Biobased and Renewable Products News: Climate Change

August 17, 2018
Researchers Use Switchable Hydrophilicity Solvents To Produce Recyclable Packaging
Researchers in Lithuania and Egypt have discovered how to use N, N-dimethylcyclohexylamine (DMCHA) to break down multilayer flexible packaging (MFP) that pose a threat to the environment. MFP is used in making blister pill packages, candy wrappers, chip packets, and related products, and can contain aluminum, among other toxic substances, which when leaked or incinerated is hazardous to the environment. Although some practices exist to separate the multilayered packaging through recycling technologies, the European Union (EU), for example, limits practices based on energy consumption, carbon ... read more >
August 10, 2018
Bipartisan Carbon Utilization Act Promotes Biogas, CCUS Technology
On July 19, 2018, the bipartisan Carbon Utilization Act was introduced by Representatives Scott Peters (D-CA) and David Young (R-IA) to promote biogas and carbon capture utilization and sequestration (CCUS) technologies. Biogas is produced by converting organic waste material into CO2, methane, and other carbon products that then are captured by CCUS technologies to use as energy or fuel. The newly introduced bill incentivizes the use of innovative technologies for farmers, biotech businesses, research programs, and rural development ... read more >
July 27, 2018
UK Considers Introducing E10 Fuel To Help Reach Emissions Goals
On July 20, 2018, the United Kingdom’s (UK) Department of Transportation launched a consultation to explore the impact of introducing E10 fuel to the UK market.  Earlier this year, changes were made to the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) that requires transport fuel supplies to increase the amount of renewable fuel supplied in the UK beyond the current five percent ethanol blend, up to a limit of ten percent by 2032.  This plan is a component of the Road to Zero Strategy, announced on July 9, 2018, a commitment by the UK government to dramatically reduce transport ... read more >
June 15, 2018
Brazil Sets Target To Reduce Fuel Emissions Ten Percent By 2028
On June 5, 2018, Brazil’s National Energy Policy Council (CNPE) set a target to reduce fuel emissions ten percent by 2028. These targets are part of the RenovaBio law, passed in December 2017, that aims to meet Brazil’s commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement by increasing the share of ethanol and biodiesel in Brazil’s fuel mix and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Andre Rocha, president of the National Sugarcane/Ethanol Forum, a group of 16 state sugar/ethanol producers associations, told Bloomberg Environment (subscription required) that the ten percent target ... read more >
May 11, 2018
DOE’s BETO And VTO Announce $12 Million In Available Funding For Co-Optima Projects
On May 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) and Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced a joint multi-topic funding opportunity for $12 million as part of the Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines (Co-Optima) initiative. This collaborative research and development effort supports the research of fuel and engine innovation that maximize vehicle performance and fuel efficiency, and is accelerating the introduction of affordable, scalable, and sustainable biofuels and high-efficiency, low-emission vehicle engines. The current funding ... read more >
May 4, 2018
UPM Biofuels Receives First RSB Low ILUC Risk Certification
On April 24, 2018, UPM Biofuels announced that its crude tall oil (CTO) feedstock for BioVerno renewable fuels had received the first ever RSB (Roundtable of Sustainable Biomaterials) low ILUC (indirect land use change) risk certification. This certificate confirms that the amount of CTO used to make BioVerno is sustainable and not diverted from other uses, resulting in little to no ILUC risk. Rolf Hogan, Executive Director of RSB, said of the certification: The RSB is proud to count UPM among the visionary biofuel producers that are not only RSB certified for their wood-based biofuels in ... read more >
March 2, 2018
EPA Sends Letter To New Hampshire Governor On Treatment Of Biomass And Forest Products Industry
During a visit to New Hampshire on February 13, 2018, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt provided Governor Chris Sununu (R-NH) a letter announcing EPA's efforts to work towards a carbon-neutral policy for biomass and clarify federal procurement recommendations for responsibly managed forests.  According to Pruitt, EPA recognizes the importance of the forest products industry to the State of New Hampshire and is focused on clarifying regulations that were encumbering the industry.  Following the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations ... read more >
February 9, 2018
Neste Renewable Fuels Reduces GHG Emissions By 8.3 Million Tons
On February 5, 2018, Neste, a member of BRAG, announced that the use of its renewable fuels in place of fossil fuels resulted in a reduction of 8.3 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  The significant emission reduction is primarily attributed to Neste’s MY Renewable Diesel and Neste's increased production volumes at its three renewables-producing refineries.  The reduction was calculated by comparing the lifecycle GHG emissions of the renewable fuels Neste produced in 2017 to that of conventional diesel.  Neste states that use of its renewable ... read more >
January 5, 2018
Neste Launches Online Platform For Sustainable Aviation Solutions
On December 21, 2017, Neste, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), announced the launch of its online hub focused on sustainable aviation solutions.  Decarbonizingaviation.com is an online platform designed to raise awareness and facilitate dialog in reducing the aviation industry's carbon footprint.  The results of a recent survey by Neste demonstrate that 50 percent of travelers consider it important that their airline goes above and beyond regulations to be environmentally friendly, and that most passengers are willing to pay a fee ... read more >
November 17, 2017
Neste Announces Collaboration With American Airlines
On November 13, 2017, Neste, a member of BRAG, announced it has entered into an agreement with American Airlines to explore opportunities to reduce the airline’s environmental footprint.  To achieve this goal, the companies are evaluating in-flight and on-the-ground opportunities to utilize Neste’s renewable fuels.  One aspect of the collaboration will involve complementary efforts to facilitate acceptance and commercialization of High Freeze Point HEFA (HFP-HEFA) renewable jet fuel, which is currently under consideration for approval by the American Society for Testing ... read more >
November 3, 2017
Neste Among Most Sustainable Companies In Climate Disclosure Project
