Return to Today's Publications

 

Newsletter:
Date Range (YYYY-MM-DD) -
Company, Industry or Technology:
  Search Tips


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Shell Considering Solar Power at Singapore Site (Int'l. Report)
Royal Dutch Shell
Date: 2019-08-07
Reuters is reporting oil giant Royal Dutch Shell is considering the installation of solar panels to power its 500,000 bpd B Pulau Bukom refining subsidiary site in Singapore, a company spokeswoman told Reuters on Tuesday.

The possible switch to solar at this and other sites is in keeping with the company's plans to improve energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint. To that end, Shell has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Energy Market Authority of Singapore to jointly work on energy storage systems.

Globally, Shell is installing solar photovoltaic panels on the roofs of seven lubricant plants in China, India, Italy, Singapore and Switzerland. (Source: Royal Dutch Shell, Reuters, Aug., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Royal Dutch Shell,  Solar,  


Carleton Scores Building Energy Efficiency R&D Funding (Funding)
Carlton University
Date: 2019-08-02
In Ottawa, the Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change has awarded $5.1M in funding to Carlton University's Building Performance Research Centre (CU-CABER) and Prof. Cynthia Cruickshank's building energy efficiency work. The Minister also awarded $510,000 for Prof. Burak Gunay's Centre for Advanced Building Envelope Research project related to data analytics and energy performance metrics.

Cynthia Cruickshank, Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Director of the Solar Energy Systems Lab will lead the CU-CABER project to develop and evaluate new building envelope technologies. The six-year project has $3 million support from Natural Resources Canada's Energy Innovation Program and $2.1 million from the Ontario Research Fund.

Prof. Burak Gunay is working to develop an open source software platform that will help building managers identify energy efficiency issues. Gunay and his team received $510,000 through Natural Resources Canada's Green Infrastructure Fund for his Next Generation: Actionable Building Energy Performance Metrics, Data Analytics and Visualization research effort. The researchers are partnering with CopperTree Analytics, Delta Controls, and Sensible Building Science, and BentallGreenOak will develop a suite of diagnostic algorithms and methods to help facility managers pinpoint problems, and solve them. (Source: Carlton University, July, 2019)Contact: Carlton University Building Performance Research Centre, 613-520-7838, vpri@carleton.ca, www.carleton.ca/bprc

More Low-Carbon Energy News Building Energy Efficiency,  ,  


German Sustainable Aviation Fuels Initiative Adds Members (Int'l)
Rosneft Deutschland,BP,Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany
Date: 2019-08-02
The Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany (AIREG) reports Berlin-based Rosneft Deutschland and BP Europa have become the organizations newest members.

AIREG aims to promote the research, production and usage of sustainable aviation fuels to reduce carbon emissions in aviation through the use of alternative fuels. AIREG members include universities, research institutions, plant manufacturers and operators, petroleum companies, engine and aircraft manufacturers, airports and airlines and others.

Rosneft Deutschland currently produces around 300,000 tpy of jet fuel annually and implements into-plane aviation fuel supply in Munich, Berlin-Tegel, and Berlin-Schonefeld airports. The Russian oil company subsidiary currently blends over 400,000 tonnes of biofuels annuals across three refineries for use in the transportation sector.

BP subsidiary BP Europa is committed to developing and commercializing sustainable aviation fuel to help its customers meet the International Air Transport Association target of a 50 pct reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, compared to 2005 levels. (Source: BP, Biofuels Int'l, 30 July, 2019) Contact: Rosneft Deutschland, +49 30 700142500, www.rosneft.de; BP Europa, Jurgen Kuper, Air BP Gen. Mgr., www.bp.com/en/global/bp-europa-se.html; Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany, www.aireg.de/en/home-en

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


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,  


BP, Bunge Partner on Brazilian Biofuels JV (Int'l. Report)
BP Alternative Energy,Bunge
Date: 2019-07-24
UK petroleum and energy major BP reports it and White Plains, NY-based agribusiness major and ethanol producer Bunge Ltd. will enter into a 50/50 joint venture (JV) to establish BP Bunge Bioenergia which will operate 11 mills in Brazil, one of the largest fast-growing markets for biofuels in the world.

