No. 65, Jan. 17, 2019



Senate EPW Committee Holds Hearing on Nomination of Andrew Wheeler for EPA

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler answered questions on the pending E15 year-round rulemaking and future plans for the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) held a hearing on the nomination of Andrew Wheeler for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator. Wheeler was questioned on a wide range of topics including the waters of the U.S. rule, climate change, and land use protections.

Our Senate biofuels champions on the committee also questioned Wheeler on the effect the shutdown will have on a timely completion of the pending E15 rulemaking. Wheeler strongly reiterated his stance that EPA was still on track to complete the E15 year-round rulemaking process by the summer deadline.

“It’s not a day-for-day exchange as for how much longer it will take us on the proposal, but it may be slightly delayed at this point, but we will get it done before the summer driving season provided that we are back in a reasonable length of time,” said Wheeler in response to a question by Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD).

In addition to Senator Rounds, other biofuel champions - including Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) - questioned the nominee on E15 or the RFS.

The full hearing can be viewed on the Senate EPW website here. Growth Energy will continue to engage with Congress and with agencies like EPA to promote our industry.

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



Washington Low Carbon Fuel Standard Legislation to be Considered


Growth Energy Delegation Meets With Key Chinese Stakeholders


E15 Growth Continues in 2019


Green Plains CEO, Growth Energy Board Member Todd Becker on Bloomberg TV
Member Highlight: Sorghum Checkoff


National Biodiesel Conference
Jan. 24, San Diego, CA
Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit
Jan. 29, Altoona, IA
Growth Energy Executive Leadership Conference
Feb. 5-9, Palos Verdes, CA


Washington Low Carbon Fuel Standard Legislation to be Considered

With California and Oregon already having low carbon fuel standards in place today, the State of Washington is now also considering its own clean fuel or low carbon fuel standard legislation as their state legislature began session this week.


On January 10th, Washington State Representative and Chairman of the House Environment and Energy Committee Joe Fitzgibbon introduced House Bill 1110, which would require the Washington Department of Ecology to establish a rule that would reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuel by 10 percent by 2028 and 20 percent by 2035 (compared to 2017 levels). The Committee held its first hearing on the legislation on January 15th, where we presented our testimony, through our Washington state legislative consultant.


The text of the legislation and bill summary can be found here and the bill analysis can be found here. Growth Energy will continue to stay actively engaged on this legislation and Washington’s efforts on a low carbon fuel standard.

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


Growth Energy Delegation Meets With Key Chinese Stakeholders

Growth Energy held a reception for Chinese officials and industry stakeholders to discuss the benefits of biofuels for the country.

Last week, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor and our global markets team traveled to China to meet with Chinese ethanol industry leaders, stakeholders, and government officials. During their visit, they attended presentations from China Agricultural University's Dr. Xie Guang Hui and former Sinopec official Mr. Qiao Ying Bin, before meeting with officials from the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation. They also met with industry stakeholders from COFCO Corporation, China Group Companies Association, ChemChina, and the Innovation Center for Energy and Transportation.


China is the world's second largest gasoline market and China's National Energy Administration announced in 2017 a plan to reach an E10 blend by 2020. With this plan in place the country could represent hundreds of millions of additional gallons of ethanol demand in the coming years. Without a resolution to ongoing trade disputes with the U.S., however, Chinese imports will remain repressed below their 2016 peak of 181 million gallons, despite demand growing dramatically.


Growth Energy is committed to expanding the market outlook for ethanol internationally and trade missions like these are crucial to establishing strong overseas ties. Stay tuned for more on how Growth Energy continues to lead the world in biofuels advocacy.

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


E15 Growth Continues in 2019

Retail locations offering E15 have exceeded 1,700 locations at the start of 2019.

The E15 movement continues to expand its footprint. Today, the number of sites offering E15 has reached over 1,700 sites across 30 states, surpassing the projected 1,675 retail locations for 2018. This growth is expected to continue, with an estimated 2,000 stations to be in operation by the end of 2019.


