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Valero Shuts Down Two Corn Ethanol Plants (Ind. Report)
Valero Energy
Date: 2019-11-08
San Antonio-headquartere Valero Energy Corp., the second-largest U.S. oil processor by capacity, is reporting the temporary shutdown of its corn ethanol production facilities in Riga, Michigan and Bluffton, Indiana, due to "weak margins" and "market conditions". The plants will resume production "as soon as favorable economic conditions exit", according to the company's website. (Source: Valero Energy Corp., Bloomberg, 7 Nov., 2019) Contact: Valero Renewable Fuels, Joe Gorder, Pres., (800) 324-8464, www.valero.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Valero Energy,  Ethanol,  


Notable Quote -- Sen. Chuck Grassley Comments on EPA, RFS
Grassley,RFS
Date: 2019-11-08
"As the number one producer of corn, ethanol, biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol, the renewable fuels industry is an important sector of Iowa's economy. It generates nearly $5 billion of Iowa's GDP, over $2.4 billion in household incomes and supports 47,000 jobs across Iowa.

"President Trump made a commitment to Iowa and other biofuels producing states, and I look forward to seeing this promise fulfilled. The EPA shouldn't undercut President Trump's support of the Renewable Fuels Standard. I urge EPA to adjust the proposed supplemental rule to account for actual waived gallons using hard data from past practice to provide certainty to the marketplace." -- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in a letter to EPA Dir. Wheeler this week on the EPA's proposed supplemental rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard. Contact: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), www.grassley.senate.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Grassley,  RFS,  Ethanol,  


GEVO to Supply Renewable Isobutanol to Seattle Fleet (Ind. Report)
GEVO
Date: 2019-11-06
Englewood, Colorado-based renewable fuels and chemicals manufacturer Gevo, Inc. reports winning a 4 year contract, with 3, two-year extensions, to supply 200,000 gpy of renewable isobutanol and 600,000 gpy renewable isooctane to the City of Seattle. The deal is part of the city's Green Fleet Action Plan (GFAP) to tackle its fleet emissions .

Gevo has partnered with two local certified veteran and minority-owned small businesses to coordinate the blending, logistics, and delivery of the final product to the City of Seattle. (Source: GEVO, PR, 4 Nov., 2019) Contact: City of Seattle, Philip Saunders, Green Fleet Program Manager, www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/FAS/FleetManagement/2019-Green-Fleet-Action-Plan.pdf; Gevo, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com Fuel,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  

More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  Isobutanol.Renewable Fuel,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  


Hawaiian Counties Drive to Renewable Fuels Funded (Funding)
Kauai County
Date: 2019-11-04
Several counties in the Aloha State are getting $316,494 in Volkswagen Mitigation Settlement funds and $474,474 in cost sharing funds under the $2.5 million EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) to boost their municipal fleets transitions to 100 pct renewable energy and fuels.

The DERA grant is part of more than $9 million in nationwide funding to replace older diesel school buses with newer, cleaner fuel vehicles.

Converting vehicles away from diesel and updating fleets is another step toward the state's goal of running municipal fleets on 100 pct renewable fuels and energy. In December 2017, four counties committed to make the move toward 100 pct renewable fuel sources in fleets, and three of those counties upped the time frame by 10 years during that agreement. Kauai County committed to transition away from the use of fossil fuels by 2035 and also committed to funding an EV charger incentive program in 2020 to help encourage installation of EV chargers around the island. (Source: The Graden Island. 4 Nov., 2019) Contact: Kauai County, Energy and Sustainability Coordinator Ben Sullivan, 808-241-4188, www.kauai.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable fuel news,  


St1 Selects AF Poyry for Swedish Renewable Fuel Project (Int'l)
AF Poyry,St1
Date: 2019-11-04
Helsinki-headquartered St1 reports it has awarded Gothenburg, Sweden engineering firm AF Poyry with engineering contracts for a new renewable fuel production plant to be built in Gothenburg, Sweden. At a cost of SEK 1.5 billion ($156.2 million), the project is St1's largest ever.

AF Poyry's services includes all engineering, procurement and scheduling services. The project consists of new units, revamp of existing units and new storage facilities. The new plant will produce approximately 200,000 tpy of renewable fuel in the form of HVO (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils), a renewable transport fuel that can be blended into diesel or replace diesel. Production is expected to start early in 2022.

St1 Nordic OyThe Group researches and develops economically viable, environmentally sustainable energy solutions. St1 focuses on fuels marketing activities, oil refining and renewable energy solutions such as waste-based advanced ethanol fuels and industrial wind power. The Group has 1300 St1 and Shell branded retail stations in Finland, Sweden and Norway. (Source: AF Poyry, PR, 4 Nov., 2019) Contact: AF Povry , www.poyry.com; St1 Nordic Oy, www.st1.eu

More Low-Carbon Energy News St!,  Biofuel,  Renewable Fuel,  Biodiesel,  


Growth Energy Calls on EPA to Fix Flawed RFS Proposal (Ind. Report)
Growth Energy, EPA, RFS
Date: 2019-11-01
In testimony before the US EPA on the agency's proposed supplemental rule on 2020 biofuel targets under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor called on EPA to fix this flawed draft proposal and reverse the demand destruction that has shuttered biofuel plants across the heartland. "As drafted, EPA's plan fails to accurately account for lost gallons and betrays President Trump's promise to rural America. It cuts the fix we were promised in half, if not more, and destroys what may be our last chance to bring back the ethanol plants that have shut down and help ease the burden facing American farmers," Skor said.

To begin repairing the damage, Skor called on the EPA to uphold the president's commitment to farmers and biofuel workers. "Midwestern lawmakers and governors have seen the damage firsthand and worked with the president to secure a deal that would start to undo the damage -- a deal that would honor this administration's commitments to farmers, biofuel producers, rural America, as well as small refineries. But instead, the EPA has undercut the president's promise and has yet again tilted the table in favor of the nation's largest oil companies -- all at the expense of the American farmer," Skor said.

Skor urged regulators to use the rolling average of actual exempted volumes from the three most recently completed compliance years in the final rule, as promised by the administration. She also called on the agency to formally bind itself to the revised methodology for future years and expedite work to remove additional barriers to the sale of E15. "EPA must fix this rule immediately by properly accounting for exempted gallons and restoring lost demand. American biofuel producers and farmers cannot afford anything less," concluded Skor. (Source: growth Energy, PR, 30 Oct., 2019)Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Elizabeth Funderburk, (202) 545-4000, EFunderburk@GrowthEnergy.org, www.growthenergy.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Growth Energy,  


Biofuels Coalition Challenges EPA's "Hardship Waivers" (Ind Report)
Growth Energy, U.S. Grains Council,Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2019-10-25
Previously this week in Washington, a coalition of the American Coalition for Ethanol, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and Renewable Fuels Association filed a petition with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, challenging the process by which the U.S. EPA issue economic "hardship waivers" to over 30 small refineries from their respective Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuel blending obligations for 2018.

The coalition's brief noted, "Even as the Trump Administration indicates it is taking steps to account for future small refinery exemptions, the coalition remains concerned that EPA's abuse of the small refinery exemption program diverges from the spirit and letter of the Clean Air Act. From a substantive and procedural perspective, this is not the way for a federal agency to make such a momentous decision." (Source: Growth Energy, U.S. Grains Council, and Renewable Fuels Association , 23 Oct., 2019) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Elizabeth Funderburk, (202) 545-4000, EFunderburk@GrowthEnergy.org, www.growthenergy.org; U.S. Grains Council, Tom Sleight, Pres., (202) 789-0789, (202) 898-0522, www.grains.org; Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Growth Energy,  U.S. Grains Council,  Renewable Fuels Association,  


RFS Proposed Volumes for 2020 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021 (Ind. Report)
EPA, Renewable fuel Standard
Date: 2019-10-21
The Trump administration EPA has issued the attached supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking seeking additional comment on the recently proposed rule to establish the cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volumes for 2020 and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2021 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.