The new company will have a combined crushing capacity of 32 million metric tpy and will produce a mix of ethanol and sugar. It will also generate renewable electricity from waste biomass from sugar cane, which will power all sites with surplus electricity being sold to the Brazilian power grid. Bunge will receive cash proceeds of $775 million in the transaction. which the company will use to reduce outstanding indebtedness under its credit facilities. The JV will be headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with Bunge's Geovane Consul as CEO. (Source: Bunge, BP, Biofuels Int'l, 22 July, 2019) Contact: BP Alternative Energy,Dev Sanyal, CEO, www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/what-we-do/alternative-energy.html; Bunge Ltd, (914) 684-2800, www.bunge.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News BP Alternative Energy,  Bunge,  Biofuel,  Brazil Biofuel,  Ethanol,  


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,  


BP, Bunge Considering Brazilian Ethanol JV (Int'l Report)
Bunge,BP
Date: 2019-07-10
Bloomberg is reporting UK oil giant BP and White Plains, NY-based agribusiness major and ethanol producer Bunge Ltd. are in preliminary discussions on a possible sugar and ethanol joint venture in Brazil -- a major sugar and ethanol producing country.

BP has been producing ethanol in Brazil since 2008 with three mills . Bunge has eight mills with capacity to process 22 million tons. (Source: Bloomberg, 19 July, 2019) Contact: Bunge Ltd, (914) 684-2800, www.bunge.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bunge,  BP,  Ethanol,  Brazil Ethanol,  


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 ,  


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,  


EPA Admonished to Update Ethanol, GHG Emissions Science ( Ind. Report, Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
EPA,Ethanol
Date: 2019-06-26
In response to the Trump administration EPA's rejection of calls to update GHG calculations based on technological advancements in ethanol production, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators led by Chuck Grassley (R. Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D. Ill.) -- both members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry -- issued the following statement urging the EPA to update an outdated environmental analysis on ethanol in order to "improve foreign sales opportunities."

"During the past five years, ethanol has been the fastest-growing agricultural export. As more nations adopt policies for lower-emission vehicle fuels, domestically produced ethanol can provide an immediate solution for their goals. We assert that there is little justification for EPA to maintain such an outdated calculation that otherwise could be easily corrected with existing, available analysis -- and straightforwardly address an unnecessary obstacle to international trade," the Senators wrote.

"Peer-reviewed science conducted by the USDA has affirmed that U.S. ethanol lowers greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 39-43 pct versus gasoline. EPA has rejected all calls to update these calculations, instead using nearly 10-year-old data, which ignores the technological advancements in ethanol production", the Senators said.

The Senators called for the EPA to adopt the scientific model Greenhouse Gas & Regulated Emissions & Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) developed by the DOE Argonne National Laboratory, after studying 100 fuel production pathways and 85 vehicle systems to measure the life-cycle carbon emissions of vehicle fuels. More than 30,000 organizations worldwide use the updated GREET model, including the FAA, NASA, Ford and GM, BP and others. EPA does not use the updated model. (Source: Office of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa),Feedstuffs, 25 June, 2019) Contact: Office of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), www.grassley.senate.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  Chuck Grassley,  GHGs,  Ethanol,  


NJ Offshore Wind Solicitation Goes to Orsted (Ind. Report)
Orsted,New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
Date: 2019-06-24
Sitting in Trenton, the The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) report it unanimously granted the Garden State's first award for a 1,100 MW offshore wind project to Danish offshore wind farm developer Orsted.

The 1,100 MW project is expected to generate sufficient electric power for approximately 500,000 New Jersey homes and generate $1.17 billion in economic benefits.

The project is single largest award for offshore wind in the country to date and marks further progress toward meeting New Jersey's goal of 100 pct clean energy by 2050. (Source: NJBPU, 23 June, 2019) Contact: New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, (800) 624-0241, www.bpu.state.nj.us; Orsted, Martin Neubert, Exex. VP and CEO of Offshore, Daniel Lerup, Inv. Relations, +45 99 55 97 22, danil@orsted.dk, www.orsted.dk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Orsted,  Offshore Wind,  New Jersey Offshore Wind,  


CO2 Emissions Rise at Fastest Rate since 2011 (Ind. Report)
BP
Date: 2019-06-14
Oil industry giant British Petroleum's (BP) just released 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy -- in its 68th year of publication -- notes that as energy consumption has grown, greenhouse gas emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels, which account for around two-thirds of total emissions, rose by 2 percent in 2018 -- equivalent to driving an extra 400 million combustion engine cars onto the world's highways.

