Blogging For Biofuels

The Renewable Fuels Association's (RFA) recent report on current practices by oil companies to block the sale of E85 and E15 is nothing short of explosive. While we've all suspected for some time that oil companies weren't necessarily on the renewable fuels bandwagon, this report details specific practices employed by oil companies to block the availibility of E85 and E15.

The report has made a significant enough impact that it has led Senators Amy Klobuchar and Chuck Grassley, from Minnesota and Iowa respectively, to demand a federal probe to investigate the allegations made by the RFA in the report.

Gas Prices Up But Could Be Higher

  • Thursday, 03 July 2014 00:00

Today's Star Tribune ran a story that's been the topic of the month : high gas prices. As the fourth of July weekend approaches, motorists looking to travel up north for the holiday weekend are feeling it in their wallets as pump prices reach the highest point they've been since 2008.

As we've written on countless occasions, the recent spike in gas prices is a direct result of the ongoing conflict in Iraq, although just about any global uncertainty (re: Ukraine), sends traders into a panic and the price of crude oil goes up. Consumers, in turn, feel the pinch (no prizes for guessing who profits from this).

One More Reason Fracking Is Bad

  • Tuesday, 01 July 2014 00:00

As if there aren't enough problems associated with fracking (ie: minor earthquakes, radioactive waste), the Wall Street Journal today reports that Bakken Shale drillers have been burning excessive natural gas that are a byproduct of hydraulic fracturing.

According to the report, drillers burned 10.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas (valued at $50 million) in April which in turn has degraded air quality in towns in North Dakota that are in close proximity to the oil wells.

A new advertisement from Americans United For Change ties high pump prices to the current turmoil in Iraq and argues for ethanol production levels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to be maintained.

In particular, the ad urges viewers to notify the EPA to maintain the 2014 renewable volume obligations for ethanol as stipulated in the RFS. The EPA, as widely reported, has proposed to reduce ethanol consumption this year. Watch the video below.

E85 Sales Up In Minnesota And Iowa In Q1

  • Thursday, 26 June 2014 00:00

Sales of E85 in both Minnesota and Iowa were up in the first quarter of 2014. Based on data from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, E85 sales in Minnesota in the first quarter totaled 3.77 million gallons, representing a 49 percent increase from 2.52 million gallons reported in the same period of 2013.

In Iowa, E85 sales in the first three months of this year amounted to 2.7 million gallons, up 48 percent from the first quarter of 2013, reports Domestic

The shale oil boom is now leading to crude oil exports from the US for the first time since the 1970s, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The report said two companies have been given permission to export shale oil, lifting an export ban on crude oil that has been in place since the 70s. 

With the EPA's decision on 2014's Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) for ethanol production expected to be announced in the near future, the agency may want to take a closer look at current crude oil prices which have been trending upwards.

A strong basis for the Renewable Fuel Standard, which was enacted in 2005 and expanded under the Energy Independence Security Act (EISA) in 2007 was to wean America off foreign oil.

Workshops For B10

  • Friday, 13 June 2014 00:00

The American Lung Association of Minnesota is hosting a series of workshops on B10 this month to help diesel retailers and farmers better understand the state's requirement for diesel and biodiesel fuel.

From July 1 to Sept 30, all #2 diesel fuel in Minnesota will contain 10% biodiesel (B10). Following September, all #2 diesel will revert to containing 5% biodiesel (B5). From 2015 onwards, B10 will be available from April 1 to Sept 30 while B5 will be available in the other months.