On October 24, 2017, Neste, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), announced that it was the only energy company to reach the Leadership-class ranking in three Climate Disclosure Project (CDP) programs.  Neste received an A- ranking in the CDP Climate, CDP Forests, and CDP Water programs.  CDP is a not-for-profit organization that manages a global disclosure system allowing companies, cities, states, and regions to measure and manage their environmental impact.  The CDP Climate program focuses on corporate measures to combat climate risks ... read more >
October 27, 2017
DOE Announces $26 Million In Funding For Carbon Capture
On October 17, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy issued a $26 million funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for cost-shared research and development projects that support the DOE Carbon Capture Program’s goal of broad, cost-effective carbon capture deployment.  The Novel and Enabling Carbon Capture Transformational Technologies FOA consists of two areas of interest, specifically: Development of novel transformational materials and processes; and Enabling technologies to improve carbon capture systems. DOE anticipates selecting up to 14 ... read more >
October 13, 2017
Neste Issues Report On Changes In Energy, Transport, Chemical Markets
On October 5, 2017, Neste, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), announced the publication of its business environment outlook titled “Taking Action on Climate Change.”  The report provides an overview of key changes taking place in the energy, transport, and chemicals markets and of select drivers of such change.  The report highlights the role biofuels can play in reducing emissions from the road, aviation, and marine transport sectors.  Demand for renewable diesel is expected to double in North America, the Nordic countries, ... read more >
October 6, 2017
EPA Issues NODA Regarding RFS Program
On October 4, 2017, EPA issued a NODA in the Federal Register to provide supplemental information and an opportunity for further public comment on potential reductions in the 2018 biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volumes, and/or the 2019 biomass-based diesel volume under the RFS program.  The NODA follows the Agency’s July 21, 2017, proposed rulemaking on the volume requirements and provides additional information on production, imports, and cost of renewable fuel, and several options for how EPA may consider such data in establishing the final ... read more >
September 15, 2017
Ontario Announces $25.8 Million In Funding Available For Low Carbon Innovations
On August 29, 2017, the government of the province of Ontario, Canada announced $25.8 million has been allocated to the Low Carbon Innovation Fund (LCIF) as a part of the province’s Climate Change Action Plan.  The funding will be used to support emerging, innovative technologies in areas such as alternative energy generation and conservation, new biofuels or bioproducts, next-generation transportation or novel carbon capture and usage technologies.    Funding is available either from: The Technology Demonstration stream, which aims to support the development ... read more >
August 25, 2017
USDA Awards Funding For Study Of Biofuels Impact On Climate
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded researchers from Clemson University a $147,744, two-year grant to evaluate the effectiveness of producing biofuels to mitigate climate change.  The project will analyze how switchgrass fields and loblolly pine forests affect local temperatures through the exchange of water, energy, radiation, and carbon with the atmosphere; and quantify below- and above-ground carbon fluxes in both loblolly pine and switchgrass plantations and assess the greenhouse gas emissions of the ... read more >
August 4, 2017
NBB Announces New CARB Certified Biodiesel Additive
On July 25, 2017, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) announced that the California Air Resource Board (CARB) certified a biodiesel additive that will make California B20 blends the cleanest diesel fuel with the lowest emissions profile available in the U.S.  The additive known as Branded VESTA™1000 reduces every measurable regulated emission, including nitrogen oxides (NOx), when blended with CARB diesel fuel, California’s unique clean-burning biodiesel formulation.  A 20 percent blend of biodiesel with the additive reduced NOx by 1.9 percent and particulate matter by 18 ... read more >
July 21, 2017
EPA Announces Public Hearing On RFS Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a public hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard [RFS] Program: Standards for 2018 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2019 proposed rule.  The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. on August 1, 2017, and will provide an opportunity for EPA to gather data, views, and arguments on the proposed rulemaking from interested stakeholders.  While EPA does not plan to respond to presentations, the Agency may ask clarifying questions.  EPA intends to use the information to inform a future rulemaking to reset the statutory volumes ... read more >
July 14, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, “Cellulosic Biofuels Can Benefit the Environment If Managed Correctly” Euractiv, “MEPs Ask Commission to Distinguish ‘Good And Bad’ Crop-Based Biofuels” American Oversight, “American Oversight Sues EPA to Release Communications with Carl Icahn” Arizona State University, “ASU Scientists Harness the Trial-and-Error Power of Evolution to Coax Nature into Revealing Answer to Energy Challenge” Pennsylvania State University, “Research Progressing on How to Spur Wide Use of Aviation ... read more >
June 16, 2017
EPA Awards Green Chemistry Challenge Winners
On June 12, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the 2017 Green Chemistry Challenge Award winners at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the 21st Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference.  The award recognizes landmark green chemistry technologies developed by industrial pioneers and leading scientists that turn potential environmental issues into business opportunities, spurring innovation and economic development.  The American Chemical Society (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute convened an independent panel of technical experts to ... read more >
June 16, 2017
SPARK 2017, November 6-7, 2017, Edmonton, Canada
Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) and Alberta Innovates are hosting SPARK 2017 to support game-changing solutions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and advance the bioindustrial sector.  The conference will take place November 6-8, 2017, in Edmonton, Canada.  SPARK 2017 aims to inspire, motivate, and support researchers and innovators by connecting them with others working to advance innovative technology across four key areas, including: Bioindustrial Development and Biological GHG Emissions; Industrial Processes and Energy Efficiency; Reducing GHG Footprint from Fossil ... read more >
