Archive for the ‘ethanol’ Category

Nascar by the Millions

A few short weeks ago, American Ethanol logged its 6 millionth mile racing on E15 fuel.  Nascar started using E15 fuel nearly three years ago as part of a ‘Green Initiative’ to increase horsepower and reduce emissions.

austin-dillon-american-ethanol-car

 For all of our Nascar fans, we will be at the Nascar Race in Kansas City on Oct. 5, cheering on American Ethanol spokesman Austin Dillon! For more information on the American Ethanol partnership with Nascar read here.

 

Impact of NASCAR on Ethanol

By: DeEtta Bohling, Communications Specialist

American agriculture teamed up with NASCAR this past year thanks to your strong support of the Kansas Corn Commission checkoff and state corn checkoff programs across the nation. This past year every race car and truck in the Sprint, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series was powered by Sunoco Green E15 (an unleaded gasoline blend with 15% ethanol).

Why ethanol and why now? NASCAR has made significant steps in conservation by introducing impactful initiatives in recycling, alternative energy and carbon mitigation. The sport has taken their environmental commitment to the next level. The emissions from Sunoco Green E15 are 20% less per gallon of gas. American ethanol, is a renewable source of cleaner burning energy from the bounty of America’s farmers. American ethanol creates tens of thousands of U.S. jobs, which can never be outsourced. What’s not to love?

As we wrap up the year, it’s time to evaluate ethanol’s role in NASCAR. Let’s talk performance. Sunoco Green E15 is a high performance fuel, providing the same drivability without harming engines. The transition on the racetrack was seamless and NASCAR reports that the “E15 fuel blend has met and surpassed expectations”.

What was the “reach” of advertising and promotions? The NASCAR Green commercials ran during race coverage on Fox, ESPN, Turner and the Speed Channel, along with coverage on Sirius XM radio. This coverage translated into 690 million impressions with race fans and a media value more than $10 million.

Besides these commercials, American Ethanol received more than two hours of non-commercial exposure during race and pre-race events which is valued at an additional $14 million. This coverage includes in-car cameras, logo and text exposure with race standings and racing exports discussing the switch to American Ethanol. Additionally, more than 26 million exposures took place on NASCAR.com

To get a statistical measurement of the success of this partnership, a formal analysis of news stories was done. July 2011 was chosen as the sample month, as it was the midway point of the season. Here are the findings:

-          NASCAR Green accounted for one-third of all ethanol industry news coverage in July 2011

-          Ninety-two percent positive about ethanol in NASCAR Green Stories

-          Six-times as many NASCAR Green stories portrayed ethanol as having a net positive effect on the environment

-          Two-times as many portrayed ethanol as creating jobs

-          Two and a half-times as many portrayed ethanol as helping the American family farmer

How did it change the perception of ethanol to consumers? NASCAR fans and non-fans were both surveyed on their perceptions of American Ethanol. The results found that NASCAR fans are twice as likely to support the fact that ethanol creates hundreds of jobs and are 50 percent more likely to support the use of ethanol to increase American energy independence. Fans are also 50 percent more likely to use ethanol in their own vehicles.

Think this isn’t a big deal? Let’s talk NASCAR fans. NASCAR is the #2-rated sport on U.S. television (behind the NFL) and 30% of the U.S. adult population is a NASCAR fan. On average, viewership is 6.5 million per race and the fan base continues to grow.

As we wrap up the 2011 year, it can be noted that American Ethanol has made great strides on and off the racetrack.

On Ethanol, Energy . . . and Dark Parking Lots

The Kansas Corn Car Loves Ethanol!

By Sue Schulte, Director of Communications

On Monday, I drove the Kansas Corn Car to Holcomb to speak at an FFA district banquet—what a great group of young people! After the program, I was energized and inspired, and headed to Garden City to my hotel. On my way, I stopped at the U Pump It Country Corners station in Garden City for fuel. The station features ethanol blender pumps that offer E20, E30, E50 and E85 fuels for flexible fuel vehicles. The price of regular unleaded was $3.66, but I paid just $2.99 for E85. It felt good to purchase fuel for less than $3 a gallon!

It is true that you lose some fuel mileage when using E85 in a flex fuel vehicle, but I have found that the lower price of E85 normally pays for the loss in mileage. I did the math, taking into account the lower fuel price and the decreased mileage, and I easily drove more miles per dollar on E85 than regular unleaded. It normally works out that way with the Corn Car, a Chevy Impala. What makes a bigger difference to me is that I know that at least 85 percent of my fuel dollar is staying in the U.S. and not going to the Middle East.

