Ethanol Companies Pledge Net-Zero Emissions by 2050 in Letter to Biden

Source: By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter • Posted: Tuesday, July 27, 2021

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) — Ethanol companies from around the country pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions by or before 2050, in a letter sent to President Joe Biden on Tuesday.

The letter from 70 ethanol companies that are members of the Renewable Fuels Association, comes at a time when there are reports the Biden administration is delaying the release of the already-late volume requirements in the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2021 and 2022. In addition, the industry has suffered major setbacks in court with the loss of year-round E15 and at the Supreme Court on a small-refinery exemptions case.

The ethanol producers pledged by 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 70%, on average, when compared to gasoline. That would amount to a 33% reduction in ethanol’s average carbon footprint by 2030.

In addition, the companies pledge net-zero emissions by 2050 “as ethanol producers continue to adopt carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration and other low- and no-carbon technologies between 2030 and 2050, U.S. ethanol can achieve net-carbon neutrality, on average, by mid-century or even sooner,” the letter said.

“Low-carbon renewable fuels like ethanol are already helping our nation confront climate change by significantly reducing GHG emissions from the transportation sector. In fact, since 2008, the use of ethanol and other renewable fuels in the United States has prevented nearly 1 billion metric tons of GHG from entering the atmosphere.”

The companies told Biden ethanol already reduces GHG emissions by 52% compared to gasoline, on average. In addition, they said many of their companies are producing advanced and cellulosic ethanol certified by the California Air Resources Board as providing a 65% to 75% GHG reduction compared to gasoline.”Ethanol’s carbon footprint continues to shrink rapidly, as new technology and innovation have improved the efficiency of the entire production process,” the companies said in the letter.

“In fact, a recent study by Department of Energy scientists found that ethanol’s carbon footprint shrunk by 23% between 2005 and 2019. While we are proud of these advances in efficiency and sustainability, many opportunities exist to deliver even greater GHG reductions in the near term.

“In response to policies like the Renewable Fuel Standard, California Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and Oregon Clean Fuels Program, along with your recommitment to the Paris Agreement, the pace of low-carbon innovation and investment is accelerating in the renewable fuel sector. With the right policy signals, ethanol can achieve a net-zero carbon footprint in the years ahead.”

The companies said with a commitment to increasing availability of flexible-fuel vehicles — cars that can run on up to E85 blends — “ethanol can do even more.”

The letter is signed by Absolute Energy LLC, St. Ansgar, Iowa; Ace Ethanol LLC, Stanley, Wisconsin; Adkins Energy, Lena, Illinois; Aemetis Inc., Keyes, California; Al-Corn Clean Fuel LLC, Claremont, Minnesota; Alto Ingredients Inc. — Pekin, Pekin, Illinois; Alto Ingredients Inc. — Magic Valley, Burley, Idaho; Alto Ingredients Inc. — Columbia, Boardman, Oregon; Alto Ingredients Inc. — Stockton, Stockton, California; Badger State Ethanol LLC, Monroe, Wisconsin; Big River Resources LLC, West Burlington, Iowa; Calgren Renewable Fuels LLC, Pixley, California; Chippewa Valley Ethanol Co., Benson, Minnesota; CHS Inc. — Annawan, Annawan, Illinois; CHS Inc. — Rochelle, Rochelle, Illinois; CIE, Marion, Indiana; Commonwealth Agri-Energy LLC, Hopkinsville, Kentucky; Dakota Ethanol LLC, Wentworth, South Dakota;

E Energy Adams LLC, Adams, Nebraska; East Kansas Agri-Energy LLC, Garnett, Kansas; Fox River Valley Ethanol, Oshkosh, Wisconsin; Golden Grain Energy LLC, Mason City, Iowa; Grain Processing Corp., Muscatine, Iowa; Grain Processing Corp., Washington, Indiana; Granite Falls Energy LLC, Granite Falls, Minnesota; Guardian Hankinson LLC, Hankinson, North Dakota; Guardian Energy LLC, Janesville, Minnesota; Guardian Lima LLC, Lima, Ohio; Heartland Corn Products, Winthrop, Minnesota; Highwater Ethanol LLC, Lamberton, Minnesota; Husker Ag LLC, Plainview, Nebraska; KAAPA Ethanol LLC, Minden, Nebraska; KAAPA Ethanol Ravenna LLC, Ravenna, Nebraska; Lincolnland Agri-Energy LLC, Palestine, Illinois; Mid America Bio Energy and Commodities, LLC, North Platte, Nebraska; Mid-Missouri Energy LLC, Malta Bend, Missouri; New Energy Freedom, Mason City, Iowa; Parallel Products, Louisville, Kentucky; Parallel Products, Ontario, California; Quad County Corn Processors, Galva, Iowa; Redfield Energy LLC, Redfield, South Dakota; Ringneck Energy LLC, Onida, South Dakota; Show Me Ethanol LLC, Carrollton, Missouri; Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy LLC, Council Bluffs, Iowa; Trenton Agri Products LLC, Trenton, Nebraska; West Coast Waste Inc., Madera, California; Western New York Energy LLC, Medina, New York; and Western Plains Energy LLC, Oakley, Kansas.

Read the letter here: https://ethanolrfa.org/…

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

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