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Cielo to Construct Alberta Renewable Diesel Refinery (Ind. Report)
Cielo Waste Solutions
Date: 2019-08-05
Further to our 2nd April coverage, Vancouver, BC-based Cielo Waste Solutions CorpCielo Waste Solutions reports a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Renewable U Lethbridge to build a renewable diesel refinery incorporating Cielo's waste-to-renewable fuels conversion technology in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. The two firms will next ink JV agreement for the construction and operation of the facility.

Under the deal, Renewable U provided a $100,000 Cdn. advance against the total $250,000 Cdn JV fee to secure the territory of Lethbridge. Renewable U will be responsible for financing the costs associated with the refinery, including site acquisition, building and commissioning of the renewable diesel facility.

Cielo will manage the refinery, overseeing its construction, commissioning and operation, for which it will receive a management fee equal to 7 pct of the JV costs, and will continue to receive management fees once operations begin. (Source: Cielo, PR. Aug., 2019) Contact: Cielo Waste Solutions Corp., Don Allan, President & CEO, (403) 348-2972 Ext. 101, donallan@cielows.com, www.cielows.com; Renewable U Energy, Lionel Robins, www.motivateu.ca/renewableu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Cielo Waste Solutions,  Biofuel,  Waste-to-Fuel,  Landfill Waste,  Renewable Diesel,  


Plymouth Energy Halts Ethanol Production Amid "Supply-demand Imbalance" (Ind. Report)
Plymouth Energy ,Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2019-08-02
Merrill, Iowa-based corn ethanol producer Plymouth Energy LLC reports it has ceased production until further notice.

Ten other ethanol plants in the country have also temporarily shut down and three others have reportedly closed due to what Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw described as a "supply-demand imbalance" caused by waivers that federal officials are granting big oil refiners. (Source: Plymouth Energy Business Record, Radio Iowa, 1 Aug., 2019) Contact: Plymouth Energy, 712-938-2373, www.plymouth-energy.com; Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., info@IowaRFA.org (515) 252-6249, www.iowarfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  


Neste Expanding Singapore Biorefinery (Int'l. Report)
Neste
Date: 2019-08-02
Finnish biofuel producer and oil refiner Neste reports it is investing €1.4 billion ($1.6 billion) to more than double output at its Singapore refinery. The facility produces renewable fuels from used cooking oil, vegetable oil, agricultural and animal wastes.

The Singapore expansion will reportedly increase renewable fuel output by up to 1.3 million tpy from the current 1 million tpy, The plant will also be able to produce up to 1 million tpy of renewable jet fuel as well as raw materials for various polymers and chemicals.

The expanded plant is expected to be operational early in 2022. (Source: Neste, Reuters, CNA Business, 31 July, 2019) Contact: Neste, +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  Renewable Fuel,  


Ameresco Advocates for Renewable Natural Gas (Ind. Report)
Ameresco
Date: 2019-08-02
In testimony at recent EPA hearings on 2020 Renewable Fuel Volume Standards and Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), Framingham, Mass.-based RBG developer and renewables and energy efficiency specialist Ameresco, Inc. Senior Project Manager Jeff Stander noted -- "We strongly encourage the EPA to set the 2020 cellulosic biofuel RVO to account for at least 650 million gallons of RNG."

Stander led the 2018 development of Ameresco's RNG production facility at the Woodland Meadows Landfill in Canton, Michigan and was one of several industry experts representing the RNG Coalition at the EPA public hearing on July 31 in Ypsilanti, Michigan, for the EPA's proposed Renewable Fuel Standards for 2020, according to the release.

Ameresco has developed 39 beneficial use projects involving biogas at wastewater treatment plants and landfills, including three RNG facilities in Arizona, Michigan and Texas that participate in the RFS program. The RNG facilities generate D3 Cellulosic Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) and provide transportation fuel that is injected into the natural gas pipeline grid.

Since 2014, the EPA has recognized the use of RNG to meet fuel volume standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). RNG makes up more than 95 pct of the renewable fuel used to meet the RFS cellulosic biofuel requirement, according to the Ameresco release. (Source: Ameresco, PR, 31 July, 2019) Contact: Ameresco, Jeff Stander, Senior Project Developer, (508) 661-2288, www.ameresco.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameresco,  RNG,  RFS,  


SocalGas Unveils Country's Largest RNG Facility (Ind. Report)
SocalGas,Calgren
Date: 2019-07-31
SocalGas, the largest natural gas distribution utility in the US, reports the completion of the Calgren dairy renewable natural gas facility in Pixley. The natural gas facility, developed in partnership with Calgren Dairy Fuels, is the first of its kind in California. SocalGas has provided Calgren with a $5 million incentive, authorised by the California PUC to support the project.

Calgren will collect cow manure from four dairy farms and process it using an anaerobic digesters to produce methane emissions which will then be used to produce transportation fuel. The digesters in the Calgren project are partially funded under California's Dairy Digester Research and Development Programme, which aims to reduce GHG emissions from manure generated at state dairy farms. California currently has about 30 operational dairy RNG projects and 50 under development.

A 2016 study by the University of California, Davis found California has the potential to produce approximately 90.6 billion cubic feet (bcf) per year of renewable natural gas from dairy, landfill, municipal solid waste, and wastewater treatment plant sources alone -- sufficient to meet the annual natural gas needs of around 2.3 million California homes. According to the U.S. DOE the U.S. currently produces 1 trillion cubic feet of renewable natural gas every year, and that number is expected to increase to 10 trillion by 2030. (Source: SocalGas, SmartEnergy, 30 July, 2019) Contact: Calgren Renewable Fuels, Walt Dwelle, Principal Owner , Lyle Schlyer, Pres., (559) 757-3850, lschyler@calgren.com, www.calgren.com; Southern California Gas Company, Sharon Tomkins, VP customer solutions and strategy. www.socalgas.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News SocalGas,  Calgren,  anaerobic digester,  RNG,  Renewable Natural Gas,  


EPA Ignored DOE in Issuing RFS "Hardship Waivers" (Ind. Report)
RFS
Date: 2019-07-29
Contrary to assertions by the EPA the U.S. DOE confirmed in a letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that EPA issued so-called economic "hardship" exemptions under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to small refineries, often owned by billion-dollar oil companies, even when DOE found that the refineries faced little or no actual "hardship."

In a response to an April 10 letter from Grassley, Energy Secretary Rick Perry indicated that EPA had, on at least one occasion, issued an exemption when his department recommended no exemption and ignored recommendations to grant only partial exemptions in other cases. Perry also noted that the agency has not changed how these analyses are applied or scored from the prior Obama Administration.

Perry also noted that he was aware of instances in which DOE recommended a partial or even no exemption for certain refineries, yet EPA subsequently granted a full exemption. This contradicts former oil industry lobbyist and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's claim before Congress that EPA simply followed DOE's recommendations.

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 Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was been denied. (Source: DOE, FeedStuff, 29 July, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship Waiver",  Pruitt,  


EPA Releases 2020 RVOs Proposal (Ind. Report, Reg & Leg)
EPA, RVO
Date: 2019-07-24
The US EPA's recently proposed 2020 and 2012 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) require 91 billion litres of renewable fuels to be blended into the US fuel supply in 2020, up from 90.5bn litres in 2019 -- 23 billion litres of advanced biofuels, 11 billion litres of biomass-based diesel - which was set last year and is the same for 2021, and 2.4 billion litres of cellulosic biofuel -- up 545 million litres from the 2019 figure.