According to the report, energy consumption growth was driven by natural gas, which contributed more than 40 pct of the increase. All fuels grew faster than their 10-year averages, apart from renewables, although renewables still accounted for the second largest increment to energy growth.

The report found the rapid increase in carbon emissions was at least partially due to the sharp increase in abnormally hot and cold days around the world, which in turn led consumers to use more energy for cooling and heating. China, the US, and India together accounted for more than two-thirds of the global increase in energy demand, with US consumption expanding at its fastest rate for 30 years.

Download the BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy HERE. (Source: BP, Statistical Review of World Energy, Digital Journal, June, 2019) Contact: BP, www.bp.com

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


Notable Quote -- BP Economist Talks About Emissions and Weather
BP
Date: 2019-06-14
"If there is a link between the growing levels of carbon in the atmosphere and the types of weather patterns observed in 2018 this would raise the possibility of a worrying vicious cycle: increasing levels of carbon leading to more extreme weather patterns, which in turn trigger stronger growth in energy (and carbon emissions) as households and businesses seek to offset their effects."

"It's clear we're on an unstable path with carbon emissions rising at their fastest rate since 2011." -- Spencer Dale, BP Chief Economist Contact: Spencer Dale, www.bp.com/en/global/...economics/spencer-dale-group-chief-economist.html

More Low-Carbon Energy News BP,  Carbon Emissions,  


NJ PUC Aims for 100 pct Clean Energy by 2050. (Ind. Report)
NJ PUC
Date: 2019-06-12
The New Jersey Public Utilities Commission's NJPUC) recently released (NJ PUC) Energy Master Plan provides an initial blueprint for the total conversion of the Garden State's energy profile, calls for "carbon-neutral electricity generation and maximum electrification of the transportation and building sectors to meet or exceed the Global Warming Response Act greenhouse emissions reductions of 80 pct relative to 2006 levels by 2050.

The plan calls for reducing energy consumption and emissions from the transportation sector, accelerating deployment of renewable energy, maximizing energy efficiency and conservation, reducing energy use through decarbonization, modernizing the electric grid and utility infrastructure, as well as expanding clean energy job training opportunities and programs.

Download the NJ PUC Draft 2019 New Jersey Energy Master Plan HERE. (Source: NJ PUC, NJ 101.5, June, 2019) Contact: NJ PUC, (800) 624-0241, www.bpu.state.nj.us

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Solar,  Energy Efficiency,  


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,  


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",  ,  


Candidate Klobuchar Proposes RFS Exemption Changes (Ind Report)
Klobuchar
Date: 2019-05-27
Last week while on the campaign trail in Iowa, Minnesota Senator and 2020 Presidential wannabe Amy Klobuchar (D) called for the revamping of the EPA's RFS "hardship waiver" rules governing small refineries.

According to Klobuchar, EPA waivers that allow small refineries to avoid the requirements are "misguided" and manipulated by financial institutions and the biofuels credit trading market. The senator proposed new compliance standards and additional oversight. Klobuchar also supports year-round sales of E15.

To date in the presidential primary race, Klobuchar is near the bottom of the pack and playing on the small refinery waiver program could play well in the Corn-husker State.

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: IJR, Various Media, Reuters, 25 May, 2019) Contact: Sen. Amy Klobuchar, www.klobuchar.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/mobile/email-amy

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Biofuel Blend,  


Dominion Energy Supports Carbon Tax (Ind. Report)
Dominion Energy,CEO Climate Dialogue
Date: 2019-05-17
In the Old Dominion State, Richmond-headquartered Dominion Energy, which relies heavily on nuclear power and is rapidly expanding its solar portfolio, reports it is joining the CEO Climate Dialogue, a coalition of corporations and environmental groups in support of a carbon tax and other measures designed to reduce CO2 emissions.

CEO Climate Dialogue is aiming for economy-wide carbon emission reductions of 80 pct or more by 2050, with aggressive near- and mid-term emission reductions commensurate with that goal.