The notice does not change the proposed volumes for 2020 and 2021. Instead, it proposes and seeks comment on adjustments to the way that annual renewable fuel percentages are calculated. Annual renewable fuel percentage standards are used to calculate the number of gallons each obligated party is required to blend into their fuel or to otherwise obtain renewable identification numbers (RINs) to demonstrate compliance.

Specifically, the agency is seeking comment on projecting the volume of gasoline and diesel that will be exempt in 2020 due to small refinery exemptions based on a three-year average of the relief recommended by the Department of Energy (DOE), including where DOE had recommended partial exemptions. The agency intends to grant partial exemptions in appropriate circumstances when adjudicating 2020 exemption petitions. The agency proposes to use this value to adjust the way we calculate renewable fuel percentages. The proposed adjustments would help ensure that the industry blends the final volumes of renewable fuel into the nation's fuel supply and that, in practice, the required volumes are not effectively reduced by future hardship exemptions for small refineries. Consistent with the statute, the supplemental notice seeks to balance the goal of the RFS of maximizing the use of renewables while following the law and sound process to provide relief to small refineries that demonstrate the need.

Download the Renewable Fuel Standard Program -- Proposed Volumes for 2020 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021 HERE. Contact: EPA Renewable Fuel Standard, 800-385-6164, www.epa.gov/fuels-registration-reporting-and-compliance-help/forms/fuels-program-helpdesk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Blend,  


Neste Lauded by East Bay Clean Cities Coalition (Ind. Report)
Neste,East Bay Clean Cities Coalition
Date: 2019-10-18
In the Golden State, the East Bay Clean Cities Coalition in California, US has awarded its 2019 Clean Air Champion Award to renewable diesel producer Neste for its "exemplary work with renewable fuels and focus on sustainability as a core part of your (its) mission and operations."

Neste supplies its "drop-in" Neste MY Renewable Diesel to 17 cities in the East Bay area, and other west coast areas.

The East Bay Clean Cities Coalition (Oakland) works with vehicle fleets, fuel providers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to save energy and promote the use of domestic alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies in transportation. (Source: East Bay Clean Cities Coalition, PR, 16 Oct., 2019) Contact: East Bay Clean Cities Coalition, www.cleancitieseastbay.org; Neste, +358 10 458 4128, (713) 407-4400 - Houston, Texas office, www.neste.us www.neste.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  Clean Cities,  Renewable Diesel,  


Puget Sound Proposes Aggressive Clean Fuel Standard (Ind. Report)
Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
Date: 2019-10-18
The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency in Seattle reports it has drafted a regional clean fuel standard aimed at reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by 26 pct by 2030. The rule is in the public comment process and is expected to be finalized no sooner than February, 2020.

Transportation emissions reportedly account for roughly 40 pct of the region's emissions. (Source: Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, Public News Service, 17 Oct., 2019) Contact: Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, Craig Kenworthy, Exec. Dir., 206-343-8800, 206-343-7522, www.pscleanair.org/528/Clean-Fuel-Standard

More Low-Carbon Energy News Puget Sound Clean Air Agency,  Renewable Fuel,  


Growdiesel Supporting Indian Biofuel Industry Growth (Int'l.)

Date: 2019-10-16
Indian renewable fuels major Growdiesel, a provider of turn-key Bio-CNG, bio-PNG (Piped natural gas), green biodiesel and bio-fertilizer solutions to more than 20 state and federal government organizations, reports it is currently an advisor to the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise and the Skill Council for Green Jobs and will provide funds, equipment, and mentorship to help Indian students and business advance in the biofuels industry.

The company holds more than 50 patents and has issued over 150 research papers on Biofuels. (Source: Growdiesel, PR, Digital Journal, 15 Oct. 2019) Contact: Growdiesel Ventures Ltd., +921 284 4166, www.instagram.com/growdieselventures, www.growdiesel.com


Another "EPA Bait and Switch" (Opinions, Editorials & Aside)
NATSO
Date: 2019-10-16
Alexandria, Virginia-based NATSO, representing America's travel plazas and truckstops, today issued the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to implement the RFS deal that President Trump negotiated less than two weeks ago:

"Unfortunately, EPA's plan does not stay true to the President's promise to account for gallons that are waived as part of the RFS's small refinery exemption program.

"Specifically, today's plan would provide accounting relief for just a fraction of the gallons that have actually been waived and base that relief on the far smaller number of gallons that the DOE recommended be waived.

"When the deal was first announced on Oct. 4, many champions in the biofuels industry lauded the President because they thought that EPA received and understood the President's message. Apparently this is not the case.

"In the deal President Trump negotiated, EPA was supposed to ensure that it would account for all of the gallons that are waived as part of the small refinery exemption process. Today's plan simply does not do that. It is another 'EPA bait and switch' where the White House announces a deal that, at a high level, is favorable for the biofuels community, and EPA later decides to bail out refiners at the expense of farmers. I've seen this movie before.

"The math here is simple. In 2016, EPA waived 790 million gallons under the small refinery exemption program. In 2017, it waived 1.82 billion gallons, and in 2018 it waived 1.43 billion gallons. This averages out to 1.346 billion gallons waived per year over the past three years. To provide the accounting relief that President Trump negotiated in his deal just two weeks ago, EPA would need to ensure that 1.346 billion gallons are added to the 2020 renewable fuel obligations.

"Instead, the proposal EPA Administrator Wheeler issued today would provide accounting relief for just 580 million to 770 million gallons -- far less than the 1.346 billion gallons that President Trump promised. The irony in all of this is that by basing accounting relief on DOE's recommendations, rather than the actual volume waived, this proposal shines a bright light on the damage that EPA has directly inflicted on the biofuels community in recent years by disregarding DOE's recommendations and waiving more gallons than was recommended. It will undoubtedly generate the same level of opposition that the most recent round of small refinery exemption announcements generated, at a time when this Administration has enough on its plate already."

NATSO is the trade association of America's travel plaza and truckstop industry. Founded in 1960, NATSO represents the industry on legislative and regulatory matters; serves as the official source of information on the diverse travel plaza and truckstop industry; provides education to its members; conducts an annual convention and trade show; and supports efforts to generally improve the business climate in which its members operate. (Source: NATSO, PR, 15 Oct., 2019) Contact: NATSO, David Fialkov, VP Gov. Affairs, Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman, (703) 739-8578, www.natso.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  NATSO,  Trump,  


Greenfield Expanding Ethanol Production in Quebec (Ind. Report)
Greenfield Global
Date: 2019-10-16
Canada's largest ethanol producer Greenfield Global reports it will expand production at its Varennes biorefinery following the Government of Quebec's introduction of draft regulations on the minimum renewable fuel blending volumes in the province of Quebec.

The Government of Quebec's draft regulations on the minimum volume of renewable fuel proposal would set blending thresholds of 10 pct renewable fuel in gasoline, and 2 pct renewable fuel in diesel by 2021 -- increasing to 15 pct in gasoline and 4 pct in diesel by 2025.

Greenfield's Varennes biorefinery, which is the first ethanol plant to be built in Quebec, has been in operation since 2007. The facility produces the lowest carbon intensity ethanol in Canada, as well as corn oil and distillers’ grain.

Greenfield owns and operates four ethanol distilleries, three specialty chemical manufacturing and packaging plants, and three next-generation biofuel and renewable energy R&D centres across North America. (Source: Greenfield Global, PR, Biofuel Int'l., 16 Oct., 2019)Contact: Greenfield Global, Howard Field, President and CEO, (613) 698-0116, howard.field@greenfield.com, www.greenfield.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Greenfield Global,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  Canada Ethanol,  


IRFA Dumps on Trump EPA's RFS Proposal (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2019-10-16
"The (Trump EPA) proposal today essentially asks Iowa farmers and biofuels producers to trust that EPA will do the right thing on SREs in 2021 when they have spent the last two years weaponizing SREs to unfairly undermine the RFS.

