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Updated: 32 weeks 3 days ago

B20 Makes Big Splash in Minnesota

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 06:20

MN Sen. Amy Klobuchar is first in line for B20 biodiesel

Minnesota made history May 1, becoming the first state to transform virtually all of the diesel supply for sale in the state to B20, a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.

“We often refer to Minnesota as a ‘trailblazer,’ but somehow that just doesn’t seem adequate anymore,” said National Biodiesel Board (NBB) CEO Donnell Rehagen. “Upgrading virtually an entire state’s diesel to contain 20 percent biodiesel represents a seismic shift in our country’s liquid energy supply.”

NBB presented its Eye on Biodiesel Impact award this year to Mike Youngerberg, who currently serves as the Executive Director of the Minnesota Biodiesel Council and has been working since 1986 to advance soybean industry priorities as a staff member for Minnesota Soybean.

“We’ve had bipartisan support for the effort,” said Youngerberg in an interview at the National Biodiesel Conference earlier this year. He says the advancement of biodiesel in the state has been called the “Minnesota Miracle.”

Listen to the award presentation and Mike’s remarks: Mike Youngerberg award

Learn more about Mike in this interview: Mike Youngerberg interview

RFA: Ethanol Saves Consumers at the Pump

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 05:52

After a long, cold winter many families are ready to hit the road and go somewhere warm and fun for summer vacation, but the Energy Information Administration is already warning drivers that they are likely to see the highest gasoline prices in four years. The good news is that ethanol is helping to offset higher prices at the pump, according to a new analysis from the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

Pump prices have already begun to increase, with the average retail price for regular gasoline reaching $2.85/gallon last week, the highest since November 2014. However, the RFA analysis says 10% ethanol blends (E10) alone could save consumers at least $39 billion this year. The analysis of wholesale gasoline and ethanol price data shows that blending E10 has reduced wholesale gasoline prices by at least 27 cents per gallon, or 14%, compared to ethanol-free gasoline (E0).

The cost savings to consumers would be even greater if E15 (15% ethanol, 85% gasoline) were used in approved vehicles nationwide in place of E10, the analysis found. Specifically, the savings would be at least 34 cents per gallon, or 17%, for E15 consumers. Using E15 in approved vehicles would help consumers across the country save approximately $45 billion on gasoline, or $386 per household.

A group of senators this week asked President Trump to authorize sales of E15 this summer, starting June 1. Currently, consumers who are blocked from accessing E15 for three months of the year are unnecessarily spending at least an extra 7 cents per gallon on gasoline. Nationally, that translates to $6 billion, or approximately $80 per household.

Read the analysis here.

May is Renewable Fuels Month in Nebraska

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 10:50

Nebraska drivers are being encouraged to get their motors running with savings on biofuels every Friday in May at retailers in three major cities to celebrate Renewable Fuels Month in the state.

Select retailers in Omaha, Grand Island and Bellevue are offering discounts on ethanol blends and one location is discounting biodiesel as well.

Renewable Fuels Month is coordinated through the Nebraska Ethanol Board, the Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Soybean Board. Several promotional events are also being posted throughout the month on their social media platforms. Visit www.AmericanEthanolNE.org and www.BiodieselNE.com for more details.

Senators Push President for E-15 RVP Waiver

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 06:08

With a growing number of “small refinery” exemptions being granted by EPA to not-so-small companies, a bipartisan group of senators is asking President Trump to allow 15% ethanol fuel (E-15) to be sold during the summer all over the country starting this year.

In a letter to the president Monday, 18 ethanol state senators made two specific requests. First, they ask that EPA provide an expected timeline for an administrative Reid Vapor Pressure or RVP waiver. Second, they request the agency allow for the sale of E-15 during the upcoming summer driving season in the meantime.

“Lifting these barriers will create a new market for surplus crops, while strengthening our energy security and delivering a jolt to the rural economy,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “We continue to be grateful to our champions in Congress for pushing the EPA to make good on the president’s commitment to year-round E15 sales.”

