EPA Unveils 2014 RFS Renewable Fuel Volumes

Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposal for the 2014 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) as part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for the amount of renewable fuels to be blended into gasoline and diesel. The EPA has proposed to set the cellulosic biofuel category at 17 million gallons, biomass-based diesel at 1.28 billion gallons, advanced biofuel at 2.20 billion gallons and renewable fuel at 15.21 billion. Development with input from the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Agriculture, the proposal seeks public input.

fuels-americalogoFuels America coalition hosted a media call in reaction to the EPA’s proposed renewable volume obligations (RVOs) today. The biofuels industry said they were disappointed and that the proposed volumes would set the entire industry back and that the EPA’s proposal cannot stand.

During the call, Bob Dinneen from the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) unveiled a new analysis showing how the RVOs, if implemented, would impact gas prices. In addition to Bob Dinneen, participants included Brent Brent Erickson, Executive Vice President, BIO; Roger Johnson, President of the National Farmers Union; Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy; and Jeff Lautt, CEO of POET.

The Fuels America said of today’s proposed 2014 RFS numbers, “We are astounded by the proposal released by the Administration today. It reflects an “all of the above, except biofuels” energy strategy. If implemented, would cost American drivers more than $7 billion in higher gas prices, and hand the oil companies a windfall of $10.3 billion. The impact of this proposal on the renewable fuel industry– both first and second generation – cannot be overstated. It caps the amount of renewable fuel used in our gasoline far below what the industry is already making, and could make next year, using an approach that is inconsistent with the RFS.

Dinneen said during the press conference, “By re-writing the statute and re-defining the conditions upon which a waiver from the RFS can be granted, EPA is proposing to place the nation’s renewable energy policy in the hands of the oil companies. That would be the death of innovation and evolution in our motor fuel markets, thus increasing consumer costs at the pump and the environmental cost of energy production. This proposal cannot stand.”

Buis noted that this is a proposed rule and not a final rule and there will be a 60 day comment period. “We welcome the opportunity to ensure that biofuel stakeholders are able to express their concern with this proposed rule, while also laying out a reasonable pathway to achieve the goals of the RFS during the forthcoming comment period.

This fall, the corn industry is looking at a record breaking harvest while the EPA has proposed renewable fuel volumes well below what the ethanol industry is capable of supplying. Lautt responded during the call that the opportunity to offer more affordable fuel options to consumers has never been better.

Listen to the full Fuels America press call here: Industry Responds to 2014 RFS RVO Proposal

Ethanol’s Positive Impact on Rural Economy

Nearly 200 area farmers attended a New Holland American Ethanol Producers Club event Wednesday at Absolute Energy, an ethanol biorefinery located near Lyle, Minnesota.

schwarkThe event, which was the 12th held at ethanol plants around the country this year, was designed to introduce producers who provide corn for the plant to the partnership between New Holland, Growth Energy and American Ethanol that offers equipment discounts. It also encouraged those farmers to communicate with their members of Congress the importance of maintaining the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association – they’re working tirelessly every day in support of agriculture and the ethanol industry,” said Absolute Energy president and CEO Rick Schwark. “But there’s nothing like the grower talking to his congressman. It really does have an impact.”

Absolute Energy is a 125 million gallon per year ethanol plant on the Iowa-Minnesota border. Schwark says they additionally produce about 350,000 tons of distillers grains and 4.5 million gallons of corn oil annually – and they help boost the local economy. “We started in 2006, we’re owned by 470 local residents – 75% of those folks are farmers – we’ve had great economic success here and we’re very proud that those economic dollars are staying here in our local community,” he said.

Listen to or download my interview with Rick here and watch the video below of his remarks at the event: Interview with Rick Schwarck, Absolute Energy

New Holland American Ethanol Producers Club photo album

New Holland Powering American Ethanol

producers-clubNew Holland is proud to be powering American Ethanol as the premier equipment partner for Growth Energy and its member ethanol plants.

“We’re pushing forward with a positive message about ethanol and working together with not just the plants but also the producers,” said Luke Johnson, Growth Initiatives sales manager with New Holland, at the kickoff of a New Holland American Ethanol Producers Club event at the Absolute Energy plant in Lyle, Minnesota.

new-holland-mn-lukeThe producers club is a way for New Holland to show its support of the farmers who produce the corn that makes American ethanol. “We have a great discount structure program set up for them,” Luke said. “Our partnership is circular for everyone. The producer helps the ethanol plant and gets better prices in the corn market because of the industry, we support them with a fantastic discount program and support the industry at the same time to keep the positive message out there.”