The group also "aims to build bipartisan support for climate policies that will increase regulatory and business certainty, reduce climate risk, and spur investment and innovation needed to meet science-based emissions reduction targets." BP, Shell, BG&E, DTE Energy, Exelon and other energy majors are among the group's membership. (Source: Dominion Energy, Bacon's Rebellion, Blog, 16 May, 2019) Contact: Dominion Energy, Thomas F. Farrell, CEO, Keith Windle, VP Business Development, www.dominionenergy.com; CEO Climate Dialogue, http://business.edf.org/blog/tag/ceo-climate-dialogue

More Low-Carbon Energy News Dominion Energy,  Carbon Tax,  CEO Climate Dialogue,  


Major Mining Companies Among World's Mega Emitters (Int'l)
Climate Change
Date: 2019-05-13
In Rio de Janiero, Brazil, the Rio Times is reporting as many as 100 companies are responsible for more than 70 pct of global greenhouse gas emissions since 1988, according to data from Carbon Disclosure Project (CFP) in July 2017.

The 25 largest polluters, responsible for 50 pct of CO2 emissions, are, by descending order: China (state-owned coal production), Aramco, Gazprom, Iranian National Petroleum, ExxonMobil, Coal India, Pemex, Russia (state-owned coal production), Shell, China National Petroleum, BP, Chevron, PDVSA, Abu Dhabi National Petroleum, Poland Coal, Peabody Energy, Sonatrach, Kuwait Oil, Total, BHP Billiton, ConocoPhillips, Lukoil, Rio Tinto, Nigeria National Petroleum, and Petrobras, the only Brazilian company on the list.

The top 100 companies control most of the world's mineral rights, for oil, gas, and coal. Houston is considered the "home" of 7 of these 100 companies, followed by Jakarta, Calgary, Moscow, and Beijing.

(Source: The Rio Times, May, 2019) Contact: The Rio Times, Richard Mann, Contributing Reporter, www.riotimesonline.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  Climate Change,  


Microsoft Joins Climate Leadership Council (Ind. Report)
Climate Leadership Council
Date: 2019-05-03
Following up on our 17th April coverage, Microsoft reports it has joined the Climate Leadership Council. The Climate Leadership Council was founded by former secretaries of state James Baker and George Shultz, renowned scientist Stephen Hawking, BP, ExxonMobil, and Shell, General Motors and others. Membership includes 3500+ economists, 27 Nobel laureates and 15 former Chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers.

According to the organization's website, The founding Members of the Climate Leadership Council believe that America needs a consensus climate solution that bridges partisan divides, strengthens our economy and protects our shared environment."

The Council's carbon dividends solution embodies the conservative principles of free markets and limited government. It also offers an equitable, popular and politically-viable way forward, paving the way for a much-needed bipartisan climate breakthrough. The Council's carbon dividends program is based on four interdependent pillars:

  • A gradually rising and revenue-neutral carbon tax;
  • Carbon dividend payments to all Americans, funded by 100 pct of the revenue;
  • The rollback of carbon regulations that are no longer necessary; and
  • Border carbon adjustments to level the playing field and promote American competitiveness.

    Alongside a growing carbon tax, the Climate Leadership Council wants to rollback carbon regulations that are no longer necessary and pay these carbon taxes back to citizens in the form of dividends. The group also plans to push for rising carbon taxes in replacement of other climate legislation while protecting its members from historic climate damage payments, according to its website.

    Microsoft recently committed to a $15 per ton internal carbon tax and announced that its campus will soon be run with 100 pct carbon-free electricity. It also ramped up its data center plans to run on 70 pct renewable by 2023. (Source: Microsoft, Climate Leadership Council, WinBuzzer, 2 May, 2019) Contact: Climate Leadership Council, www.clcouncil.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Leadership Council,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Tax,  


  • 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,  


    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 ,  


    EPA Stalls on RFS "Hardship Waiver" Transparency (Ind. Report)
    RFS
    Date: 2019-05-01
    Reuters is reporting the U.S. EPA has suspended work on its plan -- as announced on 12 April -- to publish the names of refineries granted "hardship waiver" exemptions from federal biofuels law after receiving blowback from the White House and parts of the oil industry.

