The notice does not change the proposed volumes for 2020 and 2021. Instead, it proposes and seeks comment on adjustments to the way that annual renewable fuel percentages are calculated. Annual renewable fuel percentage standards are used to calculate the number of gallons each obligated party is required to blend into their fuel or to otherwise obtain renewable identification numbers (RINs) to demonstrate compliance.
Specifically, the agency is seeking comment on projecting the volume of gasoline and diesel that will be exempt in 2020 due to small refinery exemptions based on a three-year average of the relief recommended by the Department of Energy (DOE), including where DOE had recommended partial exemptions. The agency intends to grant partial exemptions in appropriate circumstances when adjudicating 2020 exemption petitions. The agency proposes to use this value to adjust the way we calculate renewable fuel percentages. The proposed adjustments would help ensure that the industry blends the final volumes of renewable fuel into the nation's fuel supply and that, in practice, the required volumes are not effectively reduced by future hardship exemptions for small refineries. Consistent with the statute, the supplemental notice seeks to balance the goal of the RFS of maximizing the use of renewables while following the law and sound process to provide relief to small refineries that demonstrate the need.
Download the Renewable Fuel Standard Program -- Proposed Volumes for 2020 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021
HERE. Contact: EPA Renewable Fuel Standard, 800-385-6164, www.epa.gov/fuels-registration-reporting-and-compliance-help/forms/fuels-program-helpdesk
More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard, Biofuel, Biofuel Blend,
According to the study, the federal carbon tax, which is set to reach $50 per tonne in 2022, will increase the cost of energy and make some Canadian businesses less competitive compared to firms in other countries including the U.S..
The study identifies petroleum and coal-product manufacturing sector (which will see costs increase 24.8 per cent due to the federal carbon tax), agriculture chemical manufacturing (pesticides, fertilizers, etc.), basic chemical manufacturing, cement and concrete product manufacturing, and primary metal manufacturing as the most vulnerable to waning competitiveness and carbon leakage.
Access the report
(Source: Fraser Institute, PR, Aug., 2019)
Contact: Fraser Institute, Elmira Aliakbari, Dir. of Natural Resource Studies, (514) 281-9550, www.fraserinstitute.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Fraser Institute, Carbon Emissions, CO2, Carbon Leakage,
Stander led the 2018 development of Ameresco's RNG production facility at the Woodland Meadows Landfill in Canton, Michigan and was one of several industry experts representing the RNG Coalition at the EPA public hearing on July 31 in Ypsilanti, Michigan, for the EPA's proposed Renewable Fuel Standards for 2020, according to the release.
Ameresco has developed 39 beneficial use projects involving biogas at wastewater treatment plants and landfills, including three RNG facilities in Arizona, Michigan and Texas that participate in the RFS program. The RNG facilities generate D3 Cellulosic Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) and provide transportation fuel that is injected into the natural gas pipeline grid.
Since 2014, the EPA has recognized the use of RNG to meet fuel volume standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). RNG makes up more than 95 pct of the renewable fuel used to meet the RFS cellulosic biofuel requirement, according to the Ameresco release. (Source: Ameresco, PR, 31 July, 2019) Contact: Ameresco, Jeff Stander, Senior Project Developer, (508) 661-2288, www.ameresco.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameresco, RNG, RFS,
The study finds that while wind turbines and solar panels are relatively cheap to operate, and because the require back-up power sources and battery storage for non productive periods, they're costly to build and connect to the power grid.
Download the Generating Electricity in Canada from Wind and Sunlight: Is Getting Less for More Better than Getting More for Less? report HERE. (Source: Fraser Institute, 30 July, 2019) Contact: Fraser Institute, Pierre Desrochers, Snr. Fellow, Institutewww.fraserinstitute.org
"The Trump administration's finalized Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule is a major victory for America's middle class, many of whom work in energy intensive industries like manufacturing and mining. It also represents a boon to America's least fortunate for whom energy costs represent a significant part of their budget. All Americans would have been harmed by the Obama administration's legally flawed Clean Power Plan. It would have dramatically increased the cost of electricity and was predicted to reduce global warming by only 0.018 degrees Celsius by 2100, an amount far too small to be measured.
