Posted By Cindy November 18, 2014
A new analysis of real-world land use data by Iowa State University raises serious concerns about the accuracy of models used by regulatory agencies regarding “indirect land use changes” (ILUC) attributed to biofuels production.
The study, conducted by Prof. Bruce Babcock and Zabid Iqbal at ISU’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), examined actual observed global land use changes in the period spanning from 2004 to 2012 and was compared to predictions from the economic models used by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop ILUC penalty factors for regulated biofuels. The report concluded that farmers around the world have responded to higher crop prices in the past decade by using available land resources more efficiently rather than expanding the amount of land brought into production.
“There hasn’t been much land use change in terms of converting non-agricultural land into crop land,” said Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Senior Vice President Geoff Cooper of the report results. “We’ve seen more double-cropping, we’ve seen triple-cropping in some parts of the world. And, very interestingly, we’ve seen an increase in the amount of planted acres that are harvested.”
Cooper says the study, which was funded in part by RFA, comes at a time when the California ARB is in the process of re-adopting its low carbon fuel standard, which includes revisiting their land use analysis. “So this paper, we hope, should inform that debate and bring some clarity and commonsense,” said Cooper. More importantly, this new analysis can provide input to states like Oregon and Washington which are currently working on developing low carbon fuel standards.
Cooper explains more in this interview: Interview with Geoff Cooper, RFA
Posted By Cathryn September 19, 2014
This weekend, movie goers in select markets across the country will have a chance to find out more about America’s oil addiction and how it can be ended with cleaner, cheaper, American-made fuels as the movie PUMP hits theaters. An all-inclusive look at alternative fuels, PUMP draws consumer attention to both the problem and offers real, immediate solutions.
The documentary film aims to change attitudes about fuel forever. Narrated by Jason Bateman, PUMP tells the story of America’s addiction to oil, from its corporate conspiracy beginnings to its current monopoly today, and explains clearly how Americans can end it – and finally win real choice and competition at the pump.
To watch the PUMP trailer, click here.
The film presents the stark reality that every time consumers fill up their tank there is only one option – gasoline. Since the days of John D. Rockefeller, it has been rigged, and America has been taken for a ride. With a stranglehold on our fuel system that is absolute, most people have no idea there are alternatives.
PUMP presents a sharply focused look at all of the domestically produced, alternative paths to a very different fuel future – where multiple fuels can be used and blended, where the oil monopoly is ended, and where our nation no longer depends on foreign oil. PUMP concentrates on the specific pathway where ethanol, methanol, biofuels, gasoline, natural gas and electric all share the same platform at gas stations across the country, where there is choice and competition. The solution presented is not based on unproven future technologies or wishful thinking. PUMP presents a practical and achievable vision that could be realized in the near term – beginning now.
While the film represents many viewpoints that may not be completely in line with those advocated by groups like the National Corn Growers Association, it shines an important spotlight on the common problem all alternative fuels face. The documentary advocates for consumer choice and an end to Big Oil’s monopoly- a point which America’s farmers can certainly get behind even if they would advocate for an alternative approach.
So learn more about it. This independently-produced film has the potential to highlight an issue of vital importance to both farmers and consumers, which is certainly a step in the right direction.
Find a location playing PUMP or learn more about the movie by clicking here.
Posted By Cathryn August 26, 2014
Americans used to rally together around the idea of extracting our military from the Middle East by decreasing our dependence upon foreign oil. As we saw military involvement increase and climate change claims on the upswing, Congress even passed an act mandating biofuels.
Then came fracking.
Suddenly, despite the finite and insufficient increase in domestic oil production, America sunk back into the comfortable couch that is inertia. Arguing that oil can now be created within our borders, the movement toward renewable, domestic biofuels lost some steam.
Clicking on the front page of Bloomberg.com today makes one wonder why.
From stories highlighting the role oil money plays in the ascendance of ISIS to reports fracking may be harming our health, the multitude of reasons an oil-fueled, oil-rigged system harms our country seem apparent. The need for another answer does too.
The answer is actually simple. Return to the RFS. Grow our nation’s independence and health by growing our biofuels industry.
Big oil can create a barrage of bogus barricades to change. This time, let’s fight inertia. The problem will always come back, whether it be overseas or at home. Join Fuels America today and find out more about how to lead the way.
Posted By Cindy August 15, 2014
xF Technologies Inc. is an advanced biofuel company that has developed a chemical process to convert corn or biomass plus alcohol (especially ethanol or methanol) into an oxygenate that can be blended with gasoline and diesel.
“It’s a completely chemical process – no enzymes, no bacteria, no fermentation,” said Bob Randle of xF Technologies, who spoke at the recent Corn Utilization and Technology Conference. The end products are furoates – from either ethanol, methanol or butanol – that can then be used as oxygenates for fuel transportation to improve mileage, reduce emissions, increase lubricity, and more.
Randle says the technology offers co-location and add-on opportunities for ethanol and corn wet milling plants. “Because our primary feedstocks are corn and ethanol, or biomass and ethanol,” he said. “We can also be co-located with a cellulosic ethanol plant as well.”
Learn more in this interview: Interview with Bob Randle, xF Technologies
2014 CUTC Photo Album
Posted By Cathryn August 14, 2014
In a media landscape that often seizes upon sensationalism, The Huffington Post took a balanced, thoughtful approach to ethanol issues today in publishing a piece written in support of E15 by researchers at Argonne National Laboratory.
The city of Chicago is considering a proposed ordinance that would require most gas stations to offer E15. The measure would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide consumers a domestic, sustainable choice for fuel. In their post, the researchers provide a clear, supported argument as to why this is a step in the right direction for America.
To read the post, click here.