The Corn Car is pretty visible, and I am accustomed to answering questions about corn and ethanol while driving it. That’s what makes the Corn Car so great, right? When I pulled into the hotel in Garden City a little before 10 p.m. Monday night, a man in the rather dark parking lot hollered at me, “Flex fuel? You’ve gotta be joking!” I responded, “It’s no joke, I just filled up for $2.99.” He proceeded to tell me some myths about ethanol, and I told him were erroneous. Then he said, “I’m not into politics and I hate ethanol!” Judging from the beer cans that littered the parking lot and the slur in his voice, I quickly deduced that this man didn’t hate all ethanol, just the stuff he couldn’t drink. Believe me, I had a lot of things I wanted to say to him, but arguing with a drunk man in a dark, deserted parking lot didn’t seem like a good idea. I scooted into the safety of the hotel lobby.

Things I wanted to say to the parking lot drunk:
• “You hate ethanol? I hate sending my fuel dollars to the Middle East!”
• “Do you think there are no politics involved in importing billions of dollars worth of foreign oil into the United States? And what about the billions of consumer dollars we send out of our country to OPEC every year?”
• “I’ll get more miles per dollar with E85 than I will with regular unleaded.”
• I can’t lie, E85 smells better than regular gas, oh, and it’s less polluting too!

Later, safely tucked away in my hotel room, I thought about my brief conversation with the parking lot drunk. I have run into my fair share of people who say they hate ethanol, and it’s a real hatred. I don’t get it, or maybe they don’t get it. Ethanol does get some subsidies, but look at the billions of taxpayer dollars that go to the oil industry, directly through subsidies and indirectly through protecting foreign sources of oil. No one ever says, “If imported oil is viable, why can’t it survive without government support?”

Ethanol is mostly produced in small communities throughout the U.S., especially in the heart of the nation. When you buy ethanol, that part of your fuel dollar stays in the U.S., and possibly in your own community. It’s the only fuel that substantially offsets the amount of foreign oil we use to power our vehicles. It makes up about 10 percent of our nation’s fuel for gas-powered vehicles. The current fuel price spikes are being blamed on low oil supplies. What would happen to gas prices if ethanol production stopped and ten percent of our fuel disappeared?

Farmers rely on all kinds of energy to produce their crops—ethanol, gasoline, diesel, natural gas and more. I don’t know any farmers who are against oil or other types of energy. We need them all and we need them to be abundant and affordable. And I think a majority of people wish more of our energy was produced here, and not imported from many countries that are either unstable, hostile to the U.S. or both. In parts of Kansas, we’re proud of the oil and natural gas being pumped from deposits beneath fields where our farmers grow corn and other crops. Some of that corn or sorghum may be used to make ethanol. Now that’s an energy farm!

Instead of fighting between ourselves over ethanol, a domestic fuel that works, maybe we should simply support all the energy we can produce here. Domestic energy provides jobs and economic growth, something our country certainly needs today.

Go Green with E-15

By: DeEtta Bohling, KCGA/ KGSPA
Communications Specialist

Last week NASCAR announced their partnership with American Ethanol, stating that E15 ethanol blend will be used for the 2011 NASCAR racing season.

I grew up watching (and napping to) NASCAR. In fact, the basement at my parents’ is decorated in racing memorabilia, so you can imagine the excitement I had when I found out that this partnership was in the works.

NASCAR is one of the most effective marketing and advertising organizations in the world. The sport’s recent decision to use E15 as the fuel for its 2011 racing season is clearly a powerful move for the American ethanol industry. Not only is this an opportunity to show that American farmers are the most productive in the world and have the ability to produce our nation’s own source of fuel; but it also means a steady market for the rapidly increasing supply of corn we grow in this country.

This year’s corn harvest, despite many challenges, was our third-largest in U.S. history. With precision farming, innovation and technology, American corn farmer can double harvest within 30 years. America’s corn farmers are feeding and fueling the world.

As Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack recently said- “If E15 is good enough for Jimmie Johnson, it is good enough for the rest of the American public.”

I look forward to watching American ethanol continue to create jobs in the U.S, help foster energy independence, and continue to show that E15 is food for racing, good for America and good for the environment.

Oil a Black Hole for Taxpayer Dollars

By: Mark Lambert, National Corn Growers Association, Senior Communications Manager

For years discovering how many perks, incentives and subsidies the global oil industry receives has been the Holy Grail of biofuels supporters. They are so numerous and come from so many places it is mind boggling, troubling and something akin to finding the Loch Ness monster. Thanks to Todd Neeley of DTN a hint of our true exposure is surfacing in part one of a new “must read” series.

This is critical information because consumers should know what their addiction to imported petroleum is really costing them and Big Oil has never been shy about bashing incentives for the domestic ethanol industry, the only real competition they face in the marketplace. They try to be-little the contributions of family farmers and the American ethanol industry that now produce as much ethanol as what we currently import from Saudi Arabia.

