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Fuelinggood

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Posts posted by Fuelinggood


  1. All:

     

    RFA recently met with the Department of Energy (DOE), which hosts the other E85 station database under the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC). Together, we are currently reviewing both databases and making sure that both databases match. Thus far, more than 2,800 stations have been reviewed and errors have been found on both sides. You will see the station count at E85prices.com and AFDC adjust accordingly as new information is found. We are down to the final ~600 stations and will have final results from this effort in the coming weeks. Our goal is for the two to mirror each other as much as possible. It is their database that EPA is using to determine E85 potential for the RFS, which is very important. RFA called out DOE last summer and noted the large number of missing stations in their database and we are about to get that fixed!

     

    We ask that all of you continue to submit new information on stations as it becomes available. We want consumers to be able to find E85! Should you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

     

    All the best,

     

    Robert

    RFA


  2. There are a few things in this proposed piece of legislation, but the main one is for E15. It seeks equal treatment of RVP for E10 and E15, which allows more access to the fuel during the summer volatility season. There is also some conversation on converting current vehicles to alternative fuels and redefining E85 to match FTC, ASTM and others.

     

    Full text is here:

     

    http://www.paul.senate.gov/files/documents/MDM15509.pdf

     


  3. Yes, it is currently under consideration. The previous thought was that those wishing to enter erroneous data to hinder the ability of the website to inform would not spend $4 to do it. At a minimum, we will soon be offering "free promo codes" periodically. We are reaching out to folks outside the Midwest to build our reporting army. We want prices funneling in from all over the country, and will do what is needed to accomplish that.

     

    We will keep you posted.

     

    Robert White

    RFA


  4. In honor of April Fuels’ Day, National Corn Growers Association CEO Chris Novak and Renewable Fuels Association CEO Bob Dinneen penned the following letter to Congress about the dangers of America’s growing dependence on renewable fuels from the troubled Midwest region.

    Dear Members of Congress:

    In recent years, Americans have become increasingly reliant on renewable fuels produced in agricultural states in the Midwest.

    Some argue that greater use of renewable fuels like ethanol is a good idea merely because it costs 60-80 cents less per gallon than regular gasoline, offers higher octane and better engine performance, has fewer toxic emissions, and creates hundreds of thousands of American jobs. Sure, but what about the national security implications?

    The fact is, the Midwest is a virtual tinderbox of conflicting allegiances.

    The region is deeply divided, with factions loyal to the Packers, Bears, Vikings, Lions and Colts frequently at odds with one another. (Some analysts have questioned whether the Vikings are too weak to pose a serious threat to their neighbors, but Teddy Bridgewater had decent numbers last year).

    Any resolution to the argument about “Duck, Duck, Goose” has proved elusive, with intransigent Minnesotans continuing to insist upon “Duck, Duck, Gray Duck” – a stance that has isolated the regime against the rest of the country. Tragically, these disputes often divide members of the same family who have lived for many years in a neighboring state … pitting brother against brother, cousin against cousin, Swede against Swede, at many a family picnic. Even the individual states themselves are not unified, including the intractable Cardinals vs. Royals divide and decades old disputes in Wisconsin between the dominant “drinking fountain” faction and the smaller but fervent “bubbler” faction. Then there is the whole “hotdish” vs. “casserole” question.

    What would happen if, for example, Minnesota were to invade northern Iowa, seizing key ethanol refineries along the border and demanding the Iowa legislature pass a resolution declaring “Duck, Duck Gray Duck” the official waterfowl game of the Hawkeye State? The nation might have to learn to do without cleaner, less expensive, less toxic, higher performance fuel.

    We are not alone in warning against dependence on renewable fuels such as ethanol. In fact, oil industry leaders have been sounding the alarm bells for years as these homegrown, renewable fuels have risen to 10% of the nation’s fuel supply. This, in turn, has contributed to the lowest oil imports in decades – with Exxon Mobil’s profits plummeting to a mere $32.5 billion last year.

    Fortunately, there is an alternative to Midwestern renewable fuel – we can simply import more foreign oil from countries such as Iraq, Russia, Libya and Venezuela. Seriously, what could go wrong?