    The EPA currently does not name companies that apply for or receive the waivers, arguing the information is confidential. The corn industry wants that changed because it believes profitable companies are securing waivers, which is hurting farmers. Small refineries owned by profitable oil majors like ExxonMobil and Chevron are among those that have gotten waivers since 2017, according to the Reuters report.

    "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: Yahoo Finance, Reuters, 30 April, 2019)

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


    ADM Planning Three Ethanol Plant Spinoff (Ind. Report, M&A)
    Archer Daniels Midland
    Date: 2019-04-29

    Last Friday, Chicago-headquartered biofuel pioneer Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) reported it may spin off three large dry mill ethanol plants after the unsuccessful search for a buyer came up empty. ADM's move is being seen as a sign of the industry's troubles with U.S. President Trump's punitive tariffs and trade wars, thin margins, overproduction, and the motoring public's growing love affair with electric vehicles and fuel efficient vehicles, all of which is forcing the biofuels industry to seek new markets -- such as China -- for their overproduction.

    Last week, U.S. ethanol production hit 1.05 million bpd, highest in at least five years seasonally, and inventories climbed to 22.75 million barrels, not far from the record of 24.45 million hit in March, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. (Source: ADM, Reuters, Grainews, 26 April, 2019) Contact: ADM, Juan Luciano, Pres., CEO, (312) 634-8100, Collin Benson, VP Bioactives, Jackie Anderson, ADM Media, (217) 424-5413, www.adm.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Archer Daniels Midland ,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  


    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,  


    US Ethanol Exports Up 23 pct in 2018 (Ind. Report)
    Ethanol
    Date: 2019-04-26
    In Washington, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) is reporting US ethanol exports jumped by 23 pct in 2018 reaching 112,000 bpd, up from a previous record high of 91,000 bpd in 2017.

    According to the EIA, at 33,000 bpd Brazil was the top market for US ethanol, followed by Canada at approximately 23,000 bpd while India ranked third, receiving 10,000 bpd of US ethanol followed by South Korea and the Netherlands. (Source: US EIA, 25 April, 2019) Contact: US EIA, www.eia.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  EIA,  Biofuel,  


    Danish Biofuels Developer Pegs DDK 10,000,000 Investor (Int'l.)
    MASH Energy
    Date: 2019-04-26
    UK-headquartered ferry boat operator DFDS reports it is investing DDK 10 million ($1,490,990-US) for a 24 pct equity stake in MASH Energy ApS, a spin-out from the Technical University of Denmark.

    MASH produces carbpn-neutral biofuel from the by-products of nut processing in Tanzania and India, as well as other agriculture wastes.

    Together the two firms aim to develop a commercially viable alternative to fossil fuels, including testing on a DFDS ferry. (Source: DFDS A/S , PR, 25 April, 2019) Contact: DFDS A/S, www.dfdsseaways.co.uk; MASH Energy, Jakob Andersen, CEO,www.mash-biotech.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Marine Biofuel,  MASH Energy,  Biofuel,  Bioenergy,  


    Penn State Planning 70-MW Solar Array (Ind. Report)
    Penn State University
    Date: 2019-04-24
    Penn State University is reporting up to a quarter of statewide energy needs will be supplied from a planned solar farm in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

    The 70-MW project outside Chambersburg will cover 500 acres on three locations and is being developed in partnership with Lightsource BP. The 150,000 ground-mounted panel array is targeted for completion in July. 2020, according to the release.

    Pennsylvania's installed solar capacity at 420 MW is ranked 22nd in the nation.(Source: Penn State Univ., HeraldMail, 22 April, 2019) Contact: Penn State Univ., Rob Cooper, Dir. Energy and Engineering, Office of Physical Plant, (814) 865-4731,https://opp.psu.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Penn State University,  Solar,  


    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,  


    Wheeler Acknowledges RFS "Hardship Waiver" Use (Ind. Report)
    Renwable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2019-04-15
    Nebraska Rural Radio and Reuters are reporting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has acknowledged that the Trump administration's issuance of RFS "hardship" waivers to boost "big oil" profits has drawn the ire of the corn lobby. The corn-for-biofuels growers claim the exemptions have been overused and threaten demand for corn-based ethanol. The waivers have been handed out at a time when farmers are already struggling financially.

