Pete Landrys Real

Your ONLY Comprehensive Source of Ethanol FREE Gas Locations Throughout Louisiana’s 64 Parishes and Mississippi’s 82 Counties.

Pete Landrys Real - Your ONLY Comprehensive Source of Ethanol FREE Gas Locations Throughout Louisiana’s 64 Parishes and Mississippi’s 82 Counties.


“Pete’s” News Corner

  Your advocate for PURE Gasoline        “Laissez les bon temps rouler”                      Contact “Pete” at:                                



    *     *     *     BREAKING NEWS     *     *     *

          CHALMETTE REFINING PETITION!                                               PLEASE JOIN THE PETITION!   

WE NEED ONLY 5 MORE SIGNATURES READERS!                                         


NEW POLL:  Notice that we have started a new poll today titled “Which Fuel Stabilizer Do You Use in Your Marine Engine”.  It is just below the “Donate” button on the right hand side of this page.  I did NOT include any stabilizer that contained any form of alcohol as they only make the ethanol problem worse if you use E10 fuel. PLEASE VOTE.  I’ll leave the poll up until October 31st. 

PLEASE READ a letter which I mailed to all refinery CEO’s who operate an oil refinery in Louisiana.  In the letter, I URGED them to please supply us MORE non ethanol gasoline.  The letter can be found on the website’s “Pete’s Articles” page.   I have NOT received any replies from any of the CEO’s yet!

PLEASE JOIN THE CHALMETTE REFINING PETITION.  Look to your right and Just click the ORANGE “Sign Petition Now” button on top right.  

READERS:  PLEASE, PLEASE continue to inform ALL your friends and neighbors about the petition and urge them to sign up.  I’d like to get at least 5 MORE signatures on the petition to allow for some who did not list their address.

NOTE:  You cannot join the Petition from a Smart Phone!  It must be done on a desktop or laptop computer!

As of late this afternoon (9/16), we now have 1,045 signed Petitions (ONLY 5 more names since Sunday)!  I’d really like to get about 10 more to allow for some errors or petitions without addresses.   PLEASE be sure to tell ALL your friends to sign the petition.

IMPORTANT:   I posted short instructions on the “Petition” window after you click on the ORANGE “Sign Petition Now” button.  It is IMPORTANT that ALL fields on the form be completed, NOT only the “*” lines.  ALSO, after completing the form, after AGAIN clicking the ORANGE “Sign Petition Now” button, please check your e-mail to click the link provided in the e-mail to REGISTER your petition. 

——————————————————————————————————-                                                                                                                                          IT’S NOW TIME FOR “ROUND 2″

I’d AGAIN like to ask ALL READERS to call each of the phone numbers listed below for Chalmette Refining and leave a POLITE message URGING them to resume the production and sale of ethanol FREE gasoline! I have asked my webmaster if he can design a new page for a “Petition” to ask Chalmette Refining to resume the sale of conventional, ethanol free gas.  Will announce if/when he can get this done. 

I am VERY DISAPPOINTED to report that Chalmette Refining has apparently “BACKED OFF” from earlier expectations that they would resume the manufacture and sale of conventional gasoline from their truck rack at the refinery!  That information comes from some of their distributors.  I spoke to Chalmette Refining’s Public Relations Manager Patrick Trahan today (7/3), and, as usual, he would NOT provide ANY information!  This is the most “SECRETIVE” organization I’ve ever dealt with, EVER!   I don’t know if they are backing off because consumers have ‘quieted down’, thinking this has blown over or not?  

MEANWHILE, I URGE all readers to “AMP UP THE NOISE” on Chalmette Refining IMMEDIATELY – ROUND 2!  

would ask that all readers phone the phone numbers I’ve listed below, AND, write a short, polite letter to Mr. Maxwell, the Chalmette Refining Plant Manager urging him to please resume the sale of Eo as soon as possible.  I will also write a letter to him and will cc the CEO of Exxon/Mobil also.   Here are the Chalmette Refining phone numbers to call and the address to write Mr. Maxwell: NOTE:  Since Chalmette Refining also previously supplied ethanol free gasoline to the western side of Mississippi, I ALSO ENCOURAGE OUR MISSISSIPPI READERS TO CALL THESE PHONE NUMBERS ALSO!


- Community Hotline: (504) 211-1101

- Public Relations Manager Patrick Trahan    

(504) 281-1409 (office)      (832) 421-1995 (cell)

- Ms. Jackie Autin – Head of Product Quality  

(504) 281-1534 (office)     (504) 250-6964 (cell)

Mr. Wade Maxwell, Plant Manager                                                               Chalmette Refining                                                                                                   500 West St. Bernard Hwy                                                                                     Chalmette, LA 70043 ===================================================== 

    *   *   *   *   ARTICLES SUMMARY   *   *   *   *

TODAY’S ARTICLE : Today I posted an ethanol article a St. Louis newspaper which says the EPA should put a cap on ethanol to benefit and the environment.  

SPORTS NEWS:  Today (9/12), I posted a sports article from Times Picayune which discusses the two incredible kickers the Tigers have on the team this year.  Read the article in the LSU section below.

GUN CONTROL  NEWS:  I posted (8/23) a new gun control article on the “Gun Control in America” page from The Washington Times titled “Lyons: Small-Arms Treaty, Big Second Amendment Threat“.  For readers who are not familiar with the United Nations Small Arms Treaty, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you read this article.  The UN has for several years attempted to develop a document that most Nations could support.  They completed their proposal in 2013 and, Obama directed Secretary of State John Kerry to sign the document in early 2014.  The treaty requires approval by the U.S. Senate before it becomes law in the U.S.   In a “straw vote” in 2013, BEFORE Kerry signed the Treaty, Senate leader Harry Reid took a vote of the Senate to see if he had enough votes to approve this Treaty.  He was short by about 8 votes.  BUT, it is important to know that Louisiana U.S. Senate Mary Landrieu voted FOR this Treaty!  In other words, she would have the U.N. take away the private ownership of guns in America and essentially negate our Constitutions 2nd Amendment.  

