Biobased and Renewable Products News: Regulation & Policy

June 6, 2013
RFS Target Of House Subcommittee Hearing
On Wednesday, June 5, 2013 Chair James Lankford (R-OK) of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care, and Entitlements held a hearing on "Up Against the Blend Wall: Examining EPA'S Role in the Renewable Fuel Standard." The content and focus of the hearing focused on the federal RFS and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) implementation of the policy. It represents another effort in Congress among RFS opponents to work toward significant reform or repeal of the law. Witnesses included the current Director of EPA's ... read more >
June 6, 2013
EPA Petitions Supreme Court To Deny Review Of E15 Ruling By Lower Court
On May 30, 2013, EPA filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to deny requests by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, and the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (together petitioners) that the Court review recent decisions by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia regarding E15. In August 2012, for lack of standing, the D.C. Circuit Court upheld by a 2-1 majority EPA's waivers, issued in 2010 and 2011, of E15 for certain vehicles after 2001. Though D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh issued a strong ... read more >
June 6, 2013
Florida Anti-RFS Legislation Signed Into Law
Late last week, Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) signed into law HB4001, legislation to repeal the state's RFS. This new law is significant because it represents another victory for the oil and gas industry that is working hard at the local, state, and national levels to build grassroots support to repeal the federal RFS. Opponents of the bill included biofuels producers building advanced biofuels facilities in Florida and national renewable fuels organizations, including the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). Supporters included specialty equipment manufacturers and the American ... read more >
May 30, 2013
Comments Due To California DTSC On Costs Of Safer Consumer Products Regulations June 6
On May 22, 2013, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) released a 15-day public notice (available online) on its Economic and Fiscal Impact Statement (the Statement) under the Safer Consumer Products rulemaking. Comments are due to DTSC by June 6, 2013. More information on this notice, including all relevant documents, is available online. Generally, the Statement asserts that the costs of California's proposed Safer Consumer Products Regulations cannot be determined until they are implemented. It does acknowledge that there will be a range of costs to ... read more >
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 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 2, 2013
Leaders Announce Plans To Consider Farm Bill
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) stated publicly that he would like the full Senate to consider a Farm Bill this month after the Senate Agriculture Committee marks up and passes its version of the legislation. Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) has reportedly stated that she plans to schedule a mark-up of her Committee's version of the next Farm Bill sometime this month. Biofuel and renewable chemical supporters are working hard to ensure that this year's version of the next five-year Farm Bill will include a strong energy title that helps ... read more >
May 2, 2013
Tax Reform
Last week, the Senate Finance Committee released its latest position paper as part of its ongoing effort to outline and propose ways to accomplish broad based tax reform. The position paper (available online) includes potential ways to reform energy tax incentives. An idea presented in the paper is to consider whether the various existing biofuel incentives should be eliminated and replaced with biofuel incentives based on technology ... read more >
May 2, 2013
Oil Industry Requests Extension Of Tier 3 Comment Deadline
EPA published a notice in the Federal Register on April 8, 2013, announcing a June 13, 2013, deadline for comments on its proposed "Tier 3" fuel and vehicle emissions rule. In March, EPA released the rule on its website available online. The rule has yet to be published in the Federal Register. Last week, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) sent a letter to Robert Perciasepe, Acting EPA Administrator, requesting the deadline for comment on the rulemaking be extended until 90 days after it is officially published in the Federal Register. AFPM claims the ... read more >
April 25, 2013
Senate EPW Committee Expected To Take Up EPA Nominee
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has stated that she expects the Committee to consider and vote on President Obama's pick for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Gina McCarthy, in the coming weeks. The nomination is expected to pass the Committee and the full Senate despite recent public statements by Committee Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R-OK) that he will not support McCarthy. McCarthy has served as EPA's Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation since 2009. In this position, McCarthy has helped oversee among ... read more >
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