All Biobased and Renewable Products News

July 11, 2013
Farm Bill
On Thursday, July 11, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives passed by a slim vote of 216-208 H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013. H.R. 2642 is essentially the version of the five-year Farm Bill that the House defeated last month, H.R. 1947, including amendments that passed during debate on that bill and excluding the nutrition part (food stamp) of the bill. H.R. 1947 did not include mandatory funding for energy programs or expanded eligibility for renewable chemicals. Generally, Democrats voted against H.R. 1947 because they disagreed with the steep ... read more >
June 27, 2013
House Rejects Farm Bill, Path Forward Uncertain
As noted last week, on Thursday, June 20, 2013, many were surprised that the U.S. House of Representatives voted 195-234 to reject H.R. 1947, its version of the next five-year Farm Bill, which authorizes farm subsidy, conservation, rural energy, and nutrition programs. The House considered the legislation recently passed by the House Agriculture Committee, along with about 100 amendments that were made in order by the House Rules Committee. The Senate recently passed its version of the next Farm Bill, S. 954, the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013. S. 954 contains a strong ... read more >
June 27, 2013
House Energy And Commerce Hearings On RFS
On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power held a hearing on "Overview of the Renewable Fuel Standard: Government Perspectives." Three government witnesses testified at the hearing: Adam Sieminski, Administrator, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA); Joseph Glauber, Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); and Christopher Grundler, Director, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Office of Air and Radiation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A link to the official website on the hearing, which ... read more >
June 27, 2013
Legislation Introduced To Repeal The RFS
This week, Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced S. 1195, a bill to repeal the RFS. S. 1195, the Renewable Fuel Standard Repeal Act, is companion legislation to H.R. 1461, the Renewable Fuel Elimination Act, which was introduced in April by Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). The introduction of this legislation marks a victory for the refining industry, chain restaurants, and other industry groups that oppose the RFS. It is another action taken that supports their efforts to repeal the RFS. It is unlikely the bill will be enacted, ... read more >
June 27, 2013
Supreme Court Rulings In Favor Of EPA
The U.S. Supreme Court this week made two rulings considered favorable to EPA. In the first ruling, which is also favorable to the biofuels industry, the Court decided that it would not review a lower court ruling that upheld EPA's limited approval of E15 (fuel blended with 15 percent ethanol). In 2009, the ethanol industry petitioned EPA to approve an increase in the amount of ethanol allowed to be blended in gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent. In 2010, EPA approved the use of E15 fuel for model year 2007 and later vehicles. In 2011, the Agency extended that approval to include ... read more >
June 27, 2013
DOD Awards Funding For Advanced Biofuels Project
Last week, in a win for the biofuels industry, the Department of Defense (DOD) awarded $4.1 million to Red Rock Biofuels LLC as part of its joint $510 million initiative with the Departments of Agriculture and Energy to help facilitate the commercialization of U.S. advanced drop-in biofuels for military and commercial use. This latest award signifies that DOD is moving forward with its biofuels goals despite strong opposition on Capitol Hill and recent remarks by the new Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel expressing his hesitance to spend money on it in the midst of mandated budget cuts. As ... read more >
June 27, 2013
President Obama Outlines Plan On Climate Change
On Tuesday, June 25, 2013, President Obama announced his new 21-page climate action plan in a speech he gave at Georgetown University. The plan is available online. Under the plan, the President will use his Executive authority under the Clean Air Act to curb harmful greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, he will issue a directive to EPA requiring the Agency to issue a proposed rule by next June (to be finalized a year later) that will limit greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants throughout the country. Other parts of the plan would help further the biofuels and renewable ... read more >
June 27, 2013
Boxer Remarks On TSCA
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) recently made public remarks indicating her intent to move forward with efforts to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA). She has stated that she will hold a hearing on TSCA reform on July 31, 2013, and will focus on reaching consensus between S. 1009, the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013, introduced in May by Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and the late Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and S. 696, the Safe Chemicals Act of 2013, introduced by Senator Lautenberg in April. As we have reported, among ... read more >
June 27, 2013
DuPont Announces Greater Focus On Biobased Feedstocks
DuPont announced this week that it intends for over half of its plastics portfolio to be made from renewable feedstocks within the next 15 years. Reportedly, DuPont is working to make chemical monomers for plastics, including nylon from carbon-based resources. Since DuPont is one of the world's leading chemical companies, this announcement is significant and demonstrates the increasing importance of and demand for renewable chemicals and biobased ... read more >
June 27, 2013
Solazyme And Roquette Dissolve Joint Venture
On June 24, 2013, Solazyme CEO Jonathan Wolfson announced that the company is ending its joint venture with French food producer Roquette. In 2010, the two companies entered into a joint venture for the development and commercialization of algae-based oils as replacements for food ingredients, including eggs and butter. Solazyme has been engineering algae to produce oil for food, biofuels, and cosmetics. The company announced that it would continue to produce algae-based oils for food production as part of its joint ventures with Brazilian based Bunge Ltd. and Archer Daniels ... read more >
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