June 16, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Senator Whitehouse, “Senators Call On Pruitt To Explain Icahn’s Role In Shaping RFS” Governor Ige, “Hawai‘i Becomes First State To Enact Law That Aligns With Paris Agreement” Biofuels International, “MEP Calls For Sweeping Changes To EU Biofuel And Bioenergy Legislation” University of Minnesota, “U Of M Helps Startup Resynergi Create Energy From Plastic Waste And ... read more >
June 9, 2017
Neste Issues A Statement On The U.S. Withdrawal From The Paris Agreement
On June 2, 2017, Neste, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), released a statement in response to the decision by President Trump to withdraw the U.S from the Paris Agreement.  According to Neste, the U.S. withdrawal is “unfortunate” and “a saddening turn for the international battle against climate change.”  The decision, however, will not signal the downfall of the Agreement, which has been ratified by 147 of the 197 countries that signed it.  The statement highlights the fact that no changes have been made to the ... read more >
June 2, 2017
DOC Announces Renewable Energy Advisory Committee Meeting
On May 30, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) International Trade Association announced in the Federal Register a public meeting of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (REEEAC).  The meeting will take place in Washington, D.C. on July 27, 2017.  REEEAC is focused on export promotion for the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.  During the meeting, REEEAC will discuss next steps for each sub-committee, consider recommendations for approval, and hear from officials from DOC and other agencies on major issues impacting the ... read more >
June 2, 2017
Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference June 13-15, 2017, Reston, Virginia
The 21st Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference (GC&E), hosted by the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute, will be held in Reston, Virginia, on June 13-15, 2017.  GC&E is a gathering opportunity for over 500 academic, industrial, and government stakeholders to network and learn about the developments in sustainable approaches to chemistry, chemicals, processes, and products.  The event features over 40 technical sessions, a robust poster session, keynote lectures, workshops, social events, and a Green Expo.  Biobased and ... read more >
June 2, 2017
SPARK 2017, November 6-7, 2017, Edmonton, Canada
Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) and Alberta Innovates are hosting SPARK 2017 to support game-changing solutions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and advance the bioindustrial sector.  The conference will take place November 6-8, 2017, in Edmonton, Canada.  SPARK 2017 aims to inspire, motivate, and support researchers and innovators by connecting them with others working to advance innovative technology across four key areas, including: Bioindustrial Development and Biological GHG Emissions; Industrial Processes and Energy Efficiency; Reducing GHG Footprint from Fossil ... read more >
June 2, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
International Renewable Energy Agency, “Renewable Energy Employs 9.8 Million People Worldwide, New IRENA Report Finds” E&E News, “Are Advanced Biofuels Ready for Takeoff?” University of Pittsburgh, “Fueling the Future” Tomsk Polytechnic University, “How Gold Can Recycle Biofuel Waste into Useful Additive” GoodFuel, “‘Goodshipping Program’ Hands Cargo Owners Control of Their Carbon ... read more >
May 12, 2017
Senate Finance Committee Introduces Clean Energy For America Act
On May 5, 2017, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced to the Senate Finance Committee legislation focused on reducing carbon pollution over the next decade by incentivizing clean energy and promoting new technologies in the private sector.  The Clean Energy for America Act, which was co-sponsored by 21 Democratic Senators, provides a simplified set of long-term, performance-based energy tax incentives to promote clean energy production and storage.  The legislation would create a technology-neutral incentive for the domestic production of renewable transportation fuels based on the ... read more >
May 12, 2017
DOE Requests Comments On EERE Environmental Questionnaire
On May 1, 2017, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) published a notice in the Federal Register regarding its intent to extend its use of the EERE Environmental Questionnaire, with changes, for three years.  The questionnaire allows EERE to collect project-specific information from federal financial assistance awardees to evaluate the potential environmental impact of projects that it is considering for funding, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. EERE is also requesting comments on the questionnaire, specifically ... read more >
April 21, 2017
BETO Hosts Algae Cultivation for Carbon Capture and Utilization Workshop
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is hosting an Algae Cultivation for Carbon Capture and Utilization Workshop on May 23-24, 2017, in Orlando, Florida.  The event will feature facilitated discussions focused on gathering stakeholder input on innovative technologies and business strategies for growing algae on waste carbon dioxide (CO2) resources.  Stakeholders will be encouraged to consider challenges and opportunities related ... read more >
April 13, 2017
European Parliament Votes To Make Palm Oil Biofuels Sustainable
On April 4, 2017, Members of the European Parliament (MEP) approved a resolution calling on the European Commission (EC) to phase out the use of palm oil as a component of biofuels and advocating for a single certification scheme for palm oil entering the European Union (EU).  The resolution states that biofuels production accounts for 46 percent of the palm oil imported by the EU and requires about one million hectares of tropical soils.  To limit the deforestation and habitat degradation that comes from unsustainable palm oil production, the EU aims to phase out the use of ... read more >
April 7, 2017
California Approves 12 Biodiesel And Renewable Diesel Pathways
On March 23, 2017, the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Resources Board (ARB) announced the release of new carbon intensity pathways for fuels certified under the low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) using the CA-GREET 2.0 model.  Of the 18 pathways approved in March, eight are first generation biodiesel carbon intensity pathways and four are second generation renewable diesel carbon intensity pathways.  A pathway for biodiesel produced from used cooking oil has been provisionally certified, as well.  The approved pathways can be used for credit reporting ... read more >