I URGE all gun owners and 2nd Amendment advocates to read this article and read the U.N. Treaty document below the article.  It is CRITICAL that we call, write and e-mail our Louisiana and Mississippi Senators at least weekly and URGE your Senator NOT TO VOTE for this U.N. Small Arms Treaty should it come up for a vote in the Senate.  

If the Senate approves this Treaty, kiss all your weapons goodbye!  This is VERY SCARY!  Read the article in on the website’s “Gun Control in America” page.

This is yet another reason why if we value our 2nd amendment rights, it is CRITICAL that we WAKE UP and write, call and e-mail our U.S. Senators and Congressmen and URGE them to protect our 2nd Amendment rights.  In so doing, you should make it very clear that ANY elected official that votes FOR new gun laws will NOT get your vote.  ALSO, if you are not already a member of NRA, I urge you to join.  They are a very powerful lobby force in Washington and need our support.  See the link to join below.



American gun owners and defenders of the 2nd Amendment NEED HELP in fighting off the Government and State ‘gun control’ advocates!  If you are not currently a member of the NRA (National Rifle Association) or the NAGR (National Association for Gun Rights), you are urged to join TODAY.  

Here’s how (the NRA is the most powerful and influential):




Chalmette Refining Issue:

Here is information on Chalmette Refining: 

Chalmette Refining, LLC (A joint venture between Exxon/Mobil (50%) and PDVSA (50%) the Venezuelan State Oil Company.  Exxon/Mobil is the operating partner)

500 West St. Bernard Hwy, Chalmette, LA 70043

- Main Phone: (504) 281-1212  

- Community Hot Line: (504) 211-1101

Plant Manager – Mr Wade Maxwell

Public Relations Manager – Patrick Trahan (see phone above)


I URGE all readers to call Chalmette Refining’s Community Hot Line and URGE the Plant Manager to re-consider their decision and CONTINUE to manufacture ethanol FREE gasoline.  Also, below are the names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers of Louisiana and Mississippi U.S. Senators and how to contact your U.S. Representative.  I also URGE you to “flood your Senator and Representatives’s phone lines” AND e-mails and DEMAND that they REPEAL the EPA’s Renewal Standard and allow the free market to determine if consumers want ‘corn gas’ and high food prices.  

I ALSO URGE you to have them contact Chalmette Refining’s Manager and ASK him to PLEASE continue to manufacture ethanol FREE gasoline!


Here are the U.S. Senator and Representative contact information: 


Senator David Vitter:

516 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington D.C. 20510 D.C.

Phone: (202) 224-4623  –  D.C. Fax: (202) 228-5061

- Metairie Office: (504) 589-2753  

- Baton Rouge: (225) 383-0331

– Lafayette Office:  (337) 993-9502

- Alexandria: (318) 448-0169

- Monroe Office: (318) 325-8120  

- Shreveport: (318) 861-0437

– Lake Charles Office: (337) 436-0453

Senator Mary Landrieu:

703 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington D.C. 20510

D.C. Phone: (202) 224-5824 – D.C. Fax: (202) 224-9735

- New Orleans Office: (504) 589-2427




 Senator Thad Cochran:

113 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg, Washington D.C. 20510 D.C.

Phone:  (202) 224-5054 

– Jackson Phone: (601) 965-4459  

-  Oxford: (662) 236-1018

– Gulfport Phone: (228) 867-9710

Senator Roger F. Wicker

555 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington D.C. 20510

D.C. Phone: (202) 224-6253  –  Fax: (202) 228-0378

– Tupelo Office: (662) 844-5010  

-  Jackson: (601) 965-4644

– Hernando Office: (662) 429-1002

- Gulfport: (228) 871-7017



 *    *    *   WEBSITE NEWS    *    *    *

I would guess that the number of stations that have chosen to either stay with non ethanol gas or switch to “corn gas” after the Chalmette Refining disappointing decision to stop the manufacture of “good gas” has settled down by now.  I have therefore resumed my update of our website’s Louisiana ethanol free gas list.  As I indicted when I began this considerable effort, I will update the list on the website when I am completed.  This is a VERY time consuming effort, so bear with me.  

Today I completed  Lafourche Parish.  N0w, working on Livingston, which is another large one.  


  *    *    *   TODAY’S NEWS ARTICLE    *    *    * 

Today I posted an ethanol article from the St. Louis Post – Dispatch titled “Put a Cap on Ethanol to Benefit People, Environment“.   According to the article, “A coalition of citizens and business leaders from across the country representing grocers, anti-hunger advocates, social workers, small-business owners, engine manufacturers, environmental groups, cattle ranchers, poultry producers, dairy farmers and convenience store owners met at our nation’s capital recently to voice concern over a federal energy policy that is wreaking havoc on our environment — and also our wallets, our engines and a large swath of our American industries”.


*   *   *  FOOTBALL SEASON IS HERE   *   *   *

NCAA Football Polls – LSU Rankings (9/14/2014):

- Associated Press Poll –       #8  (were #10)

- USA Today/Coaches Poll – #8  (were #9)

FIVE OF THE TOP 10 COLLEGES IN SUNDAY’S FOOTBALL POLL ARE FROM THE SEC WEST DIVISION:  Alabama (2), Auburn (5), Texas A&M (6), LSU (8) and Ole Miss (10). 

The Tigers hold the national record of non-conference wins, with 48 consecutive wins (as of 9/13/2014) currently, going back to 2002.



Here is the Tigers 2014 football Schedule:

To buy available individual game tickets, click on this link:                  

LSU Football Ticket



8/30 –  WIN:  LSU  28 – Wisconsin 24 

9/6 –   WIN:  LSU  56  –  Sam Houston State 0

9/13 –  WIN:  LSU  31  –   UL Monroe  0

9/20 – LSU vs Mississippi State – Death Valley – 6:00 pm – ESPN TV

9/27LSU vs New Mexico State – Death Valley – 6:30 pm – SEC Network TV

10/4LSU vs Auburn – at Auburn – TBA – TV? – 98.1 FM

10/11LSU vs Florida – at Florida – TBA – TV? – 98.1 FM

GAME SUMMARYUL Monroe has run up over 400+ total yards of offense in their first 2 games this year to date.  The LSU offense held them to a TOTAL of 93 yards Saturday night.  The Tiger defense was incredible!  While the Tiger offense started slow, they put it in high gear in the 2nd half.  Freshman RB Williams scored two TD’s, RB Fournette scored one TD and Senior RB Hilliard scored one TD.  The Tiger offense ran 51 times for 222 yards.  Coach miles played a total of 16 true freshman in the first 3 games of the 2014 season.  Saturday’s game set a new Tiger Stadium attendance record of 101,194, AND, this win was LSU’s 400th WIN in Tiger Station!     