The last five years have seen E15 availability skyrocket. From 2013 to 2014, E15 retail locations grew from 40 to 75 sites and by 2015 had reached almost 200 locations. That number tripled to 600 by 2016 and by the end of 2017 there were over 1,200 locations nationwide.


As customers and retailers experience the countless benefits of E15 blended fuel, both in its quality and affordability, we expect those numbers will continue to grow rapidly. With year-round sales of E15 just on the horizon, retailers will be able to avoid expensive relabeling costs and consumers will gain access to cleaner, more affordable fuel for all 12 months of the year.  


Continue to follow Market Development efforts as we lead the charge in making E15 available in more retail locations.

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


Green Plains CEO, Growth Energy Board Member Todd Becker on Bloomberg TV


Green Plains President and CEO Todd Becker appeared on Bloomberg TV's Daybreak morning segment to discuss the ethanol industry's top priorities.

On Tuesday January 15, Green Plains President and CEO and Growth Energy board member Todd Becker joined Bloomberg Daybreak for a discussion on the importance of resolving trade relations with China and securing year-round sales of E15 for the ethanol industry and our nation's farmers.



"We've been waiting over a year [for E15]. We needed it last year and we need it this year," Becker said. "The president said he's committed to get it done, and the EPA came out on the 8th and said they have enough, they think, to get it done by summer driving season."

Growth Energy is committed to representing the biofuels industry both at home and abroad and ensuring a timely and positive outcome for important biofuels legislation and regulation, like the E15 rulemaking.

Member Highlight: Sorghum Checkoff

With the start of 2019, we will once again be highlighting members in order to allow members to speak about what makes their company's great and to give them a platform to discuss initiatives they are excited about.This week's member highlight is on Sorghum Checkoff. Based in Lubbock, TX, Sorghum Checkoff has field staff located across the Midwest including Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, as well as central Texas and the Texas panhandle. Learn more about this company below:
Key Ethanol Team Members:
  • Tim Lust, CEO
  • Florentino Lopez, Executive Director
  • Jennifer Blackburn, External Affairs Director
  • Zach Simon, Regional Marketing Director
  • John Duff, Renewables Program Director


How long has Sorghum Checkoff been in operation?

Still one of the younger national commodity checkoff programs, the Sorghum Checkoff celebrated its 10-year anniversary on July 1, 2018.


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

Sorghum is a water-sipping, environmentally resilient crop, so sorghum brings added stability to ethanol producers in arid regions.


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

With ethanol producers consuming one-third of sorghum produced in the U.S., the health and continued growth of the ethanol industry is extremely important to sorghum growers. Building demand is key for both health and growth, so we are most proud of our activities working to promote ethanol to consumers. The two most notable activities are our involvement with Growth Energy-led infrastructure work and our partnership with Growth Energy sponsoring Matt Tifft in the Kansas Lottery 300.


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

Sorghum is naturally high in protein, so high-protein ethanol coproducts present a lot of opportunities. The ethanol industry has a long way to go to fully take advantage of all the value in already nutrient-rich DDGS, but world demand projections for protein indicate the future is very bright.


What do you consider some of your company's main accomplishments to be?

The Sorghum Checkoff has a long track record of successfully building international demand through a close working relationship with the U.S. Grains Council, most recently in China. I think we’re only scratching the surface of what we could do to help build demand for ethanol internationally.


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

The Sorghum Checkoff and our sister organization, National Sorghum Producers, are grassroots organizations, so we provide direct support on a number of issues important to farmers. From agronomic advice to marketing assistance, we try to add value to our farmers and their communities.


How long have you been a Growth Energy member?

We’ve been members seven years, but either the Sorghum Checkoff or National Sorghum Producers have been involved in some capacity from the very beginning.


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

Vision. Growth Energy members—from plants, to input suppliers, to other organizations like ours—envision a future much different than today. In it, farmers are more empowered and have direct ties to consumers who are demanding their products and the environmental benefits they provide. Agriculture must change, and Growth Energy members are embracing and preparing to take advantage of this change.


Any other fun facts?

The world’s most consumed spirit, baijiu, is made predominately from sorghum.

For more details, contact Vice President of Membership, 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.