The event at Absolute Energy is the 12th one that New Holland has held this year and Luke says they expect to do more next year. “Everything about it has been positive,” he said. The event will be held at the plant on Wednesday and we will be bringing you lots of information from it this week.

Listen to my interview with Luke here: Luke Johnson, New Holland

New Holland American Ethanol Producers Club photo album

Farm Bill Comments from Growth Energy Economist

The farm bill is important for agriculture and renewable energy and I had the opportunity to chat with a veteran farm policy expert who now serves as Vice President and Chief Economist for Growth Energy.

growth-millerJim Miller has served many roles in his career, from leadership positions with the National Farmers Union and National Association of Wheat Growers to Senior Policy Advisor on the Budget Committee under Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) and USDA Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services, so he’s had his share of farm policy experience and farm bills in particular.

“The process for developing the 2013 farm bill is just a tremendous mess,” said Miller. “The action that the House took in splitting the nutrition title from the rest of the farm bill I don’t think is very hopeful to those of us interested in farm bills and what that means for rural America.”

Miller thinks it will be very difficult for the House and Senate to achieve a compromise. “I do not envy those who are likely to be appointed to the conference to try to reconcile these differences,” he said. The House has yet to appoint conferees and now has several more procedural steps before that might occur. In the meantime, Congress is facing the bigger issues of keeping the government funded and dealing with the debt ceiling, which means it is almost certain the current farm bill extension will expire at the end of September without a new one. Miller says that’s not a big deal for most farm programs and the nutrition program but will impact a number of the other titles which lose the authorization to operate when the extension expires.

Jim also comments about the challenges to the RFS in this interview from the New Holland American Ethanol Producers Club event being held this week in Lyle, Minnesota at the Absolute Energy ethanol plant: Jim Miller, Growth Energy

What Partnerships Mean to New Holland

9605978993_0be8a60cfd_cNew Holland has continued to develop their support for the ethanol industry. Their relationships with other leaders in agriculture and beyond has added growth and partnerships to their brand.

Director of Growth Initiative Institutional & Speciality Sales, Ron Shaffer, shared that the New Holland brand is focused on growth and his job revolves around anything that will grow revenue for the company.

“We formed a couple of different business units focused on the niche markets in self propelled forage and SP sprayers in crop production. Then another big part of my job is working with our partners, such as our relationship with Growth Energy and American Ethanol. That has been a very good partnership that was started about two years ago. We’ve seen growth that has been really good for the brand and our dealers.”

With these partnerships, New Holland has hosted events at the Growth Energy plants, touching about 25,000 people in their local communities. He also reminded us that New Holland is the only company that has opening supported ethanol production and it’s contribution to food, fuel and jobs in local communities.

NASCAR is another area where New Holland has had a longstanding relationship with. Throughout the past 30 years New Holland been a part of nearly all the tracks across North America. Ron said, “It is truly one partner supporting another partnership, it’s all tied together.”

Listen to Chuck’s complete interview with Ron here: Interview with Ron Shaffer

2013 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

Coverage of the 2013 Farm Progress show is sponsored by Bayer CropScience, Growmark and New Holland

Growth Energy Praises New Holland Biofuels Support

fps13-growth-cnhAt the 2013 Farm Progress Show, representatives from Growth Energy were pleased to be part of the New Holland Club Blue event for dealers and customers.

“New Holland is a fantastic company, they produce top notch equipment, but they also are willing to step up for rural America,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. “What we’ve seen over the last few years is New Holland take the lead in promoting biofuels.”

