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August 8, 2013
EPA To Review Air Toxics Standards For Petroleum Refineries
EPA has agreed to issue by December 19, 2014, a final rule on air toxics standards for petroleum refineries. EPA agreed to this deadline to settle a lawsuit that was brought by several environmental groups last year challenging EPA for missing the deadline under the Clean Air Act (CAA) by which EPA must review the standards. The petroleum industry has expressed disappointment in the settlement and upcoming ... read more >
August 8, 2013
EPA Asked To Act On Biogenic Carbon Rule
Several biomass groups sent a letter to newly sworn-in EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on August 1, 2013, urging EPA to find that bioenergy and other biogenic sources of greenhouse gas emissions are carbon neutral for purposes of new greenhouse gas permitting requirements under EPA's Tailoring Rule. As we reported on July 19, 2013, last month the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia vacated EPA's rule temporarily exempting these sources from the new greenhouse gas permitting requirements, which has created uncertainty for the industry going forward. In their letter to ... read more >
August 8, 2013
Upcoming Trade Mission To Brazil To Foster Opportunities For U.S. Biofuels
Biofuels trade associations, including the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), and Advanced Biofuels Association (ABFA) announced last week that they will be leading a trip with 15 companies to Brazil September 30-October 2, 2013, to help foster opportunities for U.S. biofuels. The trip is part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Export Green Initiative. Companies that wish to participate may apply by August 30, 2013. Up to two representatives from 15 companies with biofuel operations in the U.S. may participate. More information about the ... read more >
August 8, 2013
Fate Of Farm Bill Still In Question
House Republican leaders are reportedly considering a plan to hold a vote after the August Congressional recess on legislation on the remaining nutrition portion of the Farm Bill, including $40 billion in cuts to food stamp programs over the next ten years. This number is twice the cuts which led to the defeat of the version of the Farm Bill considered by the House in June. It is considered a non-starter by Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), who is leading Senate efforts to finalize the next Farm Bill by the time the current version expires on September 30. More ... read more >
August 8, 2013
UK Funding Opportunity For Biofuels
On August 1, 2013, the United Kingdom (UK) Department for Transport announced its intent to provide £25 million to help fund the construction of demonstration-scale waste to fuel and other advanced biofuel plants in the UK. The money would be matched by private funding. The UK government expects to release more information on the project, including information on the funding opportunity, this fall. The announcement is available ... read more >
August 6, 2013
EPA Announces Final 2013 Renewable Fuel Standards
On August 6, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed its belated final rule establishing the 2013 renewable volume obligations (RVO) for the four fuel categories that are part of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program under the Clean Air Act (CAA): cellulosic biofuel; biomass-based diesel; advanced biofuel; and total renewable fuel. These standards apply to all gasoline and diesel produced or imported in 2013. Click here for our full memorandum regarding this regulatory ... read more >
August 2, 2013
Senate EPW Committee Holds Hearing on TSCA Reform
On July 31, 2013, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) held a hearing on "Strengthening Public Health Protections by Addressing Toxic Chemical Threats." The exceptionally long hearing included three panels of 19 witnesses and focused on potential reform to the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA). The detailed report of the hearing issued by Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. is available online. The hearing largely focused on bipartisan legislation to reform TSCA, recently introduced by Senator David Vitter (R-LA) and the ... read more >
August 2, 2013
Selection Process for Farm Bill Conference Committee Continues
It was reported last week that Senate Committee on Agriculture Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) selected the following seven Democratic Senators for the upcoming conference committee to marry the House and Senate versions of the next five-year Farm Bill: Tom Harkin (IA); Patrick Leahy (VT); Max Baucus (MT); Sherrod Brown (OH); Amy Klobuchar (MN); and Michael Bennett (CO). Yesterday, Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) issued a statement announcing that he and four other Republican Senators have been selected for the upcoming conference committee: Pat Roberts (KS), Saxby Chambliss (GA), John Boozman ... read more >
August 2, 2013
Energy and Commerce Leadership Begins Effort to Modify RFS
House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chair Fred Upton (R-MI) has selected four Republican Representatives to lead an effort to modify the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): John Shimkus (IL); Cory Gardner (CO); Lee Terry (NE); and, Steve Scalise (LA). Choosing these four Representatives for this effort signals the intent of Committee leadership to draft and consider legislation this Congress to modify the RFS. The biofuels industry has been urging against such action, arguing that the RFS is working as intended to spur investment in the industry while providing sufficient authority to ... read more >
August 2, 2013
Senator Sanders Continues Work on Climate Change
As we have reported (see online), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is among a group of Senators working to enact climate change legislation. Following this effort, it has been reported this week that Senator Sanders has urged the Senate Committee on Finance to include the proposal he introduced with Senator Boxer establishing a carbon tax, S. 332, the Climate Protection Act of 2013, in any broad tax reform legislation. That proposal would place an initial $20 per ton price on carbon and methane emissions from fossil fuels producers and importers. Senator Sanders contends that it would raise ... read more >
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