      *   *   *   *   2014 FOOTBALL NEWS   *   *   *   *

If you are planning to attend home games of the 2014 football season in “Death Valley” this year, I encourage you to red new parking and traffic changes before you leave for the game.  The changes are summarized on  Here is the link: 


ALSO:  For fans who would prefer NOT to drive on the campus, there are buses which run from the “L’Auberge Casino” on Hwy 30, just about 5 miles before the campus that will pick up passengers at the casino parking area next to the parking garage and drop you off at the old Alex Box baseball park area, a short walk from the football stadium.  They start taking passengers at 3:00 pm for 6pm games and the cost is $10/person round trip.  Availability is based on “first come” basis.  The valet manager at the casino told me today that 6 buses showed up at 3:00 pm to pickup passengers for the trip to “Death Valley”.


Here is a link from for the recently updated 2014 LSU Football Team depth chart:



Here is an interesting article from Times Picayune summarizing the two GREAT kickers LSU has on the team this year,  Trent Domingue and Cameron Gamble.


By Randy Rosetta – Times Picayune – Sept 10, 2014

VIDEO: LSU Kicker Trent Domingue interview


There’s not more musical words to the ear of a kicker as far as LSU sophomore Trent Domingue is concerned. So when either or freshman Cameron Gamble get the green light to boom a kickoff, you have to bet there is a smile tucked away under their facemasks.

Those two have alternated as the kickoff specialist for the Tigers through two games, and the results have been eye-catching.

Five of Dominque’s kicks have resulted in touchbacks and three of Gamble’s seven — eight of 15 altogether.

LSU Kicker Cameron Gamble

LSU Kicker Cameron Gamble

“I think it really takes the rhythm of return away from our opponent,” LSU coach Les Miles said.

While the Tigers have benefited from a steady stream of reliable placement kickers over the last 15 years, having a kicker who could consistently pop the ball into or out of the end zone has been elusive at times. James Hairston began the current trend last season, with 45 of his 86 kicks resulting in touchbacks.

Now it appears that Miles and special teams coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto have a pair of options in that department.

Read full article here:


Here is a current listing of LSU Football’s 2015 Committments (as of September 14, 2014):

2015 LSU football commits (15) – Star Ratings by 24/7 Sports

- Maea Teuhema (5 Star) OL, 6-4, 340, Keller, Texas, (Keller)

- Kevin Toliver (5 Star) CB, 6-2, 185, Jacksonville, Fla. (Trinity Christian)

- Nick Brossette (4 Star) RB, 6-0, 205, Baton Rouge (University)

- Jazz Ferguson (4 Star) WR, 6-5, 205, Saint Francisville (West Feliciana)

- Derrius Guice (4 Star) RB, 6-0, 210, Baton Rouge (Catholic)

- Kevin Henry (4 Star) S, 6-1, 200, Baton Rouge (Central)

- Xavier Lewis (4 Star) CB, 6’0″, 180, East St. John, LaPlace

- Bry’Keithon Mouton (3 Star), TE, 6’2″, 230, Acadiana HS

- David Ducre (3 Star) FB, 6-0, 230, Mandeville (Lakeshore)

- Matt Wommack (3 Star) OL, 6-7, 320, Hernando, MS

- Adrian Magee (3 Star) OL, 6-4, 352, Franklinton (Franklinton)

- Isaiah Washington (3 Star) DE, 6-3, 225, New Orleans (Edna Karr)

- Blake Ferguson (3 Star) LS, 6-1, 235, Buford, Ga. (Buford)

- Hanner Shipley (3 Star) TE, 6-5, 260, Marble Falls, Texas, (Marble Falls)

- Justin McMilan (3 Star) QB, 6’2″, 170, Cedar Hills, Texas



LSU’s 2016 Class commitments as of 9/14/2014:

- Feleipe Franks (4 STAR) - QB, 6′ 5″, 205, Crawfordville, FL

- Dee Anderson (4 STAR) – WR, 6’4”, 176, Mesquite, Texas

- Stephen Sullivan (4 STAR) – WR, 6’6”, 215. Donaldsonville, LA                           ——————————————————————————————————-


BREAKING NEWS:  It was announced on Bleacher Report on August 11, 2014 that LSU Commit Dylan Moses is the #1 ranked football athlete for the 2017 draft!

-Dylan Moses (5 STAR) - RB/S, 6’1″, 215, University High, Baton Rouge



We removed FOUR ethanol FREE location in Louisiana recently:

Cash-N-Carry, 12590 River Road, Destrehan, St Charles Parish – Store Stopped selling gas!

Conn’s Store, 3119 LA Hwy 146, Chatham, Jackson Parish – Store Closed (Thanks to Woody for the info)

Jim’s Convenience Store, 2801 LA Hwy 306, Des Allemands, St. Charles Parish – Store CLOSED (Thanks to Mike for the info)

We added FOUR new ethanol FREE location in Louisiana recently:

Farmer Valley Co-op, 250 Rapides Dr, Natchitoches, Natchitoches Parish

Time Saver, 14851 Hwy 90, Paradis, St Charles Parish – sells BOTH E0 and E10

Race Trac, 2713 Paris Road, Chalmette, St Bernard Parish – the station sells BOTH E0 and E10 fuel. 

Riverstop (Chevron Station), 31539 Hwy 22, Springfield, LA (Livingston Parish) – the station sells E0 and E10 both

NOTEIf any reader locates a store that is selling ethanol FREE gas but is not on our list, PLEASE send me the information asked for on the “Ethanol Facts” page so we can add it to the list!

We encourage all readers to patronize retailers who sell ethanol FREE gas.  If they are not profitable selling EO, they may convert to sell ethanol gas and stores with EO will become harder and harder to find.                                             ——————————————————————————————————- 

Have a GREAT week readers!  




