Blender’s Tax Credit

Petroleum Marketers, Refiners Battle Over Ethanol in Southeast

Posted on June 8, 2009. Filed under: Blender's Tax Credit, Field-to-Pump | Tags: , , , |

Petroleum marketers, refiners battle over ethanol in Southeast

By Ryan C. Christiansen

Ethanol Producer Magazine

July, 2009

Petroleum marketers in the southeastern U.S. are supporting efforts to force oil refiners to supply them with unblended gasoline so that the marketers can choose to blend ethanol into the gasoline themselves.

According to petroleum marketing groups, their inability to obtain unblended gasoline from refiners is a growing problem. “It’s being clamped down,” said Sherri Cabrera, vice president of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, a federation of 47 state and regional trade associations representing approximately 8,000 independent petroleum marketers nationwide. “We’re seeing just more and more refiners offering [unblended gasoline] less and less.”

The issue so far appears to be most prevalent in the southeastern U.S., where North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia have all either pursued legislation or passed laws to address the issue.

In South Carolina, legislators passed a law in June 2008 which required oil refiners to supply marketers with unblended gasoline. The law was bundled with provisions for sales tax exemptions for energy efficient products and for a sales tax holiday for firearms. The American Petroleum Institute and BP Products North America Inc. sued, claiming the law violated the “one subject” provision in the state constitution which states that “every act or resolution having the force of law shall relate to but one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.” The state’s Supreme Court agreed. In May 2009, the court repealed the law.

Meanwhile, legislators in Tennessee pursued similar legislation this spring. Petroleum refiner and marketer Valero Energy Corp. reacted by threatening to shut down its Memphis, Tenn., refinery, claiming the company would need to spend up to $150 million over two years for new equipment to comply with the proposed law.

In North Carolina, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, a lobbying group of which Valero is a also a member, sued the state for passing a law that requires refiners to sell unblended gasoline to marketers, allowing marketers to be “blenders of record” and obtain federal tax credits for blending ethanol into gasoline. The NPRA said North Carolina’s law “conflicts with federal law by preventing entities with a federal obligation to blend renewable fuels from doing so, and by requiring them to sell unblended fuel to entities that are not obliged by federal or state law to use renewable fuels.”

Cabrera said petroleum marketers have a lot invested in tanks and infrastructure for blending ethanol with gasoline. “Refiners have tried to lock their business partners—petroleum marketers—out of the option to do that,” she said. “So some states have come in to say to refiners, ‘we’re going to make you do the right thing and work with your marketer business partners.’”

The ethanol industry is supportive of petroleum marketers and their efforts to secure ethanol blending opportunities. “In the history of ethanol, there have always been a number of petroleum marketers that want to do their own splash blending,” said Greg Krissek, board member of industry group Growth Energy. “Where this is an issue for petroleum marketers, we would be supportive of them wanting to have the clear, unblended streams.”

Krissek said the ethanol industry can be a partner in the effort to ensure marketers continue to have ethanol blending opportunities. “In a number of states, you have plants that have good relationships with the petroleum marketing organizations,” he said, “and this is an area where we can probably work together.”

 

About Renergie

Renergie was formed by Ms. Meaghan M. Donovan on March 22, 2006 for the purpose of raising capital to develop, construct, own and operate a network of ten ethanol plants in the parishes of the State of Louisiana which were devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Each ethanol plant will have a production capacity of five million gallons per year (5 MGY) of fuel-grade ethanol.  Renergie’s “field-to-pump” strategy is to produce non-corn ethanol locally and directly market non-corn ethanol locally. On February 26, 2008, Renergie was one of 8 recipients, selected from 139 grant applicants, to share $12.5 million from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Renewable Energy Technologies Grants Program.  Renergie received $1,500,483 (partial funding) in grant money to design and build Florida’s first ethanol plant capable of producing fuel-grade ethanol solely from sweet sorghum juice. On  April 2, 2008, Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state’s economic development organization, selected Renergie as one of Florida’s most innovative technology companies in the alternative energy sector.  On January 20, 2009, Florida Energy & Climate Commission amended RET Grant Agreement S0386 to increase Renergie’s funding from $1,500,483 to $2,500,000. By blending fuel-grade ethanol with gasoline at the gas station pump, Renergie will offer the consumer a fuel that is renewable, more economical, cleaner, and more efficient than unleaded gasoline.  Moreover, the Renergie project will mark the first time that Louisiana farmers will share in the profits realized from the sale of value-added products made from their crops.

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S.C. Passes Ethanol Law Challenged by Oil Companies

Posted on May 31, 2009. Filed under: Advanced Biofuel, Blender's Tax Credit | Tags: , , , , |

S.C. passes ethanol law challenged by oil companies

By Seanna Adcox, Associated Press Writer

USA Today

June 26, 2008

 

 

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina fuel distributors must have access to pure gasoline needed to make their own ethanol blends under a law that supporters say is first in the nation and will save customers at the pump.

Industry experts say other states could enact similar laws. More than a dozen states, largely in the South, will likely consider such legislation next year, said Daniel Gilligan, spokesman for Virginia-based Petroleum Marketers Association of America.

But oil companies moved quickly to stop it here and vow to do so elsewhere: They filed a lawsuit in the state’s Supreme Court on Thursday — one day after the measure became law — claiming it violates the state constitution.

Supporters say oil companies want to sell the gas pre-blended so they can keep federal ethanol credits, which can top 8 cents a gallon, and prevent competition from distributors who would pass some of those savings onto customers.

The new law requires oil companies to offer raw gasoline to South Carolina distributors so they can blend it themselves into E10, or 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol.

Distributors began pushing for the law after BP surprised them this spring with a letter denying them the ability to blend the product themselves. Other oil companies began to follow suit.

“What the oil companies attempted to do is a travesty to the consumers of South Carolina,” said Sen. Greg Ryberg, R-Aiken, a former fuel distributor and gas station owner. “I have never seen such an unfair pricing strategy. By blending it and selling a blended product, they’re trying to take what should belong to the retailer.”

Oil industry advocates deny the accusations and say the law will result in higher gas prices.

The lawsuit, filed by American Petroleum Institute and BP Products North America Inc., argues the law would prevent refiners from complying with federal law that requires annual increases in ethanol use from 9 billion gallons by the end of this year to 36 billion gallons by 2022.

