Ethanol Update: RFS comments, Obama petition, oil industry shills

Save 85 cents per gallon on E85 on June 17 at the Kaposia Convenience Center Minnoco in South St. Paul.

Save 85 cents per gallon on E85 on June 17 at the Kaposia Convenience Center Minnoco in South St. Paul.

There’s a lot going on in the ethanol world this week, so let’s get right to the Ethanol Update.

RFS comment period opens
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting comments on its proposal to slash the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and reduce the amount of homegrown ethanol blended in our fuel supply by 4 billion gallons in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Comments will be accepted through July 27, 2015. Check MInnesotaCornerstone next week for guidance on how to submit a comment, information to include in letters and other tools and resources to make your voice heard and tell EPA to not mess with the RFS.

Until then, be sure to check out the National Corn Growers Association’s excellent RFS website for useful tools and information.

Petition Obama
Fuels America has set up an online petition where you can tell EPA and President Obama to stand up to the oil industry and protect the RFS. It takes less than a minute to sign and is another simple and effect method for making your voice heard.

Click here to read and sign the petition.

Proposed RFS cuts already hurting industry
The ethanol industry is already feeling the effects of the proposed EPA reductions to the RFS. From Bloomberg News on Thursday:

An Obama administration proposal last month to cut quotas for renewable fuels led to a rout in ethanol credits and handcuffed the industry’s growth, biofuel groups said Thursday…Refiners get one credit, known as a Renewable Identification Number, or RIN, for each gallon of ethanol they mix with gasoline. EPA’s proposal reduced the amount of ethanol needed to comply, even as a memo from the agency shows that prices for the RINs don’t raise retail gasoline costs, according to executives from the biofuels lobby.

You can read the full story here.

USDA accepting applications for blender pump grants
States can now apply to tap into $100 million in funds to install blender pumps and flex fuel infrastructure through USDA’s Biofuels Infrastructure Program (BIP). From a USDA news release:

…funds must be used to pay a portion of the costs related to the installation of fuel pumps and related infrastructure dedicated to the distribution of higher ethanol blends, for example E15 and E85, at vehicle fueling locations…This new investment seeks to double the number of fuel pumps capable of supplying higher blends of renewable fuel to consumers. This will expand markets for farmers, support rural economic growth and the jobs that come with it, and ultimately give consumers more choices at the pump.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association will be working with its vast network of partners and contacts to bring some of these funds to Minnesota and continue to expand the number of fueling stations in our state that offer fuels with higher ethanol blends like E15 and E85.

Bloomberg doesn’t ID big oil shill as big oil shill
Bloomberg View continues publishing anti-renewable fuels op-eds from paid Big Oil shill Robert Bryce without disclosing that Bryce is, in fact, a paid Big Oil shill. Media Matters has more details:

The Manhattan Institute lists four senior fellows as “experts” on its webpage for its Center for Energy Policy and the Environment. Of those, Robert Bryce is the only fellow exclusively attached to the Center. [Manhattan Institute, accessed 6/8/15; accessed 6/8/15]

ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil refiner, has donated hundreds of thousands to the Manhattan Institute…The Manhattan Institute has been given over $1.9 million from the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, whose board of directors includes Charles Koch and his wife. The Kochs made their fortune from oil and currently have significant holdings in oil and gas operations.

Read the full report here.

Save on E85 in South St. Paul
From 3-5 p.m. on June 17, Kaposia’s Convenience Center Minnoco in South St. Paul (1214 Southview Blvd.) will be taking 85 cents off per gallon for E85. The event is supported by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and the American Lung Association of Minnesota’s Clean Air Choice team.

Come out, support homegrown ethanol and save money on your next tank of fuel.

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