“It is unacceptable for EPA to drag its feet to allow E15 and higher ethanol use year-round while it makes time to rubber stamp so-called ‘hardship’ waivers enabling refiners to escape their legal responsibility to blend ethanol under the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings.

A report from Reuters on Monday said that EPA granted a small refinery hardship exemption to CVR Energy, owned by billionaire and presidential advisor Carl Icahn.

Biodiesel #1 for Green Fleets

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 05:42

And the survey says …. biodiesel is the top alternative fuel choice for fleet trucks.

According to the latest Fleet Purchasing Outlook study conducted by the NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry, 75 percent of fleet respondents planning to acquire trucks in 2018 anticipate maintaining or increasing use of diesel engine powered trucks, indicating that diesel is still the powertrain of choice among the majority of work truck fleets. Additionally, the survey indicated that biodiesel is now the most popular alternative fuel option on the market, followed by E85, CNG and Electric Hybrid. Survey data shows 18 percent of fleet participants use biodiesel now – up from 15 percent in 2017. And in terms of future alternative fuel interest, biodiesel also takes top honors, with more fleets planning to acquire or continue using biodiesel than any other alternative fuel option.

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is featuring some of the latest industry advancements this week at the Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, California. On display will be a customized 2018 Freightliner Cascadia truck supplied by NBB member company Optimus Technologies® that can use B100 biodiesel, like the one that served as a backdrop for the National Biodiesel Conference stage.

Report Says Icahn Refinery Received RFS Waiver

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 10:05

Reuters published an exclusive report today citing two anonymous sources who claim EPA granted a small refinery hardship exemption to CVR Energy, owned by billionaire Carl Icahn, the power behind last year’s attempt to dilute the Renewable Fuel Standard by changing the point of obligation.

CVR Energy just released its 1st quarter earnings last Thursday, posting a net income of $66 million, compared to $22 million in the first quarter of 2017. CVR CEO Dave Lamp credited the increase to “a reduction to CVR Refining’s estimated Renewable Volume Obligation and lower Renewable Identification Number prices.”

Audio file – CVR Energy CEO Dave Lamp, 2018 Q1 report

The company’s Coffeyville, Kansas refinery has a capacity of 132,000 barrels per calendar day (bpcd) and the Wynnewood, Oklahoma has a 74,500 bpcd capacity – just under the 75,000 barrel cut off for a “small refinery” under the EPA’s definition.

During a House Energy subcommittee hearing last week, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt was asked directly by Maryland Democrat Rep. John Sarbanes if Carl Icahn’s CVR Energy had applied for a waiver. Pruitt replied that he was “not sure” and did not directly answer whether the company might have received one, saying “These exemptions are governed by statute…” before being interrupted by Sarbanes saying, “You’re going to find that out for us..because it raises serious questions about conflicts of interest.”

Listen to that exchange here: Rep. Sarbanes questions EPA Admin. Pruitt

RFA Urges CARB to Use More Ethanol

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 05:50

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is urging the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to allow greater market access for ethanol blended fuel to help the state reach its climate policy objectives.

According to comments submitted by RFA, ethanol has played a key role in the success of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and could do more if certain regulatory actions are taken to allow greater market access.

CARB held a hearing last week to consider amendments that would expand the LCFS through 2030 and increase the stringency of the required carbon intensity (CI) reductions and RFA Executive Vice President Geoff Cooper provided oral testimony at the hearing in addition to the group’s written comments.

CARB’s own data show that ethanol is responsible for reducing GHG emissions by 14.5 million metric tons (CO2-equivalent), or 45% of the total reductions achieved under the LCFS to date, RFA noted in its comments. In addition, data released by CARB last week shows that the ethanol used in California has an average CI that is 31% lower than gasoline.

