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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,  


NCGA Take Legal Action To Support E15 (Ind. Report, Reg & Leg)
National Corn Grower’s Association
Date: 2019-09-16
The Chestrfield, Missouri-based National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) reports it has moved to intervene in an effort by big oil to challenge the EPA's final RVP rule by filing a motion in support of the and the final rule allowing for year-round sales of E15. If successful, the oil industry's lawsuit would overturn the E15 rule

The NGCA has been a long-time advocates of removing the unnecessary and outdated barrier to year-round E15, which took several years to accomplish. This present action is a continuation of NCGA efforts to increase corn grind by expanding the sales of higher ethanol blends. NCGA will be joining efforts with other ethanol advocates as the legal process continues. (Source: NCGA, High Plains Journal, 15 Sept., 2019) Contact: NCGA, (636) 733-9004, (636) 733-9005 -fax, corninfo@ncga.com, www.ncga.com

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


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

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

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

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


Nat. Corn Growers Assoc. Supports Year-round E15 (Ind. Report)
National Corn Growers Association
Date: 2019-04-02
"Farmers stand ready to work with the Administration to clear obstacles to higher blends of ethanol such as E15 and ensure a final rule works for the full ethanol and fuel supply chain. To ensure E15 sales are not interrupted, NCGA urges EPA to complete this rulemaking by June 1." -- Kevin Ross, VP, National Corn Growers Assoc., 29 Mar., 2019) Contact: NCGA, Kevin Ross, VP, (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Corn Growers Association,  NCGA,  E15 Ethanol Blend,  


Industry Comments on New RFS (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Iowa Renewable Fuels Association , National Biodiesel Board
Date: 2018-12-05
"Without reallocation of small-refinery exemptions, the numbers released today may look good on the outside, but just like the chocolate bunnies my children open up on Easter morning, they are hollow on the inside. While any increase is better than a flatline, these modest increases vastly underrate the potential of advanced biofuels." -- Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, (515) 252-6249, info@irfa.org, http://iowarfa.org

"EPA's failure to properly account for small refinery exemptions will continue to destroy biodiesel demand. EPA recognizes that the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry is producing fuel well above the annual volumes. The industry regularly fills 90 percent of the annual advanced biofuel requirement. Nevertheless, the agency continues to use its maximum waiver authority to set advanced biofuel requirements below attainable levels. The method is inconsistent with the RFS program's purpose, which is to drive growth in production and use of advanced biofuels such as biodiesel." -- National Biodiesel Board, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

"Of the 418 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel called for in the RFS, the vast majority, 388 million gallons, are requested from biogas and that represents a 45 pct increase in production from the 2018 volumes." -- American Biogas Council, Patrick Serfass, Executive Director, (202) 640-6595, www.americanbiogascouncil.org

"When the EPA continues to grant waivers and does not account for those volumes in this rule, domestic demand for our crop is lost, impacting farmers' livelihood and the economy of rural America." -- National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), Lynn Chrisp, (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News American Biogas Council,  NCGA,  ,  RFS,  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  National Biodiesel Board ,  


NCGA Comments of EPA RFS Proposals (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
National Corn Growers Association
Date: 2018-08-20
On Friday, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) submitted the following unsolicited comments to the EPA on the proposed rule for the 2019 volume standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.

In the proposed rule, the EPA granted retroactive "hardship" exemptions to 48 refineries for 2016 and 2017 RFS obligations, amounting to 2.25 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons. Through this proposed rule, EPA has the tools to ensure retroactive exemptions do not further reduce volumes.

"While EPA may not want feedback on how the agency is failing to maintain the integrity of the RFS and administer the volume standards in accordance with the law, corn farmers will provide that feedback nonetheless and make our voices heard. The process for accounting for these volumes is central to the integrity of the RFS, and it is offensive to farmers that EPA does not believe our comments on this issue are worth soliciting and considering.

"To uphold the full clean air, cost-savings, energy independence, and rural economic benefits consumers and farmers receive from the RFS, EPA must also use the 2019 volume rule to make and keep the RFS whole.