"After Congress rejected proposed cap-and-trade legislation, the Obama administration crafted the Clean Power Plan to force states into regional cap-and-trade plans. President Trump's plan disallows such plans for compliance and focuses, instead, on improving the efficiencies of individual plants.
"The Clean Power Plan claimed to seek a 32 pct reduction in CO2 emissions from 2005 levels by 2030, at an estimated compliance cost of $9 billion. The US Chamber of Commerce estimated a more realistic $75 billion in compliance costs. The Rule was met with bipartisan opposition by 27 states who won a Supreme Court stay of the Rule in 2016.
"The Clean Power Plan was also completely unnecessary. Thanks to the Trump administration's commonsense approach, emissions have fallen by 28 pct since 2017 and are forecast to be reduced 35 pct by 2030. At a compliance cost of $0.3 billion for the ACE rule, these gains were at 250 times less cost than the previous administration's alternative." -- The MacIver Institute
The MacIver Institute is joined by the Caesar Rodney Institute, the Center of the American Experiment, the Commonwealth Foundation, the Independence Institute, John Locke Foundation, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity, the Rio Grande Foundation, and the Roughrider Policy Center in supporting the ACE.
(Source: MacIver Institute, June, 2019)
Contact: The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy
Brett Healy, President
608.588.6477, email@example.com, www.maciverinstitute.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Obama Clean Power Plan, Trump, Affordable Clean Energy,
"We oppose any carbon tax. A carbon tax raises the cost of heating your home in the winter and cooling your home in the summer. It raises the cost of filling your car. A carbon tax increases the cost of everything Americans buy and lowers Americans' effective take home pay. A carbon tax increases the power, cost, and intrusiveness of the government in our lives", the letter claimed.
The letter was reportedly a reaction to mainstream Republican Sen. Mitt Romney's comment on possibly co-sponsoring a $15 per ton carbon tax bill with Delaware Democrat Cris Coons.
If Romney were to co-sponsor carbon tax legislation, he would likely be the only Republican senator openly supporting it.
(Source: Goldwater Institute, The Hayride, 15 June, 2019) Contact: Goldwater Institute, 602-462-5000, www.goldwaterinstitute.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,
Fortiva is added into liquefaction the same as traditional alpha amylase technologies, but once introduced, it solubilizes more difficult starch than all other amylases on the market
Novozyme's Innova Force targets ethanol plants seeking flexibility to achieve operational targets without sacrificing performance. It allows producers to achieve throughput and yield targets without losing ethanol yield to common stressors, such as high temperature and organic acids. Force gives producers the flexibility to push for yield without compromise, and to choose the format that best fits their operation, dry or cream.
"The proposed RIN market reforms are unnecessary, as EPA has yet to see data-based evidence of RIN market manipulation. Reforming a system that, while certainly not perfect, is working as intended with no evidence of manipulation has the potential to disrupt and even undermine the system that obligated parties use to demonstrate compliance with the RFS. We ask that the agency use this proposed rule as an opportunity to provide transparency to the small refinery exemption process and address the timing of granting these exemptions. Increasing transparency in the small refinery exemption process is what is actually needed to prevent manipulation in the RIN market.
"Right now, retroactive small refinery exemptions are having the most negative impact on RIN markets, destroying demand for more than 360 million gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel. Rather than unneeded reforms that could further disrupt the RIN market, EPA should increase transparency around the small refinery exemptions, end its practice of encouraging retroactive petitions, and ensure that annual volumes that it set are met,"Kurt Kovarik, VP federal affairs, added.
(Source: NBB, 30 April, 2019) Contact: NBB, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board, E15, RINs ,
"We are not fighting against year-round E15 sales just for fun -- we oppose EPA's reckless proposal because it will increase the availability of a fuel that destroys marine engines and jeopardizes the safety of boaters," said NMMA senior VP of government and legal affairs Nicole Vasilaros. "With more than three in five Americans mistakenly assuming that any gas sold at gas stations is safe for all of their products, it is clear that the federal government has shirked its responsibility to effectively protect consumers from a fuel deemed so dangerous that its federally prohibited from being used in countless consumer products. And the last thing the government should do is pump more E15 into the fuel supply. Instead of jamming through a policy that almost nobody likes, EPA should focus on preventing consumers from misfueling -- including better labeling and stronger safeguards at the pump.