By Ron O’Connor – St. Louis Post-Dispatch – May 29, 2014

A coalition of citizens and business leaders from across the country representing grocers, anti-hunger advocates, social workers, small-business owners, engine manufacturers, environmental groups, cattle ranchers, poultry producers, dairy farmers and convenience store owners met at our nation’s capital recently to voice concern over a federal energy policy that is wreaking havoc on our environment — and also our wallets, our engines and a large swath of our American industries.

That policy is the nation’s Renewable Fuel Standard — the requirement to blend a specific and increasing percentage of biofuels such as ethanol into our petroleum-based fuels.

Sadly, our current federal RFS-biofuels policy is dealing a walloping blow to our environment, among other unintended consequences. The RFS, while well-intentioned at the time of its inception, is resulting in the plowing under of wide swaths of conservation land, the polluting of our waterways and an increase in air pollutants — all for a fuel that hardly deserves the title “renewable.”

When the RFS was aggressively expanded in 2007, the policy was imagined as a way to reduce our dependence on foreign oil while improving our environment with the introduction of first-generation biofuels — most notably in the form of corn-based ethanol — followed by the swift transition to truly advanced renewable fuels.

Unfortunately, that transition to other fuels never came and ethanol continues to meet more than 80 percent of the mandate.

To meet the excessive ethanol targets of the RFS, more and more land has been turned over to growing corn for fuel — not food. According to an analysis from the Environmental Working Group, more than 23 million acres of marginal lands — an area the size of Indiana — has been cleared since 2008 to plant crops, with corn accounting for the largest share of this conversion. These marginal lands are eroding, creating polluted streams and rivers.

As a comparison, in the 16 years prior to the RFS, corn acreage rose by just 6 percent. However, in the seven years since the mandate’s enactment, land devoted to corn spiked by 22 percent — nearly a four-fold jump.

The increased corn production has come at the expense of conservation lands and grasslands. Sadly, farmland retired in the Conservation Reserve program is at an all-time low, with much of that land having been converted to corn.

Across its lifecycle, corn ethanol is not helping to lower greenhouse gas emissions. An Environmental Protection Agency analysis showed that lifecycle emissions from corn ethanol in 2012 were higher than from gasoline — and will be for years to come.

Likewise, the National Academy of Sciences found no evidence that corn ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions and may actually increase them, along with boosting air pollutants that threaten human health such as particulate matter and ozone. The academy also noted that increased corn production has damaged water quality and quantity by depleting aquifers and streams and contributing to oxygen-deprived “dead zones” lethal to marine life.


What’s more frustrating is that declining gasoline consumption and stricter fuel efficiency standards have rendered the corn ethanol mandate irrelevant. The scientific community has debunked the myth of corn ethanol as a “green” fuel, causing virtually every environmental organization to renounce it.

That’s why when meeting with the Environmental Protection Agency, I pressed for a reduction of the 2014 ethanol blending requirement as previously proposed by the agency for a much-needed respite.

But a year-to-year revision will do little to stave off the long-term environmental impacts of increased ethanol production. Fortunately, I was also able to meet with several members of our bistate congressional delegation, calling on them to address this policy boondoggle to better protect our environment and our natural resources for the generations to come.

I encourage others to contact our congressional delegation in Washington and encourage them to work together to put an end to the unintended negative consequences of the outdated Renewable Fuel Standard.

Ron O’Connor is a member of the board of directors at Heart Lands Conservancy, which works with landowners and community leaders to protect natural resources in Missouri, Illinois and the Midwest.



By Christina Nunez – National Geographic – Sept 11, 2014

Project Liberty is the first of three commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants opening this year.


The POET-DSM Project Liberty plant  in northern Iowa will manufacture fuel from corn biomass.

The POET-DSM Project Liberty plant in northern Iowa will manufacture fuel from corn biomass.

EMMETSBURG, Iowa—Despite its grand scale, the event that marked the opening of the Project Liberty ethanol plant in northern Iowa last week at times felt a bit like a homey church function.

At a cavernous warehouse in this small Iowa town, nearly 3,000 people gathered at long tables swathed in red, white, and blue cloth to watch the ceremony. Speakers onstage talked about a vision—a “fantasy,” as the event materials put it—finally made real. Then a minister blessed the plant before attendees, many of them farmers, lined up for a lunch of burgers and coleslaw. A country singer took the stage, which was bookended by stacked bales of the plant’s straw-like fuel.

The so-called fantasy that the Liberty plant—a $275 million co-venture between Sioux Falls, S.D.-based ethanol producer POET and DSM, a Dutch chemical conglomerate—aims to realize is the first commercial-scale production of cellulosic ethanol. Unlike corn ethanol, a fuel long criticized for straining the land and water resources needed to grow corn for food, cellulosic fuels are made from biomass such as corn stalks, leaves, and other organic waste material.

Project Liberty’s endeavor requires no small amount of faith. Though cellulosic ethanol has the potential to reduce emissions by up to 86 percent compared with gasoline, it has faced numerous challenges. Aside from the costs associated with developing a new technology to break down biomass and turn it into fuel, the industry has grappled with uncertainty surrounding the ethanol mandates from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The agency sets annual targets for biofuel production via its Renewable Fuel Standard, but is considering lowering those targets for the first time since the standard was introduced in 2007. Regardless of the targets, there’s also a practical limit on how much ethanol the U.S. market can absorb. Most gasoline sold at the pump is a blend of no more than 10 percent ethanol, the maximum amount the EPA has deemed appropriate for all U.S. cars.

Despite the hurdles, three major cellulosic ethanol projects are moving ahead this year in the United States. Aside from Project Liberty, which received both federal and state funding and is set to produce 25 million gallons a year at full capacity, the Spanish renewable energy company Abengoa plans to produce the same volume from its facility in southwestern Kansas, opening in October. And the chemical giant Dupont is opening a plant this year in Nevada, Iowa, with a target of 30 million gallons per year. (To put those amounts in perspective, the U.S. consumed nearly 135 billion gallons of gasoline in 2013.)