"Maintaining an implied volume for conventional renewable fuel at 15 billion gallons, consistent with the statutory target for 2019 and the proposed rule, provides a firm base of support for ethanol production and corn prices. A strong RFS is a market-based solution for sustaining the agriculture economy," the comments state. (Source: NCGA, Wisconsin State Farmer, 17 Aug., 2018) Contact: National Corn Growers Association, Kevin Skunes, Pres., (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Corn Growers Association,  RFS,  Biofuel,  


NCGA Commends Efforts to Protect RFS (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
NCGA
Date: 2018-06-08
Following White House postponement of potential damaging changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard, NCGA President and North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes thanked those who stood up for America's corn farmers.

"The nation's corn growers thank Senator Chuck Grassley, Senator Joni Ernst and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue for their advocacy and steadfast support for farmers, rural communities and renewable fuels. We greatly appreciate their efforts.

"With the expectation that the Administration was preparing to take drastic actions to unravel the RFS, farmers are very pleased those actions have been set aside and strongly encourage the Administration to keep the President's commitment to America's farmers and (leave) the RFS intact." (Source: NCGA, Wisc. AgConnection, 7 June, 2018) Contact: National Corn Growers Association, Kevin Skunes, Pres., (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Biofuels,  NCGA,  


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,  


NCGA Comments on Bankrupt PES Proposed RFS Settlement (Ind. Report)
National Corn Growers Association,Philadelphia Energy Solutions
Date: 2018-03-30
The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) this week submitted formal comments to the U.S. Department of Justice on the proposed settlement agreement between Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) and the US EPA. The settlement stems from the outstanding RFS compliance obligations the refiner has included in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

"NCGA claims the settlement would undermine the RFS and allow the refiner 'to walk away' from more than half of its outstanding RFS obligations and allow its parent companies to avoid liability." According to NCGA President Kevin Skunes, the proposal "would have negative policy implications for the RFS and future compliance with the Clean Air Act, as the settlement does not hold all parties liable for violations of the Clean Air Act." (Source: NCGA, Neb. Rural Radio, Others, 29 Mar., 2018) Contact: NCGA, Kevin Skunes, Pres., (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com; Philadelphia Energy Solutions, www.pes-companies.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Corn Growers Association,  RFS,  Philadelphia Energy Solutions,  


Vertimass Wins New Uses for Field Corn as Feedstock for Sustainable Chemicals Challenge (Ind. Report)
Vertimass, NCGA
Date: 2018-03-07
The National Corn Growers Association named Irvine, California-headquartered Vertimass LLC as one of six awardees of the Consider Corn Challenge: New Uses for Field Corn as Feedstock for Making Sustainable Chemicals Competition.

Vertimass believes their technology of converting sustainable ethanol into fungible gasoline, diesel, jet fuel blend stocks and the chemical building blocks benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX) can substantially increase corn demand in the US. This innovative technology eliminates the ethanol blend wall that currently limits ethanol use and allows for further expansion of renewable fuels and chemicals while maintaining a low greenhouse gas footprint.

According to Vertimass, "This innovative technology will be fully applicable to conversion of ethanol from cellulosic biomass such as agricultural residues and dedicated energy crops and sugars into BTEX and hydrocarbon fuels as it is to corn ethanol." (Source: Vertimass LLC, PR, 5 Mar., 2018) Contact: Vertimass, Charles Wyman, CEO, John Hannon, COO, (949) 417-4307, www.vertimass.com; : NCGA, (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News NCGA,  Vertimass,  Corn,  Ethanol,  Biofuel Feedstock,  


Ag Groups Admonish The Donald to Leave RFS As Is (Ind. Report)
RFS
Date: 2018-02-28
A coalition of farm groups sent President Trump -- aka The Donald -- a letter on Monday asking him to leave the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) as is.

"Rural America supported President Trump last year, now we need the President to support rural America. Supporting policy changes that undermine the RFS will hurt farmers, renewable fuel plant workers, and rural America. Mismanagement of a single refinery should not be used as an excuse for undoing ten-years of sound policy," said National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Kevin Skunes in a statement.

The NCGA, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Wheat Growers Association, National Sorghum Growers Association and National Farmers Union all signed the letter which was also sent to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt.

The letter notes that while some refiners, including the one that filed bankruptcy, say Renewable Identification Number's (RINs) cause financial hardship, last year the EPA investigated the issue and found they were "not causing economic harm to refiners." (Source: NCGA, AGPRO, 26 Feb., 2018) Contact: NCGA, (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Trump,  National Corn Growers Association,  RINS,  

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