    The most urgent thing Congress could do to curtail our dangerous reliance on renewable fuels would be to repeal or “reform” the Renewable Fuel Standard. Doing so would result in an immediate increase in foreign oil imports and strengthen champions of democracy such as Vladimir Putin. As a side benefit, the move would also be a devastating blow to advanced biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol. Sure, it would drive billions of dollars in investment in these technologies to China and Brazil. That would be a shame – if all you care about is money and jobs and clean air and lower gasoline prices. Don’t be so shortsighted.

    It’s not too late to choose Mideastern oil over Midwestern ethanol. The time has come for more foreign oil and less renewable fuel.

    Sincerely,
     

    Chris Novak
    CEO of the National Corn Growers Association and longtime Midwesterner

     

    Bob Dinneen
    President & CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association and Member of the “Bubbler” Clan


  5. E98 is used in a three states that I know of underground, but it is a different animal. Some food for thought:

     

    • It will require a waiver from the state regulators and the fire marshal. Today, no dispensers carry a warranty or UL listing for anything above E85. Once E98 flows into it, the listing disappears and liability will fall on the station owner, even if the equipment is brand new. Some states will simply not allow this, UL listing is required.
    • The equipment manufacturers are not willing to go back to UL for another listing, we have asked. They spent millions on E85 certification, and it has not yet netted a dime of profit.
    • The fuel underground is not sellable. It is the same argument with putting suboctane unleaded in the regular unleaded tank and using the E98 (or E85) to raise the blend to E10. If the equipment should fail, the station owner doesn't have a fuel he/she can sell.
    • The station owner would now be responsible for state and federal motor fuel taxes, along with managing the RINs. Most are not interested in this process, or the risk associated with RINs and their market variability. Think when they went from $.003/gal to $1.48/gal in just a few months. I was surprised more stations/marketers didn't go bankrupt over it. Also, keep in mind that 63% of all stations today are single station owners. Most don't have the manpower or legal power to protect themselves.
    • If you are referring to selling it at E98, obviously we have no vehicles that are designed for that today and in my opinion would need waivers to the Clean Air Act to accomplish. We cannot even blend E85 in some parts of the country anymore, we are not dipping below 70% for drivability concerns.
    • API is strongly against this and has already reached out to state regulators in an attempt to stop it as an option. Their fear is the vapors in the head gap space of the underground storage tank. RFA believes that if this concern is real, it could be mitigated with flame arrestors, but again, not something every station owner is going to find pleasing.
    • The obligated parties (refiners and importers of gasoline) of the RFS are also not in favor, as each gallon of E98 stored at retail is one less RIN they can capture. Good for retailers potentially, not good for obligated parties.

    I personally hope that the RFS is not going to be re-written. If it is adjusted, repealed or rewritten, I don't think we will be discussing E85, E98, FFVs and many other things. Automakers will quickly move to another option, and think those considering higher blends of ethanol will do the same.

     

    My two cents. It won't even get you a piece of gum anymore... Discuss away!

     

    Robert

     


  6. My two cents: It is never a bad idea to explore new opportunities, but I am not sure I buy the original part of this story. Ethanol is stored at fuel terminals all over the country as E98, and then blended down before it leaves. Some terminals (and states they are located in) do allow E98 to leave unblended, and of course, you could buy from ethanol plants. That is why the first part is hard to believe. Most retailers don't want to deal with the federal and state motor fuel taxes (and in some cases sales tax), let alone the instability of the RIN market. That said, even if E98 was not available, E85 should be. The only reason that would explain their economics is if the value of the RIN was simply not included at all. We have ethanol plants sending E85 via rail today to long distance destinations, and of course do it daily with E98. I don't think the solution is that complicated in this particular case. If I can help, I am glad to discuss this with anyone involved, and I am sure that if they are serious about wanting better supply, it can be found. As for your idea, I would need to check with various marketers to see if we are indeed short storage in that part of the country.


  7. All: Thought I would share my latest blog post. While it does discuss E15 a great deal, remember that at least for now, E85 comes with E15 at each station. 

     

    Robert

     

     

    By Robert White, RFA's Vice President of Industry Relations — RFA talks with thousands of fuel retailers at petroleum marketer meetings, conferences, webinars, and one-on-one meetings. Over the course of these meetings it quickly becomes clear that every decision made by fuel retailers is based on return on investment (ROI) and the outcome of every decision is compounded exponentially for the 60% that are single station owners. Today, nearly all of these stations offer premium fuel, but should they?