The new projects will strive to avoid the trajectories of Mississippi-based KiOR and Florida-based INEOS Bio, companies that also touted cellulosic ethanol firsts when they debuted last year but have since failed to achieve any significant production because of financial and technical setbacks. (See related blog post: Five Things I Learned in Iowa About Biofuels“)

Bringing Farmers Under the Tent

One of the key tasks for POET in ramping up Project Liberty was to sign contracts with farmers for the biomass it would need to stoke the plant, which is attached to a corn ethanol facility. The notion seems simple: corn is harvested, and what’s left on the ground is a mix of leaves, stalks and husks called corn stover. Why not make money from it?

But corn stover does have agricultural value, because it protects soil from erosion, so removing all of it is a bad idea. Working with scientists at Iowa State, POET determined that up to 25 percent of a field’s stover could be removed without adversely affecting the soil. To harvest, store, and deliver that stover requires special baling equipment and other changes to farming operations, which means it’s not a slam-dunk proposition for a lot of farmers.

Bruce Nelson, a corn and soybean farmer with land three miles north of Emmetsburg, said he began harvesting corn stover seven years ago in anticipation of the cellulosic ethanol market, eventually partnering with a friend to do it for his own family farm and for neighbors. “We made mistakes, and we’ve corrected them as time goes on,” he said, mentioning a variety of complications with harvesting, storage, and hauling that he has learned to address.

“The hardest thing about this whole biomass harvesting is that you have a very small window to harvest it. Everybody wants to get their corn out of the field really fast so that they can come in and spread fertilizer and do tillage,” Nelson said. “Now we’re trying to do another harvest in between that process.”

Nelson said that getting all the equipment for that separate harvest is “an investment, to say the least,” but that it’s possible to make the money back within four or five years. Why did he decide to try it? “I don’t know. My friend and I always laugh about this, like, why did we ever do this?” Nelson said. “We just thought that it was possible.”

Finding that not all farmers wanted to make the investment that Nelson did, POET offered an alternative: It would take on the baling and delivery but offer a lower payment. Rod Pierson, vice president of operations at POET, said that the company has closed supply deals with between 200 and 300 farmers. The farmers store their stover and are given delivery dates so that the plant has biomass coming in year round, Pierson said. (Vote and comment: Are Biofuels Worth the Investment?“)

Still, some have worries about the impact that a growing cellulosic ethanol industry could have on agricultural land. Craig Cox, senior vice president for agricultural and natural resources for the Environmental Working Group in Ames, Iowa, expressed concern that if cellulosic ethanol takes off, corn stover might be harvested in a way that’s unsustainable.

Cox said that the same claims now being made about cellulosic ethanol—good for the environment, good for farmers, good for American energy security—were also made about corn-kernel ethanol, and he said they were wrong. “I don’t see how we’ve really changed the policy landscape. And it looks like we’re not going to change the physical landscape in ways that would make a huge contribution to larger environmental issues surrounding agriculture,” he said.

Cox said he would rather see more focus on the use of perennial grasses to make “drop-in” biofuel, a fuel that can be substituted directly for gasoline. Drop-in biofuel can be delivered from the same pumps as gasoline at fueling stations and its use would not depend on gasoline-blending mandates the way ethanol does. “If there is a future for biofuels and for cellulosic biofuels, I think that’s where it is,” he said.


Large filter presses help separate the solid and liquid waste streams at Project Liberty. POET-DSM hopes eventually to make fertilizer from the waste ash that is generated, which would make the entire process zero-waste.

Large filter presses help separate the solid and liquid waste streams at Project Liberty. POET-DSM hopes eventually to make fertilizer from the waste ash that is generated, which would make the entire process zero-waste.

A Turning Point for Cellulosic Fuel?

The American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry trade group, has lobbied against the Renewable Fuel Standard, calling it irretrievably broken.” Though major oil companies including Chevron, Shell,* and BP have invested in advanced biofuel projects, their production is nowhere near that projected for the new plants coming online this year. It’s tough to imagine that cellulosic ethanol could ever prove as economically compelling as oil for these companies, a fact that Chevron’s chief of emerging technologies acknowledged last year as the company scaled back its plans to make fuel from forest biomass.

Many ethanol proponents, including Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, blame the oil industry lobby for the EPA proposal to reduce the 2014 targets for the Renewable Fuel Standard. “The misinformation on the coasts is phenomenal,” Branstad said during a news conference at the Project Liberty opening. (Take the related quiz: What You Don’t Know About Biofuel“)

In 2013, the EPA drastically lowered the targets for cellulosic ethanol in response to petitions from the oil industry. But realistically, the United States wasn’t producing anywhere near enough cellulosic ethanol to meet those targets anyway; after assessing the actual production levels, the EPA retroactively revised its target from 1 billion gallons to less than 1 million. The number on the table for 2014 is 17 million gallons.

POET’s Pierson said his year-end production goal for the Liberty plant was 14 million gallons. If that happens, Pierson said, “We’re on a path to success at that point.”

Jeremy Martin, senior scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, called the EPA’s proposal to reset the ethanol target a “painful hiccup” for the industry, but a necessary one. “Getting the policy on a realistic track, which really meant accepting that the schedule has to be slowed down—we’ve been arguing for a while that is the right thing to do,” he said.

That’s why the prospects for the cellulosic ethanol industry as a whole may well rest on the three plants opening this year. “What’s going to matter a lot more than press statements is how these facilities work over the next year or so. I think these three companies all have enough skin in the game and enough resources under their control to show what that looks like,” Martin said. “That will be the basis for decisions for future investments.”

Different Pathways to Biofuel

One of the open questions in the development of cellulosic ethanol is how exactly to make it. The three new plants use a biochemical method, breaking down the biomass with enzymes and then fermenting it. Other efforts like KiOR’s are centered on a thermochemical approach, heating the biomass with little or no oxygen to make a product that can be processed into fuel. A key advantage of the latter approach is that it can accommodate diverse materials, whereas a biochemical approach must be optimized for a particular feedstock, according to Martin. (Vote and comment: What Breakthroughs Do Biofuels Need?“)

The POET-DSM plant received $100 million from the Department of Energy (DOE), which is funding a variety of biofuel efforts. Jonathan Male, director of the DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office, said that while the department still supports the commercial-scale production of ethanol, it has in the past couple of years “de-emphasized R&D into cellulosic, and transitioned and emphasized more into biomass to make fuels that are drop-in.”