Buis says Growth Energy members participate with New Holland on promotional deals – in fact, one will be held next week at Absolute Energy plant in Lyle, Minnesota.Interview with Tom Buis, Growth Energy

Growth Energy co-chairman retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark praised New Holland’s support for national security. “New Holland is the first, most visionary and innovative company (that) saw what this ethanol movement means for America, for national security and for American prosperity,” said Clark, who adds that company vice president Abe Hughes, who serves on the Growth Energy board, has been a real leader in helping reach out to the American farmer. Abe is pictured here at the Farm Progress Show with Wesley and Tom.Interview with Wesley Clark, Growth Energy

2013 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

Coverage of the 2013 Farm Progress show is sponsored by Bayer CropScience, Growmark and New Holland

Vilsack Talks Farm Bill, RFS with Growth Energy

There’s an old Chinese proverb that’s also considered a curse: “May you live in interesting times.” This morning, members of the Growth Energy Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. heard that from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, as he explained how it’s “interesting” that Congress seems to have its priorities turned around, with lawmakers working to change Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) while doing nothing to pass a farm bill.

vilsack1“We believe (the RFS) is working,” said Vilsack, pointing to the EPA already making adjustments to reflect market conditions. “That’s the way it’s supposed to work. There’s no need for Congress to intervene in this.”

Vilsack says, in his opinion, the oil companies are behind the efforts to derail the RFS, mostly because they need the octane they get from ethanol but want to pay pennies on the dollar to get it. “What they (Big Oil) would really like to happen is for this industry (ethanol) not to succeed, so all those production facilities could be made available for 10 cents on the dollar. That’s what Big Oil’s interest is.”

Vilsack made the tie between the showdown with Syria, the RFS and the farm bill, as he looked at Gen. Wesley Clark, former NATO commander and Growth Energy co-chairman. “When and if Congress makes a decision to authorize military action, when and if the President implements that decision, who is going to implement it? It’s going to be a kid from rural America,” pointing out that rural Americans make up only 16 percent of America’s population but 40 percent of our military.

Vilsack urged Growth Energy members to send a strong message to Congress this week. “When you go and talk to your members of Congress to support the RFS, an additional message is, ‘We’ve been waiting a long time for the farm bill; don’t be sending our young men and women into harm’s way and not give them a decent opportunity back home. Get your work done.’”

Listen to Sec. Vilsack’s full address to Growth Energy here: Ag Sec. Tom Vilsack Address to Growth Energy

Growth Energy Says You’re No Dummy

fps13-growthenergy-buisGrowth Energy announced earlier this week a new campaign with a website You’re No Dummy featuring Mr. Slick and Dummy. CEO of Growth Energy Tom Buis and Gen. (Ret.) Wesley Clark stopped by the Farm Progress Show this week to talk about how the new campaign intends to defend renewable fuels against stepped up attacks by Big Oil.

Buis says there’s a lot of misinformation and too much stretching the truth by the large oil companies so the ethanol industry is taking a stand to push back with the facts. “The attacks in Washington have become more intense,” said Buis. “This is a fight about market share, nothing more, nothing less. We know we have the facts on our side.”

fps13-growthenergy-clarkClark says defending the Renewable Fuel Standard is about defending national security. “For those of us who served our country in uniform, we know it’s about national security, first and foremost,” said the retired general. “All we have to do is give the biofuels marketplace an opportunity to sell to the American motorist.”

Listen to Press Conference here: Growth Energy Press Conference

2013 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

Coverage of the 2013 Farm Progress show is sponsored by Bayer CropScience, Growmark and New Holland

American Ethanol Wins Ohio NASCAR Race

dillon-winAmerican Ethanol was in the winner’s circle Wednesday night as Austin Dillon won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™ Mudsummer Classic.

This inaugural event was held at one of the world’s most iconic dirt tracks, Eldora Speedway in Ohio. The race, which was the first NASCAR-sanctioned national event held on a dirt track since 1970, brought American Ethanol to the forefront as Dillon finished in front in the No. 39 American Ethanol Chevrolet truck.

“There was a lot of excitement in the NASCAR community about this historic race,” said National Corn Growers Association NASCAR Committee Chair Jon Holzfaster. “Dillon’s win elevated the coverage of American Ethanol and provided an unprecedented opportunity to highlight how ethanol fuels champions on the track while providing consumers real savings at the pump.”

Dillon detailed his journey from Chicago to Ohio, and the role ethanol played, in a blog, providing a look at how flex fuel vehicles, E85 and E15 can help consumers save money as gas prices rise faster than the summer temperatures.

Dillon will race next in the NASCAR Nationwide Series™ race to be held in Indiana this Saturday followed by an appearance in the Sprint Cup Series™ race on Sunday. American Ethanol will be on site promoting the benefits of the biofuel all weekend. American Ethanol is a joint effort between NCGA, Growth Energy and other partners to promote the benefits of ethanol and E15.

