U.S. crop sector insulates itself from world market with biofuels, says analyst

After decades of pursuing sales to foreign buyers, the U.S. crop sector is “once again becoming domestic market-focused, due mainly to biofuels policy,” said Scott Irwin, an agricultural economist at the University of Illinois, on Wednesday. It would be a significant, albeit gradual, change in focus.

Ethanol for aviation will get tax credits, Vilsack assures industry

Ethanol will be included when the Biden administration spells out eligibility for lucrative tax credits for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and the incentives will reflect the impact of climate-smart farming practices, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told ethanol makers on Tuesday. "We're working very hard to make that happen, and I'm confident that it will happen."

World’s first ethanol-to-SAF facility opens

Sustainable fuels producer LanzaJet officially opened the first ethanol-to-sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) refinery in the world in southeastern Georgia on Wednesday. The Freedom Pines Fuels plant, which will be able to produce 10 million gallons of SAF and renewable diesel annually, has buyers lined up for its fuel for the next 10 years, said an aviation news site.

Production surges for biomass-based diesel fuel

The production of biomass-based diesel, a category that includes motor and aviation fuel, reached 4 billion gallons in 2023, a 1-billion-gallon gain from the previous year, said the Clean Fuels Alliance America on Monday. "The clean fuels industry achieved what EPA said could not be done – namely continued growth of advanced biodiesel, renewable diesel, SAF [sustainable aviation fuel], and heating oil from sustainably sourced feedstocks,” said Kurt Kovarik, vice president of the trade group

Ethanol is just inefficient solar energy. Time to bring the real thing to Iowa.

In FERN’s latest story, published with The New Republic, Tom Philpott makes the case for replacing corn grown for ethanol, in Iowa and elsewhere, with fields of solar panels. “For all the backbiting and vitriol, the main candidates in the recent Iowa GOP presidential caucus agreed on a lot of …

Rural Iowa was important but not decisive for Trump, says analysis

Former president Donald Trump won 60 percent of the rural vote in Iowa’s Republican presidential caucuses, well above his statewide total of 51 percent. But his victory Monday in the first-in-the-nation test of voter support for presidential candidates was built on the vote in towns, where most Iowans live, said a Daily Yonder analysis.

House votes against ‘de facto EV mandate’

The Republican-controlled House voted, 221-197, to block a proposed EPA rule on tail-pipe emissions that could make electric vehicles the best-selling new cars and pickup trucks by 2032. The vote on Wednesday stood in contrast to the ongoing UN climate summit, where steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are under discussion.

Ethanol supporters argue for fuel diversity

Rather than promoting electric vehicles, the government should adopt “a diversified portfolio of approaches” in the transportation sector such as flex fuel vehicles, said three ethanol advocates on Monday. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge of the Minnesota rule that …

Playing corn ethanol as Trump card in Iowa

Former president Donald Trump, ignoring his own mixed record on biofuels, said at a rally in western Iowa that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his most viable challenger for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, "totally despises Iowa ethanol and ethanol generally."

To boost sales of higher blends, USDA to put $500 million into biofuel pumps and tanks

The Biden administration is the best friend the biofuel industry ever had, notwithstanding gripes that it set the RFS too low, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday. Vilsack defended the administration's record while announcing an additional $450 million to encourage the sale of higher blends of biofuels, such as E15, through installation of dispensing pumps, storage tanks and related equipment.

Biofuel industry says 8 percent increase in RFS is too small

The Biden administration on Wednesday called for an 8 percent increase in biofuel consumption through 2025, with lower-carbon “advanced” fuels as the beneficiaries. Corn ethanol would remain the dominant biofuel at 15 billion gallons a year in the updated Renewable Fuel Standard.

EPA issues emergency waiver for summertime sale of E15

For the second year in a row, the EPA said it would waive air pollution rules and permit summertime sale of E15 — gasoline with a 15 percent mix of ethanol — on an emergency basis, even though fuel prices are roughly 57 cents a gallon lower than they were a year ago.

Farm-state lawmakers prod EPA chief on biofuels and WOTUS

The Biden administration is turning a cold shoulder to biofuels and rural America by encouraging the use of electric vehicles, said farm-state Republicans during a complaint-filled House hearing with EPA administrator Michael Regan on Wednesday. Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon pointed to the so-called WOTUS rule on wetlands protections and declared, “Any goodwill the administration has built with farmers and ranchers is gone.”

Settlement proposed in green group challenge of RFS

The EPA, to settle a lawsuit over biofuel regulation, said on Monday it would consult with federal wildlife agencies on whether the Renewable Fuel Standard adversely affects endangered species. The consultation would be performed before the EPA finalizes the RFS for 2023-23, now expected in June.

Farmers expect a revenue payoff from growth in renewable diesel

Farmers are far more bullish about the chances of expansion of the renewable diesel industry than in ethanol, the dominant "green" fuel in rural America, said a Purdue University poll on Tuesday. The telephone survey for the monthly Ag Economy Barometer also found nine of 10 farmers expect higher soybean prices at the farm gate as more and more renewable diesel fuel reaches the market.

Announce summer waiver for E15 soon, asks ethanol group

To prevent the disruption of fuel supplies, the Biden administration ought to announce an emergency waiver soon for the sale of E15 throughout the summer, like it did last year, said an ethanol trade group on Thursday. “We ultimately need a federal fix to air pollution laws to ensure year-round availability of the fuel,” said Emily Skor, chief executive of Growth Energy, during a teleconference.

Poll: Ethanol is more popular than crude oil

More than half of Americans have a favorable view of ethanol as a fuel source, compared to 45 percent for crude oil, according to a poll commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association. The trade group said the results "demonstrate that Americans strongly support expanded use of lower-cost, lower-carbon renewable fuels like ethanol."

Oil and biofuel groups agree on year-round E15

As a gateway to year-round sales of E15 gasoline, Congress should adjust air pollution laws so they apply equally to all blends of ethanol, said groups ranging from the oil industry and fuel retailers to farmers and biofuel makers. In a joint letter Tuesday, the groups said the waiver would …

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