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  2. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting all of us - in one way or another. I am off work through at least mid-April - and it’s looking like that may be extended per Governor Whitmer’s order. Its effect on the economy and society of the entire world can not be understated. However one issue is catching my eye that few around me are paying attention to - ethanol pricing. In the wake of the disappearing sedan crisis (where we have suddenly decided we need SUVs, trucks, and minivans), coinciding with difficulty in finding an FFV, ethanol pricing seems to be struggling to compete with gasoline. The other day, checking Speedway fuel prices as I routinely do, I noticed something odd - E85 is 5 cents MORE per gallon than regular gasoline. Now at first, I thought this was a fluke. After all, I made noise here, at the station itself, and with Speedway corporate about store #2213 at 6329 West Saginaw Highway in Lansing. Back in 2014 and 2015, I caught spreads that looked as ugly as this one the day after Christmas in 2014. But it was just a fluke. As 2015 wore on, and even with gasoline plummeting to near $1/gallon in February 2016, Speedway still maintained a $0.20 spread. However, after checking through as many store prices as possible through the Speedway app, I can confirm that they are selling at a negative spread at stores in several states. I saw as much this evening at the Old Town Speedway on the north side of Lansing. I first noticed Speedway sold E85 at select stores near I-94 in 2012, and then their numbers proliferated in 2013 and 2014. At no time since they began selling the fuel here have I seen a negative spread at Speedway en masse.
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  9. The number of fuel stations now offering Flex Fuel E85 has reached an important milestone, as a Casey’s store in Ankeny, Iowa, became the 5,000th station nationwide to sell E85. While offering significantly lower emissions than traditional fuel, the E85 flex fuel blend also offers a price advantage to consumers. “Reaching the 5,000-station mark is a significant achievement for the ethanol industry and our partner in the retail sector,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “The continued expansion of E85 and other flex fuels is great news for drivers looking for savings at the pump and a way to help the environment. E85 has been available to the public for decades but has really caught on in recent years. We’re especially happy to see that this notable landmark was reached by our friends at Casey’s, a company that has long been dedicated to making ethanol-blended fuels available to their customers.” The 5,000th location is the Casey’s store at 3605 NW Irvinedale Drive in Ankeny, Iowa, where E85 is currently selling for about 30 percent less than regular Unleaded 87. “We are proud to be a part of this historic milestone as we continue bringing consumer-driven products like Unleaded 88 and E85 to the communities we serve,” said Jake Comer, Fuel Pricing Manager for Casey’s General Stores. “We are grateful for key industry partners like the Renewable Fuels Association that work hard to ensure the success of renewable fuels.” Click here for a map of E85 locations nationwide. At the E85Prices.com website, visitors also can share reviews and current prices. Click here for more information on Flex Fuel’s benefits and review a chart of which specific vehicles are ready for E85.
  10. If you missed the recent announcement, USDA will soon launch a Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) that will have a total of $100M of funding - $86M for ethanol; $14M for biodiesel. You can read more about the announcement here: https://ethanolrfa.org/2020/02/rfa-thanks-usda-for-renewable-fuels-infrastructure-grant-program-fleet-directive/ USDA also announced the plan to utilize more E15 and E85 in their fleet, which could equate to 9 million more gallons of E15 and 10 million more gallons of E85. If you know of retailers interested in the program, please send them our way. We are getting several ready for the application process expected this spring. Robert; RFA
  11. Thanks - we will get it added today. Robert RFA
  12. Back in December 2014 while I still had a car, I was driving out to the ethanol plant in Lake Odessa when I noticed a price sign on West Saginaw that looked different. Now I can notice an E85 pump from a hundred yards away while going 70, and I know how each brand of station specifies the designs on everything from the pumps, to canopy height, to price sign appearance. So naturally, the white "E85" slot followed by "not a Citgo fuel" stuck out like a sore thumb. When I see a new station, or one with the tell-tale signs of conversion to E85, I am almost legally required to do some recon work and check it out. I spoke to the cashier who believed that they would be converting the kerosene pump and tank, but he wasn't sure when or even if they would actually be getting E85. As the years go by, I eventually dismiss the possibility that this station would even receive E85 fuel... making me wonder why it was ever put in their price sign. Last year I stopped in to ask for an update. That same employee I talked to in 2014 was there again, and mentioned something about a contract they had with a supplier, and again wasn't sure when or even if they would be getting the fuel. Just last week, I had found out about a town hall meeting that Delta township was going to be holding at the nearby Delta Township library regarding a proposal to constrict traffic flow on Michigan Avenue with bike lanes. After attending to speak out against the move, I walked down to the bus stop that happened to be in front of the Citgo, and I couldn't believe my eyes. There was that bright yellow pump, and $1.99 next to the E85 slot on the price sign. I couldn't believe it finally happened! Again, it only took 5 years, but they finally got E85 fuel installed. Combined with the nearby Meijer and the Speedway station down the pike, there are now 3 E85 stations within just over a mile on Saginaw Highway (Michigan 43/Business Loop I-69). I stopped in today to jot down the phone number and ask about it. The cashier said they had had the fuel for about a month. Here is the information: Sunoco 4819 West Saginaw Highway Lansing, MI 48917 517-321-8800 Latitude: 42.740807 Longitude: -84.617737
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  19. All: The tax extenders package from earlier this week included a key provision for higher blends, specifically E85. The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit (AFVRPC) was included for tax years 2018, 2019 and 2020. There are fuel retailers across the country that will be entitled to a tax credit for installing E85 in these tax years. I have included a short summary that you can find here on the law, and how they can file to get their credit: https://ethanolrfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Fuel-Retailer-Tax-Extender-Update-12.17.19.pdf Please share with your fuel retailer contacts in your states as it could be quite a windfall for some. All the best, Robert White; RFA
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