The proposed RVO would require biofuels to make up 10.92 pct of US transportation fuel, including 2.75 pct advanced biofuels, 1.99 pct biomass-based diesel and 0.29 pct cellulosic biofuel.

The rule making also proposed amendments to the RFS regulations including: clarification of diesel RVO calculations; pathway petition conditions; a biodiesel esterification pathway; distillers corn oil and distillers oil pathways; renewable fuel exporter provisions allowing the production of biomass-based diesel from separated food waste; flexibilities for renewable fuel blending for military use; heating oil used for cooling; RFS facility ownership changes; additional registration deactivation justifications; a new Renewable Identification Number (RIN) retirement; a new pathway for co-processing biomass with petroleum to produce cellulosic diesel, jet fuel and heating oil; public access to information; and other revisions. The amendments came as part of the as yet finalized Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support rule. (Source: EPA, Oils & Fats Int'l., 22 July, 2019)

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


Backlash on Proposed RFS RVOs (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2019-07-24
"By neglecting to prospectively reallocate small refinery exemptions and blatantly ignoring a court order to restore improperly waived gallons, the EPA's proposed 2020 RVOs completely betray President [Donald] Trump's commitment to uphold the integrity of the RFS.

"EPA's stubborn refusal to obey a court order to restore lost demand is yet another kick in the teeth to U.S. renewable fuel producers and farmers already facing the worst market conditions in a generation. EPA's suggestion that following the court's directive would place an 'additional burden' on obligated parties is an insult and an affront to the farmers and ethanol producers who trusted this administration would follow the law." -- Renewable Fuel Association (RFA), Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

"We are frustrated the EPA did not account for potential waived gallons going forward in the proposed rule. If the EPA continues to grant retroactive waivers, the RVO numbers are meaningless and the EPA is not following the law. Farmers are facing a very tough economic environment and the continued waiver abuse chips away at farmers' bottom line." -- Lynn Chrisp, Pres., National Corn Growers Association, (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com (Source: RFA, NCGA, Various Media, EHS, 23 July, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA,  RVO,  RFS,  NCGA,  "Hardship Waiver",  


Mothballed Aussie Biodiesel Plant Back in Production (Int'l Report)
Just Biodiesel
Date: 2019-07-19
In the Land Down Under, Just Biodiesel Pty Ltd. is reporting the re-launch of the 13.2 million gpy biodiesel production plant at Barnawatha, Victoria State, formerly owned by Australian Renewable Fuels (ARF) and Biodiesel Producers (BPL).

The plant processes locally sourced tallow and used cooking oil into biodiesel and is now supplying B5 and B20 fuel through distribution partners Refuelling Solutions and Viva Energy. The company also plans to begin exporting its product to the U.S. market in California in August.

The reopening of the formerly bankrupt plant is seen as a possible renaissance for the low-carbon alternative fuel which fell out of favour earlier in the decade due to falling conventional diesel prices, new federal governments excise of biofuels and the hangover from reliability and quality issues among some suppliers. (Source: Just Biodiesel, PR, ATN, 18 July, 2019) Contact: Justr Biodiesel, Greg Boyall,General Manager, +61 0401 700 543, greg.boyall@justbiodiesel.com.au, www.justbiodiesel.com.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel,  


Small Refiners Threaten "Hardship Waivers" Legal Action (Ind. Report)
EPA
Date: 2019-07-19
In Washington, Reuters is reporting a coalition of small U.S. refineries are planning on legal action against the the US EPA unless the agency issues issue its decisions on 2018 petitions for "hardship waivers" from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) within 60 days.

The Trump administration EPA has more than quadrupled the number of waivers it has granted to refinerswhile at the same time raising the ire of the corn industry who claim the move threatens ethanol demand.

The small refinery coalition's letter to the EPA said the "EPA is required to act on a petition within 90 days after receipt" and that it also failed to issue decisions on the outstanding 40 petitions for 2018 by March 31, 2019, which the letter said was the compliance deadline.

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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: Reuters, Various Media, 18 July, 2019)

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


EPA's RFS Obligations Another Setback for American Farmers, says NFU (Ind. Report)
NFU,EPA,RFS
Date: 2019-07-19
The US EPA's recently proposed renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for the year 2020 would set required biofuel use at 20.04 billion gallons next year, a marginal increase over this year's 19.92 billion gallons. The difference is primarily attributable to an expansion of cellulosic biofuel, from 420 million to 540 million gallons. The rule maintains the current 15-million-gallon target for corn ethanol, according to a NFU release.

In the face of the EPA's proposal, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has expressed its disappointment in the almost unlimited issuance of RFS refinery "hardship waivers", the newly released RVO's and the that the agency's failure not only to factor the lost demand into its proposed RVOs but to increase biofuel use at all. "At every turn, EPA and this (Trump) administration have undermined the intent of RFS and destroyed demand for billions of gallons of ethanol", NFU President Roger Johnson added. (Source: The Cattle Site, National Farmers Union, PR, July, 2019) Contact: National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, www.nfu.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS news,  NFU news,  National Farmers Union news,  "Hardship Waiver" news,  


UK NFU Calls for E10 Ethanol-Petrol Blend (Int'l Report)
UK NFU
Date: 2019-07-19
In Warwickshire, the UK National Farmers Union (NFU) is calling for the introduction of E10 -- ethanol from wheat and sugar beet -- petrol. This is opposed to the current proportion that limits the content of bioethanol to a maximum of 5 pct (E5).

The call comes as an All-Party Parliamentary Group for British Bioethanol (APPG) issued a report urging the Department of Transport to prioritize the introduction of E10.

According to NFU Combinable Crops board chairman Tom Bradshaw, "Increasing the bioethanol content in fuel is a win-win for the environment, farmers and the economy. The industry is desperate to see both Vivergo and Ensus plants back up and running so they can continue to convert British wheat into bioethanol. But at the moment there simply isn't enough demand to keep these plants going." Bradshaw added, "Now is the time for legislative action. Farmers want to help deliver renewable fuel for the nation but the government needs to step up and provide supportive policy, especially if we are to hit their target of becoming a net zero economy by 2050." (Source: FarmingUK, GIZMODO, 18 July, 2019) Contact: UK NFU, +44 024 7685 8500, www.nfuonline.com; All-Party Parliamentary Group for British Bioethanol, info@britishbioethanol.com, www.britishbioethanol.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News E10,  Biofuel Blend,  


Notable Quote from the Hawkeye State
Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2019-07-17
"I am incredibly disappointed to see that the EPA has failed to reallocate the millions of lost gallons due to their brazen and unprecedented use of small refinery exemption ("hardship") waivers. A robust RFS (renewable fuel standard) is essential to a healthy ag economy in Iowa and across the country." -- Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R), July, 2019 Contact: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, 515-281-5211, www.governor.iowa.gov/contact

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


Aemetis India Expands Revenues to $50Mn Per Year Run Rate (Int'l)
Aemetis
Date: 2019-07-17
Following up on our 22nd May coverage, Cupertino, California-based advanced renewable fuels and biochemicals specialist Aemetis, Inc. reports its Universal Biofuels India subsidiary in Hydrbad ramped revenues to over $50 million per year run rate after biodiesel shipments commenced in May -- pursuant to a previously announced $23 million biodiesel supply contract to the three India government-owned Oil Marketing Companies (OMC's).

In late 2018, the three India OMC's that supply about 70 pct of the country's domestic diesel issued purchase requests for about 260 million gallons of biodiesel for year 2019 -- equal to India's total biodiesel production capacity.