"EPA's decision to expand the sale of E15 gasoline to the summer months makes no sense. It is clearly contrary to the law and it reverses nearly 30 years of statutory interpretation from the agency. Studies have shown that E15 gasoline can damage vehicle engines and fuel systems -- potentially leaving Americans with expensive car repair bills as a result of bad policy from Washington. In fact, nearly three out of four vehicles on the road today were not designed for E15." said API VP of downstream and industry operations Frank Macchiarola.
"To make matters worse, the agency's proposed changes to the RINs market could increase costs for fuel producers and lead to higher prices for consumers. Additionally, fuel producers who have complied with the law and have already made capital investments and business decisions based on the existing RFS and RINs program will be faced with uncertainty and a moving goal post." (Source: American Petroleum Institute, NMMA, PR, 30 April, 2019) Contact: API, Frank Macchiarola, Dir., (202) 682-8114, www.api.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, American Petroleum Institute, E15, Ethanol, Ethanol Blend, Biofuel,
"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 ,
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,
EPA is also proposing regulatory changes to modify elements of the renewable identification number compliance system under the Renewable Fuel Standard program to enhance transparency in the market and deter price manipulation. Proposed reforms to RIN markets include: prohibiting certain parties from being able to purchase separated RINs; requiring public disclosure when RIN holdings exceed specified thresholds; limiting the length of time a non-obligated party can hold RINs; and increasing the compliance frequency of the program from once annually to quarterly.
Download details on proposed rulemaking HERE. (Source: US EPA, Irrigation & Green Energy, Mar., 2019) Contact: US EPA, www.epa.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News E-15, E15, Biofuel Blend, EPA, Alternative Buels, Renewable Fuel, Biofuel,
The proposed rule does not have to be approved by Congress to be finalized, but it does have to be published and put out for public comment. In order for E15 to be available for summer sales, the process has to be completed before June 1, 2019.
(Source: US EPA, Feedstuffs, 8 Mar., 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA, RINs, E15, Biofuel Blend,
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,
The Cooler Community Challenge is modeled after a similar successful effort in the town of Concord.
The Agawam initiative, which is supported by ener-G-save, a program supported by the Howard Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, hopes is to reach people who have not been active in "green" efforts previously, and to engage young people in energy and climate change issues.
Agawam is a Massachusetts Green Community program member.(Source: Town of Agawam, MassLive, 14 Feb., 2019) Contact: Massachusetts Green Community, www.mass.gov/orgs/green-communities-division
More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency, Massachusetts Green Community,
" As the Senate proceeds to consider the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), I write to encourage you to secure tangible documentation from Mr. Wheeler that EPA will resolve two critically important issues before casting your confirmation vote: finalizing a legally -defensible Reid vapor pressure (RVP) rule to allow E15 use year-round before June 1, and reallocating ethanol blending obligations waived for 2016 and 2017 through the Small Refinery Exemption (SRE) provision of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
"I urge you hold Acting Administrator Wheeler to this high standard because of the harm done to renewable fuels by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Prior to his confirmation by the Senate, Mr. Pruitt pledged to support the RFS as the law of the land and the President's commitment to expanding ethanol use. However, while leading EPA, he undermined the RFS through an unprecedented number of backdoor refinery waivers which erased more than 2 billion gallons of ethanol blending obligations between 2016 and 2017. Furthermore, he refused to reallocate those blending obligations to other refiners, as called for under the law, and failed to initiate a rulemaking to allow E15 use year-round despite the fact it is a priority for the President. EPA's broken promises and abuse of the RFS compel Acting Administrator Wheeler to repair the damage by reallocating the blending obligations and finalizing a legally-defensible rule to allow E15 use year-round before June 1.