RFA’s comments offered several recommendations that would allow ethanol to make even greater contributions to the LCFS goals, including:

• Expediting approval of new pathway petitions for cellulosic ethanol produced from grain kernel fiber.
• Amending current regulations to allow for the sale of E15 (15% ethanol, 85% gasoline) in California. A recent study by Life Cycle Associates shows that introduction of E15 would significantly increase LCFS credit generation, reduce gasoline consumption, and enhance the near- and long-term sustainability of the program. If California allows the sale of E15 beginning in 2020, the study shows cumulative GHG reductions achieved under the LCFS increase by 15-19 MMT CO2e by 2030, depending on the mix of ethanol sources.
• Revising default lifecycle GHG assessment model assumptions regarding grain sorghum production.
• Beginning a process to consider other options for further decarbonizing the remaining liquid fuels in the California mark

Ethanol Report on Pruitt and the RFS

Fri, 04/27/2018 - 06:13

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt has been “unapologetic” under questioning this week about granting dozens of small refinery hardship exemptions, and Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen believes he will continue to do so unchecked.

In this edition of the Ethanol Report, Dinneen talks about how the exemptions have effectively cut the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by over 1.5 billion gallons, and how he believes Scott Pruitt is working against the wishes of President Trump.

Listen here: Ethanol Report on Pruitt and the RFS

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Pruitt Provides Vague Answers About RFS Exemptions

Fri, 04/27/2018 - 05:14

The budget for the Environmental Protection Agency was the topic of two separate House hearings Thursday, but lawmakers spent the majority of the time addressing other concerns with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was brought up immediately by House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment Chairman John Shimkus of Illinois, who made it clear he would like to see Congress make any decisions about changes in the program, rather than the agency. “Potential administrative actions (to change the RFS) hang like the sword of Damocles over efforts on Capitol Hill to reach an enduring, legislative solution to the problems of that program,” said Shimkus. Pruitt responded that there were administrative actions that he believes can be taken, such as transparency in the RIN market and granting the RVP waiver to allow year round sales of E15, but “Congress’ role is very important.”

Rep. Shimkus questions EPA Admin. Pruitt

One of the many subcommittee members from Texas, Rep. Gene Green, questioned Pruitt about the number of RFS small refinery hardship waivers that have been granted by EPA, saying that the oil industry agrees with the ethanol industry that information should be made public. Pruitt gave a vague response about the actual numbers, saying last year they received request numbering “somewhere in the mid-20s” for the 2016 obligations, but “we received more than that this year” for 2017.

Rep. Green questions EPA Admin. Pruitt

Iowa Democrat Dave Loebsack asked the administrator what he intends to do about the more than one billion gallons of biofuels required by the statute that have been waived away. “Under Section 211 of the Clean Air Act, the EPA administrator is required to reassign gallons that are waived under the small refiner exemption to other obligated parties,” said Loebsack, asking Pruitt if he had done so. “It’s my understanding that process has happened as it’s supposed to,” Pruitt replied. Asked if he would provide the names of refineries, Pruitt said, “Subject to the confidential business information.” Pruitt told another member that he was “not sure” whether Carl Icahn’s CVR Energy had applied for a waiver, and did not directly answer whether the company might have received one, saying “These exemptions are governed by statute.”

Rep. Loebsack questions EPA Admin. Pruitt

RFS Architects Question EPA Waivers

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 07:12

Former Sen. Byron Dorgan at 2018 National Biodiesel Conference

Two former senators who played key roles in developing the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) are calling on Congress to investigate the EPA’s recent waivers to major refiners and failure to follow the law.

Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Jim Talent (R-MO) say EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s granting of multiple small refinery hardship waivers skirts the law and threatens to undermine the renewable fuels industry.

“Lawmakers from across the heartland have already demanded the EPA stop abusing these waivers, but Congress can and should do more. The public deserves real answers from Administrator Pruitt about handouts granted under cover of night,” said the two Senators, who are active in energy policy roles. Dorgan is now a senior policy adviser at Arent Fox, whose clients include the National Biodiesel Board, and Talent currently serves as Chair of Americans for Energy Security and Innovation (AESI), which supports renewable energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Both helped write the RFS while serving in the Senate.

