WBIA BLOG

Gasoline gives better return on investment than ethanol – Our Response

In a recent letter to the editor that appeared in the Green Bay Press Gazette a few statements were made that we at the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance would like to address.

The letter brought up ethanol’s energy return on investment based on a ratio comparison to gasoline. But, if ethanol provides lower power than gasoline, why do both IndyCar and NASCAR use it to boost horsepower?

Without losing any horsepower or speed on the track, IndyCar Series cars burned 20,000 fewer gallons of fuel using ethanol than previous seasons using methanol.”IndyCar

The transition to the biofuel reduced on-track carbon emissions and teams report an increase in horsepower.”NASCAR.com

American-Ethanol-flag-922x520.jpg.main

 

The letter also mentions ‘subsidies:’

“If ethanol is such a good idea, then get rid of the government subsidies and mandates and let the marketplace determine whether this is a viable product.”

The truth is:

the $0.45 per gallon VEETC (known as the Blender’s Tax Credit since it was paid to oil companies and not to farmers or ethanol plants) was terminated by Congress in December 2011, along with the $0.54 per gallon tariff that protected US ethanol producers from heavily subsidized Brazilian sugarcane ethanol. You are probably aware that commencing January 1, 2012 the ethanol industry received no subsidies at all from the federal government on a per-gallon basis.” – Eric McAfee

On top of that,

“Compare the biofuels industry to the oil and gas industry, which receives more than $100 billion per year of direct cash subsidy from the US taxpayer: 1) 100% tax-free earnings using Master Limited Partnerships to own facilities and pipelines (MLP’s are illegal to use for biofuels facilities); 2) accelerated tax write-offs for well drilling (illegal for corn farmers and ethanol plants); and 3) more than $100 billion per year of military protection for shipping lanes and foreign oil fields.” - Eric McAfee

The letter mentioned the “food vs fuel” myth, too:

we are converting our food supply into gasoline when corn prices have caused food produced from corn to increase in price by 10-25 percent leading to food riots in Mexico because of the increase in the cost of corn tortillas.

Well…

USDA found that biofuels like ethanol were only responsible for .2 percent of the 4.8 percent increase in grocery bills during the first four months of 2008.” – Growth Energy

dollar

 

The reason behind the majority of the increase in corn prices was due to speculation and rising fuel costs.

The World Bank — who published a research paper several years ago claiming biofuels were to blame for rising food prices — reversed its position recently with a new study entitled Placing the 2006/08 Commodity Price Boom into Perspective. The study’s authors found that “the effect of biofuels on food prices has not been as large as originally thought, but that the use of commodities by financial investors (the so-called ‘financialization of commodities’) may have been partly responsible for the 2007/08 spike.” – World Bank (Page 2 of PDF)

ethanol use of corn

 

Ethanol is a crucial part of a sensible approach to fulfill America’s energy needs. At the very least consumers should have access to new biofuels like E15. People want choices at the pump. They want cheaper gas that’s safe for their cars and won’t pollute the air.

Simply expanding the number of locations in Wisconsin that offer E15 as a choice for consumers will create hundreds of millions of dollars in rural economic growth and in just five years could take 15 million barrels of foreign oil off our roads by displacing 300 million gallons of gasoline in our state alone.

Tell your local retailer to put in an E15 pump and share this information with your friends!

Connect with the WBIA: FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Permalink + Share This

Wisconsin Ethanol Poll – Hosted by the WBIA

Recently, the WCGA released a poll showing Wisconsin citizens favor the use of ethanol in fuel by a 2 to 1 margin. 60% of individuals support blending ethanol into gasoline versus only 32% who oppose.

“Less than one third (32%) of participants were unsupportive of ethanol blends in their fuel,” said Joshua Morby Executive Director of the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance.

“Clearly the public understands what Big Oil is doing their best to cover up and ignore: Ethanol is cleaner-burning, efficient, and homegrown right here in Wisconsin.”

The Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance will offer a detailed analysis of the responses from WBIA and WCGA representatives. The webinar will be available as a live YouTube stream through Google Hangouts on Tuesday, August 12th at 2:00pm CST. Viewers can post comments and ask questions before, during, and after the webinar.

The event details can be found on WBIA’s Google+ page. To view the live webinar on August 12th, interested parties can find the live stream below.

 

The poll surveyed 500 likely voters in Wisconsin and was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association.

Permalink + Share This

American Energy Independence – 2014

Categories: Uncategorized

As we celebrate this Fourth of July holiday in appreciation of American Independence it’s important to take a moment to consider the role ethanol plays in our state and in our nation’s quest for energy independence.

A mix of energy sources will certainly be necessary to continue fueling our Nation’s success and ethanol is a key part of that journey, especially in Wisconsin.

Our country has a dangerous addiction to petroleum. Last year we burned about 135 billion gallons of gasoline, releasing harmful pollution and sending hundreds of millions of dollars to other countries.

