All Biobased and Renewable Products News

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 >
May 24, 2013
Moniz Is Confirmed As Energy Secretary
On May 21, 2013, Dr. Ernest Moniz was sworn in as the 13th U.S. Secretary of Energy. The full Senate approved Dr. Moniz's nomination by a vote of 97-0 on May 16, 2013. Dr. Moniz started his career as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1973, left in the 1990s to serve in the Clinton Administration as an Undersecretary at the Department of Energy, and then returned to MIT until taking on his current role as Energy Secretary. Most recently, Dr. Moniz led MIT's energy initiative. He is well respected on both sides of the aisle as a supporter of renewables ... read more >
May 24, 2013
New Fuel Pathways
EPA announced this week that it has signed off on a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend administratively the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, by among other things adding additional eligible pathways, which include eligible feedstocks. Unless prescribed in the final rule implementing the RFS, renewable fuel producers need to request that EPA approve their pathways, which include their feedstocks and technology, so that their fuel may qualify for renewable identification numbers (RIN) under the program. EPA has been criticized for taking too long to approve new ... read more >
May 24, 2013
EPA’s proposed Tier 3 rulemaking
EPA's proposed Tier 3 rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on May 21, 2013. After much public pressure, it was reported on May 23 that EPA is likely to push the deadline for comment back to July 1, 2013. While the main portion of the Tier 3 rulemaking in EPA's proposal seeks to create more stringent vehicle emissions standards and reduce the sulfur content of gasoline beginning in 2017, several pieces of it impact the biofuels industry. For instance, EPA is proposing to change the federal emissions test fuel to E15. The proposed rule published in the Federal Register ... read more >
May 24, 2013
Foreign Fuels Reduction Act
Last week, Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced S. 977, the Foreign Fuels Reduction Act. The purpose of the bill is to help prevent sugarcane ethanol imported from Brazil from being used to fulfill the annual advanced renewable volume obligations (RVO). Under the RFS, EPA may lower the cellulosic RVOs each year, while maintaining the overall advanced RVOs. To date, EPA has chosen this way to implement the RFS so lowered cellulosic volumes could be made up by advanced fuels. Imported sugarcane ethanol has largely made up the difference. S.977 would require EPA to ... read more >
May 17, 2013
Farm Bill
  This week, the Agriculture Committees in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed their versions of the next five-year Farm Bill. The full Senate is expected to consider its version of the Farm Bill on May 20, while the full House is not expected to consider its version until later this year. Below, please find brief summaries of Farm Bill activities this week, particularly as they relate to renewable chemicals and biofuels. Senate On May 14, 2013, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, led by Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), marked-up ... read more >
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