“The waiver provisions established by Congress provide flexibility in dealing with the smallest refining companies, producing fewer than 75,000 barrels per day, and only in unique cases presenting disproportionate economic hardship,” the senators say. “But the EPA has warped those provisions to grant tens of millions of dollars in regulatory handouts at the expense of farmers, biofuel workers, and American consumers.”

The National Biodiesel Board submitted a Freedom of Information Act Request to find out more from EPA about small refiner exemptions requested and issued. They also joined the American Soybean Association and the National Renderers Association urging President Trump to keep his promises to rural voters to uphold a strong RFS.

Iowa RFA Sends Message to EPA Administrator

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 06:07

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) has a message for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to answer the question of how to reduce RIN prices associated with the Renewable Fuel Standard – grant E15 the same RVP treatment as all other ethanol-blended fuels.

On January 30th, while Administrator Pruitt was testifying before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit attendees were signing a letter and a poster to the administrator asking him to grant E15 RVP parity. A copy of the letter summit attendees signed, and a photo of the signed poster was sent to Pruitt’s office Wednesday.

“From Harvard professors to Iowa retailers, the experts agree E15 RVP parity is the fastest way to lower RIN prices,” said IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “It is simple supply and demand. Allowing retailers to blend E15 all year round would flood the market with RINs and reduce the price.”

During the Senate committee hearing, Pruitt said EPA is in the process of determining if the agency will provide E15 RVP parity “and we are working to get an answer as soon as we can.”

Senators Speak Out to Approve Northey Nomination

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 06:01

After nearly four months of having the nomination of Iowa’s Bill Northey to the U.S. Department of Agriculture held up by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) brought it up on the Senate floor Wednesday and called on other colleagues to back him up.

Northey was nominated to be USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation in September and quickly confirmed by the Agriculture Committee, but Sen. Cruz put a hold on the nomination in October over the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and has refused to budge unless all stakeholders can meet together to agree on a “win-win” situation for both refiners and ethanol producers that would lower prices for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).

“Mr. Northey would have been confirmed long ago had the lobbyists for the ethanol industry been willing to come to the table and reach a commonsense solution,” said Sen. Cruz.

That struck a chord with Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “Mr. Cruz is also being callously misleading in suggesting representatives of the ethanol industry (including the RFA) have refused to meet to discuss the issue,” said Dinneen. “We have received no invitation to talk, only media reports of his cynical proposed solution to cap the price of RINs.”

Both Dinneen and Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor point out that there is a very simple solution to lower the price of RINs – allow E15 to be sold year round. “Sen. Ted Cruz has held Mr. Northey hostage as a means to drag out his so-called ‘negotiation’ to lower RIN prices, when all this time there has been a solution staring us in the face – RVP relief,” said Skor.

RVP relief is one of two offers Sen. Grassley has made to appease Sen. Cruz. The other is transparency for the RINs market.

Listen to good friends Sens. Grassley and Cruz disagree with one another on this issue.
Sens. Cruz and Grassley comments

Listen to Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) support Bill Northey.
Sens. Stabenow, Ernst and Klobuchar comments

Perdue Discusses State of Rural Economy

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 07:19

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue briefed members of the House Agriculture Committee Tuesday on the current state of the rural economy and USDA’s farm bill priorities.

“We’re in a very different situation than when you last contemplated a farm bill,” said Perdue in his opening remarks. “The state of the rural economy is fragile.”

Secretary Perdue was asked about a number of issues impacting different areas of the nation, including sorghum, nutrition programs, dairy, specialty crops, trade, FMD vaccine, getting undersecretaries approved by Congress, labor and immigration, broadband access, precision ag, citrus greening, renewable fuels, cotton, and lots more.

Listen to part of the hearing here: Sec. Perdue State of Rural Economy

Harvard Professor Says RVP Parity Will Lower RIN Prices

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 07:02

A professor of economics at Harvard University claims that providing RVP parity for E15 would be the most direct way to lower RIN prices.

