Ethanol blend rate sets record amid pandemic slump in usage

The average gallon of gasoline sold during 2020 was 10.23 percent ethanol, the highest blend rate ever, said the Renewable Fuels Association. At the same time, 12.63 billion gallons of the biofuel were mixed into gasoline, the smallest amount in 11 years, declining in tandem with the reduction in travel and fuel sales that accompanied the pandemic, said the trade group.

EPA agrees RFS exemptions should be tightly limited

In a reversal from the Trump era, the EPA said on Monday that it supports an appellate court ruling that greatly reduces the availability to small refineries of exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard. The agency is not acting on requests for RFS waivers while the appellate ruling is under …

Ethanol, facing slow recovery, rebrands as climate-friendly fuel

Battered by the pandemic, the ethanol industry labeled itself on Tuesday as the climate-friendly automobile fuel of the future. Officials said it could be a year or more before straggling biofuel sales recover fully from the coronavirus. "Mark my words, zero-carbon (emissions) corn ethanol is coming," said Geoff Cooper, chief executive of the Renewable Fuels Association.

Largest corn sale to China since July

Private exporters reported the largest sale of U.S.-grown corn to Chinese buyers in nearly six months, with 1.36 million tonnes for delivery this marketing year, said the USDA on Tuesday. It was only the fifth time since 1994 that corn sales to China exceeded 1 million tonnes in a single day.

February deadline proposed for RFS ‘hardship’ waiver

In a Federal Register notice, the EPA said it would decide by Feb. 19 under a proposed consent order whether to approve a 2019 request by a small Pennsylvania oil refiner for an exemption from the ethanol mandate. The pro-ethanol trade group Growth Energy called for the EPA to resolve all 66 …

Coronavirus package allots $13 billion for crop and livestock producers

Row crop farmers would see payments of $20 an acre and livestock producers would be compensated for animals culled during the pandemic under the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill that was unexpectedly challenged by President Trump on Tuesday, a day after Congress passed it. The $13 billion bill includes a $400 million dairy donation program, aid to contract poultry growers, and assistance for textile mills and, potentially, ethanol refineries.

Ag and ethanol groups ask Biden for help at home and overseas

The ethanol industry, which says it has lost $3.8 billion in sales since March, is looking to the Biden administration for relief at the same time that farm groups want the new president to resolve the trade war with China. But a Purdue University professor said it was unlikely Biden would immediately undertake broad-scale trade reform, pointing out that "he has other priorities that take precedence."

EPA late in setting ethanol mandate for 2021

Despite entreaties from ethanol makers and farm groups, the EPA missed the statutory deadline on Monday to finalize the Renewable Fuel Standard, which assures a share of the gasoline market for biofuels such as corn ethanol, for 2021. EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler has pointed to the steep …

Trump runs in rural America on ethanol, tax cuts, regulatory relief

President Trump is ending his re-election campaign in rural America on the same issues that boosted him in 2016: Promises of tax cuts, fewer federal regulations and support for corn ethanol. In addition, farmers are wealthy from $23 billion in trade-war payments, said Trump in Dubuque, Iowa, on Sunday; "That's why you're all here and you're all happy."

USDA begins rollout of $100 million in biofuels grants

The Department of Agriculture announced the first round of grants on Thursday from a $100 million program for the installation of pumps and storage tanks to increase the sale of higher blends of biofuels, such as E15 or E85. Projects in 14 states, from California to Florida and New York, will be funded by the $22 million in grants, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.