All Biobased and Renewable Products News

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 >
May 17, 2013
House Energy And Commerce Committee Releases Third RFS Paper For Comment
Last week, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce issued its third in a series of white papers for public comment on aspects of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. The white papers are designed to solicit comment from interested stakeholders on various aspects of the RFS in preparation for Committee hearings on the policy and potential revisions to it later this year. The latest paper solicits comment on "greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts associated with the RFS." Comments are due via e-mail to by May 24, 2013. The ... read more >
May 17, 2013
New Legislation To Open The RFS To Natural Gas
On May 14, 2013, Representative Pete Olson (R-TX) introduced H.R. 1959, a bill to amend the federal RFS to allow natural gas to qualify under the program. In public statements upon the bill's introduction, Representative Olson reiterated his ultimate goal to see the entire RFS ... read more >
May 17, 2013
EPA Begins Work On 2014 RFS Volumes
As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues work to prepare in final the 2013 renewable volume obligations (RVO) under the RFS, the Agency is also beginning its work to set the 2014 RVOs. Under the RFS, EPA has an obligation to issue in final the following year's RVOs by November 30 of the preceding year. EPA did not meet that requirement for the 2013 RVOs, due in part to legal challenges to its final rules setting the 2011 cellulosic RVO and 2012 ... read more >
May 17, 2013
Biofuels Group Urges Approval Of New Fuel Pathways
On May 9, 2013, the Advanced Ethanol Council (AEC) sent a letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget urging approval of new fuel pathways to help cellulosic and advanced biofuels companies utilize new feedstocks for the development and commercialization of those types of fuels. In its letter, AEC pointed out that delays in pathway approval hinder financing necessary for this development. In particular, the group requested quick approval of giant reed, woody biomass, and ... read more >
May 17, 2013
Evonik And OPXBIO Enter Agreement On Renewable Chemicals
On May 14, 2013, Evonik Industries AG and OPX Biotechnologies, Inc. (OPXBIO) announced that they have entered into an agreement to produce certain renewable chemicals. Few details of the agreement have been released, including the specific renewable chemicals that will be made. Under the agreement, OPXBIO will use its EDGETM (Efficiency Directed Genome Engineering) technology to help produce the renewable ... read more >
May 17, 2013
Enerkem has announced that the Canadian government will contribute $1.1 million for a three-year research project beginning this summer to develop new catalytic processes to convert waste to "drop-in" biofuels. The three-year project will be conducted at Enerkem's research and development pilot facility in Sherbrooke, ... read more >
May 17, 2013
McCarthy Nomination Moves Forward
The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee voted 10-8 along party lines May 16 to advance Gina McCarthy's nomination for EPA Administrator. No Republicans voted in support of McCarthy, although the Committee's top Republican, Senator David Vitter (R-LA), indicated he would vote for McCarthy when her nomination reaches the Senate floor if EPA responds in the next two weeks to his specific requests for answers on EPA's transparency. McCarthy's nomination has been delayed since May 9, when Republicans boycotted a scheduled vote and left the Committee without a ... read more >
May 9, 2013
Ongoing Legislative Efforts To Pass A Farm Bill With A Strong Energy Title
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack is scheduled to testify today, May 9, 2013, on the Administration's Fiscal Year 2014 USDA budget request before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies. Secretary Vilsack's testimony comes as the Senate Agriculture Committee is scheduled to mark up its version of the next five year Farm Bill on Tuesday, May 14, and the House Agriculture Committee is set to mark up its version of the legislation on Wednesday, May 15. On May 6, Senators Al ... read more >
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