New Year, New Agenda

By Susanne Retka Schill | December 12, 2011

As we turn Ethanol Producer Magazine’s  volume number to a new year, we at BBI International begin the process of building the agenda for the 28th Annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo. The FEW will be held early this year, on June 4-7, in the leading ethanol state of Minnesota. One of the best ways to participate in the FEW is to be a speaker, and with more than 130 speakers needed to fill the busy agenda, there are plenty of opportunities. It’s an open process—any interested person can submit one or more brief abstracts of their presentation ideas. Learn more about becoming a speaker in the article on Page 11 of this issue.

Nominations are also welcome for the two awards given each year at the FEW—the Award of Excellence given to an industry professional for his or her technical contribution and the High Octane award to an individual who has had a significant impact in the ethanol industry. If you have a name you think ought to be considered, send it in, along with a brief explanation of why this person deserves the award to

Susanne Retka Schill, Editor


A Florida Proposal

A bill to repeal Florida’s Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires that all state gasoline contain 10 percent ethanol, has been introduced into the state legislature by Rep. Matt Gaetz and Sen. Greg Evers. The proposed repeal of the state RFS makes no logic, sends the wrong signal to the rest of our country regarding national energy security and is irresponsible leadership in terms of state energy security, rural economic stimulus, massive job creation, clean burning fuel and environmental benefits.  Instead of believing the grossly erroneous views on ethanol by Rep. Gaetz and Sen. Evers, our state leaders should enthusiastically embrace how to ensure that the investments made in Florida’s next generation ethanol and advanced biofuel production come to fruition.

There are several commercial advanced biofuel and ethanol projects in development that encompass a total investment well in excess of $1 billion, including INEOS–New Planet BioEnergy, Highlands EnviroFuels LLC, Vercipia Biofuels, Algenol, and Southeast Renewable Fuel LLC. These commercial ethanol plants will create thousands of new jobs and economic stimulus.  A recent economic impact study by John Urbanchuk demonstrated that the Highlands EnviroFuels 30 MMgy plant using biofuel cane and sweet sorghum will generate 65 direct jobs, 760 indirect and induced jobs, $44 million in annual household income and $51 million in annual GDP, not to mention hundreds of construction jobs, and the opportunity to keep Florida farms in operation.  Killing the state RFS sends a horrendously wrong signal to the investment community and stymies investment in additional projects that would bring Florida to a leadership position in the country in advanced biofuels. 

Rather than kill the state RFS, here is a plan to revise and modernize the state RFS:

1. Create a carveout for the boating industry so that gasoline that contains no blended ethanol is readily available and competitively priced.
2. Expand the state RFS mandate to allow the use of all advanced biofuels to meet the 10 percent volume, including biodiesel, biobutanol, renewable gasoline and diesel, and all forms of ethanol made from noncorn feedstocks.
3. Create an incentive whereby all blenders must preferentially purchase ethanol and advanced biofuels produced within the state, when supply is available and fairly priced.
4. Allow for higher retail blends of ethanol such as E15, E20, E30 and E85 to give the consumer greater choices. Case in point: In Brazil, all gasoline contains 25 percent ethanol, and nearly all cars run on E25 or E100 (100 percent hydrous ethanol).

Bradley Krohn
President, United States EnviroFuels LLC
Manager, Highlands EnviroFuels LLC
Riverview, Fla.