"It is unreasonable and counter productive to expect Iowans to put their faith in EPA to fix the SRE problem when they (EPA) were the ones who created the crisis in the first place." -- Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

Last week Shaw commented: "We welcome the (Trump RFS) proposal to restore integrity to the RFS. We will work with our champions and the White House to make sure the EPA's final rules ensure that a 15 billion-gallon RFS will actually be a 15 billion-gallon RFS. If that is accomplished, the integrity of the RFS will have been restored and President Trump's promise to protect and uphold the RFS will have been redeemed." Contact: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., (515) 252-6249, www.iowarfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Trump,  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  


Jamaica Boosting Renewables Projects, Investments (Ind. Report)
Jamaica, Renewable Energy
Date: 2019-10-14
In the capitol city of Kingston, the Government of Jamaica is touting its comprehensive plan advocating for greater and better access to renewable energy and energy financing in the island nation of roughy 2.952 million residents. 'The project will significantly reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels and help Jamaica achieve its sustainable energy development goals,' the president assured.

In the capital, Paradise Park, an investment of $65 million, 37-MW solar installation is the island's largest renewable energ installation. The government is also supporting construction of a hybrid energy storage plant, as part of a strategy to facilitate the use of healthier and renewable fuels. (Source: Gov. of Jamaica, Prensa Latina, 13 Oct., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Jamaica Renewable Energy,  


NBB Poll Finds Voter Support for RFS and Biodiesel (Ind. Report)
National Biodiesel Board
Date: 2019-10-11
According to a recently released National Biodiesel Board (NBB) poll of registered U.S. voters, 81 pct of respondents indicated that a candidate's position on renewable fuels is important, 86 pct said a candidate's position on clean energy is important or very important and 85 pct agreed that it is important that Pres. Trump keep his promises on the RFS.

Nearly 80 pct expressed support for existing federal advanced biofuels programs, 78 pct support the federal tax incentive for biodiesel, and 79 pct support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) while 79 pct would encourage local communities and governments to promote use of biodiesel. (Source: NBB,Oct., 2019) Contact: NBB, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  RFS,  Biodiesel,  Ethanol,  Biofuel ,  


Trump administration reaches regulatory deal on Renewable Fuel Standard
EPA,RFS
Date: 2019-10-09
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that President Donald Trump is promoting a new Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Under the agreement, the following actions will be undertaken by EPA and USDA. In a forthcoming supplemental notice building off the recently proposed 2020 Renewable Volume Standards and the Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021, EPA will propose and request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020. EPA will seek comment on actions to ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol be blended into the nation’s fuel supply beginning in 2020, and that the volume obligation for biomass-based diesel is met. This will include accounting for relief expected to be provided for small refineries; the EPA intends to take final action on this front later this year. In the most recent compliance year, EPA granted 31 small refinery exemptions. Building on the president’s earlier decision to allow year-round sales of E15, EPA will initiate a rule making process to streamline labeling and remove other barriers to the sale of E15; EPA will continue to evaluate options for RIN market transparency and reform; and USDA will seek opportunities through the budget process to consider infrastructure projects to facilitate higher biofuel blends. (Source: Talk Business & Politics , 7 Oct., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump. RFS news,  Renewable Fuel Standard news,  "Hardship" Waiver news,  


GEVO CEO Comments on RFS Announcement (Opinions & Asides)
Gevo
Date: 2019-10-09
"Friday's (renewable fuels standard) announcement by the EPA is a step in the right direction and will hopefully put the RFS back on track after 31 oil refineries received exemptions back in August. I'm glad President Trump supported this step. A robust renewable fuel standard is important for our farmers, the biofuel industry, and reducing greenhouse gases. Every drop of biofuel we get into the market is a win and helps to change the conversation about what is possible from low carbon, sustainable biofuels.

"With Gevo it is possible, for example, to replace an entire gallon of transportation fuel with fuels that are renewable with net zero, or even carry a negative, GHG profile. That is a game changer. Good for farmers, good for consumers, good for the environment." -- Patrick Gruber, CEO, Gevo, 8 Oct., 2019 Contact: Gevo, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Gevo,  RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  


EPA, USDA Agree to 15Bn Gal. Ethanol Blend Minimum (Ind. Report)
US EPA, USDA, Renewable Duel Standard
Date: 2019-10-07
On Friday in Washington, the Trump administration U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a long awaited agreement on the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and will now request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020.

The agreement will ensure the blending of 15 billion gallons of ethanol with fuel supplies starting in 2020 and will also ensure the biomass-based diesel volume is met. EPA will also start the process for streamlining labeling and removal of other barriers for the sale of E15 fuel.

Among other changes, the EPA will begin to account for projected numbers of gallons exempted when coming up with Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) for refiners, which means greater certainty for farmers and producers. It will ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol are blended into the nation's fuel supply starting in 2020. Additionally, the USDA will invest in infrastructure projects to facilitate higher blends of biofuel, such as E85. (Source: US EPA, McDonough County Voice, Various Other Media, 4 Oct., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Biofuel,  Ethanol Blend,  USDA,  US DOE,  


Notable Quotes on Trump's RFS Action
RFS,Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,
Date: 2019-10-07
"We welcome the (Trump RFS) proposal to restore integrity to the RFS. We will work with our champions and the White House to make sure the EPA's final rules ensure that a 15 billion-gallon RFS will actually be a 15 billion-gallon RFS. If that is accomplished, the integrity of the RFS will have been restored and President Trump's promise to protect and uphold the RFS will have been redeemed." - Monte Shaw, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, (Source: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, 5 Oct., 2019)Contact: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., info@IowaRFA.org, (515) 252-6249, www.iowarfa.org

"It's up to each individual entity, but the innovation of taking advantage of low-carbon markets. I think if we can differentiate ourselves within the state of North Dakota, to take advantage of those and be long survivors in this industry." - Gerald Bachmeier, CEO, Red Trail Energy (Source: Red Trail Energy, West Dakota Fox, 5 Oct., 2019) Contact: Red Trail Energy, 701-974-3308, www.redtrailenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  Ethanol.Ethanol Blend,  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  Red Trail Energy,  


SkyNRG Touts Sustainable Aviation Fuel Programme (Ind. Report)
SkyNRG
Date: 2019-10-04
Amsterdam-based aviation biofuel specialist SkyNRG reports the launch of its Board Now programme that allow companies to reduce their business air travel emissions while contributing to the development of a new sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facility.

By signing up to Board Now, organizations will commit to the purchase of SAF for a period of five years. Investment made through the programme will be used by SkyNRG to cover the price difference between SAF and conventional jet fuel. The renewable fuel will be produced by Europe's first dedicated 100,000 tpy SAF production plant in Delfzijl, the Netherlands. (Source: SkyNRG, PR, Biofuels Int'l, 3 Oct., 2019) Contact: SkyNRG, Maarten van Dijk, Director, Merel Laroy, +31 6 3083 3505, merel@skynrg.com, www.skynrg.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Sustainable Aviation Fuel,  SkyNRG,  Aviation Biofuel,  


EIA Data Questions RFS "Hardship" Waivers Effect on Ethanol Demand (Ind. Report)
EIA
Date: 2019-10-04
As previously reported, ethanol industry proponents have petitioned the EPA to cease issuing Small Refinery "Hardship" Exemptions (SREs) allowable under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The ethanol industry is trying to convince the EPA that the waivers are hurting their business and, therefore, the agency should stop issuing them.

Month-over-month, official government data tells a very different story. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the ethanol blend rate has remained within normal statistical variation, despite the flood of "hardship" waivers. EIA data shows:

  • The overall physical ethanol consumption for Q1 2019 (the most recent, complete data available) is higher than it was in 2018.

  • The average ethanol blend rate was higher in Q1 2019 (10.21 pct) than in Q1 2018 (10.09 pct).

  • In February 2019, the ethanol blend rate was 10.53 percent -- the highest in the 12 months preceding. And the March 2019 ethanol blend rate was 10.18 percent -- higher than the March 2018 blend rate of 9.75 percent.