Male said that drop-in biofuel technologies represent “the next wave of ideas in our pipeline,” but that today’s cellulosic ethanol plants are pioneering ways of harvesting and transporting biomass that will be valuable regardless of what biofuels are ultimately produced.

“Everything we do is driving down risks, whether it’s risks in volume, risks in quality, or technical risks, logistics risks,” Male said. “If you are able to address those risks, then that’s how one is then able to stimulate investment in a tough environment like we have right now.” (See more stories: Biofuels at a Crossroads“)

Project Liberty and the other two cellulosic ethanol plants set to open are the products of years of research. POET CEO Jeff Broin said, “We worked hard to get into the technology, and the timing really was a matter of how long it took to be ready. It wasn’t a race.” Added Broin’s partner at DSM, CEO Feike Sijbesma, “The market is big enough in the United States and abroad for several  players.”

Indeed, POET-DSM is counting on other players to enter the market so that it can license its technology to them. In that sense, the venture’s success will not depend on the profitability of Project Liberty alone. When asked at the opening event whether there was one milestone that would be a critical proving point for Project Liberty, Broin and Sijbesma answered nearly in unison: “Today.”

This story is part of a special series that explores energy issues. For more, visit The Great Energy Challenge.

*Shell is the sponsor of the Great Energy Challenge initiative. National Geographic maintains autonomy over content.

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By Rhiannon Meyers – Fuel Fix – August 19, 2014

As more consumers embrace natural gas vehicles, Texas is seeing a surge in sales tax revenue, more than double what the state was expecting to collect by mid-year.


A surge in natural gas motor fuels helped boost Texas sales tax revenue in the first half of 2014, the state reported

A surge in natural gas motor fuels helped boost Texas sales tax revenue in the first half of 2014, the state reported

The state raked in nearly $2.2 million in tax revenue from the sales of compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas in the first half of 2014, according to the Texas comptroller. That’s more than twice the $992,000 state forecasters projected to get during the period.

“Natural gas vehicles are becoming mainstream faster than expected,” Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter said in a statement. “And there’s plenty of room for growth.”

Cheap and abundant supplies of natural gas unlocked in the U.S. shale boom have helped make natural gas a more attractive motor fuel, especially for fleet operators that can refuel at central locations.

Compressed natural gas sold for $2.15 per gasoline gallon equivalent in April, according to the most recent numbers from from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center. That’s $1.50 per gallon cheaper than the price of gasoline at the same time.

The lure of a cheap, cleaner-burning alternative to diesel and gasoline is driving a fuel sales surge in Texas, where 14.5 million gallon equivalents of natural gas motor fuels were sold in the first half of 2014, blowing past forecasters’ projections of 6.6 million, according to the Texas Railroad Commission.

“These excellent sales figures represent only a fraction of the potential sales, as more and more fleet operators take advantage of the cost savings, lower emissions and energy-security benefits of Texas natural gas,” Porter said in a statement.

The rapid expansion of natural gas in transportation, particularly as a substitute for diesel in heavy-duty vehicles, led the state last year to change the way such fuels are taxed.

For years, Texas taxed natural gas motor fuel separately than other motor fuels, but the legislature changed the law last fall to make the taxing structure more equitable and to further encourage the use of the fuel, according to legislative reports.

Instead of requiring vehicle operators to  prepay the 15 cents per gallon equivalent state fuel tax annually, the new law requires licensed dealers to collect the tax when selling and delivering natural gas fuel to cars and to remit the money monthly to the state.

While Texas continues to push for natural gas as a transportation fuel, some operators have reported roadblocks in trying to make it an economically viable alternative. At a natural gas vehicles conference in Houston in June, a New-Jersey based logistics company said it had yet to realize any savings after converting some of its fleet to natural gas.

Story: The road ahead still isn’t clear for natural gas trucks

Trucks fueled by natural gas have a higher price tag, fueling stations are more expensive to build and publicly available stations are sparse. There are 51 public compressed natural gas fueling stations in Texas, most of them clustered in Houston and Dallas, according to data center reports.




By Todd Masson – Times Picayune – Sept 10, 2014

Capt. Tommy Pellegrin said there are small speckled trout under the birds all over Cocodrie right now, but he went to a favorite point in Lake Barre to catch a box of keepers

Capt. Tommy Pellegrin said there are small speckled trout under the birds all over Cocodrie right now, but he went to a favorite point in Lake Barre to catch a box of keepers

Capt. Tommy Pellegrin was proved to be a liar this weekend, but he didn’t mind one bit.

The veteran Cocodrie fishing guide had some customers with one-track minds, despite Pellegrin’s resolved effort to steer them in a different direction the day before the trip.

“These people told me they wanted speckled trout,” Pellegrin recounted. “I said, ‘Man, September is a really bad time for trout.’ I tried to talk them into reds. They said, ‘Nah, we don’t want reds. Let’s go see what we can do on trout.'”

Like any good captain, Pellegrin acquiesced. He instructed the clients to meet him at Boudreaux’s Marina, and they shoved off in the early morning hours Saturday.

Five minutes into the trip, the clients were surely wondering what Pellegrin had been talking about.

“When I left out of Boudreaux’s, I didn’t go half a mile before we got the first trout in the boat,” Pellegrin said. “There were birds everywhere, and they were loaded with trout, but they were small.

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By Albert Breer/ NFL Media Reporter – CFB 24/7 – July 18, 2014

The NFL has identified the land-rush of underclassmen declaring for the draft as a problem, and set out this week to start addressing the problem at the college level.

Earlier in the week, college coaches received a memo from NFL Executive Vice President Troy Vincent, outlining a new set of guidelines that Alabama coach Nick Saban referenced at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Among them is a streamlined grading system, as well as limitations on the number of players per school who can put in for grades with the draft advisory board.

At the heart of the changes are staggering statistics stemming from the 2014 draft class — of the record 107 who declared, 45 went undrafted. A majority of those 45 remain unsigned by NFL teams as undrafted free agents.

“We want the kid to make an informed decision,” said Vincent. “Use our resources, make an informed decision. Each institution has those resources for every prospect and every head coach. The numbers and the facts speak for themselves.”

