Biobased and Renewable Products News: RFS

June 13, 2013
House Subcommittee Hearing Targets RFS
On Wednesday, June 5, 2013, Chair James Lankford (R-OK) of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Healthcare and Entitlements held a hearing on "Up Against the Blend Wall: Examining EPA's Role in the Renewable Fuel Standard." Witnesses included the current Director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Christopher Grundler, along with one supporter of the advanced biofuels industry and three opponents of the RFS. There were no representatives directly involved in the biofuels industry, and the corn ethanol industry affected ... read more >
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
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
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
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
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 RFS@mail.house.gov 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 >
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