As previously reported, the Aemetis biodiesel plant in India recently completed the installation and commissioning of a pre-treatment plant and related utilities upgrades to convert lower cost, waste feedstocks into high quality distilled biodiesel to supply the approximately 25 billion gallon diesel market in India. (Source: Aemetis, PR, EIN, 16 July, 2019)Contact: Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO , Todd Waltz, (408) 213-0940, emcafee@aemetis.com, www.aemetis.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aemetis,  Biodiesel,  Aemetis India,  


Neb. Gov., Ethanol Board Slam EPA's RFS RVO Proposal (Ind Report)
Nebraska Ethanol Board
Date: 2019-07-10
The Nebraska Ethanol Board and the Cornhusker States Governor Peter Ricketts (R) have expressed their disappointment with the US EPA's recently proposed renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2020 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

"While Nebraska appreciates the EPA's timely release of renewable volume obligations, this proposal does not reflect the agency's legal duty to enforce a robust RFS or the president's commitment to our farmers," Governor Ricketts said while urging the EPA to "reallocate waived gallons and ensure that the agency is giving our farmers and ethanol producers the predictability they need, especially during tough times for agriculture."

Nebraska Ethanol Board Administrator Roger Berry said the "Nebraska Ethanol Board is "extremely disappointed in the proposed Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) numbers released by the EPA. The fact that EPA did not account for any of the lost gallons due to Small Refiner Exemptions directly undermines demand for the quality fuel produced by our hard-working farmers and the 1,400 Nebraskans employed in the ethanol industry."

Nebraska is the second-largest ethanol producer in the U.S. with over 2 billion gallons production capacity from 25 ethanol plants processing over 700 million bpy of corn for a $5 billion per year economic impact in the state. (Source: Nebraska Ethanol Board, The Independent, 9July, 2019) Contact: Office of Gov. Pete Ricketts, www.governor.nebraska.gov; Nebraska Ethanol Board, Roger Berry, Administrator, (402) 471-2941, www.ne-ethanol.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  RVO,  Nebraska Ethanol Board ,  


Are EPA's Proposed RFS 'Obligations' Actually Just Suggestions?" asks RFA (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
RFA, RFS
Date: 2019-07-08
By neglecting to prospectively reallocate small refinery exemptions and blatantly ignoring a court order to restore improperly waived gallons, the U.S. EPA's proposed 2020 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) completely betrays President Trump's commitment to uphold the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

"As long as EPA continues to dole out compliance exemptions to oil refiners without reallocating the lost volume, the agency may as well start referring to the annual RFS levels as 'renewable volume suggestions' rather than renewable volume 'obligations'. It is a complete misnomer to call these blending volumes 'obligations' when EPA's small refinery bailouts have essentially transformed the RFS into a voluntary program for nearly one-third of the nation's oil refineries.

"In its announcement today, EPA has proposed a total renewable fuel volume of 20.04 billion gallons, of which 5.04 billion gallons are advanced biofuel, including 540 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel. That leaves, on paper, a 15-billion-gallon requirement for conventional renewable fuels like corn ethanol, unchanged from 2019.

"Most notably, EPA failed to prospectively account for any expected small refinery exemptions in the 2020 proposal, even though it is almost a foregone conclusion at this point that the Agency will continue to grant more exemptions.

"Congress gave EPA the direction and tools necessary to ensure that the statutory RFS volumes are enforced, and that includes prospectively reallocating exempted volumes to non-exempt parties. Instead, EPA has chosen to continue its demand destruction campaign that has been crippling to both ethanol producers and the farmers who supply our industry. Enough is enough.

"EPA approved 54 exemptions for 2016 and 2017 and an additional 38 requests for 2018 exemptions are pending. Not a single exemption request has been denied by EPA since 2015. The exemptions effectively lowered the total RFS requirement for 2017 by 1.82 billion gallons and cut the 2016 requirement by nearly 800 million gallons.

"Making matters worse, EPA's proposal continues to flout the D.C. Circuit Court's 2017 order requiring the Agency to restore 500 million gallons of renewable fuel obligations that it inappropriately and illegally waived from the 2016 RVO. Unbelievably, the Agency is proposing to snub the court's ruling by refusing to restore the 500 million gallons remanded volume. EPA's stubborn refusal to obey a court order to restore lost demand is yet another kick in the teeth to U.S. renewable fuel producers and farmers already facing the worst market conditions in a generation. EPA's suggestion that following the court's directive would place an 'additional burden' on obligated parties is an insult and an affront to the farmers and ethanol producers who trusted this administration would follow the law. The RFS wasn't intended to make oil refiners comfortable; it was intended to change the status quo by guaranteeing renewable fuels would have access to a marketplace otherwise closed to competition.

"EPA appears to be selling out to oil refiners -- again -- at the expense of rural America. The court found in favor of renewable fuel producers in 2017 because it was clear our industry had been harmed by EPA's illegal use of a general waiver -- now EPA is doubling down on that harm to the ethanol industry and farmers.

"Today's proposal undermines the pledge President Trump made to farmers and renewable fuel producers that his administration would enforce the statutory RFS volumes. By failing to prospectively reallocate, failing to commit to a more judicious and restrained approach to refinery waivers, and failing to follow a court's order to restore lost demand, EPA is blatantly undercutting President Trump's commitment to ethanol, which he restated less than a month ago when he visited the Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy ethanol plant. We urge the President to resolve the disconnect between the oval office and EPA and get the RFS back on track." (Source: RFA, PR, 8 July, 2019) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA,  RFS,  


EPA's RFS Obligations Another Setback for American Farmers, says NFU (Ind. Report)
RFS,EPA,National Farmers Union
Date: 2019-07-08
Last Friday, the EPA released its proposed renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for the year 2020. The proposal would set required biofuel use at 20.04 billion gallons next year, a marginal increase over this year's 19.92 billion gallons. The difference is primarily attributable to an expansion of cellulosic biofuel, from 420 million to 540 million gallons. The rule maintains the current 15-million-gallon target for corn ethanol.

In the face of the EPA's proposal, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has expressed its disappointment in the almost unlimited issuance of RFS refinery "hardship waivers", the newly released RVO's and the that the agency's failure not only to factor the lost demand into its proposed RVOs but to increase biofuel use at all.

"At every turn, EPA and this (Trump) administration have undermined the intent of RFS and destroyed demand for billions of gallons of ethanol", NFU President Roger Johnson added. (Source: The Cattle Site, National Farmers Union, PR, 8 July, 2019) Contact: National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, www.nfu.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News "Hardship Waiver",  RFS,  National Farmers Union,  Biofuel,  Ethanol Blend,  


Senators Want Ag Sec. Out of RFS "Hardship Waiver" Decision Process (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
RFS
Date: 2019-07-03
Following up on our June 12 coverage, DTN Progressive Farmer is reporting thirteen Republican senators from oil-producing states are calling for President Trump to keep Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue out of EPA Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) small refinery "hardship waiver" decision-making process which the Senators claim the Agriculture Secretary has no authority. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA administrator decides, after consulting with the Energy secretary, which refiners receive or are denied a hardship waiver, the Senators note.

"We strongly oppose giving the Secretary (Perdue) any role in the decision-making process over the petitions. We would view any decisions to further delay, reduce, or deny hardship relief to small refineries, or reallocate the obligations of small refineries to other refineries, as the result of the Secretary of Agriculture's impermissible interference. We are confident that others, including the federal courts, would do the same," the thirteen Senators wrote.