Previously, there was no cap on the number of players who could apply for a draft grade from the board. The new limit is set at five per school, with schools allowed to ask for more, if the talent on hand warrants it.

Last year, 214 college players put in for grades.

The idea, from the league’s perspective, is to have the college coaches share in the responsibility of guiding the player’s future by advising on which athletes are and aren’t ready for the NFL. Eight schools exceeded five requests last year — LSU, Alabama, Florida State, Miami, South Carolina, Oregon, Stanford and Cal. LSU led the way with 11 requests (counting for 13 percent of the 85 allotted scholarships), while Alabama, Florida State and Miami had 10 apiece. Missouri, Oklahoma, Rutgers and Texas had five each.

The other change is in how players will be graded. In the past, there were five categories: As high as the first round; as high as the second round; as high as the third round; no potential to go in the first three rounds; and no potential to be drafted.

The league has cut that down to three categories — first round, second round, and neither, which will equal the board advising the player to stay in school.

The reason for the adjustment there is based on the board’s own struggle in categorizing players. Over the three-year period from 2012-14, the board was accurate on 73.7 percent of its first-round grades and 85.4 percent of its second-round grades, with most of the misses being slight ones. Conversely, the accuracy rate dropped to 52.9 percent on third-round grades, and nearly 53 percent of those receiving a third-round grade or lower went undrafted.

In 2014, the board assigned 35 players with an “as high as the third round” grade, and 21 of them entered the draft. Nine of the 21 went later than the third round, and three weren’t drafted at all.

Given that, and with the draft becoming far more of a crapshoot after the first 64 picks, the league saw an area where it could be contributing to the problem, and decided that assigning anything but first- or second-round grades was leading to shaky decisions by players.

In the materials distributed to college athletes and coaches, the league noted that for players who do make an NFL roster, an average playing career lasts 4.74 years, and that only 1.6 percent of college football players make it to the pros. And as more underclassmen declare, fewer are being drafted. In 2012, 82 percent of early entrants were drafted. That number dipped to 70 percent in 2013, and 62 percent in May.

The flip side the league presented is in those who chose to stay, with the materials showing 12 players who received 4th-7th-round grades in 2013 going in the top two rounds in 2014, including first-rounders Khalil MackAaron DonaldKyle Fuller and Jason Verrett.

In speaking to the media on Thursday, Saban supported many of the points the NFL is trying to make.

“All these players that went out for the draft, they went out for the draft late or didn’t get drafted, they were potential draft picks next year,” Saban said. “They’re not in the draft next year. They’re not playing college football either.”



By Laura Ost – NIST – July 29, 2014 A hidden hazard lurks beneath many of the roughly 156,000 gas stations across the United States.

A NIST study found that corrosion may pose a hazard at underground gas storage tanks at filling stations. The study focused on sump pump components, especially the pump casings (labelled #3 in graphic), which are typically made of steel or cast iron. Credit: EPA

A NIST study found that corrosion may pose a hazard at underground gas storage tanks at filling stations. The study focused on sump pump components, especially the pump casings (labelled #3 in graphic), which are typically made of steel or cast iron. Credit: EPA


Optical micrographs of severe corrosion on steel alloy samples exposed to ethanol and acetic acid vapors — conditions typical of underground gas storage tanks — after 355 hours, 643 hours, and 932 hours. Credit: NIST

Optical micrographs of severe corrosion on steel alloy samples exposed to ethanol and acetic acid vapors — conditions typical of underground gas storage tanks — after 355 hours, 643 hours, and 932 hours. Credit: NIST

The hazard is corrosion in parts of underground gas storage tanks—corrosion that could result in failures, leaks and contamination of groundwater, a source of drinking water. In recent years, field inspectors in nine states have reported many rapidly corroding gas storage tank components such as sump pumps. These incidents are generally associated with use of gasoline-ethanol blends and the presence of bacteria, Acetobacter aceti, which convert ethanol to acetic acid, a component of vinegar.

Following up on the inspectors’ findings, a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) laboratory study* has demonstrated severe corrosion—rapidly eating through 1 millimeter of wall thickness per year—on steel alloy samples exposed to ethanol and acetic acid vapors. Based on this finding, NIST researchers suggest gas stations may need to replace submersible pump casings, typically made of steel or cast iron, sooner than expected. Such retrofits could cost an estimated $1,500 to $2,500 each, and there are more than 500,000 underground gas storage tanks around the country.

The NIST study focused only on sump pump components, located directly below access covers at filling stations, just above and connected to underground gas storage tanks. The sump pumps move fuel from underground tanks to the fuel dispensers that pump gas into cars. These underground tanks and pipes also may be made of steel and could be vulnerable, too. “We know there are corrosion issues associated with the inside of some tanks. We’re not sure, at this point, if that type of corrosion is caused by the bacteria,” NIST co-author Jeffrey Sowards says.

Much of the U.S. fuel infrastructure was designed for unblended gasoline. Ethanol, an alcohol that can be made from corn, is now widely used as a gasoline additive due to its oxygen content and octane rating, or antiknock index. A previous NIST study found that ethanol-loving bacteria accelerated pipeline cracking.**

For the latest study, NIST researchers developed new test methods and equipment to study copper and steel alloy samples either immersed in ethanol-water solutions inoculated with bacteria, or exposed to the vapors above the medium—conditions mimicking those around sump pumps. Corrosion rates were measured over about 30 days.

The NIST study confirmed damage similar to that seen on sump pumps by field inspectors. The worst damage, with flaky iron oxide products covering corrosion, was found on steel exposed to the vapors. Copper in both the liquid and vapor environments also sustained damage, but corrosion rates were slower. Steel corroded very slowly while immersed in the liquid mixture; the NIST paper suggests bacteria may have created a biofilm that was protective in this case.

Although copper corroded slowly—it would take about 15 years for 1.2-millimeter-thick copper tube walls to develop holes—localized corrosion was observed on cold-worked copper, the material used in sump pump tubing, NIST co-author Elisabeth Mansfield notes. Therefore, stress-corrosion cracking is a concern for bent copper tubing because it would greatly reduce tube lifetime and result in leaks.

