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

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

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


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

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

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

More Low-Carbon Energy News E10,  Biofuel Blend,  


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

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

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

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


NFU Encouraged by First Step to Address Climate Crisis (Ind. Report)
National Farmers Union
Date: 2019-05-27
In recent U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry hearings on climate change and the agricultural sector, climate change and the agricultural sector. National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson thanked the committee for addressing the deleterious effects of climate change on the agricultural industry and emphasized the need for federal policies that assist farmers with the implementation of practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sequester carbon, and build resilience to extreme weather events:

"Climate change is not a future or hypothetical issue for family farmers and ranchers -- they are already suffering its effects every day. Higher average temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, and more frequent and severe natural disasters have added several more layers of uncertainty to the already difficult job of food production. As the climate continues to change, we can only expect the challenges to multiply. This serious and immediate problem requires serious and immediate action -- and we are glad that the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry is taking the first steps by holding this hearing.

"Though the agricultural sector is among the most directly impacted by climate change, it is also among the most capable of mitigating and adapting to its effects. Farmers and ranchers are not only able to cut greenhouse gas emissions on their operations, but they can also offset greenhouse gas emissions from other sectors by sequestering carbon in the soil, growing biofuels, and engaging in on-farm energy production. Many of the USDA's existing conservation programs support these important efforts with financial and technical assistance. We encourage Congress to continue providing farmers with the tools they need by expanding and enhancing these programs. Additionally, we recommend robust investments in public agricultural research as well as the creation of market-based incentives for climate-smart practices.

"Farmers Union members understand the urgent threat that climate change poses to agriculture, and they want to do everything they can to lessen the damage. But this work isn't free or easy -- it often requires significant time, money, and expertise. We look forward to working with you to identify policies and solutions that help family farmers and ranchers achieve their sustainability goals."

The NFU advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. (Source: National Farmers Union, Website, May, 2019) Contact: National Farmers Union, Hannah Packman, (202) 559-9890, hpackman@nfudc.org, www.nfu.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  National Farmers Union,  


Ag.Groups Call for Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension (Reg & Leg.)
NBB,National Biodiesel Board
Date: 2019-05-24
Thirteen trade groups representing farmers, rural lenders, crop and biobased oil producers, and biodiesel producers today wrote leaders of the House of Representatives and Senate, asking them to act on bipartisan legislation to extend the biodiesel tax incentive:

"America's farmers and rural communities are facing a mounting economic threat. With your leadership, Congress can help mitigate the crisis by taking immediate action on a policy that enjoys bipartisan, bicameral support. We are writing today to ask you to renew and extend the biodiesel tax incentive at the earliest opportunity.

"Income for America's farmers is falling, and the impact is beginning to be felt in other sectors of the rural economy. Biodiesel production adds value to oil seed crops and recycled oils, providing one bright spot for the agriculture sector. Congress can take rapid action to renew the biodiesel tax incentive -- a policy that enjoys broad bipartisan support -- to help U.S. biodiesel producers continue growing."

The letters group include the Agricultural Retailers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, CoBank, Corn Refiners Association, Farm Credit Council, National Biodiesel Board, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Farmers Union, National Oilseed Processors Association, National Renderers Association, National Sorghum Producers, and U.S. Canola Association.

A copy of the letter is available for download HERE. (Source: National Biodiesel Board , KTIC, 22 May, 2019) Contact: National Biodiesel Board, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel,  National Biodiesel Board,  NBB,  


Notable Quote -- RFS "Hardship" Waivers Hurting Ethanol Demand
EPA,National Farmers Union
Date: 2018-09-12
"The farmers are the ones at the end of the day who are really not the winners in all of this, and it's very contrary to what the president and this administration has said that they support. They have talked extensively about supporting farmers but the actions from this EPA about the small refinery exemptions have not been supportive."

"We're obviously at a time right now where we're very concerned about our lack of export markets and so it's really important that this administration continues to support farmers, continue to support the renewable fuels industry by the Renewable Fuel Standard." -- Anne Steckel, Biofuels Advisor with the National Farmers Union, speaking on the US EPA RFS "Hardship" waivers for refiners.

According to EPA data, nearly 50 waivers were granted in 2016 and 2017, wiping out 2.2 billion gallons of blending obligations. "Hardship waivers" were intended for refineries that produced 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: Public News Service, 14 Aug., 2018) Contact: National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, https://nfu.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA "Hardship Waiver" news,  RFA news,  NFU news,  


Notable Quote -- RFS "Hardship" Waivers Hurting Ethanol Demand
National Farmers Union
Date: 2018-08-17
"The farmers are the ones at the end of the day who are really not the winners in all of this, and it's very contrary to what the president and this administration has said that they support. They have talked extensively about supporting farmers but the actions from this EPA about the small refinery exemptions have not been supportive."