The small-refinery exemptions have reduced ethanol use by about 2.6 billion gallons, and 38 refiners are waiting for EPA to decide on new exemptions.

Senators writing the letter included Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) as well as senators representing Louisiana, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct (Source: Various Media, DTN, Progressive Farmer, July, 2019) Contact: Office of Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue,(202) 720-2791, feedback@oc.usda.gov, www.usda.gov/contact-us

More Low-Carbon Energy News Hardship Waiver,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  RFA,  Sonny Perdue,  


Oberon Fuels Planning Renewable Dimethyl Ether Production (Int'l)
Oberon Fuels,California Energy Commission
Date: 2019-07-01
In the Golden State, San Diego-based clean transportation fuel producer Oberon Fuels is reporting receipt of almost $2.9 million in grant funding from the California Energy Commission (CEC). The funding is in support of a project to produce the the state's first renewable dimethyl ether (rDME), an economic fuel and key step in the development of a California-based, renewable hydrogen (rH2) pathway to zero-emission mobility fuel.

Oberon plans to upgrade its existing DME pilot facility to demonstration scale to facilitate the first production of this renewable fuel. The company will test modified diesel trucks fueled with rDME, assess the feasibility of converting renewable methanol into rDME and developing associated fueling infrastructure, alongside commercial partners. (Source: Oberon Fuels, Bioenergy Insight, 1 July, 2019) Contact: Oberon Fuels, Rebecca Boudreaux, Pres., (619) 255-9361, Fax - (619)756-6470, info@oberonfuels.com, www.oberonfuels.com; California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500, www.energy.ca.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News DME,  Oberon Fuels,  California Energy Commission,  


Virgin's Australian Flights Fueled by GEVO SAJF (Ind. Report)
GEVO
Date: 2019-06-26
Englewood, Colorado-headquartered renewable fuels and chemicals manufacturer Gevo, Inc. reports Virgin Australia has used Gevo's sustainable aviation jet fuel (SAJF) on 1 million kilometers of flights, for all aircraft operating in and out of Brisbane Airport. The Gevo fuel was dispensed through the airport's general fuel supply system.

Since the first container of SAJF was delivered to Brisbane back in August 2018, Virgin Australia has continued to work with GEVO and has welcomed three more deliveries of the SAJF since this time, according to the Gevo release.

As previously reported, in October, 2017, Virgin (Airlines) Australia announced a two-year project with Brisbane airport, GEVO and the Queensland Government and worked on the trial with supply partners Caltex and DB Schenker. The first test saw a biofuel blend pumped to 195 domestic and international flights that traveled more than 430,000 kilometres. Additional trials were expected to follow over the next 12 to 18 months. (Source: GEVO, PR, Ethanol Producer, 24 June, 2019) Contact: GEVO, Patrick Gruber, CEO, pgruber@gevo.com; Virgin Australia, +61 7 3295 2296, www.virginaustralia.com/uk; Brisbane Airport, www.bne.com.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  Aviation Biofuel,  


Renewable Energy Group DFT's Newest Member (Ind. Report)
Diesel Technology Forum, Renewable Energy Group
Date: 2019-06-21
The Washington, D.C.-headquartered not-for-profit Diesel Technology Forum (DTF) is reporting Ames, Iowa-based biodiesel producer Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (REGI)has joined its ranks.

The Diesel Technology Forum promotes the use of the newest clean diesel technologies, including biodiesel and advanced renewable diesel fuels in the U.S. and worldwide.

Since its founding in 1996, REGI has produced more than 2 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel -- biodiesel -- fuel; constructed or acquired commercial-scale biofuel refineries across the United States and in Europe; and established a delivery and supply network for biodiesel and other renewable fuels. The company operates 14 active biorefineries, technology development capabilities and a diverse and growing intellectual property portfolio.

The not-for-profit Diesel Technology Forum is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology. Forum members are leaders in clean diesel technology and represent the three key elements of the modern clean-diesel system: advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner diesel fuel and emissions-control systems. (Source: Diesel Technology Forum, PR, Global News Wire, 20 June, 2019) Contact: Diesel Technology Forum , Allan Schaffer, Exec. Dir., Sarah Dirndorfer, 301-668-7230, sdirndorfer@dieselforum.org, www.dieselforum.org; REGI, Gary Haer, VP, (515) 239-8104, www.regi.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Diesel Technology Forum ,  Renewable Energy Group,  Biofuel,  Biodiesel,  


Attis Praises EPA's Approval of Year Around E15 Dales (Ind. Report)
Attis Industries
Date: 2019-06-21
Milton, Georgia-headquartered corn ethanol producer and technology holding company Attis Industries Inc. is lauding the Trump Administration's May 30th approval of the expansion of 15 pct (E15) ethanol blends in on-road transportation fuels. Previously, the sale of E15 was restricted to just eight months of the year.

The rule change has the potential to create a significant increase in market demand for corn-based ethanol as well as other advanced fuels such as cellulosic ethanol. Even so, the administration continues to undermine the enforcement of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) through its abuse of the small refiner "hardship" exemptions (SREs) which have had a drastic effect on renewable fuel demand over the past two years, according to Attis. "Attis encourages the Administration to continue its support of the nation's farmers and renewable fuel producers by limiting SREs to those refiners who truly have encountered hardships by complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard," the Attis release notes.

Attis Biofuels, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Attis Industries Inc., currently operates a 100 million gpy corn-based ethanol facility in Fulton, NY and has plans to expand the production of renewable fuels to include cellulosic ethanol and various other advanced biofuels, according to the release. (Source: Attis Ind., PR, June, 2019) Contact: Attis Ind., David Winsness, President of Attis Innovations, Jeff Cosman, CEO, 678-580-5661, www.attisind.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Attis Industries,  Biofuel,  E15,  Ethanol Blend,  RFS,  


Ammonia Considered as Alternative Marine Fuel (Ind. Report)
C-Job, Marine Fuel,Alternative Fuel
Date: 2019-06-14
According to research from the Netherlands-based ship design and engineering firm C-Job Naval Architects, ammonia can be used as an alternative marine fuel to reduce harmful maritime ship emissions. The research is based on a new concept design of an ammonia carrier powered by the gas as its own cargo.

In 2017, C-Job Naval Architects established a consortium with Proton Ventures and Enviu to investigate ammonia as marine fuel. It further joined Ammonia Energy Association in 2018 to study the topic. With the completion of this theoretical research, C-Job Naval Architects is now moving towards the next phases, which includes laboratory testing, pilot and evaluation.

C-Jobs Naval Architects noted that with the IMO aiming to reduce total annual greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 pct by 2050 compared to 2008 and eventually fully eliminate harmful emissions, the global maritime industry will need to seriously look into renewable fuels like hydrogen, ammonia and methanol. (Source: C-Job Naval Architects, Seatrade, 13 June, 2019) Contact: C-Job Naval Architects, Niels de Vries, +31 (0)88 02 43 700, info@c-job.com, www.c-job.com; Proton Ventures, +31 10 426 7275, www.protonventures.com/en; Ammonia Energy Association, www.nh3fuelassociation.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Alternative Fuel,  Amonia,  Marine Fuel,  Maritime Fuel,  Amonia,  


Senators Call for RFS "Hardship Waiver" Halt (Reg. & Leg.)
RFS,"Hardship Wsivers"
Date: 2019-06-12
Last week in Washington, a dozen Democrattic US Senators wrote to the Trump Administration appointed EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler advising that the small refiner "hardship waiver" provision was NOT intended to undermine the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Accordingly, the Senators added,

"We request that you cease issuing any further small refinery exemptions, immediately reallocate the remaining gallons, and make public the information regarding any recipients of these exemptions

"We are extremely concerned about the EPA's recent actions to continue to improperly grant small refinery hardship waivers under the RFS. EPA's continued manipulation and misuse of the small refiner waiver authority is undermining the integrity of the RFS and disadvantaging farmers. Rather than follow congressional intent in the RFS and follow through on the promises made to rural America, the EPA and the (Trump) Administration are providing waivers, in secret, to help some of the largest oil companies and refiners evade their compliance obligations under the Clean Air Act.