Obama Picks for Energy and EPA

nomineesPresident Obama announced his picks for Secretary of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency administrator on Monday. The President nominated MIT professor Ernest Moniz as energy secretary and EPA official Gina McCarthy as administrator for the agency.

While Moniz is a virtual unknown, McCarthy has served as EPA’s assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation and her appointment is being well received by agricultural and biofuels organizations.

“We appreciated working with Assistant Administrator McCarthy over the past few years in her role as head of the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, which was responsible for the approval of the E15 ethanol blend fuel option in 2012. We look forward to working closely with her and her team on ethanol and other issues that come before the agency,” said National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson.

gina-iowaRenewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen says McCarthy is “knowledgeable, willing to listen, and straight-forward. She knows the EPA inside and out and has typically approached challenges with a common-sense determination to resolve them in a timely manner.” Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis added that “McCarty has been a strong supporter of biofuels and we look forward to working with her to bring sustainable, clean, homegrown American fuels to the consumer.”

In September of 2009, McCarthy was one of two high-ranking EPA officials to visit farm operations and biofuel facilities in Iowa. She is pictured here during that visit with Margo Oge, director of the EPA Office of Transportation and Air Quality and Senator Chuck Grassley on the farm of Rick Kimberley. (Photo from Iowa Farm Bureau Flickr)

New Holland Initiative Supports Ethanol

agconnect-13-new-hollandWe’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of New Holland‘s commitment to ethanol and corn growers through their initiative with Growth Energy. Started in March 2012, the company’s manager of Cash Crop Product Specialists, Jim Moellenberndt, told Chuck at the recent AG CONNECT Expo that the ethanol initiative has been growing in popularity.

“[We're] getting the news out that New Holland is supporting farmers through Growth Energy,” Jim said. “It’s kind of grassroots, and it’s just been snowballing out there.”

Jim added that New Holland is the only equipment manufacturer supporting Growth Energy, and farmers appreciate it. “There’s been a lot of farmers that have actually come up and thanked us for this. It’s something they’ve been trying to get the word out, and the more [we can dispel] the myths about ethanol, the better off we are.”

You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Jim here: Interview with Jim Moellenberndt

2013 AG CONNECT Expo Photo Album

General Wesley Clark Addresses Custom Harvesters

Growth Energy General Wesley Clark AG CONNECT ExpoAt today’s U.S. Custom Harvesters luncheon, sponsored by New Holland, retired General Wesley Clark took the stage. Gen. Clark says his passion was the military and now his passion is national energy security and the move away from dependence on foreign oil. I have recorded his remarks for you to listen to or share below. Gen. Clark is the co-chairman of Growth Energy.

The U.S Custom Harvesters conference is taking place co-located with the 2013 AG CONNECT Expo in Kansas City, MO.

You can listen to or download General Clark’s remarks here: General Wesley Clark Remarks

2013 AG CONNECT Expo Photo Album

Send a Fuels America e-Card

Because it’s already growing you might want to consider taking a few seconds to send someone a Fuels America e-Card.

Hi there,

The holidays are upon us.

That means parties, gift giving, and finding that perfect card to send to your loved ones.

Send your friends and family a Fuels America holiday e-card to spread the joy and holiday spirit this season:

Whether young or old, everyone’s life can be improved by renewable fuel, especially during the holidays. Just this past Thanksgiving — the busiest travel time of the year — ethanol helped American families reduce their gasoline usage by an average of $29.13.

That reduction in gasoline usage means more money to spend on gifts for your friends and your loved ones this season.

So don’t just spread holiday cheer — spread the word about the benefits of renewable fuel at the same time. Send a Fuels America e-card now.

Happy Holidays,

Fuels America

Ag Group Leaders Trade Talk on Policy

ZimmCast 373Having the National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual meeting start the day after a presidential election gives leaders of agricultural organizations plenty to talk about at Trade Talk.

In this edition of the ZimmCast, we hear from farmer leaders, lobbyists and staff members with eight different agricultural and renewable energy organizations commenting on the election, farm bill, fiscal cliff and other related issues.

