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Earlier this month, Fuels America released a comprehensive report on the renewable fuels industry's contribution to the nation's economy. In Minnesota, the report, which was prepared by John Dunham & Associates Inc, said the renewable fuels industry contributes $11.7 billion to the state's economy on an annual basis. Renewable fuels, according to the report, includes conventional and cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel and advanced biofuels.

The report also concluded that the renewable fuels industry supports 48,506 jobs per year and pays $3 billion in wages. You can read more on the report below in this month's newsletter but it clearly illustrates the importance of the renewable fuels industry to Minnesota's economy. In fact, the report even breaks down the economic contribution according to the eight congressional districts in the state. Later this week, Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association will release a special newsletter that details the various findings of the report. You don't want to miss it.

Interestingly enough, the Fuels America report comes out at a time when we are learning more about the dangers of hydraulic fracturing or fracking. On April 11, the Wall Street Journal reported on a possible linkage between fracking and minor earthquakes.

It turns out that regulators in Ohio believe that a recent earthquake in the state was probably connected to nearby fracking operations. In fact, the report said, other states such as Kansas have also been investigating the links between fracking and minor earthquakes as tremors can be triggered by the disposal of fracking waste water in deep wells near geologic faults.

As if that wasn't bad enough, a report by Bloomberg on April 16, said officials in North Dakota have found radioactive material in "filter socks" that are used to strain waste water in fracking. In February, officials in North Dakota found hundreds of radioactive "filter socks" that had been dumped in an abandon building. Officials there are now trying to determine a proper method of disposing of such radioactive waste but it has led to several other questions such as the harmful effects of radioactive waste.

More importantly, these reports are an important reminder that our nation cannot frack its way to energy independence. Fracking may have increased domestic crude oil production but at what cost? What's worse is that the current oil boom isn't exactly benefiting consumers. An April 22 report in the Wall Street Journal said growing amounts of US-produced crude oil is being exported instead of being used here at home. Why? As crude oil gets exported, domestic supply decreases thus keeping prices up (as if we needed another reason to dislike Big Oil).

The truth is, the only energy policy that's truly worked and benefited everyone is the Renewable Fuel Standard. After all, earthquakes and radioactive debris aren't bi-products of ethanol production.      

The Fine Print And Critical Thinking Do Matter
Let's not confuse testing models with the real issues of the day, namely, the adverse effects of oil, a finite fossil fuel. By the time you read this piece, several days will have passed since the study on biofuels from crop residue was released and many other commentators have written about their points of view that challenge the science behind some questionable assumptions in the study. The operative word in all of this is science. Science is important in the day-to-day production of biofuels just as science is important in other aspects of life. Science is especially important when dealing with long-term energy and climate issues that will have a profound effect on humanity and the rest of the planet far into the future.


Read more here 

House Democrats Meet With White House On RFS Targets

Environment & Energy Daily, April 30 - A trio of House Democrats, which included Rep. Tim Walz and Rep. Rick Nolan of Minnesota, met with senior White House officials yesterday to express concerns over the EPA's proposal for this year's RFS targets.

Read more here

Renewable Fuels Contribute $11.7b To Minnesota's Economy

April 24 - A new footprint study by Fuels America finds that the renewable fuels industry contributes $11.7 billion and supports 48,509 jobs annually in Minnesota.

Read more here 

DENCO II Offers E85 Discounts In West Central Minnesota

April 24 - The DENCO II ethanol plant in Morris has teamed up with 12 retail stations in West Central Minnesota to offer E85 at $1 less per gallon than regular unleaded gasoline.

Read more here 

Experts Say Ethanol Study Used Bad Model

Des Moines Register, April 21 - Experts, including Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, say a recent study by the University of Nebraska - Lincoln used extreme assumptions to conclude that cellulosic ethanol creates more carbon emissions than gasoline.

Read more here

Ethanol Drops As Production Climbs To Highest Since December

Bloomberg, April 16 - Prices of ethanol futures declined as production climbed to its highest since December 2013.

Read more here 
New Poll: For Third Year In A Row, Americans Overwhelmingly Support The RFS

Renewable Fuels Association, April 9 - A new national poll conducted by American Viewpoint shows that 65 percent of adults support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Read more here 

Ethanol Proposal Has Stopped Investments In Advanced Biofuels, Industry Tells Senators

The Des Moines Register, April 8 - The Advanced Ethanol Council told a Senate Committee that the EPA's proposal to reduce the biofuel consumption in 2014 has led to uncertainties in the industry and halted investments in advanced biofuels. 

Read more here 

Open Letter From RFA And Growth Energy Take On API

Renewable Fuels Association, April 2 - The Renewable Fuels Association's Bob Dineen and Growth Energy's Tom Buis wrote a good-humoured but factual takedown of Big Oil's attacks on biofuels in an "open letter" that was published in the New York Times and Politico earlier this month.

Read more here 

McGladrey LLP

This month, we spotlight McGladrey LLP, the fifth largest provider of assurance, tax and consulting services in the country. The company's involvement in the renewable energy industry began in 2000 and it currently serves 20 renewable energy companies in Minnesota.

We interviewed Dustin Peterson, partner at McGladrey, to tell us about the firm's history and involvement with the ethanol industry in Minnesota. 

Read the interview here 

MBA Welcomes Ashland Water Technologies

MBA is pleased to announce that Ashland Water Technologies has
become our association's latest vendor member. With close to 100
years of experience in process enhancement and water treatment,
Ashland helps ethanol producers operate more efficiently and profitably. 
Read more here  
Biofuels As Renewable Energy DVD For Students
Ethanol Made From Corn
MBA recently teamed up with the Minnesota Agriculture In The
Classroom to produce a series of educational videos for high school students on biofuels. In total, we produced six videos which explained the process of producing ethanol from corn and crop residue, biodiesel from soybean, biomass energy from plant matter, finding new biofuel sources and the impact of renewable energy on engine performance.

Visit our official YouTube page to watch all the videos here



MBA is proud to announce that we are one of the supporting organizations for the Fuel Ethanol Workshop 2014 and the National Advanced Biofuels Conference and Expo. Information on both events are below:

Fuel Ethanol Workshop 2014 : June 19 - 12, Indianapolis, IN
Now in its 30th year, the Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW) provides the global ethanol industry with cutting edge content and unparalleled network opportunities in a dynamic business-to-business environment. The FEW is the largest and longest running ethanol conference in the world.

National Advanced Biofuels Conference : Oct 13-15, Minneapolis, MN

Produced by BBI International, this national event will feature the world of advanced biofuels and biobased chemicals - technology scale-up, project finance, policy, national markets and more - with a core focus on the industrial, petroleum and agribusiness alliances defining the national advanced biofuels industry.  


With a vertically integrated program and audience, the National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo is tailored for industry professionals engaged in producing, developing and deploying advanced biofuels, biobased platform chemicals, polymers and other renewable molecules that have the potential to meet or exceed the performance of petroleum-derived products.


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