    These blend rates have been stable for the past few years, underscoring the truth that ethanol demand is premised partially on the RFS, partially on demand for clean octane and partially on other factors -- not SREs.

    Similarly, when it comes to mid-level ethanol blends like E15, there is no data indicating that SREs are reducing demand. E15 and other mid-level ethanol blend sales have been growing all year and, in the case of E15, sales are higher at this point than they were last year, according to the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.

    As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. Under the now vanquished administrator Greg Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was denied. (Source: American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), EIA, Business & Industry Connection, 3 Oct., 2019) Contact: AFPM, Derrick Morgan, Snr, VP, (202) 586-8800, www.afpm.org; EIA, www.eia.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  Ethanol.Ethanol Blend,  EIA,  


  • Diamond Green Diesel Plans $1.1Bn Expansion (Ind. Report)
    Diamond Green Diesel
    Date: 2019-10-02
    Honeywell is reporting the Valero Energy and Darling Ingredients joint venture Diamond Green Diesel facility in Norco, Louisiana, will invest $1.1 billion to expand its annual production capacity of renewable diesel using Honeywell UOP's Ecofining™ process technology to meet growing demand for renewable fuels in North America and Europe.

    Producing 275 million gpy of Honeywell Green Diesel™, Diamond Green Diesel is the largest commercial advanced biofuel facility in the US. The expansion, which will increase the facility's annual production by nearly 150 pct to 675 million gpy, will also produce about 60 million gpy of renewable naphtha when completed and operational in late 2021.

    Diamond Green Diesel's product is a qualified Advanced Biofuel under the US EPA Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). (Source: Honeywell, Hydrocarbon Engineering, Oct., 2019) Contact: Diamond Green Diesel, sales@diamondgreendiesel.com, www.diamondgreendiesel.com; Valero Renewable Fuels, Joe Gorder, Pres., (800) 324-8464, www.valero.com; Darling Ingedients, Melissa A. Gaither, VP IR , (972) 281-4478, mgaither@darlingii.com, www.darlingii.com; Honeywell UOP, Bryan Glover, VP Petrochemicals & Refining Technologies, www,uop.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Honeywell UOP,  Diamond Green Diesel,  Renewable Diesel,  Valero,  Green Diesel,  Darling Ingedients,  


    EPA Halts RFS "Hardship" Waiver Changes (Ind. Report)
    RFS,"Hardship Waivers"
    Date: 2019-10-02
    It is being widely reported by Fox News and others that the EPA has stalled on updates to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuels policy regarding biofuel blending "hardship" waivers (exemptions) that have been issued at near wholesale levels.

    The EPA appears to be acting on instructions from Trump who is no doubt preoccupied with his own whistleblower and impeachment worries.

    As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. Under the now vanquished administrator Greg Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was denied. (Source: Fox News, Various Other Media, 2 Oct., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  Biofuel Blend,  


    W2 Fuels Shutters Iowa, Michigan Biodiesel Plants (Ind. Report)
    W2 Fuel
    Date: 2019-09-30
    In the Hawkeye State, Crawfordsville-based biodiesel producer W2 Fuel LLC reports the shutdown of its 10 million gpy biodiesel plant in Crawfordsville in southeast Iowa, along with a plant in Michigan.

    The company cited RFS "hardship" waiver uncertainty and growing losses for the move. (Source: W2 Fuel, Des Moines Register, 25 Sept., 2019) Contact: W2 Fuel, Roy Strom, CEO, 319-658-2003, www.w2fuel.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel,  W2 Fuel,  Biofuel,  Renewable Fuel,  


    Corn Growers Praise, Plead Trump for RFS Action (Ind. Report)
    Trump
    Date: 2019-09-30
    In a recent letter to Pres. Donald Trump, corn grower organizations in 23 states called on the President to direct his administration's EPA to account for projected waivers beginning with the pending 2020 RFS volume rule and to simply uphold the law.

    "Dear President Trump,

    "We are writing on behalf of the more than 300,000 corn farmers across the country who are being negatively impacted by a perfect storm of challenges in rural America. The 31 new Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers to big oil companies, recently approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and bringing total waivers issued under your Administration to 85, could not have come at a worse time for agriculture.

    "Ethanol plants in several states, including Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota and Mississippi have closed or idled. These closures have cost 2,700 rural jobs and impacted demand for more than 300 million bushels of corn. Corn farmers are beginning harvest and continuing to lose markets to deliver their corn. Frustration in the countryside is growing.

    "Corn farmers are not asking for a special deal. We are simply asking, as we have been for the past two years, that your EPA uphold the law. To effectively stop the harm caused by RFS waivers, EPA needs to account for projected waivers beginning with the pending 2020 RFS volume rule. Accounting for waivers in the annual RFS volume process restores integrity to the RFS. It also allows your Administration to continue granting waivers, as allowed by the law, while keeping the RFS whole."

    "While adding gallons and improving market access for higher blends of ethanol are all policies farmers appreciate and support, future waivers will continue to minimize the RFS, unless your Administration acts to account for waivers beginning this coming year first.

    "We were pleased to see press reports indicating that, following a meeting with farm-state lawmakers, an agreement had been reached to address the harm caused by waivers. With more than 4 billion gallons waived out of the RFS, we appreciate you listening to our elected representatives about what is needed to restore meaning to the RFS. Farmers across the country are anxiously awaiting the release of more details about this agreement. Ethanol plants will continue to close if you don't act soon, creating a rippling effect throughout the rural economy.

    "Corn farmers are appreciative of your past support for agriculture and ethanol. We especially appreciate your efforts to remove the barrier to year-round sales of E15, but EPA's current use of waivers undermines growth potential for higher blends of ethanol, reduces demand, lowers the value of our crop, and puts the outlook for the rural economy in jeopardy.

    "Mr. President, we firmly ask that you uphold your commitment to America's farmers and the RFS." (Source: Ag Ohio, Various Trade Media, Sept., 2019)

    Editor's Note: For our reader's convenience, we have underlined the few lines that actually call on Trump to honestly do his job and uphold the RFS. The remaining five paragraph's are, in our opinion, little more than flattery to the White House.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  "Hardship" Waivers,  Corn Ethanol,  


    W2 Fuel Iowa Biodiesel Plant Closed Amid RFS Uncertainty (Ind Report)
    W2 Fuel,Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2019-09-27
    In the Hawkeye State, Radio Iowa is reporting W2 Fuel LLC has temporarily shuttered its 10-million gpy biodiesel plant in in Crawfordsville due to market conditions and uncertainties swirling around the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

    According to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, the Crawfordsville facility is one of 12 biodiesel plants in Iowa. Last year, 365 million gallons of biodiesel was produced in Iowa -- roughly 20 pct of all the biodiesel made in the U.S. (Source: RadioIowa, 25 Sept., 2019) Contact: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., info@IowaRFA.org, (515) 252-6249, www.iowarfa.org; W2 Fuel LLC, Roy Strom, CEO, (319) 658-2003, www.w2fuel.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel,  W2 Fuel,  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  


    St1 Nordic Licenses Honeywell Ecofining Tech. (Ind. Report)
    Honeywell UOP, St1 Nordic
    Date: 2019-09-20
    Des Plaines, Ill.-based Honeywell UOP is reports it has licensed its Ecofining renewable fuels technology to Helsinki-headquartered St1 Nordic Oy for the production of 4,000 bpd of diesel and jet fuel at St1 Nordic's refinery complex in Gothenburg, Sweden. Basic engineering design for the project has already been completed.

    The Ecofining process converts inedible oils, animal fats, tall oils derived from forestry residues and other waste feedstocks into Honeywell Green Diesel which is chemically identical to petroleum-based diesel and can be used as a drop-in fuel. It also features up to an 80 pct lifecycle reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared with diesel from petroleum.