March 31, 2017
Neste Welcomes Swedish Government’s Support For Renewable Fuels
On March 24, 2017, Neste, a member of BRAG®, announced its approval of draft proposals by the Swedish government regarding mandated reductions in traffic fuel emissions and the continued tax exemption for high-blended biofuels.  By 2030, the government aims to reduce carbon emissions from transportation by 70 percent.  In addition to reducing carbon emissions, the ambitious targets and long-term perspective will help support innovation and investments in biofuels.  Neste, which has a strong focus on developing cost-efficient technologies to convert forest residues into ... read more >
March 24, 2017
NASA Confirms Biofuels Reduce Jet Engine Pollution
On March 15, 2017, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) published the results of a joint study with German and Canadian agencies on the impact of biofuels on jet engine pollution, including emissions and contrail formation.  The results demonstrate that the use of a 50-50 blend of aviation fuel and fuel of hydro processed esters and fatty acids from camelina plant oil reduced particle emissions by 50-70 percent.  Since soot emissions are a major driver of contrail formation, the particle reductions observed with the use of biofuel are expected to result in a ... read more >
March 24, 2017
National Farmers Union Passes Resolution On Higher Blended Fuels
On March 13, 2017, the South Dakota Farmers Union announced that the National Farmers Union had passed a resolution calling for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to open the market to higher blends of ethanol during its annual meeting in San Diego.  The resolution, which was brought forward by the South Dakota Farmers Union delegation, promotes the use of higher blended fuels, such as E30, as a way to expand the retail fuels infrastructure and support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).   In addition to passing the resolution, the National Farmers Union filed legal ... read more >
February 24, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■  Biotechnology Innovation Organization, “BIO Submits Comments on EPA Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support Rule”   ■  EPA, “Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2015”   ■  International Energy Agency, “New Bioenergy Roadmap Guide Released Jointly by IEA and ... read more >
February 10, 2017
UAI Petitions EPA To Withdraw Flawed Emissions Model
On January 25, 2017, the Urban Air Initiative (UAI), along with the Energy Future Coalition and the states of Kansas and Nebraska, filed a request for correction of information petitioning EPA to correct its models on motor vehicle fuel emissions that limit the use of higher blends of ethanol.  In the petition, UAI claims that EPA continues to publish inaccurate data regarding ethanol emissions that originated with its fuel effects study and vehicular emissions computer model, MOVES2014, and describes the fundamental flaws in the design of the study.  UAI relied on peer reviewed ... read more >
February 10, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Bio-based News, “Bio-based Economy and Climate Change” U.S. Navy, “ US Navy Synthetically Recreates Biomaterial to Assist Military Personnel”     University of Maine, “Senator King Joins National Laboratory Officials & UMaine to Announce Innovative Partnership to Grow Maine’s Economy”  Syracuse University, “A Better Way to Farm ... read more >
February 2, 2017
EPA Seeks Comments On GHG Analysis Of Sugar Beets For Biofuel Feedstock
On January 18, 2017, Christopher Grundler, the Director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), signed a notice inviting comment on its analysis of the upstream greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the production of sugar beets for use as biofuel feedstock.  The notice describes the analysis performed, which considers the extraction of non-cellulosic beet sugar for conversion to biofuel and the use of the remaining beet pulp for animal feed, and how EPA may use the analysis to determine whether biofuels from sugar beets qualify ... read more >
January 20, 2017
USDA Releases Report On Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Balance Of Ethanol
On January 12, 2017, USDA released a report on the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of corn ethanol, titled “A Life-Cycle Analysis of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Corn-Based Ethanol.”  The study reviewed industry and farm sector performance over the past decade and found that in the United States corn-based ethanol generates 43 percent less GHG emissions than gasoline.  Compared to previous studies, the lifecycle GHG benefits were greater due to improvements in corn production efficiency, conservation practices, and ethanol production technologies.  The ... read more >
December 2, 2016
White House Publishes Mid-Century Strategy For Deep Decarbonization
On November 16, 2016, the White House filed the Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change under the Paris climate deal. The strategy highlights the role that U.S. government-funded research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) had on the technological advances of the last century, and the potential to increase the pace and reduce the costs of decarbonization using the full power of U.S. RD&D efforts focused on clean energy technologies.   The strategy states that potentially high impact technologies in early ... read more >
November 18, 2016
RSB Announces Revision Of Principles & Criteria
On November 8, 2016, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) announced its members voted unanimously to publish revised Principles & Criteria that streamline the requirements and make them more user-friendly. The decision was announced at the Annual Assembly of Delegates meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam.   RSB stated the amendments will offer:   ■   A new user-friendly format, enabling easy understanding of how to apply the standard;    ■   Streamlined and clear impact assessment ... read more >
November 11, 2016
UNEP Report Calls For Stronger Policies To Limit Climate Change
On November 3, 2016, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released the seventh UNEP Environment Emissions Gap Report, presenting a scientific assessment of global progress towards emissions reductions created by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  The report found that if all Paris Agreement pledges to reduce emissions global temperature are achieved, global temperatures will still rise to more than 2°C over preindustrial levels.  UNEP chief Erik Solheim stated that we need to move faster to mitigate our impact on climate change, with ... read more >