The law “will likely require BP Products to change the manner in which it had planned to comply with federal mandates,” the company claims in the suit. Failure to meet the mandates could bring daily penalties of $32,500.

The suit asks the court to prevent the law from being enforced pending a decision.

“In light of the legal challenge, we won’t be offering unblended gasoline at our terminals and have no comment,” said BP spokesman Scott Dean.

An executive for American Coalition for Ethanol agreed suppliers are under certain mandates but said that doesn’t mean they can completely shut out market competition.

Even before the tax credits, ethanol is cheaper per gallon than gasoline. But where oil companies have sold only pre-blended fuel, they’re not passing along the savings, said Ron Lamberty, a vice president of the South Dakota-based group.

“We want to stop the big oil takeover of ethanol,” Lamberty said. “We need an independent product to keep the refiners honest. If they buy ethanol and overcharge, it hurts our sales.”

Fuel suppliers contend South Carolina’s law is illegal because it was tacked on in late May to an unrelated bill establishing sales tax holidays.

Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell warned legislators as they overrode Gov. Mark Sanford’s veto Wednesday that it violated the single-subject rule and would end up in court. The state Supreme Court has previously struck down such “bobtailing” measures, most recently last week.

“This was the clearest example of bobtailing I’ve seen in 18 years here,” said Rep. Doug Jennings, D-Bennettsville.

Supporters of the law said they didn’t have time to get a separate bill through legislative committees after BP’s letter to distributors. If the state Supreme Court strikes the measure down, the distributors and retailers are ready for round two.

“We will have bill ready to go before the session opens in January,” said Sam Bell, president of Echols Oil Co. and the South Carolina Petroleum Marketers Association. “I hope the oil companies work with us over the next few months to come up with something that will work. That would be the smart thing.”

 

 

About Renergie

Renergie was formed by Ms. Meaghan M. Donovan on March 22, 2006 for the purpose of raising capital to develop, construct, own and operate a network of ten ethanol plants in the parishes of the State of Louisiana which were devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Each ethanol plant will have a production capacity of five million gallons per year (5 MGY) of fuel-grade ethanol.  Renergie’s “field-to-pump” strategy is to produce non-corn ethanol locally and directly market non-corn ethanol locally. On February 26, 2008, Renergie was one of 8 recipients, selected from 139 grant applicants, to share $12.5 million from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Renewable Energy Technologies Grants Program.  Renergie received $1,500,483 (partial funding) in grant money to design and build Florida’s first ethanol plant capable of producing fuel-grade ethanol solely from sweet sorghum juice. On  April 2, 2008, Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state’s economic development organization, selected Renergie as one of Florida’s most innovative technology companies in the alternative energy sector.  On January 20, 2009, Florida Energy & Climate Commission amended RET Grant Agreement S0386 to increase Renergie’s funding from $1,500,483 to $2,500,000. By blending fuel-grade ethanol with gasoline at the gas station pump, Renergie will offer the consumer a fuel that is renewable, more economical, cleaner, and more efficient than unleaded gasoline.  Moreover, the Renergie project will mark the first time that Louisiana farmers will share in the profits realized from the sale of value-added products made from their crops.

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Why Big Oil Should Not be Allowed to Monopolize the Blender’s Tax Credit

Posted on May 31, 2009. Filed under: Blender's Tax Credit, Field-to-Pump, Hydrous Ethanol | Tags: , , , , |

Why Big Oil Should Not be Allowed to Monopolize the Blender’s Tax Credit

By Brian J. Donovan

Renergie

May 31, 2009

 

 

The issue is whether state legislatures should allow oil companies, or affiliates of oil companies, to have a monopoly on blending fuel ethanol with unblended gasoline.

The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 established the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (“VEETC”), also known as the “Blender’s Tax Credit.” Excise taxes on highway fuels have been a dedicated source of funding for the Federal Highway Trust Fund since its creation in 1956. The Federal Government levies a tax of 18.4 cents per gallon on domestic gasoline sales. The blender’s tax credit provides a credit against federal gasoline taxes that is worth 45 cents for every gallon of ethanol blended into the gasoline pool.

The excise tax credit is fully refundable. To receive a refund, a blender must first apply the excise tax credit against any excise tax liability for a particular taxable year. To the extent the blender has any excise tax credit remaining after applying the credit against its excise tax liability, the blender may request a refund of the excess credit or may apply the excess credit against its income tax liability.

It was never the legislative intent of the U.S. Congress, nor the intent of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to allow oil companies to be the sole beneficiaries of the blender’s tax credit. Section 6426 of the Internal Revenue Code creates a credit against the excise tax on taxable fuels. The excise tax credit is generally available to any person that blends alcohol or biodiesel with taxable fuel in a mixture. To qualify for the credit, a qualifying mixture must either be sold by the producer to a buyer for use by the buyer as a fuel or be used as a fuel in the trade or business of the producer.

If U.S. ethanol producers are able to be blenders of fuel ethanol and unblended gasoline, and thereby receive the 45 cents-per-gallon tax credit, small-capacity ethanol producers would be able to enter the market. The result would be fair and healthy competition in the marketing of ethanol blends.

The benefits of allowing ethanol producers to blend and directly market ethanol blends to the consumer are the following:

(a) Rural economic development and job creation would be maximized. Increased investments in plants and equipment would stimulate the local economy by providing construction jobs initially and the chance for full-time employment after the plant is completed. On average, an ethanol plant supports 45 full-time jobs and nearly 700 jobs throughout the entire economy;

(b) The resulting increase in local and state tax revenues would provide funds for improvements to the community and to the region; and

(c) Federal and state renewable energy technology grants for ethanol would not be required. The blender’s tax credit and the market would reward the ethanol producer/blender.

In 2008, ExxonMobil reported the largest annual profit in U.S. history. ExxonMobil’s annual profit jumped 11%, or $5.2 billion, to $45.2 billion on the back of record oil prices. ExxonMobil returns most of its profit to shareholders, distributing about $40 billion in 2008 in the form of share buybacks and dividends. Chevron was also up more than $5 billion for the year, to $23.9 billion. A substantial portion of Chevron’s increase came in a fourth-quarter jump in its profits for refining and marketing of gasoline and other fuels.