    In addition to Ecofining technology, Honeywell has commercialized the UOP Renewable Jet Fuel Process™. Jet fuel produced by this process can be blended seamlessly with petroleum-based fuel. When used in up to a 50 pct blend with petroleum-based jet fuel, Honeywell Green Jet Fuel™ requires no changes to aircraft technology and meets all critical specifications for flight, according to Honeywell. St1 Nordic Oy researches and develops economically viable, environmentally sustainable energy including waste-based advanced ethanol fuels and industrial wind power. (Source: Honeywell, Chemical Engineering, 19 Sept., 2019) Contact: St1 Nordic, Bo-Erik Svensson, Managing Director, www.st1.eu; Honeywell UOP, Bryan Glover, VP Petrochemicals & Refining Technologies, www,uop.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Honeyell UOP,  Green Diesel ,  St1 Nordic ,  


    Associations Call for Canadian Clean Fuel Strategy (Ind. Report)
    Wood Pellet Association of Canada
    Date: 2019-09-13
    Advanced Biofuels Canada, Canadian Biogas Association, Canadian Gas Association, Electric Mobility Canada and Wood Pellet Association of Canada are forecasting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions of over 50 million metric tons (Mt) per year by 2030 through greater production and use of renewable energy in Canada.

    Collectively, the associations say they represent technologies that can, with the right policy measures in place, exceed the proposed federal Clean Fuel Standard's objective of 30 Mt of annual GHG emission reductions by 2030.

    To that end, the associations are calling on the Canadian federal government to adopt a Clean Fuel Strategy by 2020. The strategy would include setting a clear path to clean and renewable fuel use by 2030 by: establishing clear market signals for clean fuels and electric vehicles; aligning clean and renewable fuel regulations to meet targeted clean fuel and EV use; establish clean fuel program funding to support clean and renewable fuel production capacity and infrastructure investments, and support EV adoption; and Support research and development programs to maintain Canadian leadership in clean fuel technologies and innovation. (Source: Wood Pellet Association of Canada, Biomass Mag., Sept., 2019) Contact: Wood Pellet Association of Canada, www.pellet.org; Canadian Biogas Association, (613) 822-1004, www.biogasassociation.ca; Advanced Biofuels Canada, Ian Thompson, Pres., (604) 947-0040, ithomson@advancedbiofuels.ca, www.advancedbiofuels.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuels Canada,  Canadian Biogas Association,  Wood Pellet Association of Canada,  Clean Fuel,  Biofuel,  


    Gevo, Leaf Resources Ink Joint Development Agreement (Ind. Report)
    Gevo,Leaf Resources
    Date: 2019-09-13
    Englewood, Colorado-based renewable fuels and chemicals manufacturer Gevo, Inc. and Queensland, Australasia-based Leaf Resources, a specialist in converting plant biomass into industrial sugars, are reporting a joint development and commercialization agreement under which Gevo will explore the potential use of cellulosic-derived sugars and glycerol from Leaf Resources and the ability to convert these to hydrocarbon molecules useful as fuels or chemicals.

    Leaf Resources' Glycell Process pre-treatment technology breaks down plant biomass to generate a higher yield of cellulose than conventional approaches. The pretreatment is followed by enzymatic hydrolysis which converts cellulose into cellulosic sugars. The process also yields lignin, hemicellulose and refined glycerol.

    Gevo has developed technology for producing isobutanol from renewable feedstocks using a yeast that has been developed to produce isobutanol and a product recovery technology that continuously removes isobutanol as it is formed. Gevo adds its proprietary yeast to fermentable sugars to convert the sugars to isobutanol. (Source: GEVO, Green Car Congress, 12 Sept., 2019) Contact: Leaf Resources, +61 7 3188 9040, www.leafresources.com.au; Gevo, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Isobutanol,  Leaf Resources,  GEVO,  Cellulosic,  


    Trump Asked to Honor RFS Pledge (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    NBB,National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2019-09-11
    "DearMr.President,

    "We are writing to express dismay at your recent decision to grant 31 waivers from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. Plainly stated, that decision is putting U.S.biodiesel producers out of business and worsening the year's outlook for soy farmers. And while you have expressed concern to save small petroleum refineries, you should also understand that small U.S. biodiesel producers need a positive signal.

    "Within a week of your decision on the 31 waivers, one U.S. biodiesel producer announced plans to close three plants -- in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Mississippi. Other producers have announced closings and laid off workers. More than 200 million gallons of domestic biodiesel production has been idled this year, due to instability in federal policy. We anticipate that additional facilities will close over the next several months if you do not take quick action to restore RFS volumes for biodiesel and renewable diesel.

    "Every small refinery waiver issued by the EPA has the potential to put a U.S.biodiesel producer out of business. A small oil refiner processing 75,000 barrels of oil per day can produce nearly 1 billion gallons of fuel in a year. The RFS program requires that oil refiner blend about 20 million gallons of biodiesel or renewable diesel during the year -- a very small fraction of overall fuel production. However, there are dozens of biodiesel producers who produce 20 million gallons of fuel or less each year; three-fifths of U.S. producers are small, non-integrated facilities.

    Small refinery waivers destroy demand for all biofuels across the board, with a significant impact on domestic biodiesel and renewable diesel producers. According to University of Illinois economist Scott Irwin, the exemptions especially harm biodiesel and renewable diesel producers because of the way the RFS is constructed. The 1.4 billion gallons of renewable fuel eliminated from the 2018 RFS through the 31 waivers includes hundreds of millions of gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel in the biomass-based diesel, advanced and overall volumes.

    "The small refinery exemptions are compounding the policy headwinds our industry is facing. Biodiesel producers have waited more than 20 months for Congress to address expired tax incentives. Additionally, your U.S. Department of Commerce is proposing to virtually eliminate countervailing duties on unfairly subsidized Argentine biodiesel. Those duties were put in place to counteract years' worth of unfair trade practices by Argentina. Soy farmers have faced closed markets, depressed crop prices, and weather-related challenges. Those forces have reduced soy planting by 15 percent for the current marketing year. Biodiesel is a value-added market driver for America's soybeans, at a time when markets have been shut or diminished.

    "The biodiesel industry continues to rely on the RFS to incentivize growth. Biodiesel and renewable diesel can be used in any existing diesel engine without special equipment for blending or dispensing. Producers therefore rely on a positive signal and support from federal programs to continue opening the transportation market to higher volumes.

    "Biodiesel producers and soy farmers rely on the RFS program. Growth in the biodiesel market is the only way to keep domestic producers operating and protect U.S. workers' jobs. Unfortunately, EPA is proposing zero growth for biomass-based diesel. We have asked the agency to do two things: first, properly account for the small refinery exemptions handed out over the past few years and going forward; and second, provide growth in the biomass-based diesel market for 2020 and 2021.

    "We ask that you continue to support the RFS and save small biodiesel producers. (signed) National Biodiesel Board (NBB)" (Source: NBB, 9 Sept., 2019) Contact: NBB, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB,  Biodiesel,  RFS,  


    Renewable Diesel Plant Considered for Port Arthur, Tex. (Ind. Report)
    Valero, Darling Ingredients
    Date: 2019-09-11
    In the Lone Star State, San Antonio-headquartered Valero Energy Corp. reports it and Darling Ingredients Inc. are looking at engineering and development costs for a possible new renewable-diesel plant to be constructed in Port Arthur, Texas. The proposed 400 million gpy renewable diesel would also produce 40 million gpy of renewable naphtha.

    Diamond Green Diesel -- a JV formed between a subsidiary of Valero and Irving, Texas-based low-carbon feedstock supplier Darling Ingredients Inc.-- would own and operate the new plant, which would be the first renewable diesel facility in Texas, as a 50-50 joint venture between Valero and Darling. With the proposed Port Arthur plant, Diamond Green Diesel's renewable diesel production would rise to roughly 1.1 billion gpy.