October 21, 2016
EPA Opens Nominations For The 2017 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards
On October 18, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has opened nominations for the 2017 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards (PGCCA).  Since 1996, these awards have honored companies and institutions that develop processes and products to help protect public health and the environment.  EPA’s strong support for the adoption of green chemistry has helped strengthen the development and commercialization of green chemistry products, leading to significant environmental benefits alongside economic benefits.  Previous PGCCA winners ... read more >
October 21, 2016
Biofrontiers Platform Releases Policy Recommendations For EU’S 2030 Climate Goals
On October 11, 2016, the Biofrontiers platform, a group of industry and civil society stakeholders brought together by the European Climate Foundation, released policy recommendations for the European Union’s (EU) 2030 climate policy.  The group stated that the transport sector has become the largest source of carbon emissions in the EU, and is therefore an urgent area to tackle following the Paris climate change agreement.  Policy recommendations put forth by the Biofrontiers platform, as stated in the Biofrontiers report, ... read more >
October 14, 2016
Reports On Canadian Biofuels GHG Emissions Argue For And Against Biofuel Mandates Over Carbon Pricing
On October 4, 2016, Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission (EFC) published a report,  Course Correction: It’s Time to Rethink Canadian Biofuel Policies, arguing for the termination of biofuel subsidies.  The report claims that Canadian biofuel policies have reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions an average of three million tonnes annually, accounting for less than 0.5 percent of Canada’s total GHG emissions.  Annual costs of the biofuel policies were estimated to be C$640 million, resulting in an estimated average per-tonne cost of GHG emission reduction ranging ... read more >
September 23, 2016
DOE Hosts Alternative Aviation Fuels Workshop, New LUC Emissions Research Discussed
On September 14-15, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) hosted a two-day workshop with lead experts on aviation biofuels exploring opportunities to increase competitiveness of alternative jet fuels. The Alternative Aviation Fuel Workshop was organized in four parallel breakout sessions covering the economic and technical competitiveness, fuel conversion and scale-up, environmental sustainability and life-cycle benefits, and feedstock and product supply chains of lignocellulosic biomass based aviation biofuels. During the workshop, Wally Tyner, a professor of Agricultural Economics from ... read more >
September 16, 2016
USGS Study Points To Biofuel Crop Related Land-Use Change Reducing Honey Bee Habitat
On August 29, 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) published a study on the result of land-use changes on North and South Dakota commercial honey bee colonies in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. USGS scientists found that grasslands and other landscape features favored by beekeepers were decreasing, with crops that are avoided by beekeepers, such as corn and soybeans, replacing them. The study pointed out that biofuel crop production, including corn and soybeans, had increased in the Dakotas from 2006-2014, with a continual increase in biofuel crops totaling ... read more >
April 22, 2016
DOE Announces Upcoming International Energy Agency Webinar On Climate Impacts Of Bioenergy
On April 21, 2016, DOE and IEA Bioenergy (IEA) presented a webinar, Bioenergy - Is It Good for the Climate?, which discussed the climate benefits of bioenergy and the impact of bioenergy on atmospheric CO2 levels. The webinar featured Annett Cowie, principal Research Scientist in New South Wales' Department of Primary Industries, and Task Leader of the International Energy Agency Bioenergy research network "Climate Change Effects of Biomass and Bioenergy Systems." Archives of the IEA Bioenergy Webinar Series are available for viewing ... read more >
October 23, 2015
Jatropha Oil Comment Date Correction
On October 19, 2015 the Federal Register published a correction to the due date for comments for the Notice of Opportunity To Comment on an Analysis of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Attributable to Production and Transport of Jatropha Curcas Oil for Use in Biofuel Production. The October 15, 2015, Biobased and Renewable Products Update included the article EPA Issues Draft GHG Analysis For Production and Transport of Jatropha Oil that listed the incorrect date for comments to be received. The correct date that comments must be received by is November 12, ... read more >
October 16, 2015
California Enacts Law To Use 50 Percent Renewable Electricity By 2030
On October 7, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed S.B. 350, The Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015 (the Act). The law will require the percent of electricity produced from renewable sources to increase over stages until 2030 when 50 percent of electricity used in California will be produced using renewable sources. While the majority of renewable electricity is expected to come from solar and wind power, the Act encourages use of diverse energy sources, including biomass, geothermal, and transportation electrification. The original draft of the Act included a ... read more >
September 25, 2015
American Energy Innovation Act Of 2015 Introduced By Senate Democrats
On September 22, 2015, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Democratic Leader Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) released The American Energy Innovation Act of 2015, a bill designed to improve economic growth in the energy sector, invest in clean energy, and support research and development while cutting carbon pollution. Senator Wyden stated the proposed legislation "... is built around the proposition that the law ought to reward clean energy with incentives that spark innovation in ... read more >
September 25, 2015
RFA Responds To Oregon’s Proposal To Use ILUC Emissions Under CFP
On September 15, 2015, Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) proposed using hypothetical indirect land use change (ILUC) emissions while calculating the carbon intensity of biofuels under the Clean Fuels Program (CFP). DEQ proposed the rule to update the Oregon Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions and Energy Transportation model (OR-GREET) to clarify elements before the CFP's first compliance year starting on January 1, 2016. The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) released a statement expressing disappointment with the proposed rule, stating that the proposal creates ... read more >
September 18, 2015