Currently, oil companies are refusing to sell unblended gasoline to ethanol producers. The sole beneficiaries of the 45 cents-per-gallon blender’s tax credit are the oil companies, blenders affiliated with oil companies, and oil company shareholders. As a result, the farmers/landowners, ethanol producers and consumers never realize any benefit from the blender’s tax credit; rural economic development is ignored; and U.S. jobs are not created.

State legislatures should not permit only oil companies and their affiliates to blend and receive the 45 cents-per-gallon blender’s tax credit. This monopoly impairs fair and healthy competition in the marketing of ethanol blends. U.S. ethanol producers have the legal right, and must be assured the availability of unblended gasoline, to blend fuel ethanol and unblended gasoline to receive the blender’s tax credit and be cost-competitive.

Rural development and job creation, not the maximization of oil company annual profits, should be the focus of our state legislatures.

 

About Renergie

Renergie was formed by Ms. Meaghan M. Donovan on March 22, 2006 for the purpose of raising capital to develop, construct, own and operate a network of ten ethanol plants in the parishes of the State of Louisiana which were devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Each ethanol plant will have a production capacity of five million gallons per year (5 MGY) of fuel-grade ethanol.  Renergie’s “field-to-pump” strategy is to produce non-corn ethanol locally and directly market non-corn ethanol locally. On February 26, 2008, Renergie was one of 8 recipients, selected from 139 grant applicants, to share $12.5 million from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Renewable Energy Technologies Grants Program.  Renergie received $1,500,483 (partial funding) in grant money to design and build Florida’s first ethanol plant capable of producing fuel-grade ethanol solely from sweet sorghum juice. On  April 2, 2008, Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state’s economic development organization, selected Renergie as one of Florida’s most innovative technology companies in the alternative energy sector.  On January 20, 2009, Florida Energy & Climate Commission amended RET Grant Agreement S0386 to increase Renergie’s funding from $1,500,483 to $2,500,000. By blending fuel-grade ethanol with gasoline at the gas station pump, Renergie will offer the consumer a fuel that is renewable, more economical, cleaner, and more efficient than unleaded gasoline.  Moreover, the Renergie project will mark the first time that Louisiana farmers will share in the profits realized from the sale of value-added products made from their crops.

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Getting Ethanol Right

Posted on May 24, 2009. Filed under: Blender's Tax Credit, Field-to-Pump, Hydrous Ethanol | Tags: , , , , |

Getting Ethanol Right

The New York Times

Editorial

May 24, 2009

Representative Collin Peterson is furious that the Environmental Protection Agency is doing its job. The Minnesota Democrat says the agency is trying to kill off the biofuels industry — to the dismay of the corn farmers and ethanol producers he represents. He has vowed to vote against any bill, including climate change legislation, that might require the involvement of the E.P.A.

What inspired this tirade was an E.P.A. draft proposal showing how it intended to measure the greenhouse gas emissions from corn ethanol and other renewable fuels. The agency said it will not make any final rules until it completes further research, but its preliminary findings were not flattering to corn ethanol.

The E.P.A. was only doing what Congress ordered in the 2007 energy bill, which required a quadrupling of annual ethanol production to 36 billion gallons by 2022. In practical terms, this meant more traditional corn ethanol, until other more advanced forms of ethanol could make their way out of the labs. Scientists believe that various grasses and scrub trees that do not compete with food crops can someday be turned into fuel.

Congress hoped the ethanol mandate would produce a more climate-friendly fuel that could help reduce oil imports. But just to make sure, it stipulated that ethanol from any source be cleaner than conventional gasoline. It handed the job of measuring emissions to the E.P.A., and told it to consider the fuel’s entire life cycle.

This included counting the greenhouse gases released when forests or grasslands are plowed under and planted to make up for the crops used to make ethanol. When the E.P.A.’s scientists counted these indirect effects, corn ethanol emitted more greenhouse gases than gasoline over a 30-year period.

The E.P.A. says its analysis needs refinement, and in any case the 2007 bill grandfathers in existing corn ethanol plants or those under construction. That means there will not be any reduction in corn ethanol production; indeed, there could be more. Mr. Peterson and his farm bill colleagues are still steamed, because any adverse finding diminishes corn ethanol’s appeal.

Lisa Jackson, the E.P.A. administrator, can expect heavy pressure in the months ahead. The ethanol industry and its Congressional champions will argue that the science is unclear, that indirect effects cannot be measured accurately, and so on.

Ms. Jackson should stand her ground. Biofuels have an important role to play, and some will eventually be produced without pushing up food prices or increasing emissions. It is the E.P.A.’s duty to give the most unbiased accounting it can of their strengths and defects.

About Renergie

Renergie was formed by Ms. Meaghan M. Donovan and Mr. Michael J. Donovan on March 22, 2006 for the purpose of raising capital to develop, construct, own and operate a network of ten ethanol plants in the parishes of the State of Louisiana which were devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Each ethanol plant will have a production capacity of five million gallons per year (5 MGY) of fuel-grade ethanol.  Renergie’s “field-to-pump” strategy is to produce non-corn ethanol locally and directly market non-corn ethanol locally. On February 26, 2008, Renergie was one of 8 recipients, selected from 139 grant applicants, to share $12.5 million from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Renewable Energy Technologies Grants Program.  Renergie received $1,500,483 (partial funding) in grant money to design and build Florida’s first ethanol plant capable of producing fuel-grade ethanol solely from sweet sorghum juice. On  April 2, 2008, Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state’s economic development organization, selected Renergie as one of Florida’s most innovative technology companies in the alternative energy sector.  On January 20, 2009, Florida Energy & Climate Commission amended RET Grant Agreement S0386 to increase Renergie’s funding from $1,500,483 to $2,500,000. By blending fuel-grade ethanol with gasoline at the gas station pump, Renergie will offer the consumer a fuel that is renewable, more economical, cleaner, and more efficient than unleaded gasoline.  Moreover, the Renergie project will mark the first time that Louisiana farmers will share in the profits realized from the sale of value-added products made from their crops.

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Thune: EPA rules may ‘kill’ ethanol in America

Posted on May 15, 2009. Filed under: Advanced Biofuel, Blender's Tax Credit, Field-to-Pump | Tags: , , , , |

Thune: EPA rules may ‘kill’ ethanol in America

Members of South Dakota’s congressional delegation on Wednesday lashed out at what they perceive as “questionable” and “ridiculous” land-use models that they feel could devastate the American biofuels industry.

By: Korrie Wenzel

The Daily Republic

May 14, 2009

 

Members of South Dakota’s congressional delegation on Wednesday lashed out at what they perceive as “questionable” and “ridiculous” land-use models that they feel could devastate the American biofuels industry.

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, in a statement sent to the media, and Sen. John Thune, during a conference call, both derided an Environmental Protection Agency proposal to determine the carbon footprint left by the biofuels industry, and especially in relation to ethanol production. The delegates say the EPA’s proposed standards are based on unscientific, “indirect” uses and would create a much larger carbon footprint than the industry truly has.

If the standards are implemented, they both predict doom for the biofuels industry.

“These new EPA rules … would effectively kill renewable fuels in South Dakota and across the country because of environmental extremism within the EPA,” said Thune, a Republican who grew up in Murdo. “By destroying our biofuels industry, the EPA is undoing a great domestic energy achievement by ensuring our energy dependence on hostile regimes.”

As part of implementing the national Renewable Fuels Standard — which requires the use of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022 — the EPA has issued a proposed rule that ethanol plants produce 20 percent less carbon than the gasoline industry. The problem, Thune and Herseth Sandlin said Wednesday, is that the EPA now wants to factor in not only the direct greenhouse gases that result from actual ethanol production, but also the impact of indirect land uses around the world that the EPA has linked to ethanol.

“That could include any changes for any reason that may not have anything to do with ethanol production,” Thune said. “For example, some ethanol detractors incorrectly feel that producing corn for ethanol results in less grain available to feed people and less grain for exports. They believe, then, that if another country tills additional land to raise corn for food, this is an indirect land use (related to ethanol) … and therefore should be calculated into the ethanol industry’s carbon footprint.”

By using such vast indirect land use calculations, Thune said the EPA has concluded that the carbon footprint of the corn ethanol industry is actually 5 percent higher than that of gasoline — not 20 percent lower, as required by the energy bill’s RFS.

Herseth Sandlin, a Democrat from Houghton, calls it a “controversial proposed rule” based on a “questionable model.”

“Simply put,” she said, “EPA’s proposal threatens the progress our nation has made over many years in advancing clean-burning, homegrown biofuels. The future of biofuels, and the many jobs the industry has created, is at stake.”

Thune called the EPA’s proposed standards “ridiculous measurements” based less on science and more on “science fiction.”

South Dakota’s ethanol industry has exploded in recent years. According to statistics from the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council’s Web site, more than 14,000 South Dakotans have invested in some form of ethanol production, and the state’s production is peaking toward 1 billion gallons per year.

Twelve production plants have opened throughout South Dakota, including one in the small town of Loomis, just outside of Mitchell. The Corn Utilization Council notes that the plants have produced approximately $400 million in capital investment for South Dakota.

Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., said Wednesday that the first step should be to “get the science right.”

“There is widespread agreement on the need to measure the emissions of all types of fuels. That is the whole point of ethanol being marketed as a low-emission fuel,” Johnson said in a conference call Wednesday. “What I support is forming a panel of experts to review EPA’s initial assessments and make modifications to how the agency is calculating the emissions from international agriculture practices.”

In addition, the EPA recommends biodiesel plants must be 50 percent cleaner than the gasoline industry, which Thune says is unrealistic.

 

 

About Renergie

Renergie was formed by Ms. Meaghan M. Donovan on March 22, 2006 for the purpose of raising capital to develop, construct, own and operate a network of ten ethanol plants in the parishes of the State of Louisiana which were devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Each ethanol plant will have a production capacity of five million gallons per year (5 MGY) of fuel-grade ethanol.  Renergie’s “field-to-pump” strategy is to produce non-corn ethanol locally and directly market non-corn ethanol locally. On February 26, 2008, Renergie was one of 8 recipients, selected from 139 grant applicants, to share $12.5 million from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Renewable Energy Technologies Grants Program.  Renergie received $1,500,483 (partial funding) in grant money to design and build Florida’s first ethanol plant capable of producing fuel-grade ethanol solely from sweet sorghum juice. On  April 2, 2008, Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state’s economic development organization, selected Renergie as one of Florida’s most innovative technology companies in the alternative energy sector.  On January 20, 2009, Florida Energy & Climate Commission amended RET Grant Agreement S0386 to increase Renergie’s funding from $1,500,483 to $2,500,000. By blending fuel-grade ethanol with gasoline at the gas station pump, Renergie will offer the consumer a fuel that is renewable, more economical, cleaner, and more efficient than unleaded gasoline.  Moreover, the Renergie project will mark the first time that Louisiana farmers will share in the profits realized from the sale of value-added products made from their crops.

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Ethanol Bankruptcy Filing a Blow to Biofuels Industry

Posted on May 12, 2009. Filed under: Advanced Biofuel, Blender's Tax Credit, Field-to-Pump | Tags: , , , , |

Ethanol bankruptcy filing a blow to biofuels industry
Bumpy road for ethanol
By BRETT CLANTON
Houston Chronicle
May 11, 2009

 

The bankruptcy filing last week by Texas’ largest ethanol producer deals yet another blow to the state’s struggling biofuels sector and is part of a broader industry downturn that analysts say may claim other victims before it is done.

Dallas-based White Energy said a Chapter 11 filing became necessary after high raw material costs coupled with low ethanol prices led to “minimal or nonexistent profit margins.” It also blamed significant debt payments and an inability to raise capital from frozen equity markets.

The move comes just three years after the privately held firm entered the business and on the heels of bankruptcy filings by ethanol powerhouse VeraSun Energy Corp. and Dallas-based Panda Energy, which in January placed its plant near Amarillo in Chapter 11.

“It’s clearly a challenging environment,” said Bob Thompson, partner in the Kansas City law office of Bryan Cave, who advises companies investing in renewable fuel and energy projects. “But the reality is that most of these ethanol producers are dealing with are problems that were created last year.”

In recent months, the industry has been pummeled by volatile corn and oil prices, seen funding dry up for new projects and watched demand stall as slowing gasoline consumption and lower pump prices reduce the incentive for blending the fuel with gasoline. Some producers have stayed afloat by cutting output or idling plants.

About 16 percent of the nation’s 12.6 billion gallons of corn ethanol production capacity is currently shut down, according to the Renewable Fuels Association, an ethanol trade group.

Two out of four

Among Texas’ four plants, just two are operating, while one is temporarily shut and another still under construction.

In January, White Energy halted production at its 100- million-gallon-per-year plant in Plainview, citing poor market conditions, but has continued production at a plant of similar size in Hereford and a 45-million-gallon-per-year plant in Kansas.

White officials did not return calls seeking comment but said in court papers filed Thursday that they intend to continue normal business operations in Chapter 11.

In its bankruptcy filing, the company listed assets and liabilities in the range of $100 million to $500 million and said its operations produced over $500 million in revenue in 2008.

In the U.S., ethanol is blended with gasoline to help reduce dependence on oil and improve air quality in densely populated areas like Houston and Dallas.

Slow growth expected

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires greater usage of ethanol and other biofuels in coming years, growing to 36 billion gallons in 2022 — or about 25 percent of the 140 billion gallons of gasoline U.S. drivers now consume annually. This year, the law requires 10.5 billion gallons of grain ethanol in the fuel supply.

But the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects the growth in U.S. ethanol plant capacity and production over the last few years to slow dramatically in 2009 as lower gasoline prices depress ethanol production profits, and financial market constraints impede construction plans and bring plant shutdowns.

Thompson said the tough conditions will likely mean more ethanol company bankruptcies, but he believes the industry is about to stabilize.

Currently, the ethanol industry is pushing hard to raise the federal limit on the amount of ethanol that can be blended in gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent.

Such a move would create a bigger market for the fuel, but critics argue higher blends could harm engines, which the ethanol industry disputes.

The industry is also challenging a decision last week by the EPA to enact the first-ever greenhouse gas performance standards for biofuels. The standards would take into account all emissions created in the process of making ethanol, rather than just emissions from burning the fuel.

But the industry has taken issue with how the government measures emissions under the proposed program.

 

About Renergie

Renergie was formed by Ms. Meaghan M. Donovan on March 22, 2006 for the purpose of raising capital to develop, construct, own and operate a network of ten ethanol plants in the parishes of the State of Louisiana which were devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Each ethanol plant will have a production capacity of five million gallons per year (5 MGY) of fuel-grade ethanol.  Renergie’s “field-to-pump” strategy is to produce non-corn ethanol locally and directly market non-corn ethanol locally. On February 26, 2008, Renergie was one of 8 recipients, selected from 139 grant applicants, to share $12.5 million from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Renewable Energy Technologies Grants Program.  Renergie received $1,500,483 (partial funding) in grant money to design and build Florida’s first ethanol plant capable of producing fuel-grade ethanol solely from sweet sorghum juice. On  April 2, 2008, Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state’s economic development organization, selected Renergie as one of Florida’s most innovative technology companies in the alternative energy sector.  On January 20, 2009, Florida Energy & Climate Commission amended RET Grant Agreement S0386 to increase Renergie’s funding from $1,500,483 to $2,500,000. By blending fuel-grade ethanol with gasoline at the gas station pump, Renergie will offer the consumer a fuel that is renewable, more economical, cleaner, and more efficient than unleaded gasoline.  Moreover, the Renergie project will mark the first time that Louisiana farmers will share in the profits realized from the sale of value-added products made from their crops.

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Valero May Close Memphis Plant if State Law Passes

Posted on May 9, 2009. Filed under: Blender's Tax Credit, Field-to-Pump | Tags: , , , , , |

Valero may close Memphis plant if state law passes

By Janet McGurty

May 8, 2009

 

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The future of Tennessee’s only oil refinery is in jeopardy if a law passes the state’s general assembly on May 13 that would require it to supply unblended gasoline to fuel wholesalers.

Valero Energy Corp (VLO.N: Quote, Profile, Research), which owns and operates the 195,000-barrel per day refinery in Memphis, has said the cost of complying with the bill does not make sense in the poor refining economics environment.

“Passage of the bill would result in Valero being forced to seriously consider closing the Memphis refinery with an immediate loss of employment for over 500 Tennesseans,” said Rich Marcogliese, Valero’s executive Vice President, in a May 4 letter to Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen.

Valero, which has contracts to supply already blended gasoline, estimates it would cost between $130 million and $150 million to duplicate the storage tanks, piping, pumps, wiring, and modify the truck rack to provide facilities for unblended fuel as House Bill 1517 is requiring.

The bill, which has already passed the Senate as Bill 1931, will be voted on in the general assembly subcommittee on May 13.

Federal law mandates each gallon of gasoline sold contains a percentage of renewable fuel such as ethanol. It gives the tax credit to the blender, which in Tennessee is now Valero but, if the law passes, will be whoever blends the fuel.

Adding in the loss of tax credits, Valero estimates it will cost 5 cents per gallon — in an weak demand economy where refiners are shuttering or cutting back on runs.

“The impact on refining is real — there is weekly speculation among industry analysts as to which refineries maybe closing because of weak demand coupled with geographic or regulatory disadvantages,” Marcogliese wrote.

The Memphis refinery, which Valero bought with other refineries from independent refiner Premcor back in 2005, distributes products to the Midwestern markets primarily via truck-loading racks at three product terminals, barges, and a pipeline directly to the Memphis airport.

Fedex (FDX.N: Quote, Profile, Research), the world’s largest airline, is located in Memphis.

“We have alternate arrangements and don’t believe it will have an impact on Fedex,” said Jim McCloskey, a spokesman for the airline.

He would not speculate on the cost of the alternate arrangements.

In 2006, Valero had conducted an strategic review of its assets and put Memphis on the sales block before taking it off as the refining business and prices for refinery assets began to decline.

The Tennessee Fuel and Convenience Association, which represents fuel wholesalers and convenience store operators, said there is no support for Valero’s contention.

“The facts do not support Valero’s claims that the legislation would require expensive new equipment or that the company has been hard hit by the recession,” said Jonathan Edwards, president of TFCA and president of Edwards Oil Company, which is headquartered in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee.

Edwards says there’s no evidence to support Valero’s claim that it would cost between $130 and $150 million to buy new equipment to store unblended ethanol. According to legislative testimony from Valero representatives, the company spent $7 million to install ethanol storage tanks and blending equipment, the TCFA said.

Tennessee’s legislators Jamie Woodson, who sponsored the bill in the state’s senate and Charles Curtis, who is the house sponsor were not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Janet McGurty; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

 

 

About Renergie

Renergie was formed by Ms. Meaghan M. Donovan on March 22, 2006 for the purpose of raising capital to develop, construct, own and operate a network of ten ethanol plants in the parishes of the State of Louisiana which were devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Each ethanol plant will have a production capacity of five million gallons per year (5 MGY) of fuel-grade ethanol.  Renergie’s “field-to-pump” strategy is to produce non-corn ethanol locally and directly market non-corn ethanol locally. On February 26, 2008, Renergie was one of 8 recipients, selected from 139 grant applicants, to share $12.5 million from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Renewable Energy Technologies Grants Program.  Renergie received $1,500,483 (partial funding) in grant money to design and build Florida’s first ethanol plant capable of producing fuel-grade ethanol solely from sweet sorghum juice. On  April 2, 2008, Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state’s economic development organization, selected Renergie as one of Florida’s most innovative technology companies in the alternative energy sector.  On January 20, 2009, Florida Energy & Climate Commission amended RET Grant Agreement S0386 to increase Renergie’s funding from $1,500,483 to $2,500,000. By blending fuel-grade ethanol with gasoline at the gas station pump, Renergie will offer the consumer a fuel that is renewable, more economical, cleaner, and more efficient than unleaded gasoline.  Moreover, the Renergie project will mark the first time that Louisiana farmers will share in the profits realized from the sale of value-added products made from their crops.

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Laboratory Will Not Certify Pumps for Gas With 15 Percent Ethanol

Posted on May 9, 2009. Filed under: Blender's Tax Credit, Field-to-Pump | Tags: , , , , |

Laboratory Will Not Certify Pumps for Gas With 15 Percent Ethanol

By CHRISTOPHER JENSEN

The New York Times

May 10, 2009

 

GROUPS representing the nation’s service station operators say they fear the possible legal and economic consequences of increasing the amount of ethanol in gasoline to 15 percent, from 10 percent, a change that ethanol producers have urged the Environmental Protection Agency to make.

The station owners say they fear lawsuits from customers claiming their cars were damaged by the E15 fuel. But they also note that existing pumps are not certified by Underwriters Laboratories as safe for use with E15 — and U.L., which certifies the safety of a wide range of products, says it will not provide that certification.

John Drengenberg, U.L.’s consumer safety director, said previous testing showed that the existing pumps were safe for up to 15 percent ethanol. But U.L. will not guarantee them for 1 percent more, he said.

That means E15 certification cannot be given because there can be slight variations in the mixture of gas and ethanol, Mr. Drengenberg said — E15 might actually include 16 percent ethanol. “It cannot ever be said that this is exactly 15 percent.”

Furthermore, while U.L. says 15 percent ethanol would be acceptable, it cannot retroactively and officially certify the existing pumps for dispensing E15, a spokesman, Joseph Hirschmugl, said.

That is a problem because state and local fire codes usually require stations to use equipment that a third party — typically U.L. — has certified as compatible with the fuel being sold. A fuel with much higher ethanol content, E85 — which can be used only in flexible-fuel vehicles — is dispensed through a different type of pump, which the U.L. has approved.

That leaves service station owners wondering what they will do if E15 is approved.

Those retailers will have two choices, said John Eichberger, vice president for government relations at NACS, an association for convenience stores and gas stations. “One, sell a product with noncompatible equipment, violate those rules and open themselves up to gross-negligence lawsuits,” he said. “Or try to find compatible equipment and replace their entire system. Unfortunately there are no dispensers certified for E15.”

Joseph Hirschmugl, a spokesman for U.L., said his organization knew of no specific problem but must be cautious because adequate testing had not been done.

For the gas station owners, the scary thing is the possibility of an accident or mishap that could result in a lawsuit, said Tim Columbus, general counsel for another service station trade group, the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America. Then people might start asking why uncertified equipment was being used, he said.

In Growth Energy’s request to the Environmental Protection Agency to allow an increase to E15, it insists that service stations won’t have a problem. It says U.L.’s research “supports that existing dispensers may be used successfully with ethanol blends up to E15.”

But Mr. Drengenberg of U.L. says that is not true. U.L. approves of using up to 15 percent ethanol in existing dispensers, he said, but it does not approve of E15.

 

About Renergie

Renergie was formed by Ms. Meaghan M. Donovan on March 22, 2006 for the purpose of raising capital to develop, construct, own and operate a network of ten ethanol plants in the parishes of the State of Louisiana which were devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Each ethanol plant will have a production capacity of five million gallons per year (5 MGY) of fuel-grade ethanol.  Renergie’s “field-to-pump” strategy is to produce non-corn ethanol locally and directly market non-corn ethanol locally. On February 26, 2008, Renergie was one of 8 recipients, selected from 139 grant applicants, to share $12.5 million from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Renewable Energy Technologies Grants Program.  Renergie received $1,500,483 (partial funding) in grant money to design and build Florida’s first ethanol plant capable of producing fuel-grade ethanol solely from sweet sorghum juice. On  April 2, 2008, Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state’s economic development organization, selected Renergie as one of Florida’s most innovative technology companies in the alternative energy sector.  On January 20, 2009, Florida Energy & Climate Commission amended RET Grant Agreement S0386 to increase Renergie’s funding from $1,500,483 to $2,500,000. By blending fuel-grade ethanol with gasoline at the gas station pump, Renergie will offer the consumer a fuel that is renewable, more economical, cleaner, and more efficient than unleaded gasoline.  Moreover, the Renergie project will mark the first time that Louisiana farmers will share in the profits realized from the sale of value-added products made from their crops.

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Why Big Oil Should Not be Allowed to Monopolize the Blender’s Tax Credit

Posted on April 24, 2009. Filed under: Advanced Biofuel, Blender's Tax Credit | Tags: , , , , , |

Why Big Oil Should Not be Allowed to Monopolize the Blender’s Tax Credit

By Brian J. Donovan

Renergie

April 20, 2009

 

The issue is whether state legislatures should allow oil companies, or affiliates of oil companies, to have a monopoly on blending fuel ethanol with unblended gasoline.

 

The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 established the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (“VEETC”), also known as the “Blender’s Tax Credit.”  Excise taxes on highway fuels have been a dedicated source of funding for the Federal Highway Trust Fund since its creation in 1956.  The Federal Government levies a tax of 18.4 cents per gallon on domestic gasoline sales.  The blender’s tax credit provides a credit against federal gasoline taxes that is worth 45 cents for every gallon of ethanol blended into the gasoline pool.

 

The excise tax credit is fully refundable. To receive a refund, a blender must first apply the excise tax credit against any excise tax liability for a particular taxable year. To the extent the blender has any excise tax credit remaining after applying the credit against its excise tax liability, the blender may request a refund of the excess credit or may apply the excess credit against its income tax liability.

 

It was never the legislative intent of the U.S. Congress, nor the intent of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to allow oil companies to be the sole beneficiaries of the blender’s tax credit. Section 6426 of the Internal Revenue Code creates a credit against the excise tax on taxable fuels. The excise tax credit is generally available to any person that blends alcohol or biodiesel with taxable fuel in a mixture. To qualify for the credit, a qualifying mixture must either be sold by the producer to a buyer for use by the buyer as a fuel or be used as a fuel in the trade or business of the producer.

 

If U.S. ethanol producers are able to be blenders of fuel ethanol and unblended gasoline, and thereby receive the 45 cents-per-gallon tax credit, small-capacity ethanol producers would be able to enter the market. The result would be fair and healthy competition in the marketing of ethanol blends.

 

The benefits of allowing ethanol producers to blend and directly market ethanol blends to the consumer are the following:

(a) Rural economic development and job creation would be maximized. Increased investments in plants and equipment would stimulate the local economy by providing construction jobs initially and the chance for full-time employment after the plant is completed. On average, an ethanol plant supports 45 full-time jobs and nearly 700 jobs throughout the entire economy;

(b) The resulting increase in local and state tax revenues would provide funds for improvements to the community and to the region; and

(c) Federal and state renewable energy technology grants for ethanol would not be required. The blender’s tax credit and the market would reward the ethanol producer/blender.

 

In 2008, ExxonMobil reported the largest annual profit in U.S. history. ExxonMobil’s annual profit jumped 11%, or $5.2 billion, to $45.2 billion on the back of record oil prices. ExxonMobil returns most of its profit to shareholders, distributing about $40 billion in 2008 in the form of share buybacks and dividends. Chevron was also up more than $5 billion for the year, to $23.9 billion. A substantial portion of Chevron’s increase came in a fourth-quarter jump in its profits for refining and marketing of gasoline and other fuels.

 

Currently, oil companies are refusing to sell unblended gasoline to ethanol producers. The sole beneficiaries of the 45 cents-per-gallon blender’s tax credit are the oil companies, blenders affiliated with oil companies, and oil company shareholders. As a result, the farmers/landowners, ethanol producers and consumers never realize any benefit from the blender’s tax credit; rural economic development is ignored; and U.S. jobs are not created. 

 

State legislatures should not permit only oil companies and their affiliates to blend and receive the 45 cents-per-gallon blender’s tax credit. This monopoly impairs fair and healthy competition in the marketing of ethanol blends. U.S. ethanol producers have the legal right, and must be assured the availability of unblended gasoline, to blend fuel ethanol and unblended gasoline to receive the blender’s tax credit and be cost-competitive.

 

Rural development and job creation, not the maximization of oil company annual profits, should be the focus of our state legislatures.

 

 

About Renergie

Renergie was formed by Ms. Meaghan M. Donovan on March 22, 2006 for the purpose of raising capital to develop, construct, own and operate a network of ten ethanol plants in the parishes of the State of Louisiana which were devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Each ethanol plant will have a production capacity of five million gallons per year (5 MGY) of fuel-grade ethanol.  Renergie’s “field-to-pump” strategy is to produce non-corn ethanol locally and directly market non-corn ethanol locally. On February 26, 2008, Renergie was one of 8 recipients, selected from 139 grant applicants, to share $12.5 million from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Renewable Energy Technologies Grants Program.  Renergie received $1,500,483 (partial funding) in grant money to design and build Florida’s first ethanol plant capable of producing fuel-grade ethanol solely from sweet sorghum juice. On  April 2, 2008, Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state’s economic development organization, selected Renergie as one of Florida’s most innovative technology companies in the alternative energy sector.  On January 20, 2009, Florida Energy & Climate Commission amended RET Grant Agreement S0386 to increase Renergie’s funding from $1,500,483 to $2,500,000. By blending fuel-grade ethanol with gasoline at the gas station pump, Renergie will offer the consumer a fuel that is renewable, more economical, cleaner, and more efficient than unleaded gasoline.  Moreover, the Renergie project will mark the first time that Louisiana farmers will share in the profits realized from the sale of value-added products made from their crops.

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Oil Companies and Ethanol Plants: Slash, Burn and Buy

Posted on February 27, 2009. Filed under: Blender's Tax Credit, Field-to-Pump | Tags: , , , , |

Oil Companies and Ethanol Plants: Slash, Burn and Buy

RenewableEnergyWorld.com

by David Blume

February 26, 2009

 

With all of the corporate bailouts and economic disasters our country is facing at present, it really is easy to welcome the wallet-relief provided by currently low transportation and heating fuel prices. As the saying goes, “Why look a gift horse in the mouth?” It isn’t comfortable to consider that the relatively calm waters international oil prices present could be covering an insidious undertow that is quietly dragging our renewable and alcohol fuel industry down to the OPEC equivalent of Davey Jones’s Locker where it will lay submerged until the big oil pumps finally do run dry.

 

In some places around the country today we are paying US $1.89 a gallon for gas (or even less). However, it is important to point out that with that short term windfall comes the ominous realization that nearly 25% of our Alcohol fuel producing industry will be going belly-up soon. That is correct. Many investor-backed as well as entrepreneurially driven Alcohol plants currently producing in the US may be bankrupted by the end of February 2009.

 

It is very likely that 40 of the nearly 200 alcohol fuel plants we have working now will be victims of what I refer to as big oil’s slash, burn and buy strategy to collapse, consume and control our fledgling alcohol fuel industry.

 

The obvious poster child for this tragedy is VeraSun. Declaring bankruptcy recently in a federal court in Delaware, VeraSun represents a considerable failure for the alcohol fuel industry. Having fallen from the vanguard of ethanol plants funded by venture capital, its collapse is having a rip-tide effect through the investment (and sadly) the farming community as well. Once a mighty force for alcohol expansion VeraSun is now reduced in value to pennies on the dollar. [Editor’s note, for more on the takeover bid, read RenewableEnergyWorld.com’s Wednesday story, Ethanol Industry Eyes Valero’s Bid for Verasun.]

 

How did this happen? What is the sleight of hand big oil is using to lull us to sleep at the wheel, while it methodically implements the conquest and enslavement of America’s independent and sustainable energy future?

 

Here’s the answer. Oil companies are using the commodities futures trading system to artificially drive up the price of corn while depressing the price of alcohol, essentially gaming the futures market. The impact of artificially high corn prices is that plants like VeraSun (that aren’t built and supported by farm-owners, but rather by capital investors) had to pay high prices to compete with big oil to buy corn and make fuel. Meanwhile, the futures price of alcohol was driven down by big oil’s fuel monopoly-easy since they buy over 99% of alcohol fuel produced.

 

Although VeraSun recently named the company that has offered to buy it out of bankruptcy and as I had predicted, it’s an oil company. Big oil recently spent a billion dollars conducting a fictitious food vs. fuel campaign, contributing to devaluation of US $6 billion dollars’ worth of alcohol plants by more than 90%. Big oil is now quietly spending a fraction of the $125 billion they made in profit last year to buy up alcohol fuel plants for pennies on the dollar.

It is sad that VeraSun and some other independent distillery companies face bankruptcy, but the real market losers are our farmers. While oil companies bought futures contracts for corn at $6 a bushel, farmers were subjected to a quadrupling of prices for oil-based crop inputs such as fertilizer.

 

With the federal court ruling in the VeraSun bankruptcy, a legal precedence is being set that now allows plant owners to reject contract commitments for grain and corn purchases they have made with working farmers. For the first time ever for any company, there may be an escape from paying for the futures contracts that are bought. The problem with this is that farmers have of course already borrowed money (based on futures pricing) to pay for higher input costs in producing the supposedly higher-priced corn. Unlike the plant owners, they won’t get to avoid their debts and as that crunch goes on.

 

I think that there is a real chance that big oil will buy up the alcohol plants, reject the futures contracts, bankrupt the farmers and then be able to buy their land.

 

If the oil companies gain control of even a quarter of the alcohol production infrastructure and land for the crops, there will be no end to the disruption they can cause in markets, they could even potentially bankrupt the rest of the industry. If you think that it’s a nightmare that big oil controls our energy, think what life would be like if it controlled our land and food, as well.

Oh no, I hear another bailout in the makings! Unfortunately, I think that the only way to avoid this catastrophic scenario is for us to provide alcohol fuel plants with a bail-out plan. However, as I have recommended for the auto industry bailout, there should be conditions. While a number of initiatives should be addressed to ensure the alcohol fuel industry’s long-term growth, implementing these bailout conditions in the short term will make the ethanol business more secure and less likely to need any future assistance:

 

·                     All alcohol fuel plants should be required to install the equipment necessary to handle non-corn energy crops.

·                     By 2010 plants should be required to diversify their crop inputs, limiting corn to 50% of the total. This would insulate them from further manipulation by oil companies and start the country, especially the Midwest, on the path of sustainable agriculture.

·                     By 2011 all plants should be required to run at least 90% on renewable fuel, not fossil fuels. Corn Plus has already converted its plant to run on biomass, reporting a 6:1 energy return compared to the usual 1.5:1 of coal-based alcohol fuel plants.

·                     The bailout should include loans to provide energy to alcohol fuel plants using biomass-fired combined-heat-and-electricity facilities. This would reduce alcohol price volatility, since alcohol production would largely be decoupled from the prices of oil, coal, and natural gas.

 

Even though I am an advocate for smaller alcohol fuel plants for many reasons (security, local economy strength, true energy independence among others), the larger plants need to be protected for the health of the industry and the United States. Without an effective alcohol industry to compete with big oil, the sky would be the limit on gasoline prices.

 

I have already gone on record predicting that we can expect gas prices to rocket by March 2009. I have also stated that there will be a concerted effort to blame the new administration for this occurrence. This will happen because oil companies and OPEC are afraid that President Obama will carry out his campaign promises to reduce oil imports and address climate change.

 

There is already a big oil campaign going on to portray the oil companies as back in control of energy prices that somehow got out of control last summer due to “speculators.” You might have caught the 60 Minutes Infomercial they ran for OPEC and the Saudi family recently, (wow take a guess at what that cost to purchase and produce).

 

Big oil is already floating articles that say that putting money into alternative fuels will be a waste of taxpayer dollars and will raise rather than lower the price of auto fuel. Expect this chorus to become a propaganda flood during the first 60 to 90 days of President Obama’s administration, with the aim of discouraging Congress from doing anything substantial to cut our oil use via any alternatives not controlled by big oil (oil shale, tar sands, coal-to-gas).

 

It will be in the oil companies’ best interests to avoid attention until after the first round of legislation from the new administration. Traditionally, new presidents can get almost anything passed in the first 60 days or so. The oil companies would prefer to not have the gun sights of legislators trained on them during this period. Once the first flush of legislation is introduced, it will be autumn before another major bill could be introduced to interfere with the oil companies. They will hope to have the ethanol industry and enough legislators bought up by then.

 

I urge citizens everywhere to contact their Congressional representatives, the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Competition to express their concern regarding the Valero acquisition of Verasun and to help mandate protectionary and regulatory programs for the formation of a truly independent renewable energy and fuel producers market. (Note: email is not always secure. Mark confidential information “Confidential” and send it via postal mail).

 

David Blume is the executive director of the International Institute for Ecological Agriculture, (I.I.E.A.). He is a globally renowned permaculture and alcohol fuel expert and is author of the Amazon best-selling book Alcohol Can Be A Gas (www.alcoholcanbeagas.com). Mr. Blume is a leading advocate for alcohol fuel and the role of the American farmer in developing a truly sustainable energy and food policy for the post-oil era.

 

 

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    Renergie created “field-to-pump," a unique strategy to locally produce and market advanced biofuel (“non-corn fuel ethanol”) via a network of small advanced biofuel manufacturing facilities. The purpose of “field-to-pump” is to maximize rural development and job creation while minimizing feedstock supply risk and the burden on local water supplies.

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