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May 30, 2013
New Hampshire Works To Adopt Updated RGGI
After recent passage by the New Hampshire State House, the State Senate passed legislation to enable New Hampshire to follow the most updated and more stringent greenhouse gas rules under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) regulations. New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan (D) is expected to sign the bill into law. New Hampshire is one of nine states to participate in the RGGI. According to RGGI's website, the initiative is "the first market-based regulatory program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. RGGI is a cooperative effort among the states ... read more >
May 30, 2013
Three Additional States File Amicus Brief For Review Of Massachusetts v. EP
The States of Kansas, Montana, and West Virginia have submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of petitions filed by twelve other states requesting the Court to review and narrow its decision in Massachusetts v. EPA. The states are asking the Court to clarify that under the decision, the EPA may regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles but not from stationary ... read more >
May 30, 2013
Group Of Democratic Senators Work Toward Climate Legislation
A group of Democratic Senators have formed a "clearinghouse" group that meets with key stakeholders in their effort to build support and develop a strategy to move climate change legislation this year. The group is co-chaired by Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ron Wyden (D-OR). Members of the clearinghouse include Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Brian ... read more >
May 30, 2013
Alternative Fuels Americas Focuses On Jatropha As A Biodiesel Feedstock
Alternative Fuels Americas has successfully completed trials for Jatropha trees as a feedstock for biodiesel. The company operates a plantation in Costa Rica with 40,000 acres of Jatropha trees. Now that the trial phase is complete, the company intends to expand the use of Jatropha as a biodiesel feedstock to commercial ... read more >
May 30, 2013
U.S. Department Of Defense Funds Biofuels Projects
Last week, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that it has awarded $16 million in contracts as part of the joint initiative among the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Energy, and the Navy to help facilitate the development and commercialization of U.S. advanced drop-in biofuels for military and commercial use. The contracts have been awarded to the following three U.S. companies that are planning to build biorefineries to produce drop-in biofuels: Emerald Biofuels of Golf, IL; Natures BioReserve of South Sioux City, NE; and, Fulcrom Brighton Biofuels of Pleasanton, CA. Together, the ... read more >
May 30, 2013
Study Presses EPA On Delayed New Pathway Approval
James McCubbins and A. Bryan Endres of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, just released a new article entitled "EPA Biofuel Pathways and Petitions: Failure to Launch?." It echoes concerns recently raised by members of the biofuels industry that EPA's ongoing delay in approving new fuel pathway petitions under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program is inhibiting the ability of biofuels producers to produce new types of renewable fuel that would qualify under the RFS, including advanced and cellulosic fuels. The authors found, among other things, that ... read more >
May 30, 2013
Stakeholders Submit Conflicting Comments To House Energy And Commerce Committee On RF
As we recently reported, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-CA) issued the Committee's third in a series of white papers for public comment as part of their efforts to examine potential changes that they believe should be made to the federal RFS. This third white paper (available online) examined "Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Other Environmental Impacts." Refining groups, including the American Petroleum Institute (API), generally oppose the RFS and are working for the policy's repeal. In its comments to the ... read more >
May 24, 2013
TSCA Reform
Earlier this week, Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) made a historic announcement that they had come to agreement and introduced legislation to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), S.1009, the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, available online. This joint effort is significant and provides greater odds that TSCA reform may be achieved in this Congress. We are analyzing the bill now for its implications for B2PAC members. Senator Lautenberg's press release on the bill is available online. The release summarizes the bill to: Require Safety Evaluations ... read more >
May 24, 2013
Farm Bill
Full Senate consideration began this week of its version of the next five-year Farm Bill, S. 964, the Agriculture, Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013. As we reported last week, on May 14, S. 964 was passed out of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry by a vote of 15-5. Importantly, it includes an energy title with mandatory funding and eligibility for renewable chemicals. The Senate continues to debate amendments to the bill. It has been reported that Senate leadership is still processing which of the nearly 200 amendments to the bill will receive a vote. For this ... read more >
May 24, 2013
McCarthy Nomination
On May 16, 2013, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) voted 10-8 to approve President Obama's nominee to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Gina McCarthy. McCarthy is currently EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation. The vote was along party lines, with ten Democrats voting for her nomination and eight Republicans against it. McCarthy has worked for moderate Republicans in the past, and she is generally respected for her knowledge and fair approach. Among the Republicans on the Senate EPW Committee, Ranking Member David Vitter ... read more >
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