In offering actual information to the public, HuffPost and the scientists alike elevate the conversation. The fact that Big Oil has waged an ongoing war against biofuels for years is no secret. One invented argument after the next, the proponents of petroleum have repeatedly tried to cloud the conversation with misinformation and thus maintain a stranglehold on America’s fuel supply and Americans pocketbooks. Sadly, some of the rouses have garnered airtime and slowed the advance toward a fuel supply that offers consumers real choice.
Chicago may gain actual options. These options could both help clean the air and reduce dependence upon a finite and often foreign fuel supply. The prospects for freedom from oil’s monopoly look a bit brighter. The Drs. Michael Wang and Jennifer Dunn and The Huffington Post Blog deserve a round of applause for bringing the conversation to consumers in the clear manner worthy of such a weighty issue.
Posted By Cindy August 11, 2014
The American Coalition for Ethanol meeting in Minneapolis last week honored Congressman Collin Peterson of Minnesota with its highest award for supporters of ethanol, the Merle Anderson Award.
Anderson, a co-founder of ACE and known to many as the “Father of Ethanol,” proudly presented the award to his congressman. “Farmers have probably tripled their net worth in the last ten years,” said Anderson, giving credit to Peterson for getting farm bills passed. “I don’t think you’d have had a farm bill the last two farm bills if you wouldn’t have had Collin Peterson.”
Merle Anderson Presents Award to Rep. Collin Peterson
Peterson helped to pass the energy bill with the Renewable Fuel Standard and remains a strong supporter of ethanol in Congress. “It’s just been a tremendous success story in agriculture because it’s changed the marketplace so farmers can get a decent price for their corn,” he said. “We do have our opponents and they are still working to undermine things,” he continued.”They want to go back to $1.85 corn and I tell them if they are successful they will rue the day because nobody can grow corn for $1.85.” Peterson says the only way farmers survived when prices were $1.85 a bushel was because of the government subsidy “and that’s gone.”
Peterson remains hopeful that the EPA will eventually come out with a better final rule on the 2014 volume obligations for the RFS. “I think the fact that they delayed this for now a third time shows they are listening,” he said. “It appears to me that they realize they made a mistake here and they’re trying to figure out how to undo it.” He thinks it could be next year before the rule is final, but “a delayed decision is better than a bad decision.”
In this interview, Peterson also comments on WOTUS, farm bill implementation, immigration, and more. Interview with Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) at ACE Conference
27th Annual Ethanol Conference photo album
Posted By Cindy August 8, 2014
One way enzyme technology can help ethanol plants is by yielding more ethanol per bushel of corn.
At the recent Corn Utilization and Technology Conference, Nathan Kreel with Novozymes talked about Olexa, a unique enzyme designed for oil recovery. “We developed it mainly to enhance corn oil extraction for the customer, but we are seeing there are a lot of other benefits,” he said. That includes an increase in ethanol yield, better yeast health, and more efficient fermentation.
“The most important thing is that we see back end process improvements with an average of 13% oil increase,” Kreel said. “It’s a simple drop-in product that is added right to the fermentation and you can see improvements right when it’s used.”
Learn more in this interview: Interview with Nathan Kreel, Novozymes
2014 CUTC Photo Album
Posted By Cindy August 6, 2014
DuPont Industrial Biosciences is looking into understanding the yeast metabolism and dynamics associated with various stresses in the fuel ethanol fermentation process.
“Those stresses could be putting in too much enzyme, or not enough enzyme,” said Dr. Donald Cannon, who presented at the Corn Utilization and Technology Conference. “So, we’ve identified succinate as a marker for nitrogen stress and what we’re using that for is to help in protease trials.”
Cannon says they believe these metabolite insights will be helpful as ethanol plant technology diversifies. “Increasing efficiency and taking care of process upsets,” he explained. “What we want to be able to do is help plants identify those upsets.”
Listen to my interview with Joe here: Interview with Donald Cannon, DuPont
2014 CUTC Photo Album
Posted By Cindy July 9, 2014
A final rule on the volume obligations for this year under the Renewable Fuel Standard is taking longer than expected, but Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy says they want to get it right.
“I’m hoping it will come out soon,” she said during a press conference on agricultural issues this week. Explaining about the delay in releasing the final rule, which was expected by the end of June, McCarthy said it has become clear that there is concern “not only about what the volumes of the fuels are but the way in which we are adjusting those volumes.”
McCarthy stressed that the administration “continues to have a strong commitment to biofuels” and they want to make sure the final rule “clearly reflects that interest.”
“My goal is always to make sure we get it right,” she concluded.
Listen to McCarthy explain here: EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on RFS rule release
Posted By Cathryn July 8, 2014
Standing at the pump, have you even wondered who decides which options you will have? Maybe the gas station owner? The government? Who knows?
If you thought that it impacted what you pay, would you care? What if it was cheaper and kept money in the United States and out of oil regimes in the Middles East? Maybe then?
According to a report card released today by the Renewable Fuels Association, Big Oil is taking care of the big decisions in most cases. The biggest names in the oil industry have been stacking the deck in favor of their product for years by writing a series of restrictions into every franchise agreement. If consumers want to go to a name they know, chances are they have to take whatever Big Oil is willing to give.
The reasoning behind the regs is simple. By making it cost prohibitive or even forbidden to carry renewable fuel blends currently available, like E15 or E85, they make sure that their pockets will be as full as possible. As for consumer wallets? Oh well.
Take a second to find out more by clicking here.
Big Oil does an incredible job of watching out for itself. What they fail to do is watch out for consumers, the environment, the U.S. economy and U.S. energy security.
Next time you fill up, take a second to wonder why you are paying more, and losing more, because of the undue influence of a modern monopoly. Take a look at the options. They do exist.