A recent paper from economist Professor James H. Stock argues that providing RVP parity for E15 would facilitate increased ethanol blending, which in turn would drive increased generation and availability of RIN credits and ultimately lower RIN prices.

“Extending the RVP waiver to E15 (and higher blends) would facilitate additional corn kernel ethanol being blended into the fuel supply, as some E10 sales are converted to E15 sales,” Stock wrote, noting that current EPA regulations effectively prevent E15 from being sold year-round in most of the country. “This additionally blended ethanol would make it easier to comply with the RFS obligation for blending conventional fuels, because more D6 RINS [from conventional ethanol] would become available for compliance. …[T]hese additional RINs would exert downward pressure on RIN prices. Additional sales of E15, along with the continued expansion of total gasoline demand, would tend to stabilize RIN prices at a lower value, all else equal.”

Stock will be speaking at the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) National Ethanol Conference next week in San Antonio on a panel entitled “For Your RINformation: An Update on RIN Markets.” The impact of RVP parity for E15 on RIN prices will be among the topics discussed, along with other concepts.

Click here to read Prof. Stock’s paper

Grassley Disputes Negative Impacts of RFS on Refineries

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 06:44

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is challenging claims that the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was responsible in part for the recent bankruptcy filing of Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES).

Grassley released an internal memo produced by his energy policy staff who analyzed the situation and found that the biofuels blending requirement and the cost of Renewable Identification Number credits (RINs) “have little to do with the success of refineries and were not significant factors in the PES bankruptcy.”

“I’m concerned any time an American’s job could be lost,” Grassley said. “After I heard that the Renewable Fuel Standard was being blamed for the financial troubles of some refineries, I wanted to know more. So I asked my staff to get to the bottom of the situation. After reviewing the facts, I’m confident that the Renewable Fuel Standard isn’t harming refineries, that other factors are at work, and that the RFS law is working as Congress intended.”

In addition, Grassley notes that the University of Pennsylvania’s Kleinman Center for Energy Policy has published a blog series on the real story behind why the refinery was led to declare bankruptcy.

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings says Senator Grassley’s analysis is spot on. “As more light is shone on the decisions PES management made between 2012 and today, it has become clear that they sacrificed RFS compliance for other investments which went bad…It would be outrageous for Congress or EPA to reform the RFS based on the mismanagement of one east coast refiner.”

Summit Agricultural Group to expand FS Bioenergia

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 06:03

Summit Agricultural Group has announced a $100 million expansion of FS Bioenergia, its corn ethanol production facility in Brazil. The expansion of the plant is forecast for completion in the first quarter of 2019 and will more than double annual corn ethanol production from 60 million gallons to 140 million gallons.

With this expansion, FS Bioenergia will annually process over 50 million bushels of corn and produce more than 14,000 tons of corn oil and 400,000 tons of valuable feed rations for Brazil’s growing livestock industry.

“This is a significant step for FS Bioenergia, but it’s even more important for the growth of corn ethanol production in Brazil,” said Bruce Rastetter, founder and CEO of Summit Agricultural Group. “When we began this project several years ago, we were confident of the opportunities in Brazilian renewables. Today, we’re more convinced than ever of the potential for corn ethanol in Mato Grosso.”

The FS Bioenergia expansion will utilize process technologies from ICM, Inc. of Colwich, Kansas, as it did for the original plant.

Pruitt Open to Ethanol as Octane Enhancer

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 07:00

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt appeared before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last week for an oversight hearing that touched on a variety of issues, including ethanol.

