Tell the EPA to Move Forward Not Backward

When the RFS was established, it always envisioned increasing biofuel blends to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, lower prices at the pump, improve the environment with lower emissions and grow the American economy with jobs that can’t be outsourced.  Since the RFS was enacted net farm income has increased 51 percent.  Ethanol and the development of next generation biofuels are critical to farmers and the development of rural America. Tell the EPA to keep moving FORWARD on an energy policy that is working for our economy, our security, and our future.

Here’s how to do so:
Send personalized letters to your Congressmen, download the Updated Talking Points as well to use as guides to your specific situation, community or business.  Please include any specific negative effects the proposed rule would have on your economic livelihood. 

Updated Talking Points
Sample Ethanol Investor Comments Letter
Sample Ethanol Farmer-Producer Comments Letter

For additional ways to help, visit the "Take Action" section at

Stephanie K McVey
Executive Assistant/Investor Relations
Conestoga Energy Partners, LLC
300 N Lincoln Ave   Liberal KS  67901
Direct:  620-626-2048
Fax: 620-624-2919

Diamond Ethanol Featured on Fox 34 Lubbock

EPA Approves RFS Path for Grain Sorghum

Grain Sorghum The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved grain sorghum as an eligible feedstock under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS)

According to the EPA, ethanol produced from grain sorghum emits 32 percent less greenhouse gas than the baseline petroleum it replaces and uses one-third less water than some other biofuel feedstocks.

The report issued by the EPA states:

EPA’s analysis found that ethanol produced from grain sorghum has an estimated lifecycle GHG emissions reduction of 32% when produced at dry mill ethanol facilities that use natural gas and produced an industry average of 92% wet distillers grains, and 52% when produced at dry mill ethanol facilities that use only biogas for process energy and purchase/receive from an offsite supplier 0.15 kWh of electricity per gallon of ethanol produced, compared to the baseline gasoline fuel it would replace. Therefore, grain sorghum ethanol produced at dry mill ethanol facilities using natural gas meets the minimum 20% GHG emissions reduction threshold for conventional biofuels, and grain sorghum ethanol produced at plants using only biogas for process energy and purchasing/receiving from an off-site supplier no more than 0.15 kWh of electricity per gallon of ethanol produced, meets the 50% GHG emissions reduction threshold for advanced biofuels as required by EISA.

This is a great day for the U.S. sorghum industry,” said NSP Chairman Terry Swanson, a sorghum grower from Walsh, Colo. “NSP has worked tirelessly for more than two years to make this happen. A pathway for grain sorghum as an advanced biofuel not only incentivizes ethanol plants to use grain sorghum as a biofuel feedstock, but it also adds value and profitability for the producer.

According to EPA, when grain sorghum is used to make ethanol at facilities that use biogas digesters in combination with combined heat and power technology, it achieves a lifecycle GHG emissions reduction of 53 percent, qualifying it as an advanced biofuel feedstock under the RFS.

Unfortunately, carbon dioxide capture was not included in the pathway. NSP will continue working with the EPA to get this completed to allow even more ethanol plants to produce advanced biofuels domestically.

Continue Reading…

Ethanol Industry Pleased With Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Waiver Request Denial

BBI International Reports Reactions to Highly Anticipated Decision

GRAND FORKS, ND—(Marketwire - Nov 16, 2012) - The wait is over. The U.S. EPA announced Nov. 16 that it would not waive the renewable fuel standard (RFS), as had been officiallyrequested in mid-August. The EPA had been considering the request for more than 90 days following its submission.

The ethanol industry responded swiftly and appreciatively. “Despite millions of dollars spent by Big Oil and Big Food to shamelessly attack American-made ethanol, it comes as no surprise EPA denied the requests to waive the RFS because the facts are on our side,” said Brian Jennings, American Coalition for Ethanol executive vice president, in a prepared statement. “EPA considered the flexibility built-into the RFS, precedent established in 2008, and data which proved waiving the RFS wouldn’t remedy the harm of the drought in making the right decision.” Jennings also pointed to more than 130 unique comments submitted to the EPA by ACE members, calling the comments submitted by ethanol supporters a factor in the decision.

Growth Energy said it was welcome news applauding the EPA for not allowing a key piece of the U.S. energy policy to get altered due to political pressure. He added that it had long said the market is working and that the conditions caused by the drought didn’t meet the threshold requirements for modifying the RFS. “Today’s decision confirms what we knew all along — the petitioners were wrong in their belief that the RFS caused the economic harm,” said Tom Buis CEO of Growth Energy. “I commend the administration’s efforts to carefully review the facts and data in this matter. Their findings have echoed the comments of Growth Energy and we are pleased that the most successful energy policy enacted in the last forty years will not be modified.”

It was the right decision, said the Renewable Fuels Association, which thanked EPA for its thoughtful analysis of the facts, rather than emotions and panic. “The RFS is working as designed,” said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO. “The flexibility that is built into the RFS allows the marketplace to ration demand, not the government. Indeed, the ethanol industry has responded to the market by reducing output by approximately 12 percent. Other users of corn have responded to a lesser degree.”