The letter's signatories included Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: Farm Journal, Various Media, AgPro, 11 June, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel Blend,  RFS,  "Hardship Waivers" ,  Andrew Wheeler,  


RFA Congratulates Husker Ag on Ethanol Production (Ind. Report)
Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2019-06-05
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) today congratulated member company Husker Ag LLC, as it recently produced its one-billionth gallon of corn ethanol. The Plainview, Nebraska facility presently produces over 300,000 gpd of ethanol.

The Husker Ag facility was originally built by Fagen Inc. and designed by ICM of Colwich, KS. Husker Ag expanded its operations in the fall of 2007 and as of 2017 utilizes more than 26 million bpy of corn to produce about 76 million gpy of denatured ethanol and about 450,000 tpy of modified wet distillers' grain (DDG) for cattle feed. (Source: Renewable Fuels Association, Husker Ag, 3 June, 2019) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org; Husker Ag, Seth Harder, Gen. Mgr., (402) 582-4446, www.huskerag.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News DDGs,  Corn Ethanol,  Husker Ag,  Renewable Fuels Association,  


Attis Completes Sunoco Corn Ethanol Plant Acquisition (M&A)
Attis Industries,Sunoco LP
Date: 2019-06-05
Milton, Georgia-headquartered Attis Industries Inc is reporting completion of its $20 million acquisition of Sunoco LP's 100 million gpy corn ethanol plant and grain malting operation in Fulton, New York.

The transaction includes a 6-month transition services agreement as well as a 10-year offtake agreement for the ethanol produced at the facility.

According to an Attis release, "today, the United States consumes roughly 19 billion gallons of renewable fuel on an annual basis; however, Attis believes firmly that through the deployment of its innovative and transformative suite of green technologies, yearly production can nearly double while taking advantage of more carbon neutral feedstocks. Desperately needed innovation is required to realign existing production to the Renewable Fuel Standard's goal of 36 billion gallons by 2022." (Source: Attis Industries, Inc. , Website 3 June, 2019) Contact: Attis Ind., Jeff Cosman, CEO, (678) 580-5661, www.attisind.com; Sunoco LP, www.sunocolp.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Corn Ethanol,  DDGs,  Attis Industries,  Ethanol,  Sunoco LP,  


BP, NEXT Ink Renewable Diesel Feedstock Deal (Ind. Report)
BP,NEXT Renewable Fuels
Date: 2019-05-31
Portland, Oregon-based advanced biofuels producer NEXT Renewable Fuels reports entering into a long-term feedstock supply agreement with BP Products North America (BP) for approximately 2 million tpy of renewable feedstocks -- animal fats and tallows, used cooking oil,greases and virgin seed oils -- for NEXT's planned renewable diesel facility in Port Westward, Oregon.

The Port Westward facility is slated for completion and commissioning in 2021. (Source: NEXT Renewable Fuels, Biofuels Int'l., 29 May, 2019) Contact: NEXT Renewable Fuels, Lou Soumas, Pres., info@nextrenewables.com, www.nextrenewables.com; BP, Jason Breslaw, Renewable Feedstock and Bio-distillate Business Development Manager, www.bp.com

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


Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act 2019 Introduced (Reg. & Leg.)
Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2019-05-31
Last week in Washington, Chairman of the US House Committee on Agriculture, Collin Peterson (D-Minn), together with Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), Rep.Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) introduced the bipartisan Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019.

The Act, which is intended to bring transparency to the EPA's small refinery "hardship" exemption (SRE) programme under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), will also set a deadline for refineries to submit petitions for RFS exemptions of 1 June to ensure that any waivers granted are "prospectively reallocated to non-exempt obligated parties, as well as require that key information surrounding the SREs is publicly available" according to a statement from the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE).

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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct.(Source: ACE, Various Media, 29 May, 2019)

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


ABC Decries Indiscriminate RFS Refinery Exemptions (Ind. Report)
American Biogas Council
Date: 2019-05-24
The American Biogas Council (ABC) released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration's continued attempts to erode the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by the indiscriminate granting of small refinery "hardship" exemptions:

"The continued issuance of small refinery exemptions undermines the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard and imperils the ability of biogas and other renewable fuel producers to create new investments and jobs, especially in rural communities.

"As a program, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) works for the biogas industry. It has boosted American production of renewable fuels, brought new revenue streams to farmers and catalyzed investment in biogas systems. In fact, the number of biogas systems that have been built or upgraded to participate in the RFS has grown at a rate of 30 pct annually supplying valuable renewable fuel that can replace conventional natural gas. In the RFS, biogas and renewable natural gas (RNG) related projects represent the fastest growing sector of the RFS and are therefore critical to addressing the gap between the congressionally mandated fuel volumes and the EPA-lowered fuel volumes.

"But the recent management of the RFS program, in particular, the Administration's frequent issuance of small refinery ("hardship") exemptions has killed demand in this market-based program and is now impeding growth, development, infrastructure investments and the creation of quality American jobs. The prevalent issuance of exemptions has created the impression that any refinery can get one. As a result, small refineries and some larger ones, both in growing numbers, have stopped purchasing biogas hoping that each one might also be granted an exemption by the Administration to not comply with this congressionally mandated program. Due to the volume of fuel that most biogas systems produce, a large proportion of biogas systems sell to small refineries.

"The Administration must dramatically slow the issuance of small refinery exemptions (SREs) to small refineries and stop granting SREs to large or unqualified refineries. Indiscriminate and frequent issuance of SREs undermine the integrity of the RFS and imperil economic prosperity and energy security. The Administration needs to follow the law that Congress passed." (Source: American Biogas Council, PR, 23 May, 2019) Contact: ABC, Patrick Serfass, Exec. Dir., (202) 640-6595, info@americanbiogascouncil.org, www.AmericanBiogasCouncil.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Hardship Waiver,  Biofuel,  American Biogas Council ,  Biogas,  


Aemetis Inks Indian Biodiesel Supply Deal (Ind. Report)
Aemetis
Date: 2019-05-22
Aemetis Universal Biofuels India, a subsidiary of Cupertino, California-headquartered advanced renewable fuel and biochemical specialist Aemetis Inc. , reports it will supply 25 million or more US gpy of distilled biodiesel to an unnamed multi-site mining company with sites in southern and central India .

Shipments have already started, and there are plans to expand the deal to additional mines as it installs on-site storage for biodiesel.