    Investors are expected to make a final decision on the project in 2021, at which time construction could get underway for commissioning and operation in 2024.(Source: Valero, PR, 9 Sept. 12News ABC, Beaumont, Texas, 10 Sept., 2019) Contact: Valero Renewable Fuels, Joe Gorder, Pres., (800) 324-8464, www.valero.com; Darling Ingedients, Melissa A. Gaither, VP IR , (972) 281-4478, mgaither@darlingii.com, www.darlingii.com; Diamond Green Diesel, sales@diamondgreendiesel.com, www.diamondgreendiesel.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Diamond Green Diesel,  Renewable Diesel,  Valero,  Green Diesel,  Darling Ingedients,  


    NEXT Renewable Fuels Planning Oregon Biodiesel Plant (Ind. Report)
    NEXT Renewable Fuels
    Date: 2019-09-09
    In Oregon, the Port of Columbia County has approved a long-term ground lease for NEXT Renewable Fuels to develop a $1 billion Advanced Green Diesel biodiesel production facility on 90 acres at Port Westward.

    NEXT Renewable Fuels' planned facility will convert used cooking oil and similar organic feedstocks into renewable diesel at the rate of of 37,500 bpd. The biofuels facility which could be increased to 50,000 bpd capacity, is expected to begin commercial operations in 2022. (Source: NEXT Renewable Fuels, Port of Columbia County, Biofuels News, 9 Sept., 2019) Contact: Port of Columbia County, 503-397-2888, www.portofcolumbiacounty.org; NEXT Renewable Fuels, Lou Soumas, Pres., info@nextrenewables.com, www.nextrenewables.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NEXT Renewable Fuels,  Biodiesel,  


    NBB's EPA RFS "Hardship" Waivers Challenge Nixed (Reg & Leg)
    NBB,National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2019-09-09
    In the nation's capitol, the US Court of Appeals has announced it will not review the Trump administration US EPA's refusal to account for its granting of numerous retroactive Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) "hardship" waivers, as challenged by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).

    The Court nixed the NBB's appeal on the grounds that the biofuel industry did not comment on the topic or give the EPA sufficient opportunity to address those comments. (Source: NBB, Biofuels News, 9 Sept., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB,  Biodiesel,  RFS,  "hardship" Waivers,  


    GEVO Touts New No Particulate Renewable Diesel (Ind. Report)
    GEVO
    Date: 2019-09-06
    Englewood, Colorado-based renewable fuels and chemicals manufacturer GEVO reports the development of a proprietary, breakthrough processes that converts

    either low-carbon isobutanol or low-value "fusel oils" -- a mixture of alcohols that are byproducts from fermentation processes -- into renewable diesel. This new renewable diesel is expected to compete head-to-head on price with natural and petroleum-based equivalents while reducing particulates and CO2 emissions.

    Low-carbon renewable diesel is biomass-derived transportation fuel suitable for use in diesel engines and has increased in demand since the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard came into effect. Additionally, the marine sector will have to reduce sulphur emissions to meet new international water regulations beginning in 2020. (Source: GEVO, PR, 4 Sept., 2019)Contact: GEVO, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  Renewable Diesel,  isobutanol,  


    Notable Quote
    POET, EPA
    Date: 2019-08-30
    "The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was designed to increase the use of clean, renewable biofuels and generate grain demand for farmers. Our industry invested billions of dollars based on the belief that oil could not restrict access to the market and EPA would stand behind the intent of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Unfortunately, the oil industry is manipulating the EPA and is now using the RFS to destroy demand for biofuels, reducing the price of commodities and gutting rural economies in the process." -- Jeff Broin, CEO, POET Contact: POET, Jeff Broin, CEO., (605) 965-2200, www.poet.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News POET,  EPA,  "Hardship" Waivers,  RFS,  


    Crown Oil Invests £4Mn to Encourage Alternative Biofuels (Int'l.)
    Crown Oil
    Date: 2019-08-30
    In Bury, UK, fuel, oil and lubricant's supplier Crown Oil reports it has invested £4 million in an initiative to encourage customers to switch from petroleum fuels to synthetic biofuels as an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels.

    According to Crown Oil managing director Matthew Greensmith, "We are always looking to reduce our footprint in every way we can and we're aware that the current supply of biofuels cannot sustainably match that of fossil fuels in a large economy such as the UK. We believe renewable sources are part of the solution to the current climate crisis, and we want to encourage businesses to switch to this versatile fuel. For that reason, we have invested in an industrial-sized supply of HVO fuel, as we expect demand for greener fuels to increase as businesses become more environmentally-conscious and we want to be able to cater to that demand."

    The company is also set to lobby Whitehall to give more concessions to producers of TVO and similar fuels. To that end, the company is calling for sufficient incentives for businesses and domestic customers to use biofuels, as aside from environmental concerns, there is little reason to choose renewable fuels. (Source: Crown Oil, Bury Times, 29 Aug., 2019) Contact: Crown Oil UK, Matthew Greensmith, +44 0 845 130 9777, Fax -- +44 0 0845 130 6888, www.crownoiluk.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  


    Sonny Says Trump Will Take Action on Ethanol Waivers -- Whatever That Means? (Ind. Report)
    RFS,Sonny Perdue
    Date: 2019-08-30
    Speaking Wednesday in Decatur, Illinois -- corn country -- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said President Trump will "take action to soften the effects of oil refinery exceptions for blending corn-based ethanol in motor fuel." It is "disappointing" that the Trump EPA granted the waivers, Sec. Perdue added.

    Perdue either couldn't or wouldn't say what action the president will or might take, but noted that Trump believes the EPA waivers were "way overdone." Ethanol advocates contend that oil refinery waivers have reduced ethanol production by 2.6 billion gallons since Trump moved into the White House.

    When grilled on the Trump administration's biofuels, trade and Renewable Fuel Standard and related policies Perdue replied "EPA will continue to consult with our federal partners on the best path forward to ensure stability in the Renewable Fuel Standard. The president will always seek to engage with stakeholders to achieve wins for the agriculture and energy sectors." So sayeth Sonny!(Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, CBS, Various Media, 28 Aug., 2019) Contact: Office of US Sec of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, (202) 720-2791, feedback@oc.usda.gov, www.usda.gov, twitter.com/SecretarySonny

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship" Waivers,  Ethanol,  Sonny Perdue,  Trump,  


    Woodland Biofuels Wins $4.7Mn NRC Investment (Funding)
    Woodland Biofuels
    Date: 2019-08-30
    In Ottawa, the Canadian government reports it will invest $4.7 million in Toronto-headquartered Woodland Biofuels. The company uses gasification and a series of catalytic reactions to convert biomass into renewable fuels.

    Of the total investment, $1.9 million, funded by Natural Resources Canada's (NRC) Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program, will support the company's development of a technology to produce cellulosic ethanol from wood and agricultural waste. A second investment of more than $2.8 million, funded by NRC Clean Growth Program, will be used to increase the efficiency of the company's cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant and support detailed engineering activities, enabling Woodland's first commercial-scale ethanol plant in Sarnia, Ontario. (Source: Woodland Biofuels, PR, Ethanol Producer, 28 Aug., 2019) Contact: Woodland Biofuel, Greg Nuttall, CEO,(647) 494-5553, www.woodlandbiofuels.com; NRC, www.nrcan.gc.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulosic,  Natural Resources Canada,  Biofuel,  


    House Reps Call for RFS "Hardship" Waiver Investigation (Ind Report)
    Biofuel,Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2019-08-28
    In the nation's capitol, a dozen members of Congress, spurred on by Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa) have writtn to U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro urging the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine the review and approval of small refinery "hardship" waivers under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) , including the DOE's viability scores for the 40 waivers reviewed to date by the DOE for the 2018 compliance year.

    As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. Under the now vanquished administrator Greg Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was denied.

    Download the letter HERE. (Source: Office of Rep. Abby Finkenauer, 21 Aug., 2019) Contact: Office of Rep. Abby Finkenauer, (202) 225-2911, finkenauer.house.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  "Hardship" Waiver,  


    More RFS "Hardship" Waivers! (Ind. Report)
    EPA,American Soybean Association
    Date: 2019-08-26
    On Friday the 23rd, the EPA announced it was granting 31 more Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) "hardship" waivers -- a whopping 31 of 38 total Small Refinery Exemption (SRE) applications for the 2018 compliance year.