"During his recent confirmation hearing, Acting Administrator Wheeler assured Environment and Public Works committee members that EPA is 'still on schedule to issue a final rule allowing year-round E15 sales' but added there 'may be a slight delay' due to the recent government shutdown. The shutdown is not a credible excuse for a delay in the E15 rulemaking. In fact, recent history proves the Trump Administration can expedite high-priority rulemakings.
"Take for example the USDA newly-proposed work requirements for recipients of supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits. In December, as Congress was negotiating the Farm Bill, the Senate insisted that House conferees drop new food stamp work requirements from the final legislation. In response, to secure enough Republican votes in the House of Representatives to pass the Farm Bill conference report, USDA put forward a rulemaking to impose the work requirements through executive action. The Farm Bill conference report was adopted by Congress on December 12. The President waited to sign the Farm Bill until December 20, the same day USDA published the SNAP work requirement rulemaking.
"In just eight days USDA was able to issue a rule at the direction of the President to fulfill a promise to Republicans in the House of Representatives. It has been more than 100 days since the President Directed EPA to initiate a rulemaking to allow E15 use year-round. What is taking EPA so long to act? There is no better way to guarantee the RVP rule and reallocation of refinery waivers are addressed than by insisting Mr. Wheeler provide tangible evidence of his intentions on these issues prior to voting to confirm him.
"The RVP rule is particularly time-sensitive. Under EPA's existing and outdated RVP regulations, E15 cannot be sold in most areas of the country from June 1 to September 15, leaving just four short months from today to complete the rulemaking process. Unfortunately, EPA needlessly
plans to combine the RVP rule with reforms to the way Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) are handled under the RFS. RIN reforms are highly-controversial among oil refiners so EPA's proposal will likely pit refiners against each other, causing a protracted dispute. If RIN reforms prevent EPA from finishing the RVP rule by June 1, it will result in another summer that E15 cannot be sold in many parts of the country when fuel demand is at its peak. Acting Administrator Wheeler should be encouraged to decouple RIN reforms from the RVP rule to ensure E15 can be offered for sale by June 1." (signed) Brian Jennings, CEO
American Coalition for Ethanol. (Source: ACE, 29 Jan., 2019)Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, Ron Lamberty, VP, (605) 334-3381, https://ethanol.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News ANdrew Wheeler, American Coalition for Ethanol, Andrew Wheeler, Ethanol.Ethanol Blend,
For 2017, EPA received a total of 37 small refinery "hardship waiver" petitions, 29 of which were approved, seven are still pending and one declared ineligible or withdrawn. The 29 approved petitions have exempted roughly 1.46 billion renewable identification numbers (RINs) keeping more than 13.6 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel from meeting the RFS blending targets.
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: US EPA, NAFB, 31 Dec., 2018)
More Low-Carbon Energy News RINs, Hardship Waiver, RFS, US DOE,
For the 2017 compliance year, EPA received 36 small refinery petitions, 29 of which were approved and 7 are still pending. The 29 petitions approved to date have exempted approximately 1.46 billion renewable identification numbers (RINs), or approximately 13.62 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel from meeting the RFS blending targets.
For compliance year 2016, the EPA received 20 small refinery petitions, with 19 approved to date and one still pending. The 19 approved petitions have exempted approximately 790 RINs, or 7.84 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel from meeting RFS blending targets.
The EPA is expected to update data on small refinery hardship waivers monthly, with the next updated expected to be released in mid-December.
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: US EPA, 16 Nov., 2018)
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, Hardship Waiver, ,
Administered by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), LCFS aims to incrementally decrease the carbon intensity of gasoline and diesel fuel by at least 10 pct by 2020 relative to a 2010 baseline.
Under the state's LCFS, petroleum refiners, gasoline and diesel importers, and transportation fuel wholesales are required to either produce low carbon fuels or purchase credits to demonstrate compliance. But while under the RFS, both biodiesel and renewable diesel meet a 50 pct GHG reduction threshold (and are eligible to generate biomass-based diesel RINs), LCFS uses a measurement called carbon intensity (CI).