Gina McCarthy Speaks About The Future Of The RFS
On September 15, 2015, the head of the EPA, Gina McCarthy, spoke at the Growth Energy Advocacy Conference about the need of the upcoming RFS rule to encourage long-term investment in advanced biofuels to successfully grow capacity. McCarthy went on to say that the November 30, 2015, deadline is a priority for her to have the RFS rule finished to improve investment conditions for biofuels. She considers the RFS to be one of the best tools that the Administration has in the long-term fight against climate change. EPA is currently looking at approximately 650,000 comments from the proposed rule ... read more >
September 11, 2015
Novozymes CEO Peder Holk Nielsen Discusses Growth In Biofuel Industry
On September 7, 2015, Clean Technica published a conversation with Novozymes CEO Peder Holk Nielsen about opportunities for growth coming from the upcoming COP 21 Paris climate talks. Nielsen expressed a desire for a form of taxation or limits on carbon emissions to be put in place over the next 10 or 15 years. In the future, Nielsen sees biofuel production becoming more sustainable as people turn to waste biomass rather than producing biomass. The increasing use of waste biomass is an opportunity for Novozymes to deploy enzymes that are capable of converting waste biomass into biofuels in a ... read more >
August 14, 2015
USDA Invests In Rural Energy For America Program
On August 7, 2015, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $63 million in loans and grants to be distributed through its Rural Energy for American Program (REAP). The $63 million is divided among 264 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects throughout the nation, in primarily rural communities. In addition to creating jobs and improving local economies, the newly announced REAP projects are expected to either save or generate 207.8 million kilowatt hours (KWh) of energy. REAP funds may be used by agricultural producers and rural small businesses to improve energy efficiency or install ... read more >
August 7, 2015
Tax Credits For Renewable Chemical Production Introduced In The House
On July 29, 2015, a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide credits for the production of renewable chemicals and investments in renewable chemical production facilities, and for other purposes (H.R. 3390) was introduced in the House. The bill would expand production and investment tax credits that are currently available to renewable energy producers to apply also to renewable chemical manufacturers. The program allows manufactures to choose either: (1) a 15 cents per pound production credit for eligible renewable chemicals; or (2) a 30 percent investment tax credit for ... read more >
July 17, 2015
EPA Issues Draft GHG Analysis For Cottonseed Oil Feedstock In Biofuels
EPA is inviting public comment on its analysis of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the production and transport of cottonseed oil feedstock used in the production of biofuels. The Federal Register notice also provides an overview as to how EPA may apply its analysis in future determinations, as to whether biofuels from cottonseed oil will meet the criteria for renewable fuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard program. EPA notes that, based on its current analysis, it anticipates that biofuels produced from cottonseed oil could qualify as biomass-based diesel or advanced biofuel if typical ... read more >
July 2, 2015
New York Releases Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan
On June 25, 2015, the 2015 New York State Energy Plan was released, outlining a 40 percent reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) from 1990 to 2030 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050. The aggressive plan would achieve the reduction in GHG emissions through changes to power, transportation, buildings, and industry with the goal of at least half of the state's electricity coming from renewable sources, including biomass, wind, and solar, by 2030. Energy consumption in buildings will also be reduced by 23 percent from 2012 levels by 2030. This decrease in energy consumption of ... read more >
May 15, 2015
Role Of Biomass Questioned For Clean Power Plan
In a May 8, 2015, letter, Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) requested that EPA reconsider its decision to treat biomass as having zero emissions under the proposed Clean Power Plan (Plan). The Senators point out "wood-burning power plants emit around 3,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour," and would not assist in achieving the carbon reductions intended by the Plan. The letter also states: "The EPA should not approve biomass combustion as a compliance method under the Plan until the agency has a method in place to account for facility-level ... read more >
May 8, 2015
Parliament Finalizes EU Biofuels Reform Rule
On April 28, 2015, the European Parliament approved a draft law restricting crop-based biofuels in order to encourage production of advanced biofuels with low-risk ILUC and cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The law, that was discussed in the April 23, 2015, Biobased and Renewable Products Update, applies to legislation requiring EU Member States ensure that at least 10 percent of energy used in transport by 2020 is renewable. Under the new law, no more than 7 percent of energy consumption by 2020 can be first-generation biofuels, resulting in at least 3 percent of energy consumption coming ... read more >
April 23, 2015
EPA Seeks Comment On Proposed RFS Deadlines
As referenced in last week's Biobased and Renewable Products Update, EPA published a Proposed Consent Decree along with a request for comment in response to the Clean Air Act (CAA) lawsuit filed by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) and the American Petroleum Institute (API). The decree will establish deadlines for EPA to propose and issue in final the 2015 RFS. Comments are being accepted until May 20, ... read more >
April 10, 2015
California Air Resources Board Held A Workshop On The Low Carbon Fuel Standard
On April 3, 2015, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) held a Public Workshop to discuss updates to the California-Modified Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (CA-GREET) Model, version 2.0, under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The update includes improved formulas to calculate Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC), and an updated model for calculating lifecycle Carbon Intensity (CI) values that is based on Argonne National Laboratory's GREET model. California is also proposing a two-tiered CI system for certifications and registrations, with ... read more >
March 27, 2015
President Obama Signs Executive Order Reducing Federal GHG Emissions