The NIST test equipment developed for the study could be used in future investigations of special coatings and biocides or other ways to prevent sump pump failures and leaks.

NIST held a workshop in July 2013 on bio-corrosion associated with alternative fuels. Presentations and information from this workshop can be found at

*J.W. Sowards and E. Mansfield. Corrosion of copper and steel alloys in a simulated underground storage tank sump environment containing acid producing bacteria. Corrosion Science. July, 2014. In press, corrected proof available online. DOI: 10.1016/j.corsci.2014.07.009.

**See 2011 NIST Tech Beat article, “NIST Finds That Ethanol-Loving Bacteria Accelerate Cracking of Pipeline steels,” at

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

UPDATE: I have made a correction, since contacted by the author of the NIST article that the NIST conference was actually held in 2013, not a few weeks ago (here in Boulder). I have also added the post from NIST.




By Smarter Fuel Future July 2, 2014

Even the government thinks so…

In late June, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report detailing how much full implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), America’s ethanol mandates policy, would cost.

For the first time since the ethanol mandate was enacted, a government agency has confirmed what the refining industry has said for years…forcing ethanol into our fuel supply will increase gas prices.

How much? Up to 9 percent—or 26 cents—per gallon in just three years. Price increases of any size have impacts, but a jump that substantial is bound to create ripples throughout our economy and in Americans’ wallets.

Beyond the increase in gas prices, the CBO laid out some significant challenges to actually meeting the requirements of the RFS.

“The rising requirements in EISA would be very hard to meet in future years because of two main obstacles, which relate to the supply of cellulosic biofuels and the amount of ethanol that older vehicles are said to be able to tolerate.”

As we’ve mentioned before, cellulosic biofuels made from non-food supply sources do not currently exist and relying on them to meet the future mandate is unlikely. The chart below, from the CBO report, shows exactly how far away we truly are:

NOTE:  Click on graph to enlarge it, then click on browser back arrow to return to article on website.

Graph of RFS Mandate Cellulosic Fuel vs EIA Projection

Notice even the government believes we’ll barely eke out any gallons of cellulosic biofuels by 2022, let alone the nearly 15 billion gallons mandated.

As for the use of higher ethanol blends in “older” cars, E15 is only approved for use in vehicles built after 2001. According to AAA, 95 percent of automobiles on the road today aren’t designed to run on gasoline that contains more than 10 percent ethanol.

And the CBO is hardly the only governmental organization taking issue with this broken government policy:

· The Environmental Protection Agency — responsible for implementing the nation’s ethanol policy — has provided evidence that shows ethanol produced 33 percent more emissions in 2012 than gasoline, and could increase GHG emissions by an additional 10 percent by 2017.

· The Department of Energy has concluded that higher ethanol fuel blends like E85 (gasoline containing 85 percent ethanol by volume) lowers vehicle fuel mileage by 15 to 25 percent than when operating on E10. This means consumers are forced to return to the pump more frequently and at greater cost. 

· The National Academy of Sciences has demonstrated that high corn and soybean prices, prompted largely by the mandate, are driving one of the worst crop land conversion events in recent US history.

· The Government Accountability Office is concerned that the largest increases in corn acres for ethanol production are projected to occur in the Northern Plains, which relies on irrigation and is already water-constrained. Parts of the region draw heavily from the Ogallala Aquifer, where water withdrawals for agriculture and other uses are already greater than the natural recharge rate from precipitation.

And yet, the American people are still waiting for action from WashingtonTell your friends and family to support reform of this broken policy.



By David Pitt – Houston Chronical/AP – Sept 3, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The world’s largest refinery that turns corn plant waste into ethanol began production Wednesday in Iowa, and many national and international dignitaries in attendance touted the technology as a major step in the shift from the fossil fuel age to a biofuels revolution.

Project Liberty is a $250 million joint venture between a Netherlands biotechnology company and POET, a Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based ethanol maker. It’s expected to make 25 million gallons of ethanol a year from corn cobs, stalks, leaves and other plant residue left on fields as waste.

The king of the Netherlands was among the national and international officials who gathered for the opening ceremony Wednesday in Emmetsburg, a northern Iowa town of 3,000 people.

Poet owns 27 ethanol pants, seven of which are in Iowa including a traditional corn ethanol plant located at the same site as the new cellulosic refinery.

To flashing laser lights and a high-tech stage production the opening was marked with the cutting of red, white and blue ribbons wrapped around baled corn residue.

“This is not simply opening a new plant but it is a transformative moment in time. The turning of an important page of our history books,” said Feike Sijbesma, CEO of Royal DSM, the Netherlands company. “We are witnessing the start of the shift of the fossil age we have lived in and we still live in to the bio-renewable age we’re entering today.”

Poet founder and executive chairman Jeff Broin said he was told many times over the past decade that his dream of making ethanol from plant waste instead of the corn kernel was a fantasy. He said he was called crazy.

“It is my hope and my belief that a hundred years from now people will remember how crazy people in a small town in Iowa changed the world in 2014,” he said.

It has taken the industry decades of research and billions of dollars to develop the technological breakthroughs that use a cocktail of enzymes to break down plant material and newly developed yeasts to turn plant sugars into ethanol.

To provide the feedstock for the plant, farmers within a 40-mile radius of the plant will remove corn plant residue from the fields, bale it and deliver it as needed. They’re paid $65 to $75 per dry ton. The plant will use 770 tons of biomass daily.

The ethanol industry has promised for years that commercial cellulosic production was near only to find the process more difficult than expected. Naysayers cast doubt on whether it was even possible on a large scale.

“If you had any doubt about this industry, about the cellulosic future of this industry all you need to do is come to Emmetsburg,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said.

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands traveled 6,000 miles to attend the ceremony and help in the ribbon cutting.

The state of Iowa invested about $20 million in the plant for engineering and construction costs through tax credits and job training funds. The U.S. Department of Energy provided $100 million in grants over seven years. Deputy Undersecretary for Science and Energy Michael Knotek said cellulosic ethanol helps the nation reach its goals of energy security, job creation and reduction in air pollution.

“This is a watershed event in meeting those goals,” he said.

Similar cellulosic refineries are expected to open later this year at Nevada in central Iowa and in Hugoton, Kansas.

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