Pruitt was questioned by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) about the advanced biofuel pathway for distillers sorghum oil and the comment period that just closed on that January 26, and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) asked about a nationwide RVP waiver for 15% ethanol. “As you know, (the RVP waiver) is not really a policy issue, it truly is a determination about the legal authority on whether it can be granted nationally,” said Pruitt.
Audio file: Sen. Ernst and EPA Admin. Pruitt

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) asked about the use of corn ethanol as an octane enhancer. “I think the agency has long has not considered the fuel side of the ledger to achieve better outcomes…as we go through the CAFE process we are looking at those kinds of issues,” said Pruitt. “We’re agnostic about the source, it’s just a high octane approach generally.”
Audio file: Sen. Rounds and EPA Admin. Pruitt

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings says they were encouraged by Pruitt’s comments. “Administrator Pruitt is to be commended for inviting comment on the role high-octane fuels can play in helping meet future vehicle fuel economy and emission standards,” said Jennings. “It is well-documented that blends in the range of E25-40 deliver meaningful efficiency and emission benefits at a low pump price. We continue to work with other stakeholders to make sure high-octane fuel containing ethanol becomes a reality.”

Eight Ethanol Safety Seminars in Kentucky

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 05:25

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and TRANSCAER® are jointly hosting eight ethanol safety seminars in Kentucky during the month of February.

The ethanol safety seminars are funded through a Federal Railroad Administration/ TRANSCAER® grant, in partnership with the Paducah & Louisville Railway. Registration is free and lunch will be provided. Registration is limited and Certificates of Completion will be awarded to attendees at the completion of the course. The seminars are designed for individuals who respond to ethanol-related emergencies, as well as emergency planning committees and safety managers.

The seminars will be held in Owensville, Bowling Green, and Louisville, and will focus on numerous important areas of ethanol safety including an introduction to ethanol and ethanol-blended fuels, chemical and physical characteristics of ethanol and hydrocarbon fuels, transportation and transfer, storage and dispensing locations, firefighting foam principles, general health and safety considerations and storage and pre-planning considerations.

Click here for dates, times, and registration information.

Novozymes Adds Yeast to Bioenergy Business

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 05:05

Novozymes has introduced a new yeast platform for starch-based ethanol with its first product, Innova Drive. According to the company, this new yeast strain can reduce fermentation time by up to two hours compared to current yeasts.

“The first product from our yeast platform, Innova Drive is a completely new ride for the ethanol industry. It puts plant operators in the driver’s seat to run fermentations the way they need to,” says Brian Brazeau, Novozymes’ Vice President for Biofuels Commercial. “Yeast is a major bottleneck that requires constant care and attention. Innova Drive is a response to the needs of the ethanol industry, and resets expectations for how tough a yeast can be.”

The new yeast is also able to ferment in adverse conditions such as higher organic acids and temperatures which increases ethanol output and reduces operational costs.

Learn more details from Novozymes.

Over 30 States Broke Blend Wall in 2016

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 05:52

The latest data from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) shows that gasoline consumed in 30 states and the District of Columbia in 2016 contained more than 10 percent ethanol on average, breaking through the so-called E10 Blend Wall. That compares to 2015 when the national average ethanol content was 9.91 percent and 25 states (plus the District of Columbia) were above 10 percent on average. The 2016 data is the latest available for individual states.

The national average ethanol blend rate in 2016 was 10.02 percent, clearing the 9.7 percent that gasoline marketers claim is the highest the market can tolerate. Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen said the numbers show the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is working as intended to drive increased use of ethanol and other biofuels. “Increased consumption of E15, mid-level blends like E20-E30, and ethanol flex fuels like E85 has reduced the so-called blend wall to a pile of rubble. Today, more than 4,000 stations nationwide sell flex fuels and approximately 1,300 stations sell E15,” Dinneen said.

The data show that ethanol comprised 12.4 percent of the gasoline pool in Minnesota in 2016. Not coincidentally, ethanol flex fuels like E85 are available at roughly one out of every eight stations in the Gopher State. In Iowa, gasoline contained an average of 11.4 percent ethanol in 2016, consistent with 2015 and up from just 9.5 percent in 2013. The 2016 data is the latest available for individual states, with 2017 state-level data likely not available until late 2018.

For the first time, ethanol also exceeded 10.0 percent of gasoline consumption in 2016 in mountain states like Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Texas also saw its average blend rate rise above 10.0 percent for the first time. The lowest blend rate among the contiguous states in 2016 was 9.43 percent.

RFA has released a fact sheet with more details on state-level ethanol blend rates.