At the end of the day you have to question why a century old industry like oil, whose major players consistently rank in the Fortune 100 companies, conservatively receive 10 times the incentives received by ethanol. As Neeley says, “Using the most liberal definition of public financial support, including tax breaks on equipment depreciation and foreign investments, oil’s total benefit from the public treasury can be as much as 10 times that of ethanol.”

DTN’s tally for state and federal tax incentives for oil comes to $17.9 billion annually. All told the tax deductions, credits and other public benefits the oil industry receives, U.S. taxpayers support oil to the tune of between $133.2 billion and $280.8 billion annually. “The comparable figure exclusively for ethanol is $7.1 billion. This does not include tax credits and other incentives that both industries share, such as the blenders’ credit or VEETC”…or the roughly $7 billion to $28 billion in military costs to protect oil supplies. Let’s not forget the White Elephant of lives lost either.

Interestingly, oil interests say they need the taxpayer largesse to do research and explore for more petroleum to continue our legacy of dependence. Makes you wonder what the impact would be if they invested the $200 billion oil says they spend on research in making ethanol more efficiently and from even more sources.

And as for oil exploration, I would rather invest my money in ethanol. . We know where farmers live and what their productive capabilities are when they are challenged to meet market demand. Eight record crops in the last eight years prove it.

Original post- Corn Commentary

On meat prices, ethanol, corn . . . and cake

You can’t have your cake and eat it too. It’s a hackneyed expression that never made sense to me. If you give me cake and tell me I can’t eat it, then you and I are going to have a big problem. That old adage came to mind when I read the recent news stories blaming higher meat prices on ethanol. I’m glad livestock prices are finally recovering. I’m glad corn farmers have the livestock industry and the ethanol industry as customers keeping the price of corn from dropping below the cost of production.

Skimming headlines today, I first read a story about why corn prices are down, then I read a story about how high corn prices caused by ethanol are increasing the cost of meat. TV commentators have jumped on the bandwagon, telling consumers that they’ll be paying more for meat because the ethanol industry is using up all the corn. Really? One only has to look at the record crops, the enormous corn surplus of over 2 billion bushels, and the modest corn price, hovering just around $3.20 a bushel to know that statement is ridiculous.

A lot of this misinformation is coming from that very strange, but well-funded alliance consisting of the meat industry, environmentalists, big oil and grocery manufacturers. If corn farmers are the cake, and you want corn prices to return to below $2 a bushel, then that old adage finally makes sense–you really can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Government Earns 400% ROI on Ethanol Blender’s Credit

 Recently, a nation starved for domestic energy supplies and sources, has managed to lose its way in the deep dark forest of the unknown that is the speculative science of indirect land use change. In typical American fashion – or at least this seems to be the new norm – we have missed the point, evaded the crux of the issue and been distracted by ne’re-do-wells with questionable motives.

So in the name of refocusing the energy debate, I offer up the bold statement that ethanol fuel is a slam dunk when it comes to offering a real solution. First, it is here today, not on a drawing board or in a lab and it helps us achieve many of our critical goals such as providing jobs, making us less dependent on foreign oil from often hostile sources, and it pollutes less than gasoline during its manufacture and use. And as a bonus, with biofuels like ethanol we also get a product that is renewable. Anything that directs our focus away from these fundamental truths should be looked at with a skeptical eye.

There appears to be some evidence that rational thinking is not dead and more and more people are beginning to understand the fallacies and foibles of the concept of indirect land use. Historical trends indicate that increased U.S. ethanol demand has not been a significant driver of land use change. Increased crop productivity (growing more on the same amount of land) has primarily provided the growth in production necessary to meet heightened demand. But if history has shown us one thing it is that critics of ethanol will not go gently into that good night.

 The next issue can already be seen on the horizon and it can be seen clearly because it is not a “new” criticism. It is called the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC). This is the incentive put in place to encourage gasoline marketers to blend 10% ethanol in a gallon of gasoline. It is the carrot that got the entrenched oil industry to rethink their century old product mix and make it better. Yes, you heard me right; the tax incentive goes to gasoline blenders, not the ethanol industry. Despite this, rest assured, the anti-ethanol cronies will scream ethanol subsidy when discussion about renewing VEETC begin in earnest. Regardless, VEETC is working and the facts speak for themselves. According to Bill McInturf, a Director at CFO Systems LLC in Omaha, NE the return on investment from the ethanol blender’s credit is 400%.

 The Government’s 2008 $4.7 billion investment in the ethanol industry returned almost $20.0 billion in increased tax revenue and reduced farm program expenditures, leading Bill to say “This has to be one of the most financially successful government investments ever.”

“The current generation corn-based ethanol is likely not the entire solution to the energy problem,” McInturf concedes, “However, a growing vigorous ethanol industry has been created that already provides a significant contribution to the United States budget and economy by providing jobs and displacing oil imports.”

This article is from www.corncommentary.com by the National Corn Growers Association.

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