    In July, EPA announced biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuels volumes for 2021 will remain stagnant but again failed to account for the significant gallons lost because of SRE, which makes the proposed volume, in effect, a reduction for biofuels.

    The waivers announced Friday evening combined with those issued for 2016 and 2017 RFS volumes brings the total number to more than 80 retroactive waivers, which significantly reduces biodiesel demand and results in billions of dollars in economic harm to the U.S. biodiesel industry, including soybean farmers.

    Kentucky soybean grower and American Soybean Association (ASA) president Davie Stephens responded to the latest round saying "Of course ASA is unhappy. These exemptions undermine President Trump's pledge to support the RFS and undermine the Administration's efforts to support farmers who are already bearing the brunt of trade disruptions. EPA's decision is another blow to yet another market for soybean farmers." (Source: American Soybean Association, Daily American, Various Media, 26 Aug., 2019) Contact: American Soybean Association, Dave Stephens, Pres., (314) 576-1770, www.soygrowers.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  "Hardship" Waivers,  American Soybean Association,  


    Growth Energy CEO Rebuts EPA Zero Demand Destruction Claim (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Growth Energy, RFS, EPA
    Date: 2019-08-21
    In response to the EPA's recent claim -- "There is zero evidence that EPA's congressionally mandated small refinery exemption program has had any negative impact on domestic corn ethanol producers" -- Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor issued the following statement.

    "The latest reports say President Trump 'felt misled' about the EPA's most recent batch of small refinery exemptions. That's hardly a surprise. The EPA spent months trying to paper over the devastating impact these refinery (waiver) handouts have had on farm communities and rural workers in America's biofuel sector. They can't hide the simple fact that dozens of biofuel plants have cut production, and ethanol consumption fell for the first time in 20 years in the wake of these exemptions. Closures in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Florida, Virginia, Texas, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Nebraska are only the beginning.

    "Just today, the world's largest ethanol producer closed a major plant in Indiana and cut production across seven states. Hundreds of millions of gallons of production are offline, and hundreds of millions of bushels of grain are falling in value, just as farmers face the worst economic conditions in a generation.

    "The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) creates an incentive that opens the market to biofuel blends, including the E15 that President Trump personally embraced. These exemptions destroy that incentive, pure and simple. You cannot carve billions of gallons from America's biofuel targets and still keep this administration's promises to farm families. EPA needs to account for these lost gallons immediately and start repairing the damage before more rural communities lose hope for a comeback."

    Growth Energy represents producers and supporters of ethanol working to bring consumers better choices at the fuel pump, grow America's economy and improve the environment. (Source: Growth Energy, 21 Aug., 2019) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Elizabeth Funderburk, (202) 545-4000, EFunderburk@GrowthEnergy.org, www.growthenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  


    Notable Quotes -- More EPA "Hardship" Waivers Feedback
    Elite Octane ,Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2019-08-21
    "I'm just livid. The president (Trump) went to Washington D.C. to drain the swamp and he's really become the swamp. The only person that's won here is Carl Ichan who got off not having to comply and saving about $190 million because he's president Trump's friend.

    " This is absolutely ridiculous that multi-billion dollar corporations would be given a free pass to use renewable fuels because of somehow twisting up an economic hardship to blend a fuel (ethanol) that today is $1.25 a gallon into gasoline that is still, wholesale, well over $1.50. It is just capital cronyism at it's best.

    "Three years in a row, under president Trump's leadership, he's decimated this program and I just think it is so disingenuous that he would come out to Iowa and brag about how he loves ethanol and he's for the farmer -- and then to go back and do this. People wanted to give him some room and say that was his EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and he fired him. But now clearly, clearly in the last week president Trump was personally involved and made this decision and it's very, very discouraging for everybody in agriculture." -- Nick Bowdish, CEO, Elite Octane, www.eliteoctane.com.(Source: Atlantic News Telegraph, Aug., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  Ethanol,  ,  Trump,  


    Lufthansa Launches Sustainable Aviation Fuel Carbon Offsetting Platform (Int'l., Ind. Report)
    Lufthansa
    Date: 2019-08-21
    In Berlin, German airline Lufthansa's Innovation Hub is reporting the launch of its "Compensaid" sustainability platform focused on carbon-neutral sustainable renewable fuels (SAF). The new platform will allow airline passengers to offset their individual carbon footprint by using SAF, reducing up to 80 pct of their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

    "Compensaid" combines a global airline flight tracking tool with a sustainability platform that makes it possible to directly offset individual CO2 emissions. The platform offers two options for carbon offsetting -- the option to replace fossil fuel with SAF, which is calculated through a market-based surcharge on flights, or the alternative is to use Compensaid to support a reforestation project in Nicaragua, reducing CO2 emissions in the long-term. (Source: Lufthansa, Biofuels Int'l., 20 Aug., 2019) Contact: Lufthansa Innovation Hub, Gleb Tritus, Dir., https://de.linkedin.com/in/glebtritus, welcome@lh-innovationhub.com; www.lh-innovationhub.com, www.lufthansagroup.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Biofuel,  Sustainable Fuel,  Jet Biofuel,  Lufthansa,  Carbon Offsetting,  Carbon Offset,  


    "We've Had Enough!" -- NBB Comments on EPA's RFS Waivers (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    NBB
    Date: 2019-08-16
    "Here we go again. Last week, the U.S. EPA granted 31 out of 38 retroactive small refinery exemptions for 2018. I can't contain the frustration and utter disappointment I have with how this administration is handling its responsibility of administering the RFS.

    "Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) back in 2007, signed into law by George W. Bush -- a lifelong oil and gas guy. The law was passed to encourage investment in advanced biofuels like biodiesel, renewable diesel and renewable jet fuel. Biodiesel producers responded, making the investments and building an industry that today produces more than 2 billion gallons of transportation fuel each year. This market also provides added value to feedstocks such as soybean oil, used restaurant oil and animal fats.

    "The oil industry feverishly insists that the ethanol industry isn't harmed by small refinery exemptions because production has grown. But what about biodiesel? They never mention us because they know that small refinery exemptions disproportionately affect biodiesel because of the way the RFS is constructed.

    "We have said again and again -- biodiesel is very different from ethanol. The president (Trump) was instrumental in clearing the path for higher blends of ethanol year-round when he lifted the RVP waiver this summer, which we were supportive of. He and his EPA administrator have mentioned E15 when they have spoken about what they believe to be the minor impact of exempting RFS gallons. It's as though they think we are dumb enough to not understand that they are giving with one hand but taking away with the other.

    "Now, back to biodiesel. E15 does nothing to expand demand for biodiesel. Ethanol is not biodiesel. In fact, the RFS recognized this by establishing its own category for biodiesel, separate from ethanol, called biomass-based diesel. Policymakers at the time recognized the need to segment biodiesel and renewable diesel within the bigger RFS pool so that growth in those products could be differentiated in the overall program and we would see advancements of biofuels in both the gasoline and diesel sector.

    "Fast forward to 2019 and we now have an EPA that, two months ago, proposed a draft rule to hold the biomass-based diesel category flat for 2020, keeping it at 2.43 billion gallons for the second year in a row and then, just last week, the same EPA grants nearly one-half billion gallons of biomass-based diesel waivers. To highlight the hypocrisy in this action, while filing the draft rule two months ago, the EPA documented, in writing, the fact that they expected to grant zero (that's zero as in none, zilch, nada) gallons of small refinery waivers in 2020. And we're supposed to understand and accept that move?

    "Biodiesel and renewable diesel year after year fill more than 90 percent of the RFS volumes reserved for advanced biofuels. But EPA complains that advanced biofuels have not materialized quickly enough to meet the goals of the RFS. Now -- as seen last week -- the agency is holding its thumb on the industry and blocking growth. Not only blocking growth, but helping to reduce demand through small refinery exemptions.