Aemetis owns and operates a 60-million gpy ethanol production facility in California's Central Valley. It also has a 50-million-gpy renewable chemical and advanced fuel production facility on the east coast of India for production of high-quality distilled biodiesel and refined glycerin for US, European and Indian customers. (Source: Aemetis, Mining Magazine, May, 2019) Contact: Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO , Todd Waltz, (408) 213-0940, investors@aemetis.com, emcafee@aemetis.com, www.aemetis.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aemetis,  Biodiesel,  


Gevo Providing ATJ Fuel to Avfuel Corp. (Ind. Report)
Gevo,Avfuel
Date: 2019-05-17
Englewood, Colorado-headquartered renewable fuels and chemicals manufacturer Gevo, Inc. reports it will once again provide its sustainable and renewable alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) to Avfuel Corporation.

To date, Avfuel, has received commitments from high-profile OEMs including Bombardier, Embraer, Gulfstream and Dassault to use Gevo's ATJ blended with standard jet fuel. This blend not only meets ASTM D1655, but also for every one million gallons produced, approximately 10 million pounds of animal feed and protein goes back into the food chain, according to Gevo. (Source: Geco, Pr, 16 May, 2019) Contact: Gevo, Patrick Gruber, CEO, pgruber@gevo.com, Avfuel, Keith Sawyer, ksawyer@avfuel.com, www.avfuel.com/Fuel/Alternative-Fuels

More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  Aviation Biofuel,  Avfuel,  


Bates Achieves Carbon Neutrality Ahead of 2020 Goal (Ind. Report)
Bates College
Date: 2019-05-17
In Lewiston, Maine, Bates College reports it has achieved carbon neutrality one year ahead of its own commitment. The college reduced its campus carbon emissions by 95 pct and will account for its remaining footprint through the purchase of carbon offsets.

Out of some 700 U.S. colleges and universities to sign a carbon neutrality pledge in 2007, Bates is one of only seven to date that have reached that goal. Bates cut its carbon footprint by: reducing energy consumption through efficiency measures; strengthening the culture of sustainability on campus and changing behaviors in concrete ways; and switching to renewable energy sources -- specifically, Renewable Fuel Oil (RFO), a wood-derived liquid that serves as the primary fuel for the college's central heating plant. (Source: Bates College, PR 16 May, 2019) Contact: Bates College, Marjorie Hall, (207) 786-8248, mhall@bates.edu, www.bates.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Neutral,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


EPA Proposes Slight RFS Biofuel Mandate Increase (Reg & Leg)
RFS, US EPA
Date: 2019-05-15
In Washington, the Trump administration EPA is reported to be proposing to increase volume of biofuels refiners must blend into their fuel annually from the present 19.92 billion gallons to 20.04 billion gallons in 2020. The proposed mandated increase is awaiting review by other government agencies before being finalized.

The mandate includes 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuels -- ethanol -- unchanged from 2019, and 5.04 billion gallons of advanced biofuels, up from 4.92 billion in 2019. The biodiesel mandate of 2.43 billion gallons for 2021, would be unchanged from 2020. (Source: US EPA, AgWEB, 14 May, 2019)

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


U.S. Soybean Oil for Biodiesel Production Rising (Ind. Report)
US EIA
Date: 2019-05-10
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the share of total soybean oil consumed as a biodiesel feedstock doubled from the current 15 pct to 30 pct as the total U.S. soybean oil supply grew from about 22.5 billion pounds to nearly 26.0 billion pounds between marketing year 2010-2011 and 2017-2018.

Soybean oil is the most commonly used vegetable oil for biodiesel production, and inputs reached 7.1 billion pounds during the latest soybean oil marketing year which ran from Oct. 1, 2017, to Sept. 30, 2018. Between marketing year 2010-2011 and marketing year 2017-2018, U.S. domestic biodiesel production grew from 700 million gpy to 1.8 billion gpy. The production increase was largely driven by the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuel blending mandate. (Source: US EIA, Xinhua, 8 May, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News US EIA,  Soybean,  Soybean Oil,  BiodieselBiofuel,  


Neste Touts Estonian Biodiesel Sales, MY Renewable Jet Fuel (Int'l)
Neste
Date: 2019-05-08
In the capital city of Tallinn, Estonian public broadcaster ERR and other media are reporting Helsinki-headquartered renewable diesel fuel producer Neste will begin offering its palm oil biodiesel to Estonian motorists in July, subject to Estonian Environment Ministry approval.

In other Neste news, the effectiveness of Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel in reducing black carbon emissions has been recognized in a competition organized by the Climate Leadership Coalition, the Bioenergy Association of Finland, the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, the Finnish Environment Institute, and the Central Association of Chimney Sweeps. According to NASA, renewable fuel has the potential to cut particulate emissions by up to 70 pct from aircraft engines. (Source: Neste, Baltic News Network, May, 2019) Contact: Neste, +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com; Bioenergy Association of Finland, www.bioenergia.fi/English

More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  Renewable Diesel,  Alternative Fuel,  Biodiesel,  


RePower Renewable Fuel Production Underway in SC (Ind Report)
RePower South
Date: 2019-05-03
North Charleston, South Carolina-based RePower South (RPS) reports it is now processing more than 50 tph -- 120,000 tpy -- of locally sourced mixed waste to recover recyclables and produce a fuel feedstock at its new recycling and recovery facility in Berkeley County, S.C.

The plant also makes use of non-recyclable papers and plastics to produce ReEngineered Feedstock (ReEF), a clean, low-carbon renewable fuel sold to industry, cement and utility customers to replace coal in production processes. The EPA has classified the product as a low-carbon, non-waste fuel. (Source: RePower South, Waste360, 2 May, 2019) Contact: RePower South, Brian Gilhuly, CEO, 800-917-4526, www.repowersouth.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel,  


EPA Signals No Timeline for Decisions on RFS Exemption Requests (Reg. & Leg.)
EPA
Date: 2019-05-03
Reuters is reporting the EPA's decision relative to Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) obligation small refiner "hardship waiver" may come in late May, although the date remains uncertain.

Although the DOE has provided their scoring of the exemption requests to EPA relative to the 40 requests that have been received for the 2018 compliance year, the agency has not yet to acted on any of those requests. "No decisions regarding 2018 SREs [small refiner exemptions] have been made," Michael Abboud, a spokesman for the EPA said. "Many aspects of the decisions for exempting individual refineries are based on confidential business information."

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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: EPA, Various Media, Progressive Farmer, 3 May, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  RFS,  "Hardship Waiver",  Biofuel Bleand,  


Hawkeye State Ag Sec. Supports Year-Round E15 (Ind. Report)
E15
Date: 2019-05-01
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig submitted the following comments in support of the US EPA's proposed changes to E15 fuel-blend regulations to allow year-round sales of E15:

"The Iowa renewable fuels industry accounts for more than $5 billion (roughly 3 pct) of Iowa's GDP, generating $2.5 billion of income for Iowa households and supporting almost 50,000 jobs throughout the state. Year-round access to E15 represents a long-overdue step toward creating a truly competitive fuel market, where cleaner, lower-cost biofuel blends are available to all consumers. This means stronger markets for farm families across Iowa who have been struggling with ongoing low commodity prices and trade tensions." Naig said.

"In addition to allowing year-round sales of E15, the EPA's proposed regulatory changes would modify certain elements of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance system to improve the renewable identification number (RIN) market." Iowa is expected to have nearly 1,000 E-15 pumps at 200 stations statewide by the end of 2019. (Source: Iowa Dept. of Agriculture, Crop Life, 30 April, 2019) Contact: Iowa Dept. of Agriculture, Mike Naig, Sec., (515) 281-5321, www.IowaAgriculture.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Ethanol Blend,  E15,  


ABFA Acts Against Additional EPA "Hardship Waivers" (Reg. & Leg.)
Advanced Biofuels Association
Date: 2019-05-01
Further to our 11 March coverage, on April 24th, the Advanced Biofuels Association (ABA) filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler from granting additional small refinery "hardship waivers" until the resolution of its pending lawsuit against EPA.

