. We are expecting the announcement to be made before the deadline of Nov. 30.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Undersecretary in Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, Ted McKinney, is in Brazil this week pushing for removal of Brazil’s tariff rate quota on ethanol. Growth Energy, along with the U.S. Grains Council and the Renewable Fuels Association, sent a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative asking for Brazil’s status under the generalized system of preferences be reviewed in advance of the USDA’s trip.

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




The second Growth Energy "Driving Ethanol" podcast comes from the National Association of Farm Broadcasting's 74th annual convention in Kansas City. CEO Emily Skor spoke with dozens of broadcasters at the event and commented on a variety of issues, including the hold-up of Bill Northey’s nomination to the USDA, the upcoming release of EPA’s final RVO numbers for next year, and China’s removal of the 11 percent VAT tax on DDGs imports. You can listen here and also subscribe via iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher.


RECAP: Community Networking 101 Webinar 

Thanks to everyone who joined us last week for the Community Networking webinar. It has now been archived, so you are able to watch it at your convenience at this link.


This was the second 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 ( There's a sample page from the Community Networking 101 section above. Click here to view October's webinar, which reviewed the Media 101 section.


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



Sino - U.S. Biofuels Summit

Several representatives of Growth Energy’s membership participated in a day-long biofuels forum on Nov. 14 in Arlington, Va., with officials from China’s National Energy Administration, other Chinese government agencies, and its ethanol production industry. The forum provided an excellent opportunity for the U.S. industry, government and other experts to discuss our successes and challenges in building a fuel ethanol industry that we hope will help inform the Chinese delegation as China seeks to implement an E10 blending program nationwide by 2020. Upon their departure from the Washington, D.C., area, the Chinese delegation was scheduled to travel to POET’s combined conventional and cellulosic ethanol production facility in Emmetsburg, Ia., and visit the California Air Resources Board later in the week.

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




Happy Thanksgiving!

Did you know that American drivers taking to the road for family gatherings this Thanksgiving could save $4 million if they fill up with E15?


Following AAA’s prediction of record-breaking travel for Americans this holiday weekend, Growth Energy is encouraging drivers to take advantage of the value E15 brings and go to to locate an E15 station while on the road this week.


Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says, “E15 is a great fuel option any time, but when families are traveling further to see loved ones for Thanksgiving, it gives them an opportunity to keep a little extra money in their pockets since E15 can cost up to 10 cents less. If all those drivers filled up with E15 this year, it could mean nearly $4 million in savings. That’s reason to celebrate.”


E15 is available at nearly 1,200 locations across 29 states, and Americans recently surpassed 2 billion miles driven on the fuel. Growth Energy is proud to partner with leading retailers including Casey’s, Cenex, Family Express, Kum & Go, Kwik Trip, MAPCO, Minnoco, Murphy USA, Protec Fuel, QuikTrip, RaceTrac, Sheetz, and Thorntons to offer E15 to their customers.


“E15 burns cleaner, so it’s a good choice for engines and the environment — it is a better value all around, and I encourage those traveling this year to find their nearest E15 station at,” adds Emily.


E15 is approved for 2001 and newer vehicles, which make up 90 percent of the vehicles on the road today. Growth Energy hopes that all of our members have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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


Have something suitable for the blog? Contact Manager of Communications Meredith Kesler.


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

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