Our energy independence is more crucial now than ever and we’re well positioned to take advantage of the opportunity at hand. Wisconsin ranks in the top 10 producing states in the country for ethanol production with nine plants and overall capacity at close to 540 million gallons. On average each of these plants contribute more than $200 million to the local economy and directly employ about 40 people.

In the last five years Wisconsin ethanol producers made, and consumers in the state consumed, more than two billion gallons of ethanol. This locally made, cleaner burning fuel displaced the need to import more than by 10 million barrels foreign oil in the same period.

Ethanol has proven itself to be a reliable and safe. Over the past decade ethanol has become a major component of nearly every gallon of gas sold in America. But the big oil companies have said enough is enough and are working to limit higher-level blends of ethanol as a choice for consumers.

While nearly every car on the road today is designed to run on gasoline blended with 10 percent ethanol most of our cars (80 percent) could safely consume higher level blends of ethanol saving drivers money and increasing engine efficiency.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 75-80 percent (http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/fuels/additive/e15/420f11003.pdf) of the cars on America’s roads could be using E15, a 15% ethanol 85% gasoline blend.

While I’m making no claims that ethanol is the silver bullet, it does play a key role in our energy independence. It is clean, domestically produced, reduces greenhouse gasses that cause climate change and helps strengthen Wisconsin communities both in rural areas and in our cities.

It will require an uphill climb to bring energy independence to America, but it is not an impossible task.We can make it easier for consumers to have access to new biofuels like E15. People want choices at the pump. They want cheaper gas that’s safe for their cars and won’t pollute the air.

This Independence Day, consider America’s energy independence and help us bring E15 to a wider market. Together we can create meaningful change and leave our children a better economy, stronger communities, and healthier air.

Expanding the number of locations in Wisconsin that offer E15 as a choice for consumers will create hundreds of millions of dollars in rural economic growth and in just five years could take an additional 15 million barrels of foreign oil off our roads by displacing 300 million gallons of gasoline in our state alone.

Tell your local retailer to put in an E15 pump and visit us online at WisconsinEthanol.com to learn more.

 

By Josh Morby
Executive Director, Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance

Permalink + Share This

Wisconsin drivers save by choosing renewable fuels

Categories: Uncategorized

As the situation in Iraq comes home to motorists paying higher prices at the pump, the Fuels America coalition is urging greater reliance on less expensive, homegrown fuels as opposed to reliance on the volatile market for foreign oil.

In fact, an analysis of state data covering the past year from www.E85prices.com shows that drivers with Flex Fuel vehicles in Wisconsin can pay an average of $0.58 less per gallon by filling up with E85, which contains up to 85 percent American ethanol.

Ethanol is a higher octane fuel that improves engine performance. That is why it has been added to gasoline for decades and is now being blended at higher levels into the fuels used throughout professional auto racing.

Prices for American-grown renewable fuels like ethanol and advanced biofuels have grown increasingly competitive thanks to America’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which ensures that homegrown renewable fuels are available as an option to American consumers.

The analysis of data from E85 Prices also revealed that drivers have saved as much as $0.80 per gallon at the pump over the past year by filling up on E85. And because ethanol increases the available fuel supply, it helps to drive down the price of gasoline for all drivers regardless of whether they choose a higher blend fuel like E15 or E85.

In addition to saving American drivers money, the RFS has helped to support 852,000 jobs and $184.5 billion in economic output in the U.S. The renewable fuels industry supports 19,080 jobs and $982.6 million in wages in Wisconsin alone, as well as $4.2 billion in economic output.

Meanwhile, violence in Iraq is driving high gas prices even higher than predicted. Mere worries about oil supply issues have already helped drive world and U.S. prices to their highest levels since September. Americans could see prices for regular gasoline jump more than $0.20 per gallon over the next couple weeks as violence in Iraq continues.

Fuels America’s announcement coincides with a paid advertising campaign to highlight the consumer savings the RFS and the renewable fuels industry deliver for Americans.

The coalition is running digital ads that ask Americans why we should let Big Oil pump us dry and call on our leaders to invest in affordable, homegrown renewable fuels by protecting America’s Renewable Fuel Standard.

 

Taken from www.agriview.com

Written by:
Aaron Wells

320-247-7616, aaron@smoottewes.com.

Permalink + Share This

WBIA 2014 Candidate Questionnaires

Categories: Uncategorized

FOR INCUMBENTS:

WBIA – Candidate Questionnaire – 2014

 

1) What is your position on supporting ethanol and its co-products?

 

 

 

2) What specific state initiatives would you propose to support the ethanol industry in Wisconsin?

 

 

 

3) In your most recent term of elected office, what positions have you taken to support the ethanol industry in Wisconsin?

 

 

 

4) Would you support efforts to bring additional choices at the pump for Wisconsin consumers by increasing the number of locations offering E15?

 

 

FOR CANDIDATES:

 

WBIA – Candidate Questionnaire – 2014

 

1) What is your position on supporting ethanol and its co-products?

 

 

 

2) What specific state initiatives would you propose to support the ethanol industry in Wisconsin?

