Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit will feature biofuels policy roundtable

Source: By The High Plains Journal • Posted: Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

The past year left biofuels producers and supporters with as many questions as answers. What is in store for the Renewable Fuel Standard? For advanced biofuels tax credits? For trade disputes with China, Brazil, Argentina or Mexico? What about the Farm Bill debate gearing up in Congress?

‘This is super tight’: Companies struggle to find, retain workers in a hot economy

Source: By David J. Lynch, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

In November, when Dupont announced plans to close a local cellulosic ethanol plant, 90 workers found themselves jobless right before Thanksgiving. Dryer, of the Ames Chamber, contacted them within a week, acting as a matchmaker for companies with vacancies. Many soon landed positions at firms such as Hach Chemical and Danfoss Power Solutions.

RFS Roundup: Economists Largely Agree RINs Not Wreaking Havoc on Refining Industry

Source: By Jessie Stolark, EESI • Posted: Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt opened up the year by announcing his three regulatory priorities for 2018; rewrite the Clean Power Plan, rewrite the Waters of the United States and overhaul the Renewable Fuel Standard. Within the RFS, one can only take his comments to mean specifically – overhaul the RINs marketplace. Renewable identification numbers (RINs) are the tradable credits attached to every gallon of renewable fuel and used as a compliance mechanism for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). They have been the oil refining industry’s favorite punching bag for quite some time.

Whoops! Last-minute change to U.S. tax overhaul splits grains sector

Source: By Mark Weinraub and David Morgan, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Republican U.S. senators are working with some of the world’s biggest agricultural merchants to undo a last-minute provision in the tax overhaul that threatens to distort the grains market and starve private firms of corn, soy and wheat supplies. It was included during final revisions of the tax bill that passed the Republican-controlled Congress last month. The restructuring of the tax code, the biggest in 30 years, handed President Donald Trump his first major legislative victory since taking office.

Obama ethanol pump program runs dry

Source: Marc Heller, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s office didn’t return a message seeking comment on the program. Perdue has said he supports ethanol, including mandates for mixing biofuel into the nation’s fuel supply. Without the incentive program, the administration’s commitment to E15 isn’t clear. U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has spoken positively of allowing gas stations to expand offerings but suggested the responsibility may be up to Congress through legislation.

Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Survives, but G.M. and Tesla Aren’t Cheering

Source: By JAMES B. STEWART, New York Times • Posted: Friday, January 12th, 2018

Hardly anyone expected renewable energy subsidies to survive Republican tax reform. In the legislation the House of Representatives passed in November, Republicans drastically curtailed solar and wind power subsidies and put a stake in the heart of the tax credit for buyers of electric vehicles — all while preserving billions in subsidies for fossil fuels. Yet in the final tax bill Mr. Trump signed in December, there they are: the full panoply of tax incentives for renewable energy, as well as the $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit.

Carmakers Miss U.S. Tailpipe Goals While Seeking Trump Relief

Source: By Ryan Beene, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, January 12th, 2018

Model year 2016 cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. failed to achieve the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas emissions standards for the first time, despite a small efficiency improvement from the prior year. The vehicles averaged emissions of 272 grams of carbon dioxide per mile, 9 grams per mile worse than the regulatory standard set for the 2016 model year, according to a report released Thursday by the agency. The industry overall had outperformed the carbon emission targets in each year since 2012, when the efficiency targets took effect.

EIA predicts increased ethanol consumption in 2018, 2019

Source: By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Friday, January 12th, 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the January edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting that ethanol production in 2018 and 2019 will be maintained at the 2017 level. Ethanol production averaged 1.03 million barrels per day in 2017. The EIA currently predicts that production level will remain steady at 1.03 million barrels per day this year and next year. In its December STEO, the EIA predicted that ethanol production would increase to 1.04 million barrels per day in 2018.

Grain glut leaves U.S. farmers facing losses from specialty corn

Source: By Michael Hirtzer, Reuters • Posted: Friday, January 12th, 2018

U.S. farmers who sought to boost revenues by planting corn used to make tortillas may be forced to sell their crops at a loss to makers of ethanol or animal feed because of a glut of what typically is a human food-grade product.

Congress May Fix Tax Tweak That Gives Farm Co-Ops an Edge

Source: By Mario Parker, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, January 12th, 2018

A provision in last month’s U.S. tax overhaul that gives farmers the opportunity to significantly minimize their taxable income is drawing fire from some companies who could lose out as a result, while two Senators behind the change pledged to fix the problem. The measure in question gives farmers a bigger deduction if they sell crops to agricultural co-operatives. That appears to be a win for farmer-owned agribusinesses such as CHS Inc. at the expense of other major crop buyers like Archer Daniels Midland Co., Bunge Ltd. and Cargill Inc.