    "As the agency continues to hand them out to every refiner that asks, the damage could reach $7.7 billion or 2.54 billion gallons, according to Scott Irwin, an agricultural economist from the University of Illinois. A 'small' oil refinery, by RFS definition -- one that processes 75,000 bpd of oil and produces nearly a billion gallons of fuel a year -- would have an RFS obligation to use just 20 million gallons of biodiesel or renewable diesel. Many U.S. biodiesel producers are smaller than that -- just one small refinery exemption would eliminate their entire market. And the EPA granted 31 of them.

    "President Trump vowed to protect and defend American farmers. In fact, he calls them patriots. But his actions will put the biodiesel producers those same farmers depend on for their market, out of business. It's already happening, and it's having a devastating impact on rural communities across the nation.

    "President Trump and EPA Administrator Wheeler should clearly know what this means to the workers, producers, farmers and investors in the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry -- their new round of unwarranted RFS exemptions just destroyed jobs and a valuable marketplace for hardworking Americans, including those patriotic soybean farmers who Trump has called on to be his willing allies in the trade dispute with China. If this is how the EPA administrator treats the president’s allies, I'd hate to see how he treats his enemies. (Source: NBB, 15 Aug., 2019) Contact: NBB, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB,  Biodiesel,  


    NEB Comments on Latest EPA "Hardship Waivers" -- Notable Quote
    RPA, Nebraska Ethanol Board
    Date: 2019-08-14
    "Over the past two years, the EPA has granted hardship waivers to refineries owned by companies like Exxon Mobil and Chevron. Their continued handouts to the oil industry comes during a time when heartland farmers are really struggling due to depressed commodity prices, flooding and trade wars. Securing access and demand for homegrown, cleaner-burning biofuels should be top priority from an economic and environmental standpoint, not destroying the marketplace program the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was created for." -- Roger Berry, Administrator, Nebraska Ethanol Board (NEB).

    Berry was speaking in Lincoln, Nebraska on the EPA's granting of an additional 31 small refinery biofuel waivers for 2018. This follows the 54 waivers the Trump Administration granted in 2016 and 2017, which caused 2.6 billion gallons of demand destruction. These new waivers add another loss of 1.4 billion gallons, for a total loss of 4 billion gallons. Contact: Nebraska Ethanol Board, Roger Berry, (402) 471-2941, ethanol.nebraska.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Nebraska Ethanol Board news,  Ethanol news,  EPA news,  "Hardship Waiver" news,  


    NBB Condemns EPA's Latest RFS "Hardship Waivers" (Ind Report)
    National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2019-08-12
    "Less than two months after vowing to always protect and defend American farmers, President Trump is bowing to oil industry pressure and allowing his EPA to dismantle the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, force U.S. biodiesel producers out of business, and undermine the farm economy. EPA and administration personnel are well aware that the ongoing spree of big oil exemptions destroy demand for biodiesel and render the RFS program meaningless.

    "Biodiesel producers are already shutting down facilities and laying off workers, due to loss of demand. The ongoing demand destruction will undercut the industry's investments and choke off markets for surplus agricultural oils, adding to the economic hardship that farmers are facing. The Trump administration's action represents a fundamental betrayal of previous promises to farmers and the agricultural economy." (Source: National Biodiesel Board, 10 Aug., 2019) Contact: NBB, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  EPA,  RFS,  


    MORE Small Refinery "Hardship" Waivers Announced (Ind. Report)
    EPA,RFS,Renewable Fuels Association,American Coalition of Ethanol
    Date: 2019-08-12
    On Friday the 9th, the Trump administration EPA, under the administration of former coal industry lobbyist Andrew R, Wheeler, granted 31 more controversial "hardship waivers" allowing refiners to ignore Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) ethanol blending requirements in what might be construed as the administration's and the agency's attempt to bury the RFS in blatant favor of Big Oil. The agency denied 6 waiver requests and left one additional waiver request undecided.

    Needless to say, the President has yet again misled his supporters and the biofuels industry -- along with just about everyone else both domestic and foreign. In response, ethanol and biofuels players and industry organizations wasted no time in venting their rightful outrage.

    "The Trump Administration's approval of 31 refinery exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard is just devastating news for our industry. With this action, President Trump has destroyed over a billion gallons of biofuel demand and broken his promise to Iowa voters to protect the RFS. The vast majority of these exemptions are not justified under the law. Since this news began to leak this afternoon, RFS credit prices have freefallen to nearly zero, destroying much of the incentive to blend an incremental gallon of ethanol." -- Monte Shaw, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Exec. Dir.,

    "At a time when ethanol plants in the Heartland are being mothballed and jobs are being lost, it is unfathomable and utterly reprehensible that the Trump Administration would dole out more unwarranted waivers to prosperous petroleum refiners. Today's announcement comes as a total shock, as just two months ago Trump himself heard directly from Iowa farmers and ethanol plant workers about the disastrous economic impacts of these small refinery handouts. In response, he (Trump) told us he would 'look into it' and we believed that would lead to the White House and EPA finally putting an end to these devastating waivers. Instead, the Trump administration chose to double down on the exemptions, greatly exacerbating the economic pain being felt in rural America and further stressing an industry already on life support." -- Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, Renewable Fuels Association.

    "EPA's refiner-win-at-all-costs oversight of the RFS is doing real damage to America's farmers and renewable fuel producers who are already suffering from trade wars and volatile markets. The RFS is supposed to ensure the use of ethanol and biodiesel increases from one year to the next, but 85 Small Refinery Exemptions later and over 3 billion waived gallons represents an enormous step backwards." -- Brian Jennings, CEO, American Coalition of Ethanol.

    As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. Under the now vanquished administrator Greg Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was denied. (Source: Various Media, AgPro, 9 Aug., 2019) Contact: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., info@IowaRFA.org, (515) 252-6249, www.iowarfa.org; Renewable Fuels Association, www.ethanolrfa.org; American Coalition of Ethanol, www.ethanol.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  RFS,  "Hardship Waiver",  Ethanol Blend,  Renewable Fuels Association,  ,  


    Pacific Ethanol Seeking Plant Purchasers, Partners (Ind. Report)
    Pacific Ethanol
    Date: 2019-08-07
    In the Golden State, Sacramento-based Pacific Ethanol, Inc. reports it is actively seeking new business partnerships or purchasers for some of its ethanol plants as it battles "negative margins".

    According to company president Paul Koehler, the industry continues to suffer from oversupply, a lack of trade with China and from small-refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard that have reduced demand by about 2.6 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons since 2016. The company reported an operating loss of $2.7 million in Q2 this year, down from a $10.2 million loss in Q1, and is operating at roughly 80 pct capacity, according to a statement.

    Pacific Ethanol operates plants in Illinois, Nebraska, Oregon, Idaho and California, with a production capacity of 605 million gpy.(Source: Pacific Ethanol, DTN, Ohio AgNet, 5 Aug., 2019) Contact: Pacific Ethanol, Paul Kohler, Pres., CEO, (916) 403-2790, investorrelations@pacificethanol.com, www.pacificethanol.com.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Pacific Ethanol ,  


    GEVO Now ISCC Plus Certified for Biofuels (Ind. Report)
    GEVO,International Sustainability and Carbon Certification
    Date: 2019-08-05
    Englewood, Colorado-headquartered renewable fuels and chemicals manufacturer GEVO Inc. reports it has achieved International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) under the ISCC Plus scheme for food, feed, industrial applications, energy and biofuels outside Europe.

    The ISCC certification demonstrates the company's sustainable cultivation of corn, which is then converted into renewable isobutanol, ethanol or biobutanol.

    With ISCC Plus certification, Gevo validates the responsible nature of its isobutanol and biobutanol liquid transportation fuels and the traceability of its biofuel. (Source: GEVO, PR, Aug., 2019) Contact: International Sustainability and Carbon Certification, www.iscc-system.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  ISCC,  Biobutanol,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  Isobutanol,  

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