On March 19, 2015, the White House published an Executive Order signed by President Obama that would further a preference for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred products. Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade sets new greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets for federal agencies to reach by 2025 and increases renewable energy use and building efficiency, while reducing fleet emissions in the federal government. The new targets would reduce total GHG emissions by 26 million metric tons, and will be met in part by increasing the share of electricity from renewable ... read more >
March 27, 2015
Pennycress Oil Notice Published In The Federal Register
On March 20, 2015, the Notice of Opportunity to Comment on an Analysis of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Attributable to Production and Transport of Pennycress (Thlaspi Arvense) Oil for Use in Biofuel Production that was discussed in the March 19, 2015, Biobased and Renewable Products Update was published in the Federal Register. The docket number is EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0091 and comments on the notice close on April 20, 2015. ... read more >
March 27, 2015
Legislation Introduced In Senate To Phase Out RFS
On March 18, 2015, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced S. 791, "The American Energy Renaissance Act of 2015." Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) introduced companion legislation, H.R. 1487. The legislation would phase out the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), approve the Keystone XL pipeline, open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas exploration, and stop EPA from regulating GHG emissions. Under the bill, the RFS would start to be phased out in 2016 with a 20 percent reduction in the volumetric requirements proposed by EPA. The 20 percent reductions would continue each year ... read more >
March 20, 2015
EPA Releases Notice On The GHG Emissions Of Pennycress Oil
On March 12, 2015, Christopher Grundler, Director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, signed the Notice Of Opportunity to Comment on an Analysis of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Attributable to Production and Transport of Pennycress (Thlaspi Avense) Oil for Use in Biofuel Production. This notice states that biofuels produced from pennycress oil could qualify as biomass-based diesel or advanced biofuel when they are produced using typical fuel production process technologies. The notice is the result of an analysis of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that come from the ... read more >
March 6, 2015
Low Carbon Fuel Bill Passed In Oregon Senate
On February 26, 2015, the Oregon State Senate passed Senate Bill 324 (SB 324), a measure that would require fuel producers to reduce the amount of carbon in car and truck fuels. If passed by the Oregon House of Representatives, SB 324 will implement a low-carbon standard in the state of Oregon. The measure is modeled on California's fuel standard, and would require fuel importers to cut the carbon in fuels by 10 percent from 2016 to 2025. This would result in a three percent reduction of the total emissions in Oregon. The fuel standard could be met through increasing the percentage ... read more >
February 26, 2015
Citigroup Announces $100 Billion Worth Of Loans For Green Projects
On February 18, 2015, the CEO of Citigroup, Michael Corbat, announced that Citigroup is planning on lending, investing, and facilitating deals of a total of $100 billion by 2025 for projects that will protect the environment. The announcement followed a previous decision to provide $50 billion in deals between 2007 and 2015, which was completed ahead of schedule, in 2013. Citigroup's view that $100 billion, a reasonable amount to facilitate the expected growth of the renewable energy industry, is a huge vote of confidence towards the continued success and expansion of ... read more >
January 15, 2015
EPA Delays Carbon Dioxide Rule
 On January 7, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the carbon dioxide rule for new power plants under the Clean Air Act (CAA) would be delayed until mid-summer 2015.  This decision was made so that the rules for new power plants could be coordinated with the new rules for existing and modified power plants that have completion deadlines for the summer of 2015.  The rules would cut emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants with individual states responsible for how to implement the rules.  If states choose not to submit plans for how to ... read more >
January 8, 2015
EU Commission Calls For Comments On Emissions Trading Revisions
On December 19, 2014, the European Union (EU) Commission called for comments on EU Emission Trading System Directive revisions. The revisions include changes to how carbon allowances will be made available to participants in the EU's emissions trading system after 2020 to reduce GHG emissions by at least 40 percent in 2030 compared to 1990. The 2030 framework for climate and energy also proposes the use of 400 million carbon allowances to create a fund for renewable energy and carbon sequestration projects, and the use of two percent of allowances to finance energy efficiency and energy ... read more >
November 7, 2014
DOE Releases Climate Plans
On October 31, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released two plans related to climate change. The Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan and the Climate Change Adaptation Plan are intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for flooding, rising sea levels, and extreme temperatures/weather patterns. These plans come five years after the 2009 Executive Order on Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance that set energy, climate, and environmental goals for government agencies. The release of the plans gave Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz an opportunity to ... read more >
October 31, 2014
EU Leaders Agree On Climate And Energy Policy Framework For 2030
During a summit in Brussels on October 23-24, 2014, European Union (EU) leaders agreed to a blueprint to guide climate and energy policy through 2030. The overall goals of the blueprint are to achieve a 40 percent emissions reduction by 2030, relative to 1990 emissions levels, as well as a target of 27 percent for total energy consumption in the EU being provided by renewable sources by 2030. The EU already has a 20 percent emissions reduction target for 2020. The target is expected to help build and maintain momentum for the larger 2030 emissions goal. Individual countries will not be ... read more >
August 15, 2014
Group Of Senators Weigh In On Biogenic Carbon Regulations
