All Biobased and Renewable Products News

December 23, 2013
House Energy And Commerce Subcommittee Chair Cites TSCA Reform Among Top Priorities For 2014
It has been reported that the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Power Chair John Shimkus (R-IL) has listed reform of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) among his top priorities for 2014. Chair Shimkus has stated publicly that the House is still determining how best to draft and move TSCA reform legislation, but he expects a House TSCA reform bill to be introduced by the spring, with action on it likely next summer. Chair Shimkus reportedly has also indicated that he expects no action on the Renewable Fuel Standard ... read more >
December 23, 2013
Congressional Efforts To Extend Biofuels Incentives
On December 12, 2013, Representative Scott Peters (D-CA), Chair of the House Algae Caucus, introduced H.R. 3758, a bill to extend the $1.01/gallon second generation biofuel producer credit and the special allowance for second generation biofuel plant property. These incentives are among several currently set to expire at the end of the year. Members of the House and Senate have sent letters to the Chairs and Ranking Members of their respective tax writing Committees -- the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee -- urging the extension of ten clean energy incentives ... read more >
December 23, 2013
Senate Finance Chair Releases Draft Energy Incentive Bill And Requests Comment By January 31, 2014
On December 18, 2013, Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) unveiled a detailed summary of staff discussion draft legislation designed to reform current energy incentives under the U.S. Tax Code. In sum, the proposal would consolidate nearly all 42 existing energy incentives under two categories of incentives: technology-neutral tax incentives for domestic production of (1) clean electricity and (2) clean fuels. The detailed summary of the discussion draft acknowledges and requests comment on the fact that the energy tax reform proposal would not provide incentives for other ... read more >
December 23, 2013
Iowa Delegation Requests RFS Hearings
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad (R), Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, and State Secretary of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Bill Northey led an effort to send a letter to EPA requesting it to convene a field hearing in Iowa on the Agency's proposed 2014 RFS rule. The letter was signed by the entire Congressional delegation from Iowa. A copy of the letter is available online. EPA's proposed 2014 RFS rule would reduce the 2014 statutory gallon requirements for cellulosic biofuels, advanced biofuels, and corn ethanol. Governor Branstad testified at EPA's recent hearing in ... read more >
December 23, 2013
Senators Introduce Legislation To Eliminate Corn Ethanol Mandate
On December 12, 2013, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) introduced the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2013, which would eliminate the corn ethanol gallon requirements under the federal RFS, while leaving in place those under the law for cellulosic and advanced biofuels and biodiesel. The sponsors have argued that the RFS corn ethanol mandate, which increases to 15 billion gallons per year by 2022, should be removed to combat the recent increase in corn prices. The bill currently has eight bi-partisan co-sponsors, including Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Susan ... read more >
December 23, 2013
Dow Wins Presidential Award For Green Paint Ingredient
EPA has awarded Dow a Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for its EVOQUETM Pre-Composite Polymer. Among other attributes, according to EPA, EVOQUETM is expected to improve titanium dioxide (TiO2)-based paints. "Dow's EVOQUETM technology uses a polymer coating that, when applied to TiO2, improves dispersion of the pigment, decreasing the amount of the chemical needed and allowing it to work better. This technology will significantly reduce energy usage, water consumption, NOx and SOx emissions, and algae bloom." More information is available online and ... read more >
December 23, 2013
EPA Awards Professor Green Chemistry Award For Development Of Safer Chemicals
On December 11, 2013, EPA gave a Green Chemistry award to Professor Richard Wool of the University of Delaware for his work to develop biobased products such as adhesives, composites, and foams from renewable feedstocks, including vegetable oils, chicken feathers, and flax. The EPA grants Green Chemistry Awards each year to recognize "landmark green chemistry technologies developed by industrial pioneers and leading scientists that are contributing to the use of chemicals and products that are safer for people's health and the environment." More information on the 2013 Green ... read more >
December 13, 2013
Farm Bill Negotiations Continue
Representative Frank Lucas (R-OK), Chair of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, filed a bill this week to extend for one month, the 2008 Farm Bill to pave way for the completion of the five-year reauthorization bill when Congress returns from its winter break in January. The House of Representatives is scheduled to recess this Friday, on December 13, 2013, while the U.S. Senate is not scheduled to recess until next Friday, December 20, 2013. Members of the Farm Bill Conference Committee, led by the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees (the four principals), have ... read more >
December 13, 2013
DOE Set To Restart Loan Guarantee Program
It has been reported this week that the new Director of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Loan Program Office has stated DOE's intent to restart its renewable energy loan guarantee program in 2014. DOE is expected to issue a new round of $3 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy projects. Although DOE still has billions in loan guarantee authority for renewable energy, it halted the program a couple of years ago in the wake of heavy criticism following the failure of Solyndra, a solar company that went bankrupt after receiving a DOE loan ... read more >
December 13, 2013
Senators Introduce Bill Potentially Impacting Chemical Plant Regulation
This week, three Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), Senators David Vitter (R-LA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and James Inhofe (R-OK), introduced the General Duty Clarification Act of 2013. The bill would direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clarify standards for the Clean Air Act's General Duty Clause. EPA has used the ambiguity contained in the clause to regulate chemical plants. A copy of the bill is available ... read more >
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