     

    Until this year, the business case for E15 hinged on what vehicles the EPA had approved: 2001 & newer light duty cars, trucks and SUVs. These vehicles tally over 203 million, or 83% of the U.S. fleet. That is more than enough to justify the infrastructure to support them. But that has not happened and we must ask why not. The reason most often given is that while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the use of E15 in these vehicles, the auto manufacturers have not.

     

    So what do the facts say? RFA recently found that 70% of MY15 vehicles are explicitly warranted for E15 — a trend that has been moving upward since MY12. So, just how many vehicles are now explicitly warranted for E15? More than 41 million! Add to that the 18 million FFVs that are also approved for E15, and there are 59 million E15 warranted cars on the road today. For comparison, there are just 15 million cars requiring premium gas today. But, no high performance automobile owner has trouble finding premium fuel!

     

    Here is the breakdown:

    • ~244,000,000 light duty vehicles on the road today
    • ~15,000,000 require premium fuel
    • ~203,000,000 are 2001 & newer and approved by EPA to use E15
    • ~41,000,000 are explicitly warranted for E15
    • ~18,000,000 are FFVs (also warranted for E15)
    • ~41,000,000 vehicles are 2000 & older

     

    The fact that there are four times as many vehicles fully warranted for the use of E15 than those requiring premium gas today should be a compelling consideration for retailers considering the switch to E15 and E85. Many retailers are shocked to find that they are dedicating an entire fuel tank to premium fuel, which allows them to service fewer vehicles than if they sold E15 and E85. If retailers would consider converting their premium tank to E85 and installing a blender pump to allow for E15, they would gain both segments from one existing underground storage tank. The potential consumer fleet would jump from just 15 million vehicles to 59 million vehicles. Moreover, premium sales have been dropping. Most retailers will concede that premium sales are between 1–4% of their total volume, while stations making the conversion to E85 — and adding E15 — have demonstrated that they can turn that 1–4% into 20–30%.

     

    The business case for higher blends of ethanol is actually quite simple. If retailers want to differentiate themselves, lower their consumer price at the pump, increase their overall fuel volumes, boost their in store sales, and ultimately increase their profits … premium might not be the wisest fuel choice. Success will come in the form of higher-level ethanol blends.

     

    - See more at: http://www.ethanolrfa.org/exchange/entry/should-premium-fuel-still-warrant-a-tank/#sthash.XOCpltxY.dpuf


  8. The RFA needs your help to promote and update...
    By Holly Jessen | March 23, 2015
    13642253959877-175x225-noup.jpg?13642258

    A while ago, I stumbled on a cool website. E85prices.com uses crowd sourced information to give consumers information about retail locations that sell E85 and at what price. 

    As it turns out, I wasn’t the only one with my eye on it. At the end of February, the Renewable Fuels Association announced it acquired that website and another one, E85vehicles.com.

    In the time since then, the RFA has already made some improvements. Robert White, vice president of industry relations for RFA, told me the first order of business was updating the information at both websites. Since the purchase, RFA has added more than 30 new E85 to the database and work is ongoing add other missing stations. As of today, the website lists 3,455 total U.S. E85 stations in 2,154 cities as well as 291 blender pumps mid- and high-level blends. RFA is also working to add 2015 FFVs to E85vehicles.com.

    “As for future improvements, we plan to refine the websites and mobile app to be as user-friendly as possible to encourage more people to utilize both,” he said. “All of the important information will remain, but we will streamline and make navigation easier. More announcements will come in the future.”

    E85vehicles.com offers consumers a way to find out what options they have if they want to purchase a new or used flex-fuel vehicle. It also helps drivers identify if they already own an FFV. Finally, it includes an online forum that’s quite popular already and RFA hopes to introduce to even more people. “It has nearly 2,000 registered users talking about all things ethanol,” White said. “There are racing discussions, conversions, state laws and regs, new station development, FFVs and more. We encourage all interested parties to participate and grow the numbers participating and information shared.”