    According to Wheeler, "RIN prices have been relatively low and relatively calm since last spring. So that tells me that there should be less economic harm in the refining industry now than there was a year ago."

    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: Neb. Rural Radio, Reuters, Others, 14 April, 2019) Contact: EPA,Administrator Andrew Wheeler, www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epas-acting-administrator

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Andrew Wheeler,  RFS,  RF,  Hardship Waivers,  


    Air BP, Neste Partnering on Aviation Biofuels (Int'l Report)
    Neste, Air BP
    Date: 2019-04-15
    Helsinki-headquartered Neste, the world's largest producer of renewable diesel fuel reports it is joining Air BP, a leading aviation fuel products and services supplier, to develop a robust supply chain for aviation biofuels in Sweden.

    "Sweden is becoming a leading country in decarbonizing aviation with its proposal to introduce a greenhouse gas reduction mandate for aviation fuel sold in Sweden. Together with Air BP we are able to support air transport in Sweden in their efforts, and this collaboration gives both of us valuable insight into developing similar supply chains to decarbonize aviation in other markets," according to Neste President and CEO Peter Vanacker.

    Air BP is the specialised aviation division of BP. Air BP services are available at over 1000 airport locations in 70 countries and serves airlines, commercial aviation and general aviation.

    Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a cost competitive, low-carbon fuel produced from 100 pct renewable and sustainable raw materials that cuts greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 pct compared to petroleum diesel. (Source: Air BP, Innovators, 15 April, 2019) Contact: Air BP, Jon Platt, CEO, +27 (11) 488 5111, www.bp.com/en/global/bp-air.html; Neste, +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Biofuel,  Jet Biofuel,  Neste,  BP,  


    UK Parliament Pension Rethinking Fossil Fuel Investments (Int'l)
    Carbon Emissions
    Date: 2019-04-10
    The Guardian is reporting Trustees of the UK Parliamentarian's pension fund are reconsidering rules of investments to take climate change risks into account,. but not excluding fossil fuel and other high emissions organizations, in their investment decisions. At the same time, the Trustees are not committing to fully divest from high emission operations fossil fuels, but will consider such a move.

    According to the Guardian report, nearly two-thirds of the UK's university and other public pension funds have either divested or reformed their rules, though some have retained their fossil fuel focus despite strong public pressure.

    Presently, five of the fund's top 20 investments, representing more than £20 million are in fossil fuel companies including the UK-based BP, which makes up the biggest single shareholding by the fund. Others include Royal Dutch Shell and the French company Total. (Source: Business Green, Article first appeared in the Guardian, April, 2019) .

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Fossil Fuels,  


    Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund Moving to Renewables (Int'l)
    Norwegian Sovereign Wealth FundRenewable Energy
    Date: 2019-04-08
    In Oslo, the Norwegian government has reportedly gien the nod for the country's $1 trillion oil-rich Sovereign Wealth Fund fund, the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, to start pumping as mush as $14 billion into wind, solar and other renewable energy power projects.

    In March, Norway's sovereign wealth fund noted it would dispose of its investments in 134 companies that explore for oil and gas, worth almost $8 billion. But it is retaining stakes in oil firms such as Shell and BP that have renewable energy divisions.The Norwegian fund is also selling off its stakes in more coal companies, having set a new limit for them of 20 million tons of reserves. The fund divested $6.5 billion of coal-related investments in 2015.

    The Norwegian move follows Saudi Arabian and other national funds founded on fossil fuels revenues as they ramp up their energy interest with renewables and other clean energy investments needed to combat climate change. (Source: Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, Grist, The Guardian, April, 2019) Contact: Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, www.nbim.no

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund,  Renewable Energy,  


    BP $100M Fund Looking to Reduce Upstream Emissions (Ind. Report)
    BP
    Date: 2019-03-29
    London-headquartered oil giant BP plc is touting its $100 million Upstream Carbon Fund designed to further reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its upstream oil and natural gas operations and to generate "sustainable emissions reductions" across its operations.

    In 2018, BP set near-term and specific CO2 reduction targets in an initiative aimed at advancing an "energy transition" from long-term use of fossil fuels and to cut an estimated 3.5 million metric tons (mmt) of emissions from operations between 2016 and 2025. Between 2016 and 2018, the company estimated it had generated 2.5 mmt of sustainable emissions reductions throughout its businesses.