Chuck, Jamie and I did about 65 interviews total at Trade Talk this year and we would have liked to have done more but there’s just not enough time! In this podcast, we have comments from Bob Stallman with American Farm Bureau, Luther Markwart with the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, Tom Buis of Growth Energy, Missouri cattle producer Don Pemberton on the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association board, National Corn Growers VP for Public Policy Jon Doggett, Bob Dinneen with the Renewable Fuels Association, US Grains Council CEO Tom Sleight, and US Wheat Associates farmer leader Dan Hughes.

Listen to this week’s ZimmCast here: Policy Comments from NAFB Trade Talk

2012 NAFB Convention Photo Album

Thanks to our ZimmCast sponsors, GROWMARK, locally owned, globally strong and Monsanto, Roundup Ready Plus, for their support.

The ZimmCast is the official weekly podcast of AgWired. Subscribe so you can listen when and where you want. Just go to our Subscribe page.

“Fuels America” Campaign Launched

In the face of increasing calls to waive the nation’s Renewable Fuel Standard, biofuel industry stakeholders today announced a major new communications campaign to educate consumers and policy makers about the benefits of renewable fuel to America’s economy, energy security and environment.

The new coalition – Fuels America – includes several agricultural organizations in addition to ethanol companies and groups such as Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), and American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE). Farm and commodity groups represented include National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) National Association of Wheat Growers, National Farmers Union, and National Sorghum Producers.

The Fuels America campaign will be a national effort, including advertising, beginning in Washington, DC and several states, including Colorado, Ohio, Delaware and Montana. Each state will have its own online platform reachable through FuelsAmerica.org and feature the stories of renewable fuel innovators and communities with a stake in maintaining the RFS. The coalition also has a Twitter feed @FuelsAmerica.

A telephone press conference was held this morning to announce the new coalition and campaign with BIO president and CEO Jim Greenwood, Novozymes president Adam Monroe, Marion (Ohio) Chamber of Commerce president Pam Hall, and ZeaChem president and CEO Jim Imbler.

Listen to or download that press conference, which starts with comments from Jim Greenwood: Fuels America press conference

New Holland Official NASCAR Ag Equipment

At the NASCAR Fuel for Business Council® meeting in Chicago today, New Holland became the Official Agricultural Equipment of NASCAR®. Here’s New Holland on display outside of Chicagoland Speedway for this weekend’s NASCAR races. I’ll be covering the Nationwide Series Dollar General 300.

New Holland, the latest NASCAR Official Partner, has served the needs of farmers and ranchers across North America for more than 110 years, and its equipment plays a critical role in the production of ethanol.

“We are proud of our newly expanded alliance with NASCAR and the role our equipment plays in helping power the sport,” said Abe Hughes, vice president of New Holland, North America. “We are the agricultural industry’s Clean Energy Leader, and are looking forward to further enhancing our 30-year relationship with a sport that is pushing the bar on clean and efficient fuel that is not only helping to restore America’s energy independence, but also serves to strengthen American farmers and the rural economy. New Holland stands 100% behind this impact.”

While I was out at the track today I ran into Mark Schneidewind, farmer and manager of Will County Farm Bureau. He was helping set up the exhibit area for Illinois Family farmers. Listen to my interview with Mark to get a preview of the action for race fans when they come out to the track: Interview with Mark Schneidewind

I’ll be taking photos through tomorrow’s Dollar General 300 race and you can find them here: 2012 NASCAR Dollar General 300 Race Photos

Ethanol Producers Support Farm Bill Now

The ethanol producer organization Growth Energy will be among the many groups that will be at the Farm Bill Now rally today on Capitol Hill. CEO Tom Buis says members of Growth Energy have been meeting with members of Congress and the administration this week to discuss maintaining the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and farm policy has been a part of those discussions.

“Every meeting that I was in, the farm bill came up,” Tom said during a press conference this morning in Washington DC. “Although most of the comments from the lawmakers indicated that it probably is not going to happen before September 30.”

He says they are supportive of the Senate passed version of the legislation, which does contain an energy title and is adequately funded. “We would hope they would pass it,” he said, noting that not having a farm bill creates uncertainty for agriculture. “Not knowing what the programs are going to be makes it very difficult for people to operate.”

Tom formerly served as president of the National Farmers Union before taking over as CEO of Growth Energy in 2009. NFU will be one of the co-hosts of today’s rally.