 

 

 

3) In what manner is your position different than the current elected official in your district regarding bio fuels?

 

 

 

4) Would you support efforts to bring additional choices at the pump for Wisconsin consumers by increasing the number of locations offering E15?

 

Permalink + Share This

URGENT : Contact Your Representative to Vote No on the Goodlatte Amendment

Categories: Uncategorized

Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA) has filed an amendment to the Ag appropriations bill that would prohibit USDA funds for blender pumps.  The text and some counterpoints are below.

The amendment could come up for consideration as early as this evening.  We would greatly appreciate your assistance contacting your representative in the House to oppose the Goodlatte blender pump amendment.

 

GOODLATTE AMENDMENT COUNTERPOINTS:

*       This amendment is absolutely unnecessary.

*       The 2014 Farm Bill already includes the prohibition Rep. Goodlatte seeks to add.

*       This amendment seeks to prohibit what is already illegal, and we don’t need to prohibit something that the authorizing committee already prohibits.

*       Rep. Goodlatte will use this vote as a justification of his other efforts to either gut or repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard.

*       A debate on the merits of the RFS belongs in regular order process in the Energy and Commerce Committee, not the Appropriations process.

 

GOODLATTE AMENDMENT TEXT

At the end of the bill insert the following new section:

1 SEC. ll. None of the funds made available by this

2 Act may be used to construct, fund, install, or operate an

3 ethanol blender pump or to pay the salaries and expenses

4 of personnel of the Department of Agriculture to award

5 a grant for the installation of an ethanol blender pump.

 

Share this on Facebook. Or share it on Twitter.

Click here to find your Representative.

 

Permalink + Share This

Media Release – Walker says national energy policy should include ethanol

Categories: Uncategorized

Tuesday June 3, 2014
Contact: Joshua Morby 414.791.9120

Governor Walker says national energy policy should include ethanol

Wisconsin producers call on leader to support RFS

 

MADISON – During a recent discussion with Wisconsin’s agriculture media Governor Walker expressed concern about our national policy on energy.

“Wind, solar, clean-burning coal, natural gas, ethanol — we should be exploring as many of those options as possible,” Walker said. “We don’t have a clear national policy on energy.”

“When it comes to transportation fuel we do have a clear national policy that not only supports ethanol it supports Wisconsin,” said Joshua Morby, executive director of the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance (WBIA).

“US Congressmen Ron Kind and Mark Pocan and US Senator Tammy Baldwin all signed onto letters of support asking the EPA to preserve the Renewable Fuel Standard, protecting Wisconsin’s multi-billion ethanol industry and the famers and manufacturers it supports,” said Robert Sather, president of the WBIA and investor in two Wisconsin ethanol plants.

“As the incoming chairman of the Midwest Governors Association we would certainly welcome Governor Walker’s public support of the RFS and our industry here in Wisconsin.”

“The RFS is not only important to the people of Wisconsin it’s important to entire country,” said Morby. “The RFS was put in place after careful consideration and it’s working.”

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.

 

Permalink + Share This

Video – Saudi oil company funds anti-ethanol campaign

Categories: Uncategorized

“Saudi Oil Money Helps Finance Attacks on American Ethanol, IRS Records Show”

 

From Americans United for Change -

The “American” Petroleum Institute (API) has launched a massive TV campaign and lobbying blitz to convince
the U.S. EPA and/or Congress to reduce the amount of clean, renewable fuel in gasoline while increasing the
percentage of oil-based fuel at the pump. If successful, it would result in a significant increase in foreign oil
imports, forcing Americans to spend an addition $2.5 billion on foreign oil this year alone.1

API is funded by its member companies – including Saudi Arabia’s state owned national oil company, Saudi
Aramco.

Permalink + Share This

Media Release – Ethanol Producers Target Big Oil with Ads

Categories: Uncategorized

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Contact: Joshua Morby 414.791.9120

Ethanol Producers Target Big Oil with Ads

Oilrigged.com highlights how Big Oil rigs the system

 

MILWAUKEE – In the last five years, the oil industry has spent over $885 million on lobbyists and campaign contributions to buy influence on Capitol Hill. That’s more than $1 million for every member of Congress.

“This is all about big oil trying to protect market share by killing the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said Joshua Morby executive director of the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance. “The RFS is a commonsense, bipartisan law that calls for the use of Wisconsin renewable fuels in our transportation fuel supply.”

It’s worked – growth in the renewable fuel sector under the RFS has driven a $500 billion increase in the value of America’s farm assets since 2007 — and encouraged investment in rural communities across Wisconsin.

“We’re ready to change the debate and move past the same tired, old, misleading arguments the oil industry has used for years,” said Morby. “Oilrigged.com will change the debate and hopefully get reporters and politicians asking more questions.”

In addition to the website, the campaign features a 30 second TV spot that will appear in a number of targeted markets across the country. The ad can be seen here.

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.

Permalink + Share This

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.

 

Permalink + Share This
Older Posts »