    The new Upstream Carbon Fund is additional to the estimated $500 million a year spent by BP on low carbon investments, venturing activities and its alternative energy business. (Source: BP, NGI 27 Mar., 2019) Contact: BP, www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/contact-us.html

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


    BioCarburante Florida Biorefinery Project Wins Support (Ind Report)
    BioCarburante Company
    Date: 2019-03-29
    In the Sunshine State, the Gulf County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday lent support to the Wisconsin-headquartered BioCarburante Company's (TBIOCC) planned $450 million biofuel plant in Gulf County.

    The plant would convert 2,000 tpd of woody biomass, wood waste and forest residue into synthetic gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel through a thermo-catalytic conversion.

    The plant would convert 2,000 tpd of woody biomass, wood waste and forest residue into synthetic gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel through a thermo-catalytic conversion.

    The Board of Commissioners would support TBIOCC's pre-application for a $25 million grant from Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., the entity established to disburse $1.5 billion in BP fine dollars into eight Northwest Florida counties. The Board of Commissioners would also facilitate acquisition of 116-acre site for the biorefinery. (Source: BioCarburante Company, Port of St.Joe Star, 28 Mar., 2019) Contact: BioCarburante Company, Larry Hess, CEO, www.biocarburante.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Biofuel,  Biorefinery,  


    ABP Strikes UK Wind Energy Supply Dear (Int'l Report)
    ABP Food Group
    Date: 2019-03-25
    In Ireland, ABP Food Group reports has inked an agreement with London-based Natural Capital Partners to power all of ABP's Irish sites with 100 pct wind energy souced from from nearby windfarms.

    The agreement will enable ABP to reach its carbon-reduction goals two years ahead of schedule. ABP will have recorded carbon emissions reductions of around 350,000 tonnes across its operations against a 2008 baseline. (Source: ABP Food Group, edie.,et, 24 Mar., 2019) Contact: ABP Food Group, +353 1 685 0200, www.abpfoodgroup.com; Natural Capital Partners, +44 (0)20 7833 6000, solutions@naturalcapitalpartners.com, www.naturalcapitalpartners.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Climate Change,  


    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,  


    Ithaca NY Updates Green Building Policy Report (Ind. Report)

    Date: 2019-03-25
    Since the City of Ithaca and the Town of Ithaca adopted its final Green Building Policy (GBP) report in May 2018, the city has been preparing for,and is now implementing PhaseTwo: drafting legislation based on the policy recommendations contained in the GBP report.

    To that end the city will continue regular meetings with consultants and working groups; develop details related to off-site location will also be developed and delivered to the Town/City governing bodies for final adoption.

    Download the Ithaca Green Building Policy Final Report HERE. (Source: Town/City of Ithaca, March19,2019) Contact: Town/City of Ithaca, NickGoldsmith, Sustainability Coordinator, ngoldsmith@cityofithaca.org; Ithaca Green Building Policy, www.ithacagreenbuilding.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Building,  


    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,  


    Biofuels Contribute $5Bn to Iowa's GDP, says Report (Ind. Report)
    IRFA
    Date: 2019-03-22
    Contribution of the Renewable Fuels Industry to the Economy of Iowa, a recent study commissioned by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) has found that biofuels contribute over $5 billion to the Hawkeye State's GDP, equivalent to 3 pct. The report also found the biofuels industry supports over 48,000 jobs in the state and adds over $2.5 billion to Iowa household incomes.

    The report was authored by John Urbanchuck, managing partner at ABF Economics.

    As we reported on 23 Jan., 2019, 2018 was a record year for ethanol production in Iowa with the state's ethanol production facilities producing 4.35 billion gallons -- 150 million gallons more than 2017 and 150 million gallons short of capacity. The Hawkeye State produces about 27 pct of total U.S. ethanol production. Iowa's two cellulosic ethanol and 41 corn ethanol plants use more than 1.3 billion bpy of corn. Iowa also produced a record 365 million gallons of biodiesel in 2018 (Source: Iowa Renewable Fuels Assoc., Mar., 2019) Contact: IRFA, Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., info@IowaRFA.org, (515) 252-6249, www.iowarfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Iowa Biofuel,  Monte Shaw,  IRFA,  