Continue Reading…

Ford and GM Okay E15 Blends for New Vehicles

Great news from

Ford Motor Co. and General Motors have quietly approved gasoline blends with up to 15% ethanol for use in later model cars and light trucks, Oil Express has learned.

Together, the automakers produce more than a third of the new light-vehicles sold in the United States, according to Automotive News data.

Most auto manufacturers have opposed the blend, warning that gassing up with it will void their vehicle warranties. The auto industry has called for more testing of the new fuel, concerned about the effect a higher concentration of alcohol might have on vehicle engines.

But GM’s 2012 and 2013 model-year vehicles can use gasoline blends with up to 15% ethanol. The automaker states the policy in its new vehicle owners’ manuals, spokeswoman Sharon Basel told Oil Express.

And Ford made the decision late last year to allow owners of 2013 vehicles to use E15. The automaker has started placing labels in the fuel filter area that says blends of up to 15% ethanol are acceptable in new, non-flex fuel vehicles.

"Ford is transitioning all U.S. gasoline vehicle program owner guides," said Ford spokesman Richard Truett. "Capless bezel labeling will allow the use of fuels containing up to E15."

Ford will allow 15% ethanol blends in vehicles as old as model year 2010 based on its own testing, Truett said.

Basel said that as E15 continued to advance through regulatory channels, GM designed its new vehicles to “perform efficiently” with the fuel if it became more available.

"We are focused on securing a safe and trouble-free driving experience for our customers and this modification prepares our vehicles for the potential intro of an E15 blend," she said.

In August, the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed legal challenges from trade groups representing automakers and refiners of the EPA’s approval of E15 for model years 2001 and up.

But GM and Ford still question the blend’s use in older models.

Truett said Ford is “confident” in its decision to support E15 in late-model vehicles because the company’s own tests confirm its safety only back to model year 2010.

As part of an industry group, GM performed multiple tests of E15 in vehicles, including model years 2001 to 2011. The tests found E15 damages the older vehicles’ engines, said Basel.

"For model-year 2011 or earlier vehicles we strongly recommend that GM customers refer to their owners manuals for the proper fuel designation for their vehicles," she said. "In fact, we recommend this across the board."

Resilience of American Agriculture

Great infographic from the USDA:

via: The Big Picture

For Those Who Want to Lead…

John Coleman at the Harvard Business Review blog wrote a great post about the evidence that reading has a very material impact on one’s ability to lead:

When David Petraeus visited the Harvard Kennedy School in 2009,one of the meetings he requested was with author Doris Kearns Goodwin. Petraeus, who holds a PhD in International Relations from Princeton, is a fan of Team of Rivals and wanted time to speak to the famed historian about her work. Apparently, the great general (and current CIA Director) is something of a bibliophile.

He’s increasingly an outlier…

This is terrible for leadership, where my experience suggests those trends are even more pronounced. Business people seem to be reading less — particularly material unrelated to business. But deep, broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders and can catalyze insight, innovation, empathy, and personal effectiveness.

What books are you reading?

No Reason to Reduce the Renewable Fuel Standard

For those of you who read our call to  ”Protect the RFS" earlier this week, we wanted to provide you with additional information regarding the misinformation campaign that our opponents are waging.

Click the image below to read Myths vs. Truths about the renewable fuel standard (RFS):

Protect the RFS

Conestoga Annual Meeting Notes

We held our annual meeting and customer appreciation event back in April. It was an extraordinary night and set a benchmark that will be hard to beat!

Here are the highlights:

Protect the RFS: Make Your Opinion Known

The severity of the current drought has no doubt touched many of us both personally and professionally. However, what is less obvious is that our opponents have been using this very unfortunate event to take aim at the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Unless we fight back, they will win.

The only way we’re going to triumph in this fight is to reach out to our Senators and Representatives, governors, local government representatives, media, friends, and neighbors. Tell them how the RFS is a key component to economic growth, energy independence, saving consumers at the pump and improving our environment.


Along with Growth Energy, we’ve put together a collection of tools to help in our efforts. The more you voice your opinion, the better our chances of success become. Rest assured our opponents are not being silent, so let your voice be heard!

1. Send a Letter to Your Congressional Delegation

Growth Energy prepared an email that only requires a few clicks. The email is automatically sent to your local officials: 

2. Invite our Senators and Representative to tour our plants.

Draft letter to Senator Moran

Jerry Moran - Hays, KS Office
P.O. Box 249
1200 Main St. Suite 402
Hays, KS 67601
Phone: (785) 628-6401
Fax: (785) 628-3791

Draft letter to Senator Roberts

Pat Roberts - Dodge City, KS Office
100 Military Plaza
PO Box 550
Dodge City, KS 67801
Phone: (620) 227-2244
Fax: (620) 227-2264


3. Letter to Our Farmers

We’ve prepared a draft letter for your convenience

4. Sign Our Petition

Sign Our Petition by September 1 urging Congress to protect the RFS. Be sure to share the petition amongst your employees and supply-chain networks:

5. Contact your local radio station.

Please reach out to our staff, which has access to the contact information of local media outlets.

6. Talk to your Friends and Neighbors

Tell them about the importance of keeping the RFS intact.

Help Conestoga Energy Partners, LLC by making your voices heard!