On August 7, 2014, a group of nine Democratic Senators led by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) sent a letter to the EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, on the treatment of biogenic carbon emissions from stationary sources. The other eight Senators who signed the letter are: Tim Johnson (D-SD); Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND); Ron Wyden (D-OR); Maria Cantwell (D-WA); Al Franken (D-MN); Patty Murray (D-WA); Joe Donnelly (D-IN); and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). The letter comes at a time when EPA is working to issue in final a rulemaking providing guidelines for such treatment. In their letter, the Senators caution ... read more >
August 1, 2014
EPA Holds Listening Sessions On Carbon Proposal
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held its first "listening sessions" this week on its controversial proposed rule to reduce carbon dioxide at existing power plants. BRAG has previously reported on the proposed rule. A copy of the proposed rule is available online. The listening sessions took place on July 29 and 30, 2014, in Atlanta, Georgia, Denver, Colorado, and Washington, D.C., and will take place on August 1, 2014, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During the sessions, EPA heard from a wide range of stakeholders on both sides of the issue, including industry ... read more >
July 18, 2014
White House Weighs Higher EPA 2014 RFS Targets To Help Climate Efforts
On July 15, 2014, Inside EPA reported that "the White House is examining options for reversing EPA's proposed cuts to several renewable fuel standard (RFS) production targets in order to promote biofuels that create fewer greenhouse gases (GHGs) than conventional fuels, informed sources say, as part of the Obama administration's broader efforts to combat climate change." The article also quotes sources stating: "[F]igures under discussion between administration officials and industry representatives include raising the renewable fuel target -- largely met with corn ... read more >
June 27, 2014
Supreme Court Affirms EPA’s Power To Regulate Carbon Dioxide Under The Clean Air Act
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling on Monday, June 23, 2014, which upheld the authority of EPA to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act (CAA), but with limitations. The Court held that EPA may require permits and carbon control efforts for large stationary sources that emit large quantities of carbon dioxide. The emission of certain quantities of other regulated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions -- not carbon dioxide alone -- must trigger the requirements, however. The Court held that EPA went impermissibly beyond its authority to regulate carbon dioxide under the CAA when, under ... read more >
June 27, 2014
Scientists Weigh In On Biogenic Carbon Accounting Debate
On June 19, 2014, over 90 scientists sent a letter to EPA urging the Agency to move forward under its Tailoring Rule by "1) moving beyond the flawed assumption that bioenergy is inherently carbon neutral; 2) rejecting the regional accounting method originally proposed in the draft Accounting Framework; and 3) ensuring a scientifically sound methodology for determining the carbon emissions impact to the atmosphere from burning long-recovery woody biomass feedstocks -- most notably, whole trees." A copy of the letter is available online. There were significant actions on this issue ... read more >
June 6, 2014
EPA Releases Proposal To Cut Carbon Dioxide
On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a pre-publication version of its proposed rule on "Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units." This precedent-setting proposal seeks to reduce carbon dioxide from existing power plants by 30 percent by 2030. According to the pre-publication version of the proposed rule, four public hearings will be convened in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Denver, and Washington, D.C. Comments will be due 120 days following the date the proposed rule is published in the ... read more >
May 9, 2014
GCRP Issues Third National Climate Assessment
This week, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP), a collaboration of 13 federal agencies and myriad academia, issued its third National Climate Assessment. The 841 page report and a summary of its highlights are available online. This report is significant because compared to previous reports it more definitively attributes human activity as the cause of increased climate change, which is causing more severe weather. The report asserts that climate change is here now and will have more and more devastating impacts throughout the country. It is not a future event. Additionally, ... read more >
April 25, 2014
EPA Questions Results Of DOE-Funded Study Finding GHG Emissions From Cellulosic Fuels
EPA is vigorously questioning results of a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-funded study that concludes ethanol produced from crop residues such as corn stover can have higher lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than conventional gasoline, arguing that the findings are based on an "extremely unlikely scenario" of unsubstantiated agricultural practices. RFA is also highly critical of the new study, claiming its "methodology is fundamentally flawed and its conclusions are highly suspect." RFA made available a useful fact sheet that is available online. The ... read more >
March 7, 2014
EPA Issues Final Rule On Tier 3 Regulations
On March 3, 2014, EPA released its final rule on "Control of Air Pollution from Motor Vehicles: Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards" (the "Tier 3 rule"). A copy of the 1069-page Tier 3 rule is available online. A copy of EPA's five-page fact sheet on "EPA Sets Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards" is available online. The Tier 3 rule is designed to reduce air pollution from passenger cars and trucks. Beginning in 2017, the Tier 3 rule will set new vehicle emissions standards and reduce the sulfur content of gasoline. It will ... read more >
February 28, 2014
Senators Expected To Urge Action On Climate Change
Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) are leading a new Senate Task Force on Climate Change designed to combat stated plans by some in the Republican leadership to weaken President Obama's expected upcoming Executive actions to address climate change. While legislative action on climate change remains unlikely this year, Members of the Senate Task Force are doing what they can to highlight the issue. To this end, Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) is organizing an all-night Senate floor session during which the issue of climate change will be discussed. The session is ... read more >

 
BIOBASED AND RENEWABLE PRODUCTS ADVOCACY GROUP
2200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 100W
Washington, D.C. 20037
(202) 833-6580 | www.braginfo.org
Contact
 
Privacy Policy | Acceptable Use Policy 
©2018 Biobased And Renewable Products Advocacy Group
All Rights Reserved.