    Notable Quote
    Carbon Emissions, Climate Change
    Date: 2019-03-22
    "People say Republicans are deniers and Democrats want to do something about it. Republicans like me want to do something about it too. And we've done things about it. We actually have a reduction in CO2 emissions in this country at a time when other countries are increasing their emissions. We have done it through a lot of different ways through having more alternative fuel vehicles out there -- including using ethanol -- and through energy conservation and efficiency." -- Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) Mar., 2019 Contact: Sen. Rob Portman, (R-Ohio), (513) 684-3265, https://twitter.com/robportman, www.portman.senate.gov

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


    Albioma Converting Guadeloupe Coal Plant to Biomass (Int'l Report)
    Albioma SA
    Date: 2019-03-15
    Following up on our 23rd November, 2018 coverage, French renewable energy producer Albioma SA is reporting it has secured a €68-million ($76.8 million) loan for the conversion of a 34-MW power plant in Guadeloupe from coal to biomass. The funding was arranged with BNP Paribas and CIC, which acted as co-arrangers, and Bpifrance.

    The loan will be used for new infrastructure and modifications to the Albioma Caraibes power plant, which is expected to be converted so 100 pct biomass in 2020. (Source: Albioma SA, Renewables, 13 Mar., 2019) Contact: Albioma SA, +33 (0)1 47 76 67 00, www.albioma.com/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Coal-to-Biomass,  Biomass,  Albioma SA ,  


    ABA Claims EPA Strayed on RFS "Hardship Waivers" (Reg & Leg)
    EPA,Advanced Biofuels Association
    Date: 2019-03-11
    According to a 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 last Wednesday, 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 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. 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, 8 Mar., 2019) Contact: Advanced Biofuels Association, www.advancedbiofuelsassociation.com

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


    Flint Hills Adding FQP Tech at Iowa Ethanol Plant (Ind. Report)
    Flint Hills Resources
    Date: 2019-03-08
    In the Hawkeye State, Flint Hills Resources announced it will install Fluid Quip Process Technologies' (FQPT) patented Maximized Stillage Co-Products (MSC) system at its Shell Rock ethanol plant. This is the second installation of the FQPT MSC system among Flint Hills' seven ethanol plants located in Iowa, Nebraska and Georgia, and the fourth site in the nation where the FQPT system will be used.

    MSC technology allows dry mill ethanol plants to separate protein from the whole stillage that is a co-product of the ethanol-making process.

    The Shell Rock MSC project will require the addition of a new building and two protein dryers. Construction is slated to break ground this spring. Fluid Quip Process Technologies will provide the MSC technology, separation equipment, process engineering, construction oversight, and startup support.

    The Shell Rock plant produces 125 million gpy of ethanol, 300,000 tpy of dried distillers' grains (DDGs) and more than 3.5 million gpy of distillers' corn oil from 44 million bpy of locally source corn. (Source: Flint Hills Resources, 5 Mar., 2019) Contact: Flint Hills Resources, www.fhr.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DDGs,  Flint Hills Resources,  Ethanol,  


    BP, Virent, Johnson Matthey Ink Bioforming Tech Deal (Ind. Report)
    BP, Virent, Johnson Matthey
    Date: 2019-03-06
    In London, BP plc reports it and Madison, Wisconsin-based Virent Inc. along with Johnson Matthey have inked an agreement to advance the commercialization of Virent's Bioforming process for the production of bio-paraxylene (PX) -- a vital raw material for the production of renewable polyester.

    Virent's Bioforming technology, which is being developed in collaboration with ohnson Matthey, generates drop-in reformate product from renewable sources that can be used to yield renewable fuels and/or processed into lower carbon intensive bio-PX, the feedstock for bio-purified terephthalic acid (PTA), using existing technologies. (Source: BP, Zacks, 5 Mar., 2019) Contact: BP plc, www.bp.com; Virent Inc., Lee Edawards, CEO, Jeff Moore, Exec. VP, Operations, (608) 663-0228, www.virent.com; Johnson Matthey, www.matthey.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels,  BP plc ,  Virent,  Johnson Matthey,  

    Showing 1 to 50 of 242.

    Go to page:
    1 2 3 4 5