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No. 25, Mar. 28, 2018



PES Bankruptcy Update


Growth Energy is leading the charge to push back against the proposed settlement in the bankruptcy of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery. On Thursday, we filed extensive comments with the U.S. Department of Justice objecting to the settlement. We pointed out that the consent decree, if finalized, would absolve PES and its wealthy investor, the Carlyle Group, of 419 million RINs, or 2 percent of the entire 2018 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). To that end, we have filed a declaration from economist Marc Chupka outlining the harmful impact this would have on RIN prices and ultimately on biofuel producers. Our legal team has also reserved the right to object to the settlement in court. There will be a hearing on April 4 to make a final determination on the EPA’s settlement. We will continue to engage in this matter given the impact on the marketplace for higher biofuel blends.

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


RFS Update and Potential China Tariff

Section 199(a) Reform, Cellulosic Biofuel Tax Credits and Small Refinery Exemption Report Language


Casey’s General Store Continues to Expand

Member of the Week: Midwest Ag Energy, Blue Flint facility

Get Biofuel Social Media Toolkit


Austin Dillon Debuts American Ethanol No. 3 Car at Martinsville


NACS State of the Industry 

April 10 -12

Chicago, Ill.

Washington Watch 2018

April 23-25 

Washington, D.C. 

Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo

June 11 -13

Omaha, Neb.


RFS Update 


We still await the results of potential discussions in Washington, D.C., among the USDA, the EPA, and the White House in the wake of the presidential meeting on the RFS with biofuel producers and oil refiners. While we strongly advocate in support of RVP relief for higher ethanol blends and increased ethanol blending as the solution, there continues to be advocacy from oil refiners for a cap on RINs. We are working closely with our Senate champions and other industry stakeholders around potential ideas that will grow the market for biofuels and are absolutely firm in opposing a RIN cap and will continue to keep you updated as discussions continue.

Potential China Tariff

In response to the recently announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, China has announced that it may soon impose tariffs on a number of U.S. export goods, including ethanol. China already has a 30 percent tariff on U.S. ethanol, and we expect that any new tariff action would be on the total value of U.S. ethanol with the 30 percent tariff in place. There is a chance these tariffs could have a devastating impact on a key potential market for ethanol growth. We are currently engaged with several agencies within the government to keep this market open for U.S. ethanol and to keep any additional tariffs or barriers from being put in place. We will continue to keep you updated on this developing situation.

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



Section 199(a) Reform

The so-called “grain glitch” fix was included in the latest omnibus bill that passed last Friday. The broad goal of the fix was to re-establish the grain market conditions that existed before the tax bill passed in December 2017. This was the last item that was negotiated in the latest bill. 

Cellulosic and Biofuel Tax Credits 

We supported an extension of both the cellulosic and biofuels tax credits through at least the current calendar year, but unfortunately this was not included in the final bill. The next option might be a Federal Aviation Administration bill due in July, which will carry a tax component.

Small Refinery Exemption Report Language 

The Department of Energy (DoE) portion of the latest omnibus bill contained instructions on how they should view small refinery exemption applications to the EPA under the RFS. Variations of this language have been included in DoE funding bills going back roughly five to six years to limit the DoE’s ability to deny these exemptions. This year’s version adds some new quarterly reporting requirements but does nothing to change EPA’s administration of the small refinery exemption to the RFS.

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




Casey’s General Store Continues to Expand


In 2017, after four years of negotiations, Casey’s began to show interest in offering E15 and E85 in their stores. One year later, they have 28 sites that sell E15 and E85 across five states including: IA, IL, IN, KS, and MN. By the end of 2018, they will have another 20 stores which offer E15 and E85. Casey’s initial E15 selling stores have clearly demonstrated that this is a product that can attract new customers and keep them coming back. As with many of our retail partners, E15 has become an integral part of their ability to stay competitive in the fuel marketplace.

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


Member of the Week: Midwest Ag Energy Group, Blue Flint facility


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 Midwest Ag Energy, Blue Flint facility. 


  • Name of company and city/state in which you’re located:
    •  Midwest Ag Energy, Blue Flint facility in Underwood, N.D.
  • Management Team:
    • President/CEO: Jeff Zeuger
    • Plant Manager: Travis Strickland
    • CFO: Michael Grosz 
    • Chief Marketing Officer: Phil Coffin 
    • Regulatory and Technical Services Director: Adam Dunlop
    • HR and Corporate Services Director: Cindy Griffin
    • Plant Controller: Amanda Vetter
    • Maintenance Manager: Cory Gullickson
    • Lab Manager: Brian Blotsky
    • HSE: Fred Schauer
  • How long has the company been in operation?
    • Blue Flint started production in February 2007.
  • Do you make any ethanol co-products?
    • We produce both DDGS and 50 percent MDGS, corn oil, and market E85.
  • How long have you been a GE member?
    • We joined Growth Energy in April of 2011.
  • What do you consider some of your company’s main accomplishments?
    • Blue Flint is approaching 11 years with no lost time accidents at the site which is a result of a strong commitment to safety and operational excellence by our employees. We have expanded production year over year and focus on the use of Lean Production Principles in our company. We expanded our company adding a second facility, Dakota Spirit, in 2015. Both facilities are owned and operated by Midwest AgEnergy. We are proud of the involvement our company and its employees have in the communities we do business in and the positive impact our products have improving local economies and the environment where our products are used.
  • What's your website address?
  • What do you like about being a member of Growth Energy?
    • We are well aligned with the strategic objectives of Growth Energy. We appreciate the talented staff and board members that lead the direction of our industry. Growth Energy is a leader in proactive efforts to grow and improve our industry and has a strong understanding of key issues in our industry and actions needed on those issues. We believe that the member involvement that Growth Energy facilitates is a key to success. We believe that being a member of Growth Energy gives our company a competitive advantage.
  • Any other fun facts?
    • Blue Flint was designed and operates as part of a combined heat and power energy complex where we receive our thermal energy and other utilities from an electric power generation facility using energy that was unusable for electrical power generation.
    • Blue Flint is currently producing 75 million gallons of ethanol annually, a 50 percent increase above name plate capacity.
    • Blue Flint was named after the corn that was produced by the Native Americans in our area centuries ago.

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



Get Biofuel Social Media Toolkit 


Recently, Growth Energy launched a comprehensive digital advertising campaign across Get Biofuel’s social media channels, focused on educating environmentalists, women, and millennial car owners in the 29 states where E15 is currently available. The campaign promotes the benefits of biofuels and drives consumers to to learn more and to find an E15 station via our Fuel Finder.


To help you take part in this effort, we have assembled a social media toolkit with ready-to-use content that you can share on your channels.


For continued content and updates, please follow Get Biofuel’s social channels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



Austin Dillon Debuts American Ethanol No. 3 Car at Martinsville


Inclement weather and radio issues put a damper on Austin Dillon’s debut of the new-look No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Martinsville Speedway, but we were glad to see the car finally hit the track this season! The STP 500 Cup Series race had to be pushed back from Sunday afternoon to Monday due to an ice storm that hit the surrounding area. Austin Dillon and his team also suffered from radio issues early in the race which caused them to lose laps and drop back in the field.


As Austin put it, “This was the first time we’ve had the American Ethanol colors on this ZL1 this season, and I hate that we delivered this result for them. We’re a resilient team, and I’m positive that we’ll bounce back stronger.”


Dillon and his team will get a well-deserved break from Cup Series action this weekend and will return to the track next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

For more details, contact Manager of Communications Austin Dabney.


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

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