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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,  


Capitalizing on Carbon Included at Ace Conf. (Events & Conferences)
American Coalition for Ethanol
Date: 2019-07-01
The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) reports its annual conference in Omaha, Nebraska, August 14-16, will feature a discussion on how the ethanol industry can benefit from the emerging carbon economy and the new opportunities during the Capitalizing on Carbon general session panel on August 15.

This timely discussion will be moderated by ACE CEO Brian Jennings, and includes Pam Miller, ACE board chair and director of industry and investor relations for Siouxland Ethanol LLC; Ron Alverson, ACE board chair and director of Dakota Ethanol; and Brendan Jordan, VP of transportation and fuels at the Great Plains Institute.

Conference details HERE. (Source: American Coalition for Ethanol, June, 2019) Contact: ACE, www.ethanol.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News American Coalition for Ethanol,  


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",  ,  


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,  


American Coalition for Ethanol Presses Senate on EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler's Confirmation (Opinions, Editorial & Asides)
American Coalition for Ethanol
Date: 2019-02-01
The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) submitted the following letter to US Senators regarding acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler's confirmation:

" As the Senate proceeds to consider the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), I write to encourage you to secure tangible documentation from Mr. Wheeler that EPA will resolve two critically important issues before casting your confirmation vote: finalizing a legally -defensible Reid vapor pressure (RVP) rule to allow E15 use year-round before June 1, and reallocating ethanol blending obligations waived for 2016 and 2017 through the Small Refinery Exemption (SRE) provision of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

"I urge you hold Acting Administrator Wheeler to this high standard because of the harm done to renewable fuels by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Prior to his confirmation by the Senate, Mr. Pruitt pledged to support the RFS as the law of the land and the President's commitment to expanding ethanol use. However, while leading EPA, he undermined the RFS through an unprecedented number of backdoor refinery waivers which erased more than 2 billion gallons of ethanol blending obligations between 2016 and 2017. Furthermore, he refused to reallocate those blending obligations to other refiners, as called for under the law, and failed to initiate a rulemaking to allow E15 use year-round despite the fact it is a priority for the President. EPA's broken promises and abuse of the RFS compel Acting Administrator Wheeler to repair the damage by reallocating the blending obligations and finalizing a legally-defensible rule to allow E15 use year-round before June 1.

"During his recent confirmation hearing, Acting Administrator Wheeler assured Environment and Public Works committee members that EPA is 'still on schedule to issue a final rule allowing year-round E15 sales' but added there 'may be a slight delay' due to the recent government shutdown. The shutdown is not a credible excuse for a delay in the E15 rulemaking. In fact, recent history proves the Trump Administration can expedite high-priority rulemakings.

"Take for example the USDA newly-proposed work requirements for recipients of supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits. In December, as Congress was negotiating the Farm Bill, the Senate insisted that House conferees drop new food stamp work requirements from the final legislation. In response, to secure enough Republican votes in the House of Representatives to pass the Farm Bill conference report, USDA put forward a rulemaking to impose the work requirements through executive action. The Farm Bill conference report was adopted by Congress on December 12. The President waited to sign the Farm Bill until December 20, the same day USDA published the SNAP work requirement rulemaking.

"In just eight days USDA was able to issue a rule at the direction of the President to fulfill a promise to Republicans in the House of Representatives. It has been more than 100 days since the President Directed EPA to initiate a rulemaking to allow E15 use year-round. What is taking EPA so long to act? There is no better way to guarantee the RVP rule and reallocation of refinery waivers are addressed than by insisting Mr. Wheeler provide tangible evidence of his intentions on these issues prior to voting to confirm him.

"The RVP rule is particularly time-sensitive. Under EPA's existing and outdated RVP regulations, E15 cannot be sold in most areas of the country from June 1 to September 15, leaving just four short months from today to complete the rulemaking process. Unfortunately, EPA needlessly plans to combine the RVP rule with reforms to the way Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) are handled under the RFS. RIN reforms are highly-controversial among oil refiners so EPA's proposal will likely pit refiners against each other, causing a protracted dispute. If RIN reforms prevent EPA from finishing the RVP rule by June 1, it will result in another summer that E15 cannot be sold in many parts of the country when fuel demand is at its peak. Acting Administrator Wheeler should be encouraged to decouple RIN reforms from the RVP rule to ensure E15 can be offered for sale by June 1." (signed) Brian Jennings, CEO American Coalition for Ethanol. (Source: ACE, 29 Jan., 2019)Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, Ron Lamberty, VP, (605) 334-3381, https://ethanol.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News ANdrew Wheeler,  American Coalition for Ethanol,  Andrew Wheeler,  Ethanol.Ethanol Blend,  


ACE Honors Domestic Ethanol Industry Contributors (Ind. Report)
American Coalition for Ethanol
Date: 2018-08-24
Last week in Minneapolis, The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) recognized several ethanol industry advocates for their contributions to the ethanol industry.