Tom Buis audio comment here: Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis

New Holland Supporting Ethanol Industry

New Holland proudly displayed its support for the ethanol industry during the Farm Progress Show as you can see on the side of the CR6090 Combine. They are the first major manufacturer of farm equipment to do so in this manner. As part of that initiative New Holland has become a partner with Growth Energy and American Ethanol. They are a “Clean Energy Leader!” I learned more about this partnership from Mark Hooper, New Holland Director, Commercial Growth Initiatives.

Here are some of the reasons New Holland supports what Growth Energy and the ethanol industry is doing:

  • Reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil
  • Energy that is more environmentally friendly
  • Renewable energy that is sustainable over many generations to come
  • Production that produces jobs for rural America – jobs that will not be exported
  • Support and stability for farmers in America and their families

Mark says the partnership helps New Holland get closer to its customers. He says they recognize the impact ethanol has had on its business and farmer customers. Mark says New Holland is actively involved with Growth Energy initiatives and is “going to our dealers and our growers and putting on events across the country where we bring them in and really partner with the local ethanol plant promoting the message of E15, energy independence, food vs. fuel and dispelling the myths that are out there right now.” New Holland currently has a special promotion for Growth Energy members. The company is also a partner with American Ethanol as a NASCAR sponsor.

Listen to my interview with Mark here: Interview with Mark Hooper

2012 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

AgWired coverage of the 2012 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by New Holland and Monsanto Roundup Ready Plus

Corn and Ethanol Groups Respond to RFS Waiver Request

Corn growers would rather see a waiver request than attempts to eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) but the ethanol industry thinks it will still be denied by EPA.

In response to the request for a waiver announced this morning by livestock and poultry groups, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Garry Niemeyer of Illinois called it “premature to ask for a waiver of the RFS right now,” but better than asking for a change in the law. “With the crop still in the field, it is too early to determine this year’s final corn supply. In addition, the ethanol industry now has a significant surplus of ethanol and RFS credits that can greatly offset ethanol’s impact on the corn supply,” he said. “However, we recognize the severe impact of the drought on our farmers and our customers, here and abroad, with livestock, poultry, ethanol and other processing facilities, and we believe the flexibility of the RFS does work, and will work. NCGA also supports the waiver process that is embodied in the current RFS, and respects the right of those that may file a waiver petition to do so.”

Ethanol industry organizations are opposed to a waiver of the RFS requirements and expect that EPA will ultimately deny the request. “Given the flexibilities inherent to the RFS, and the fact that waiving the program would not result in any meaningful impacts on corn prices, we fully expect Administrator Jackson to deny any waiver request,” said Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen. “A dispassionate review of the facts can lead to only one conclusion: a waiver of the RFS would simply reward oil companies that have long sought to repeal this very important and successful program.”

“Higher corn process facing livestock and poultry users is a result of Mother Nature, not ethanol,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. “To try and blame the ethanol industry is disingenuous and absurd. We have never run out of corn and this year will be no different. While there is no doubt this year’s crop yield will be reduced, it is premature and irresponsible to blame ethanol for a lack of rain.”

American Ethanol on the NASCAR Track

The American Ethanol No. 3 Chevy made its debut recently at the Las Vegas Nationwide Series Sam’s Town 300 with rookie driver Austin Dillon finishing strong in 7th place.

Representatives of American Ethanol partners, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and Growth Energy, were at the March 10 race – pictured here with RCR team owner (and Dillon’s grandfather) Richard Childress (left) are Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis next to Dillon and Illinois corn farmer Martin Barbre, chairman of NCGA’s NASCAR Advisory Committee on the right.

The excitement surrounding the second year of the American Ethanol partnership was evident at the Commodity Classic, where I talked to Tom Buis about how NASCAR is helping the ethanol industry by spotlighting 15% ethanol blended motor fuel (E15) which is what NASCAR uses in all races. “A lot of our promotion and activities this year, now that E15 is approved to go in the marketplace, will be connecting the fans and the viewers to the fuel they’ll soon be able to see in their retail areas,” Tom said. “There’s no sport more American than NASCAR and there’s no fuel more American than ethanol.”

Best of all, Tom says with gas prices up and ethanol priced $1 less than gasoline, E15 will save consumers money at the pump.

In this photo from Classic, Tom is holding one of our ZimmComm photo calendars, which featured a couple of American Ethanol photos. We still have a couple of calendars left if you want to buy one – click here.

Listen to my interview with Tom here: Interview with Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis