WBIA BLOG

Big Oil’s misinformation

The long stated myth that ethanol is to blame for higher food prices has been most recently debunked by new data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ international food price index.

According to the FAO, in the past year, domestic grain prices have gone down about 9 percent, but meat prices are over 20 percent higher – all of this in a time when national ethanol production has risen slightly in the US.

Big Oil is spending millions of dollars trying to con American consumers into believing that ethanol production raises the price of their food. They are basing their campaigns on lies and misinformation in an effort to limit consumer choices at the pump.

Domestic prices for corn and other grains are dropping quickly while meat prices for consumers are up 11.6 percent in the same time period. Clearly, grain pricing has little to do with what consumers end up paying as food prices in most of the US are up 2.5 percent compared to last year while farmers are struggling to make a profit.

“Corn prices are below the cost of production for most farmers, and ethanol is selling approximately $1 per gallon less than the gasoline on the wholesale marketplace,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. “The unrelenting deception coming from these trade associations to continue to perpetuate this lie to mask their growing profits at the expense of the American consumer is deplorable. Their greed and deception knows no boundaries. It’s time for Big Oil and its Big Food allies to begin telling the truth.”

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General Wesley Clark: Ethanol is the right choice

Wesley Clark

“This is about a cheaper fuel, it’s about a fuel that’s cleaner in the environment and it’s about reducing the $300 billion dollars a year the US sends abroad to purchase oil from foreign countries.” – General Wesley Clark, US Army, Retired

Via Chicago Tonight

 

View the full video below:

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Media Release – Wisconsin adds more E-15 pumps

Monday, May 5, 2014
Contact: Joshua Morby 414.791.9120

Grassroots effort to gather signatures gains momentum

MILWAUKEE – Almost a year ago today, as gas prices continue to rise, the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance is excited to announce even more fuel choices for consumers.

Beaver Dam based United Cooperative is now offering E15 at 10 stations throughout Wisconsin. The addition of these Wisconsin convenience stores bumps the total number of E15 stations to 75 in 12 states. United Cooperative now has blender pumps at their Cenex convenience stores in Beaver Dam, Baraboo, Hustisford, Iron Ridge, Pickett, Poynette, Reedsburg, Watertown, and Wyocena.

E15 made up of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline. The fuel has been approved for use in model year 2001 and newer cars, light-duty trucks, SUVs, and flex-fuel vehicles since January 2011.

“It’s important for consumers to know that E15 is not for all engines, but it can be used by more than 75% of light duty vehicles on the road today, representing more than 85% of the unleaded fuel sold,” said Joshua Morby of the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance.

E15 was first made available to consumers in Wisconsin one year ago at the SmartStation in Platteville, a wholly owned subsidiary of Badger State Ethanol.

“The expansion of E15 in Wisconsin is only the beginning as retailers continue to see the economic benefits of installing blender pumps and offering higher-level ethanol blends to their customers,”

 said Morby. “As an industry we’ve been working with small engine manufactures, trade groups and retailers to educate them about E15. At the end of the day when consumers start to see cheaper options that don’t harm their engines and burn cleaner that oil, we’re going to see more E15 sold in Wisconsin. It’s just a matter of time.”

The Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance is a diverse group of businesses, environmental groups and statewide and local organizations that have come together to build both public and legislative awareness of the Bio Industry in Wisconsin.

For more information about the Alliance, or to find out how to join, please visit our website: http://www.wisconsinbioindustry.com.

You can find audio clips of the quotes  from WBIA Executive Director Josh Morby here.

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Oil Rigged – Big Oil is misleading America

 

“Ethanol is the lowest cost transportation fuel in the world.”

 

Bold words this morning from the President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, Bob Dinneen. But, it’s true! Ethanol has proven to be one of our best options for powering our Nation and moving America forward – which is exactly why Big Oil has been stacking the deck against ethanol blends for years.

Today, the national ethanol advocacy group, Fuels America is launching a nationwide campaign to draw attention to the many ways Big Oil is using misinformation to skew public opinion and convince our lawmakers that oil is the way to go.

In fact, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, the oil industry has spent $885 million on lobbyists and campaign contributions to our legislators in the past five years…

That’s more than $1 million for each and every single member of Congress.

Big Oil has been rigging the system for far too long. Help us stop the misinformation! Take a look at OilRigged.com and together we can keep moving America forward.

 

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The Wisconsin Energy Institute and Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center

Our most recent member meeting of the WBIA was hosted by the Great Lakes Bio Energy Research Center located in the brand new Wisconsin Energy Institute on the UW-Madison campus.

Hosted by the WEI’s Associate Director, Mary Blanchard, we received an overview on the GLBRC’s mission and projects from their Scientific Programs Manager, Steve Slater. Finally, Leith Nye, the GLBRC’s Education and Outreach Coordinator led us on a tour of the facility.

 

The GLBRC is a Department of Energy funded project that seeks to “perform the basic research that generates technology to convert cellulosic biomass to ethanol and other advanced biofuels.” In a nutshell, they are at the forefront of finding ways to advance renewable energy from cellulosic biomass. If you can think of it, they’re probably doing it.

 

While we were only able to glimpse into a handful of their most promising work, the GLBRC’s location at the WEI building is not by accident. The WEI has brought together researchers from diverse disciplines to better understand the larger picture of our energy issues. The Wisconsin Energy Institute is the only bioenergy research facility located on an academic campus and takes full advantage of that, bridging the gaps between the many fields in which scientists and students are working on the future of energy, from biofuels to batteries.

The presentation from Dr. Slater was focused on three projects the GLBRC’s is most excited about, which we’ll cover in our next blog post. Stay tuned!

We were also able to walk through the factors involved in bringing cellulosic ethanol to market. Dr. Slater broke down which aspects in the four stages of refinement play most into economic viability, and offered some insight onto the technology they are developing which can reduce their impact on the bottom line.

 

If you’d like to know more, contact the Wisconsin Energy Institute and the Great Lakes Bio Energy Research Center. Both of these organizations are doing truly astonishing work, and we’re proud to have them in the state of Wisconsin. We’d also like to thank their communications/event staff for providing us with the opportunity and helping us make the most of our visit.

 

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Producers rail against changes to ethanol requirements

Many are frustrated Walker hasn’t weighed in on issue

By Rick Barrett of the Journal Sentinel
Jan. 15, 2014

Follow @JournalSentinel on Twitter

 

Wisconsin biofuel producers say they’re disappointed Gov. Scott Walker hasn’t joined a group of Midwestern governors urging the federal government to support ethanol use and not cut the fuel additive requirement in gasoline.

Long considered a boon to the Midwest economy, ethanol made from corn is blended in most of the gasoline sold in the U.S. today.

But for the first time since 2007, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed cutting by 3 billion gallons, or almost 18%, the amount of ethanol in the U.S. fuel supply this year.

The reduction could have a huge adverse effect on corn growers and ethanol plants, said Robert Sather, co-founder of Ace Ethanol in Stanley and president of the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance.

“We have nine ethanol plants in the state. They will all be in jeopardy if the EPA change comes to fruition,” Sather said.

The proposal has raised the ire of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, and governors from Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, who want the EPA to leave the biofuel requirements intact.

If the EPA’s proposed rule takes effect, the negative impact would be felt most in rural America, the governors said in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The governors said more than 400,000 Americans depend on renewable fuels for jobs in their states, directly or indirectly. They cited an Iowa State University study that estimated a reduction in the Renewable Fuels Standard could cause corn prices to drop below the point where farmers would make a profit on the commodity.

Corn is Wisconsin’s biggest crop, and farmers make planting decisions based in part on the demand for ethanol. So Wisconsin ethanol producers say they’re frustrated by Walker’s decision not join the other governors in urging the EPA to reject any reduction in the Renewable Fuels Standard.

Walker says he’s keeping a campaign pledge to not take a position in the debate that has pitted ethanol producers against Wisconsin’s small-engine industry, which opposes increased use of the fuel additive.

Livestock farmers also aren’t pleased with ethanol because it drives up the price of corn and makes their feed more expensive.

“From our standpoint, it’s a careful balance. We’ve got corn producers, but we also have (corn) users, particularly in the dairy industry,” Walker said in an interview.

The EPA was supposed to make its decision on the 2014 ethanol requirements last November but missed the deadline and has kept its public comment period open until Jan. 28.

“If there ever was a time the industry wanted the governor to get involved and weigh in, now is that time,” said Josh Morby, executive director of the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance.

(Follow Joshua on LinkedInTwitter, and make sure to follow the WBIA.)

 

In a speech to EPA officials in November, Iowa’s Branstad said by lowering the nation’s ethanol blending mandate, President Barack Obama’s administration would be turning its back on Iowa voters.

Iowa is the nation’s largest ethanol producer with 42 refineries.

“This is going to drive us into what could be another farm crisis. It makes no sense,” Branstad said.

Ethanol critics say the recent boom in domestic oil production has made the biofuel additive less important as an alternative to foreign oil.

Also, as vehicles become more fuel efficient, Americans are using less gasoline than they did seven years ago when the government set the Renewable Fuels Standard.

Almost all gasoline sold in the U.S. contains 10% ethanol.

“We are now at the E-10 blend wall,” the agency said, adding that if gasoline use continues to decline with more fuel-efficient vehicles, then growth in ethanol use would have to come from higher blends ranging from 15% to 85%.

That would be unpopular with the automotive industry and small-engine makers, who contend the higher blends could result in problems such as premature engine wear, fuel line issues and lower fuel mileage.

It’s time to scale back the Renewable Fuels Standard to better reflect the current situation, the American Petroleum Institute says.

“The Renewable Fuels Standard was a well-intentioned law that was written in 2007, when the assumptions of what 2014 would look like were vastly different,” said Patrick Kelly, API’s senior fuels policy adviser.

“Now the EPA has taken steps in the right direction to address this,” Kelly said.

 

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New App on Air Quality

Categories: Education

Our friends at the American Lung Association have just introduced a new smartphone application about air quality. The app provides color-coded EPA air quality forecasts, location-based air quality alerts and ways for you to get informed, speak up to lawmakers or donate to help support their Fight for Air. Click here to find out more about their new app.

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Clean Snowmobile Challenge

At the last WBIA meeting in May, students from UW-Platteville’s Clean Snowmobile Challenge came and spoke about their experience this past winter competing in the competition. Afterward, they presented WBIA Executive Director Josh Morby with a plaque recognizing the WBIA’s sponsorship of the team.

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Biofuels Workshop in Watertown

The Wisconsin Small-Scale Biofuels Producer Program, with the Office of Energy Independence, is holding a small-scale gas and liquid biofuels workshop and expo Friday, June 25. The workshop will run from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Watertown Senior Center in the morning and Prairie Dock in the afternoon.

It will include presentations and “hands on” sessions featuring biofuels experts, business and government leaders, educators and equipment manufacturers from Wisconsin. There will also be several small-scale systems demonstrated.

The workshop fee is $40. WSSBPP members receive a discounted rate of $25.

Click here to download a flyer with more information about the event. You may also click here to download the program.

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Biodiesel Ad Released from NBB

The National Biodiesel Board recently released this great, short ad about biodiesel. It really hits the message on the head that biodiesel is another alternative fuel that can help move our country forward. Check out the video and be sure to share it with your friends.


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