The orcanization's Merle Anderson Award is given to individuals who display unmatched dedication to ACE and the domestic ethanol industry. This year's award winner was Owen Jones, long time ACE Board Member representing Full Circle Ag of Britton, South Dakota. The ACE Grassroots Award went to Dale Tolifson representing the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company. Jetz Convenience Centers of Milwaukee won the Paul Dana Marketing Vision award and Ken Anderson of Brownfield Ag News scored the Media Excellence Award, (Source: American Coalition for Ethanol, 22 August, 2018) 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,  


ACE Touts Low Carbon Corn Ethanol Benefits (Ind. Report)
American Coalition for Ethanol
Date: 2018-08-20
The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) is reporting the release of its White Paper -- The Case for Properly Valuing the Low Carbon Benefits of Corn Ethanol.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was enacted, in part, to drive innovation and production of low carbon biofuels that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and as a result the program has replaced 10 pct of petroleum in the U.S. transportation fleet with carbon-friendly fuel. However, the EPA has yet to update its original corn ethanol GHG assessments of a decade ago to reflect today's significant GHG reduction benefits, the report says.

"The ACE White Paper makes a compelling case that lifecycle GHG modeling must reflect the latest science if low carbon fuel programs are to achieve their desired results. The Great Plains Institute agrees there is a huge opportunity for existing corn ethanol plants to lower their carbon footprint through innovative technology and updated lifecycle modeling," said Brendan Jordan, VP of the Great Plains Institute.

Download the full The Case for Properly Valuing the Low Carbon Benefits of Corn Ethanol White Paper HERE. (Source: American Coalition for Ethanoll, Aug., 2018) Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, Ron Lamberty, VP, (605) 334-3381, https://ethanol.org; Great Plains Institute, (512) 278-7150, www.betterenergy.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News American Coalition for Ethanol,  Ethanol,  Corn Ethano,  ,  


Proposed CAFE Standards Positive for Ethanol, says ACE CEO (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
American Coalition for Ethanol
Date: 2018-08-06
In response to the US EPA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) recently announced proposed amendments to the current fuel economy and emissions standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2021-2026, American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings says that while the proposals are less stringent they are also exploring the role higher octane fuel could provide a pathway for higher blends of ethanol as they maintain fuel economy in smaller engines and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Jennings noted that the premium high octane fuel on the market now is petroleum which is costlier than ethanol. He says ethanol has several advantages and is also a high octane fuel.

According to Jennings, the EPA's proposal to flatline the standards will lead to increased gasoline use and tailpipe pollution, but not if the final rule paves the way for E25-E30 high octane fuel in future engines. (Source: American Coalition for Ethanol, WNAX Radio, 3 Aug., 2018)Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, Ron Lamberty, VP, (605) 334-3381, https://ethanol.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol Blend,  CAFE Standard,  American Coalition for Ethanol,  


ACE Testifies on Proposed 2019 RVOs (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
American Coalition for Ethanol
Date: 2018-07-20
The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) VP Ron Lamberty testified on July 18 during the public hearing in Ypsilanti, Mich., on the EPA's proposed Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for the 2019 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):

"With the departure of the previous EPA Administrator (Pruitt) , I hope EPA will take this opportunity to return to implementing the RFS as intended by Congress. Pruitt's seemingly sole focus on helping merchant refiners ignore or skirt their longstanding obligations under the RFS has further shaken the rural farm economy while undermining Congress' goal of increasing renewable fuel use in the United States.

"EPA's misapplication of the small refiner (hardship) waiver authority has destroyed an estimated 2.25 billion gallons of biofuel demand in 2016 and 2017 alone. The 2019 proposal does nothing to reallocate the gallons of ethanol lost due to RFS waivers, nor does it restore the 500 million gallons of biofuel demand lost because of EPA's actions in misapplying the economic harm waiver in the 2016 RVO as determined by the courts that ordered EPA to return those gallons as well. This RVO rulemaking is the perfect place for EPA to restore these biofuel volumes under the RFS, allow for E15 and higher blends to be sold year-round, and discard of its refiner win-at-all-costs mentality."