    White told me RFA purchased E85prices.com and E85vehicles.com because they were well populated with information. “E85prices.com became a very popular website because there was really nothing else like it available to consumers,” he said, adding that, “E85 supporters tend to be quite enthusiastic about finding and promoting the best E85 prices in their areas.”

    Last summer, RFA used the data at E85prices.com to point out to the U.S. DOE that their E85 stations database was lacking. At that time the DOE’s Alternative Fuels Data Center database listed nearly 1,000 less E85 stations than the 3,349 E85 stations listed at E85prices.com. “RFA highlighted that not only would this hinder consumers and fleets from finding E85, it is also the data that is used by EPA for setting the annual RVO for the RFS,” he said. “If you miss 30 percent of the stations, numbers can change dramatically, and not to the benefit of the ethanol industry.”

    However, despite the fact that E85prices.com has the best list of E85 stations available, there is more work to be done. Currently, no E85 prices are reported in more than half of states. While some of those states may have very few or even no E85 stations (Maine is one example), there are more that do have E85 stations that are simply not being reported at E85prices.com.

    RFA believes this is because consumers in some states simply don’t know about the website, White told me. The organization plans to work to promote the website and ask others, such as RFA members, retail gas stations and partners like the national and state corn growers and American lung association groups, Clean Cities coalitions and others to promote it as well. The goal is to update the data before bringing it to the attention of the DOE again. “We plan to again breakdown the two databases station-by-station and again provide that list to DOE,” he said. “RFA believes it is important, and if it is a matter of resources, DOE should allocate more to this effort.”

    Here’s another couple of interesting tidbits. Ten other websites were purchased by RFA at the same time. These were websites with domain names that the RFA will use as auto forwards to existing RFA websites. An example of this is a website named blenderpumps.com that now takes people to BYOethanol.com, a website about ethanol blending and blender pumps.

    Secondly, E85prices.com isn’t limited to listing E85 prices. Prices for E15 and other ethanol blends, such as E20 and E30, can also be recorded at the website.

    Personally, I plan to register and make sure the information provided about stations in the town I live in is correct and I hope you will too. I think that, plus reporting prices, is a small thing we as individuals can do to help the ethanol industry that could have a potentially big impact. White agreed, telling me that, “the data being reported, both pricing experiences and station updates, is important for the success of the ethanol industry. We will be using the data to help with the RFS debate with policymakers and everyday consumers,” he said. “The more data that is collected, the better the data will be for all of us.”

    If you are interested, go to E85prices.com and click on the second tab over from the left, Submit E85 Prices. It’s below the red bar that lists the total number of stations and cities E85 and other ethanol blends are sold in.

     

     


  9. Ethanol is always catching flack for "subsidies". Most don't realize the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) expired in 2011, along with the import tariff and for the most part, the infrastructure tax credit. Some claim the RFS is a subsidy, which is borderline comical.

     

    I thought I would share EIA's report from today on energy subsidies. You can see that fossil fuels still dominate all renewables, and ironically this week is also the 113th anniversary of oil subsidies.

     

    http://1.usa.gov/1AuIXoq

     

    Robert


  10. I understand your point, but keep in mind, Jay CAN buy E0 in California, just like you can in Nebraska. I am also very confident all he would need to do, if his station of choice doesn't offer it today, is ask. Most people believe that removing the RFS would change none of that. E10 took over California in 2005 when they found that MTBE was contaminating underground water sources. It had nothing to do with the RFS. He promoting removing the RFS is another issue entirely. We have found some sponsorship connections already with this that may explain his recent article, and it will be fun to follow in the coming weeks.


  11. But, he had those cars and E10 before his ethanol/E85 love fest a few years ago. Nothing has changed from the older vehicle or fuel side in California since 2005. They weren't' designed for E10, and they weren't designed for unleaded gasoline. One thing that has changed is his paid endorsement of VP Racing Fuels, who are not fans of ethanol. Not sure if it is just that, or more. But, if he is actually experiencing sudden issues with E10 in his older vehicles, that is not a reason to dismantle the entire Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Markets and RIN prices were finally starting to lead to more E85, and if the EPA would just enforce the law, it would ramp up quickly.