"Since EPA began granting these additional exemptions behind closed doors, we have seen devastating market impacts and dropping prices for renewable identification numbers (RINs). We need to stop the bleeding and prevent EPA from ABFA's lawsuit against EPA challenges its methodology for granting these exemptions, arguing the agency more than doubled the number of exempted refineries by illegally changing its petition review process behind closed doors," said ABFA Pres. Michael McAdams.

"Administrator Wheeler has indicated his intention to move forward on decisions for as many as 39 additional exemptions this year. ABFA cannot stand by while EPA unilaterally and illegally undermines the integrity of the RFS program. These new exemptions provide a financial windfall to refineries at the expense of biofuel producers and distributors. EPA is punishing the parties who have worked to increase the amount of renewable fuel blended into the U.S. transportation fuel supply as Congress intended by enacting the RFS first in 2005 and expanding it in 2007.

"For the first time since the inception of the RFS, we are seeing reductions in U.S. renewable fuel blending, and EPA's actions are to blame. Until the court is able to rule on the merits of ABFA's pending lawsuit, the agency should be prevented from taking further action."

"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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: Advanced Biofuels Association, 30 April, 2019)Contact: Advanced Biofuels Association, www.advancedbiofuelsassociation.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News "Hardship Waiver",  Advanced Biofuels Association ,  


ABA Asks Court to Quash EPA RFS "Hardship Waivers" (Reg. & Leg.)
Advanced Biofuels Association
Date: 2019-04-26
According to a recent brief filed by attorneys on behalf of the Advanced Biofuels Association (ABA) in a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit court in Washington, the US EPA broke away from Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements for granting small-refinery waivers starting in May 2017 and continued to deny a congressional order regarding which refiners qualify.

The suit contends the EPA approved waivers for small refiners that didn't meet the minimum U.S. DOE score to qualify, and improperly considered the debts of small-refiners' parent companies when considering waiver requests. The brief also noted the agency considered small-refiners' operating losses whether or not they were related to RFS compliance. The agency also considered what small refiners might spend on biofuel credits, without looking at revenue the refiners would later generate from sales of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). Accordingly, the ABA suit asked the court to declare the EPA's methodology for determining disproportionate economic hardship "unlawful" and to strike down the agency's economic "hardship" policy.

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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: ABA, DTN, April, 2019) Contact: Advanced Biofuels Association, www.advancedbiofuelsassociation.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuels Association,  "hardship Waiver: RFS,  


Where's Trump's Former EPA Head Scott Pruitt? (Ind. Report)
Coal,EPA
Date: 2019-04-24
Denver-headquartered Hallador Energy Company, a subsidiary of RailPoint Solutions LLC and Sunrise Coal, reports it has hired former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt to lobby against plans by two electric utilities -- Vectren and NIPSCO -- to shutter aging coal-fired power generation facilities in Indiana by 2030.

Hallador and Pruitt are urging the Indiana republican controlled legislature to include language in the budget bill that would prohibit the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission from considering Obama-era regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions in the commission's decisions about rates and other issues that could impact the future of coal-generated electricity in the state.

Hallador claims Obama clean air regulations are the reason coal costs more than wind, solar and natural gas. They also claim that once President Trump and current EPA head and former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler are finished gutting the Obama clean air regulations, the price of coal will drop. According to U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) US coal consumption has plummeted to its lowest levels in nearly 40 years and more coal-fired power plants closed in the first two years of the Trump administration than during President Obama's entire first term.

As readers may recall, Pruitt resigned from the EPA in July 2018 after an 18-month tenure best remembered for the seemingly mass handout of Renewable Fuel Standard "hardship" waivers to refineries, spending and ethical scandals. 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. (Source: Hallador Energy Company, The Environmental Working Group, 23 April, 20190 Contact: Hallador Energy Company, (303) 839-5504, www.halladorenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Scott Pruitt,  Coal,  


IRFA, Iowa Ag. Sec. Challenge RFS Exemptions (Ind. Report)
IRFA, RFS
Date: 2019-04-22
In a joint news conference last Wednesday, Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), and the Hawkeye State Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig, commented on the small-refinery "hardship" exemptions being considered by the EPA, saying the federal plans to make small refineries exempt from renewable fuel rules "would irreversibly undermine" the nation's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

"We believe it is time for the EPA to address this threat to the Renewable Fuel Standard," Naig said, adding that over the last two years, the agency has granted waivers accounting for 2.6 billion gallons of ethanol or about 1 billion bushels of corn. "This happens at a time when our farmers and rural America can least afford it" he said adding there are currently 39 small-refinery exemption applications before the EPA. Refiners with a capacity of less than 75,000 bpd can receive a waiver as long as they can prove that complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard would cause "disproportionate economic harm."

According to Shaw, the nearly 40 exemptions out there could "rip the heart out"of the Renewable Fuel Standard. "If you can justify granting a small-refinery exemption under today's circumstances -- where you can buy a Renewable Identification Number (RIN) for 8 cents, then what the EPA would really be saying is that it's always going to grant small-refinery exemptions, and the hope of ever having a true 15 billion-gallon RFS is dead," Shaw said.

The Renewable Fuels Association noted overall U.S. ethanol consumption declined last year. The association also noted 48 small refinery exemptions approved last year by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt as a main factor for the drop in ethanol use. (Source: Iowa RFA, PR, The Courier, 21 April, 2019) Contact: IRFA, Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., info@IowaRFA.org, (515) 252-6249, www.iowarfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Monte Shaw,  RFA,  IRFA,  RFS,  "Hardship" Exemption,  


Entsorga WV Leverages MBT to Produce Renewable Fuel (Ind. Report)
BioHiTech Global
Date: 2019-04-17
Following up on our March 6 coverage, Entsorga West Virginia, a partnership between Apple Valley Waste LLC., Entsorga USA, and Chestnut Ridge, NY-based waste management specialist BioHiTech Global, Inc., is reporting last month's launch of a plant in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

The facility processes mixed municipal solid waste (MSW) through a patented mechanical pre-screening and biological treatment process, composts it, then further refines it to produce an EPA approved renewable fuel.

The technology is patented by the Italian engineering firm, Entsorga Italia, and been deployed through Europe.

Berkley (W.Va.) County Solid Waste Authority provided the land for the Martinsburg project, which is being financed with $25 million in tax-exempt, private bonds issued by the West Virginia Economic Development Authority. The facility will produce about 55,000 tpy of SRF from about 110,000 tpy of MSW.

Entsorga West Virginia has another MBT facility undergoing the permitting process in Rensselaer, N.Y., and is talking to other potential partners, according to a company release. (Source: Entsorga, Waste360, 16 April, 2019) Contact: BioHiTech Global, Inc, Frank E. Celli, CEO, Rich Galterio, Exec. VP, (845) 367.0603, rgalterio@biohitech.com, www.biohitech.com; Entsorga West Virginia, (845) 262-1081, www.entsorgawv.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News BioHiTech Global,  Renewable Fuel,  


Wartsila Seed Funding Finnish Renewable Fuels Startup (Int'l)
Wartsila,Soletair Power Oy.
Date: 2019-04-15
Finnish technology group Wartsila Corp reports it has agreed to provide €500,000 ($565,450) in seed funding to Finnish renewable fuel start-up Soletair Power Oy which has developed a concept that involves capturing CO2 from the air and converting it to synthetic renewable fuel.