As previously reported, "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: American Coalition for Ethanol, Convenience Store Decisions, 19 July, 2018) 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,  Pruitt,  HJardship Waiver,  


EPA, Pruitt Challenged on RFS "Hardship Waivers" (Reg & Leg)
RFA,National Corn Growers Association
Date: 2018-06-01
Last Wednesday in Denver, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), the National Corn Growers Association, the American Coalition for Ethanol and the National Farmers Union, brought suit in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals against the US EPA challenging several supposed "hardship waivers" the agency "secretly" issued to profitable refining companies.

in their action, the plaintiffs claim the federal agency, led by the increasingly controversial Trump appointee Scot Pruitt, awarded the waivers to two refineries owned by HollyFrontier Corp. and the Wynnewood Refining Co., a subsidiary of Carl Icahn's CVR Refining, without publishing the actions in the Federal Register and that the refineries were profitable and did not qualify for the waivers.

As previously reported, "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: Various Media, NewsOK, 31 May, 2018)Contact: RFA, Bob Dinneen, Pres., (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org; National Corn Growers Association, Kevin Skunes, Pres., (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Hardship Waiver,  National Corn Growers Association,  RFA,  EPA Scott Pruitt,  RFS,  


ACE Urges Cellulosic Biofuel, Biodiesel Tax Credits Extension (Opinions, Editorials and Asides)
American Coalition for Ethanol
Date: 2017-12-20
In a letter to the Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means Kevin Brady, and Chairman of the Committee on Finance, Orrin Hatch, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) called for an extension of the Cellulosic Biofuel Tax Credit and Biodiesel Tax Credit as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Highlights from the ACE letter follow:

"Extension of these provisions is critically important and consistent with the stated purposes of the tax bill of 'growing our economy, bringing jobs back to our local communities, increasing paychecks for our workers, and making sure Americans are able to keep more of the money they earn.'"

"The nation's biofuel sector generates $184.5 billion in annual output, supports 852,000 jobs, pays $46 billion in wages, remits $14.5 billion in taxes, and saves taxpayers about $10 billion per year by reducing the need for farm program payments."

"One of the most important things the Conference Committee could do to support the existing biofuel sector and help spur its continued growth would be to extend the Cellulosic Biofuel Tax Credit and Biodiesel Tax Credit in the final bill." (Source: American Coalition for Ethanol, Dec., 2017) Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, (605) 334-3381, https://ethanol.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News American Coalition for Ethanol,  Cellulosic,  Ethanol,  Biofuel Tax Credit ,  


ACE VP Wants RFS Point Of Obligation Unchanged (Reg & Leg)
American Coalition for Ethanol
Date: 2017-08-09
American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Senior VP Ron Lamberty is calling for the EPA's Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) Point of Obligation to remain unchanged. The ACE stance is in response to reports that the EPA was going to reject proposed changes to the Point of Obligation RFS rule requiring oil companies to blend a designated amount of ethanol into gasoline. An EPA ruling is expected within the next few weeks. (Source: ACE, WNAX , 8 Aug., 2017) Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Ron Lamberty, (605) 334-3381, https://ethanol.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News American Coalition for Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  Point of Obligation,  RFS,  


American Coalition for Ethanol Submits EPA Reform Priorities -- Report Attached (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
American Coalition for Ethanol
Date: 2017-04-24
The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) has submitted the attached comments to the EPA about the regulatory changes it wants for ethanol. The comments are in response to the Trump administration's EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's task force to review existing EPA regulations.

"Today, in most parts of the country, retailers are now allowed to sell E-15 in the summer months. That's because EPA has refused to update a regulation regarding evaporative emissions for fuel. E-15 is the cleanest fuel approved for most cars on the road today. We all know we're sitting on surplus stocks of corn today and low corn prices. So at the end of the day, this is about increasing demand for corn and providing a valuable market for farmers," says ACE.

Brian Jennings, Executive VP of the coalition, says the top priority for his group is having the EPA revise emissions standards to allow E-15 and higher ethanol blends to be sold year round. Jennings says the EPA should also update the life cycle analysis of corn ethanol, reevaluate the EPA's interpretation of the Clean Air Act and streamline the approval process for higher octane fuel blends.

Read the complete ACE comments HERE. (Source: American Coalition for Ethanol, April 12, 2017) Contact: ACE, Brian Jennings, Exec. VP, (605) 334-3381, https://ethanol.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News American Coalition for Ethanol ,  Ethanol,  

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