  12. Jay Leno's latest article in Autoweek (www.autoweek.com/article/car-life/jay-leno-hates-ethanol) outlines his hatred for ethanol and is titled, Jay Leno Hates Ethanol. I am not sure if it is the 3rd person headline to the article, or just how different this month's article reads from his ones of the past, but something sure smells fishy. I personally have never been a fan of Jay, just never could connect with his humor. I was a big fan of Johnny Carson and now enjoy Jimmy Fallon. I also didn't really care for what he did to Conan either, but I digress.

     

    History says that something is fishy here too. It takes just a few seconds on Google to find several examples of Jay promoting his own Corvette that he had converted to run on E85. In fact, on YouTube, you can spot him at events like SEMA talking about it and wearing an E85 logo (here is one example: youtube.com/watch?v=1ccK9wIOfH0). He also featured in an article for Popular Mechanics and raved about the benefits of using E85 (popularmechanics.com/cars/a3213/42617). His goal, "transfer the soul of a race car into a powerful sports car that runs a fuel other than gasoline." Seems like a good message.

     

    Guess times have changed, or maybe we should follow the money? While no one has claimed a connection, nor do I have one to present, the anti-ethanol crowd was ready to promote Jay's latest stance and ignore the one of the past. Maybe too ready. I will let all of you form your own opinion, but if you are a supporter of E85, I would remind Jay and @lenosgarage on Twitter. If you want to go one step further, I suggest reaching out to AutoWeek: awletter@autoweek.com.

     

    The RFA will be making a statement, and we have at least three auto experts making statements and are writing back to Jay directly. I will share those as they are available and I hope you will help us turn up the heat.

     

    Robert


  13. It always depends on the station and what they have right now and ultimately what the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) will allow. Here is a summary:

     

    If you need to add a new tank, typically 10,000 gallons, plan on $110,000 installed. Many stations are going to baffled larger tanks, more products, but only one tank. Cost varies on size.

     

    You can buy a blender pump that could offer E10, E15, two midlevel blends and E85 for just over $20,000 each. If you went with just a standard E10 only dispenser, it would likely cost you around $16,000 each.

     

    The standalone dispenser is ironically not that much different in price than a blender. The majority of the additional cost is from the E85 components required by UL, not necessarily the blender mechanics. Most are no longer interested in the standalone option, since the ROI is based solely on flex-fuel vehicle owners. If you buy a blender that offers the various options above, everyone from a motorcycle to an FFV can use it and therefore helps pay for the piece of equipment. Much different scenario.

     

    Robert


  14. The State of South Dakota has announced more funding for ethanol infrastructure, which now includes underground storage tanks. The funding has successfully placed 60 blender pumps throughout the state, but most remain in the eastern half. The program hopes that will change in the future and that the new category for underground storage tanks will help. The state has a total of $400,000 available for blender pumps, and an additional $300,000 for storage tanks. Applications for both are due by June 30, 2015. For more information, visit: http://bit.ly/17QYEzq.

     

    Please share with your contacts in South Dakota, let's make sure there are plenty of applications to utilize the funding.

     

    Robert


  15. All:

     

    You have my personal and professional commitment that we will dedicate the resources necessary to advance this platform, along with all of the other assets. Please don't hesitate to contact me directly with ideas and/or concerns. My email is rwhite@ethanolrfa.org. I want to thank Dan for his leadership and commitment. We are also very happy that Aaron will be joining our effort too.

     

    We will continue to provide updates as they are warranted.

     

    Robert


  16. Here are the latest stations not in the database that have been confirmed by DOE. Robert

     

    CORRECTIONS:

     

    Ionia, MI - Address should read State vs Stare

     

    ADDITIONS:

     

    Thorntons #707

    2356 W Hillsborough Ave

    Tampa, FL 33603

    813-882-8444

    27.9958047

    -82.383865

     

    Sheetz Store #58

    4736 US Hwy 29 N

    Greensboro, NC 27405

    336-621-4575

    36.1657497

    -79.717906

     

    Lewis & Clark Mini Mart

    89001 Hwy 121

    Wausa, NE 68786

    402-748-3661

    42.5702561

    -97.5247875

     

    Young's Family Market

    9277 State Route 159

    Kingston, OH 45644

    740-642-2288

    39.4627722

    -82.9234037

     

    REMOVE:

     

    Salmon Oil Co

    500 S Challis St

    Salmon, ID

     

     

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