In a press release, Wartsila noted it sees great value in Soletair Power's concept and intends to provide global support in the development and commercialization of the technology. (Source: Wartsila, Renewables, 15 April, 2019) Contact: Soletair Power Oy, +358 44 7688696, www.soletair.fi; Wartsila,+358 10 709 0000, www.wartsila.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wartsila,  Renewable Fuels,  


Global Wood Pellet Fuel Market 2019 (Report Offered)
Wood Pellet
Date: 2019-04-10
The recently released Global Wood Pellet Fuel Market Report research report assess the current as well as upcoming performance of the Wood Pellet Fuel market, market trends and the major players -- Drax Biomass Inc, Rentech, Inc, Enviva Partners, LP, German Pellets GmbH, Viridis Energy Inc, AS Graanul Invest, Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc, Lignetics Of Idaho, Inc, Zilkha Biomass Energy, LLC, Land Energy Girvan Limited, Colombo Energy Inc, Premium Pellet Ltd, ECARE, Fram Renewable Fuels, Agon Biomass, Pellet power, Blue Sky Biomass, Bio Eneco Sdn Bhd, Schellinger & Co Muhlenwerke, Snow Timber Pellets LLC. The report also forecasts the future of Wood Pellet Fuel market on the basis on this evaluation.

Questions and additional information is HERE. (Source: Market & Research, Industry News Daily, 9 April, 2019)Contact: Markets and Research, www.marketsnresearch.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wood Pellet,  Woody Biomass,  


Perdue Notes "Positive" Chinese Ethanol Tariff Talks (Ind. Report)

Date: 2019-04-10
"There have been conversations with China on reducing that tariff on ethanol, which would obviously be good for our domestic corn industry. While things look positive, it's never over till it's over with the Chinese." -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, 9 April, 2019

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was commenting on the progress of his "positive" talks with China about reducing Beijing's 70 pct "retaliatory" tariff on U.S. ethanol products. In his comments, Perdue also noted that he wanted the EPA to more tightly control its use of small refinery "hardship" waivers that exempt plants from their obligation to blend biofuels like corn-based ethanol under the Renewable Fuel Standard. Perdue added that he'd discussed the matter with EPA chief Andrew Wheeler. (Source: Voice of America, NASDAQ, 9 April, Contact: U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, (202) 720-2791 -- general information, https://twitter.com/SecretarySonny, www.whitehouse.gov/people/sonny-perdue

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Corn Ethanol,  


Cielo Announces Alberta Renewable Fuel Refinery MOU (Ind. Report)
Cielo
Date: 2019-04-02
Vancouver, BC-based Cielo Waste Solutions Corp. reports Renewable U Energy Inc. has executed a binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and exercised its option to enter into a joint venture with Cielo for the purposes of construction one or more renewable diesel refineries in the City of Brooks, Alberta.

Cielo Waste Solutions Corp. is a publicly traded company that holds the exclusive license for the global rights to a transformational, patent-pending, technology engineered to convert garbage-derived feedstocks to renewable diesel, at a significantly lower cost than biofuel companies. With landfills being one of the world's leading contributors to Green House Gas emissions and being projected to double in size over the next 7 years, Cielo can potentially resolve this crisis on a cost-effective basis by converting multiple different garbage-derived feedstocks, including sorted municipal solid waste (garbage), wood and agriculture waste, tires, blue-box waste, all plastics and virtually any other cellulous waste product into high grade renewable diesel, according to Cielo. (Source: Cielo Waste Solutions Corp., PR, 1 April, 2019) Contact: Cielo Waste Solutions Corp., Don Allan, President & CEO, (403) 348-2972 Ext. 101, donallan@cielows.com, www.cielows.com; Renewable U Energy, Lionel Robins, www.motivateu.ca/renewableu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Cielo,  Renewable Diesel,  


BCBN Seeking Biorefinery Market Analysis Contractor (Ind. Report)
BC Bioenergy Network
Date: 2019-03-29
The government of British Columbia, through the CleanBC Plan, is committed to growing renewable fuels production to 650 million lpy and increasing the Low Carbon Fuel Standard to 20 pct by 2030.

To that end, the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources is considering what actions to take to meet these targets, including support for the commercial production of renewable and low-carbon fuels in the province, reducing B.C.'s reliance on imported feedstocks and expanding B.C.'s existing renewable fuel production industry. In order to meet the CleanBC renewable fuels targets, significantly more renewable feedstocks will need to be sourced from within B.C. and more renewable fuels will need to be produced here.

To achieve this renewable fuel production commitment and help B.C. transition to a low-carbon economy, BC Bioenergy Network (BCBN) and the ministry are seeking a contractor to undertake a biorefinery market analysis outlining specific conditions required to attract major fuel producers to invest in building biorefineries in the province.

The contractor will provide a comprehensive report on the economic, technical, social and environmental factors that will be necessary to accomplishing the aforementioned objectives, and will include a biorefinery market analysis of all relevant products for the North American and global market -- identification of the opportunities and potential barriers to their development. Analysis should include discussions on how the availability of feedstocks required in biorefinery production affect the economics of establishing the facilities.

BC Biorefinery Investment RfP information and details HERE (Source: BCBN, 28 Mar., 2019) Contact: BCBN, Dr. Scott Stanners, Executive Director (604) 889-4549, Scott.Stanners@bcbioenergy.ca, www.bcbioenergy.ca

More Low-Carbon Energy News BC Bioenergy Network ,  


EPA Issuing Partial RFS "Hardship" Waivers for 2018 (Ind. Report)
EPA, RFS,American Coalition for Ethanol
Date: 2019-03-25
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will reportedly issue partial waivers to some of the 39 refiners asking for exemptions from the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The agency also notes it will keep granting partial waivers until the end of March and won’t retroactively reallocate those waived obligations.

According to the American Coalition for Ethanol the EPA's position is "disappointing and has caused a lot of ethanol demand destruction."

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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: American Coalition for Ethanol, EPA, WNAX Radio, 25 Mar., 2019) Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, Ron Lamberty, VP, (605) 334-3381, https://ethanol.org.

More Low-Carbon Energy News American Coalition for Ethanol,  RFS,  Hardship Waivers,  Biofuel Blend,  


RFA Comments on New EPA Approved RFS "Hardhip Waivers" (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2019-03-22
The EPA reports approval of five more 2017 Small Refiner "Hardship" Exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and noted that two more petitions have been received for 2018 exemptions, bringing the total to 39. Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper offered the following statement:

"It's extremely disappointing and outrageous to see EPA once again allow oil refiners to undermine the RFS and hurt family farms, ethanol producers and our environment by exploiting and abusing a statutory provision that exempts them from their obligations to blend renewable fuels. The RFS was created to preserve the environment, protect America's energy security and give Americans more affordable options at the pump. These exemptions undercut those goals, and today's exemptions mean more than 2.6 billion gallons of RFS blending obligations have been erased with the stroke of EPA's pen. RFA will continue to fight these exemptions through the courts and urge EPA to adopt a more judicious and restrained decision-making process on refiner exemptions, as well as restore lost volume obligations from previous years."

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.(Source: Renewable Fuels Association, 21 Mar., 2019) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, Pres., (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  EPA,  RFS Hardship Waiver,  Biofuel Blend,  

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