"We're obviously at a time right now where we're very concerned about our lack of export markets and so it's really important that this administration continues to support farmers, continue to support the renewable fuels industry by the Renewable Fuel Standard." -- Anne Steckel, Biofuels Advisor with the National Farmers Union, speaking on the US EPA RFS "Hardship" waivers for refiners.

Farmers nationwide say the EPA is undercutting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and hurting farmers by granting too many "hardship" exemptions for small oil refineries. According to EPA data, nearly 50 waivers were granted in 2016 and 2017, wiping out 2.2 billion gallons of blending obligations.

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: Public News Service, 14 Aug., 2018) Contact: National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, https://nfu.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  RFS,  RFS Hardship Waiver,  National Farmers Union,  


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,  


NFU Comments on White House Renewable Fuel Standard Meeting (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2018-05-11
In Washington, following Wednesday's White House meeting on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and future of the biofuel industry, the National Farmers Union (NFU) issued the following comments:

"While there are certainly positives coming out of this meeting, there are several major potential pitfalls that will need to be mitigated as the administration sets out to implement these policies.

"(The) Farmers Union supports the administration's promises to make E-15 available for year-round use, yet it is absolutely essential we move our transportation fuel market into higher blends of ethanol like E-30. We also appreciate that a cap will not be put on RIN prices, as this would disincentivise the blending of homegrown, renewable fuels in our transportation fuel sector.

"However, this agreement contains no offset for the dozens of hardship waivers that the administration has handed out to oil refiners. These have waived up to 1.6 billion gallons in RFS volume requirements, effectively destroying demand for the surplus of corn that is keeping farm prices low for farmers. The agreement also includes a particularly detrimental plan to assign RIN credits to biofuel exports, which would both devastate domestic demand for biofuels and likely provoke our trading partners into retaliation.

"We urge the (Trump) administration to immediately begin implementing a plan that expands use of higher blends of ethanol, as our nation's family farmers need to be rid of burdensome stocks to start earning a decent price from the market. The administration must also avoid any plan that includes RIN credits for biofuel exports and pursue actions that restore the demand for biofuels that was lost as a result of hardship waiver handouts."

The meeting concluded with an agreement to allow year-round use of E15 gasoline, a limit on RFS 'hardship waivers' being handed out to refiners, and the possibility that RIN credits could be applied to exports of renewable fuel. No cap on RIN prices, nor any offset for the hardship waivers that were handed out to large refiners were included in the agreement. (Source: National Farmers Union, The Pig Site, 10 May, 2018) Contact: National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, https://nfu.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard ,  Biofuel,  Biodiesel,  E-15,  National Farmers Union,  


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,  


NFU Hires Lobbyist to Push Biofuels Expansion (Ind. Report)
National Farmers Union
Date: 2017-08-25
In Washington, the National Farmers Union (NFU) reports it has hired biofuels lobbyist Anne Steckel, former vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board, to push for the expansion of higher ethanol blends and advanced biofuels on Capitol Hill.

. According to a recent study by the Iowa State University Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has boosted the value of the U.S. agriculture sector by $14.1 billion, or nearly $6,800 per American farm. Many biofuels advocacy groups have expressed support for the NFU initiative. (Source: NFU, DTN. 23 Aug., 2017) Contact: National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, https://nfu.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Farmers Union,  Biofuels,  Anne Steckel ,  RFS,  


Report Recommends Cap on UK Bioenergy Crop Production (Int'l)
Royal Academy of Engineering ,National Farmers Union
Date: 2017-07-24
In the UK, a newly released report from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAENG) is calling for a cap on the production of bioenergy crops on prime agricultural lands as a means of avoiding an inadvertent increase greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the report, energy crops should only be cultivated on marginal land which is unsuitable for food production or housing, or has been degraded through deforestation.

The report also calls for a renewed focus on converting waste cooking oil, municipal solid waste, whisky production dregs and others into second generation biofuels.

On the downside, limiting bioenergy crop production could cause new problems. Vivergo Fuels, which converts 1.1 million tpy of feed-grade wheat into bioethanol, has previously said it could face closure if crop-based biofuels in petrol were to be restricted.

UK National Farmers Union (NFU) NFU combinable crops chairman Mike Hambly says: "This report clearly demonstrates the need for biofuels and we are pleased to see the RAENG recognise the role UK agriculture has to play in this. The report focuses heavily on the benefits of second generation biofuels -- something the NFU has long supported -- but we caution investment into this next step will only be secured on the back of first generation fuels and the Government must recognise this in future policy making." (Source: NFU, Royal Academy of Engineering, FG Insight, 28 July, 2017) Contact: NFU,www.nfuonline.com; Royal Academy of Engineering, www.raeng.org.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy Crop,  

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