Renewable diesel generates a large number of credits relative to other fuels because it has some of the largest lifecycle GHG reduction compared to other fuels. The total volume of renewable diesel LCFS credits exceeded ethanol credits for the first time this year, reaching about 870,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent during the second quarter.
(Source: US EIA, Agri-Pulse, 14 Nov., 2018)
Contact: CARB, Melanie Turner, Information Officer, (916) 322-2990, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.arb.ca.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News Low Carbon Fuel Standard, California Air Resources Board, .Biofuel, Renewable Fiesel ,
The new RIN Management Service marks the second offering from the Alternative Fuels Council this year. The Alternative Fuels Council previously unveiled a Biodiesel Fuel Quality Plan designed to help those who blend, market, and distribute biodiesel blends ensure the final product meets a minimum standard of quality. A step-by-step guide to the blending process directs users through fuel quality management, including sampling procedures, protocols and proposed schedules, to help ensure that alternative fuel meets the required ASTM fuel quality standards. The Alternative Fuels Council also helps facilitate fuel testing and analysis for marketers at a substantially discounted price.
The Alternative Fuels Council is a NATSO, Inc. subsidiary created to help NATSO members and the entire retail fuels industry understand alternative fuels markets, including available government incentives, to effectively incorporate alternative fuels into their supply offerings. (Source: NATSO, PR, Oct., 2018)
Contact: NATSO, Lisa Mullings, Pres., CEO, Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman,
email@example.com, www.natso.com; Alternative Fuels Council, Jeff Hove, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.NATSOAltFuels.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News NATSO, Biofuel, Alternative Fuel,
Using biofuel is one aspect of the Boskalis-on-Bio programme, for which the company recently signed a long-term partnership with biofuel supplier GoodFuels.
The programme is aimed at achieving a 35 pct reduction in the CO2 emitted by the Boskalis fleet and equipment in the Netherlands in the next five years. According to Boskalis, various sea trials have shown that sustainable biofuels lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions of up to 90 pct compared to fossil fuels and are also more effective than alternatives such as LNG.
(Source: Boskalis, Bunkerspot, Sept., 2018)Contact: Boskalis, Peter Berdowski, CEO, +31 78 6969 000, www.boskalis.com; GoodFuels, Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO, +31 (0) 85 8000 238, email@example.com, www.goodfuels.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Boskalis, Biofuel, GoodFuels,
"EPA's excessive use (of small refinery waivers) will undermine the goals that were set by Congress to create a more robust renewable fuels industry and greater energy independence. EPA's actions could result in an estimated 1.5 billion gallons of lost demand for renewable fuels," the AFBF said.
"EPA's proposed renewable fuels volume standards for 2019 would maintain the statutory requirement for conventional renewable fuel at 15 billion gallons, increase cellulosic fuels to 381 million gallons and bump up total advanced biofuels to 4.88 billion gallons. It would also increase the biomass-based diesel volume to 2.43 billion gallons for 2020.
"The AFBF touted the Renewable Fuel Standard's many successes, including the growth it spurred within the agriculture sector as corn and soybean farmers expanded their crop production to meet growing demand for corn- and soybean-based biofuels.
"Beyond the boost to the agricultural economy, the RFS2 is intended to spur investment in cleaner, domestic fuels; give consumers more choices at the pump; lower gas prices; and boost the country's energy security. But EPA has allowed dozens of oil refineries off the hook from their legal obligations to blend renewable fuels with gasoline and diesel fuel, which is jeopardizing this progress, according to Farm Bureau.
"Given the accomplishments of the RFS program to date, EPA's excessive and unreasonable use of the small refinery waiver dampens the prospects for reduced emissions and increased energy security," the organization cautioned.
"AFBF also addressed the RIN market as it relates to the current RFS2 program, noting that RINS are functioning properly and providing incentives for refiners to offer higher blends of ethanol in the market at prices that are increasingly competitive with conventional gasoline. A RIN is a serial number assigned to a batch of biofuel for the purpose of tracking its production, use and trading.
"In addition, the organization emphasized that the petroleum industry's unwillingness to offer higher blends of biofuels should not be taken as evidence that the RFS2 is unworkable.
Rather, it is evidence that they are unwilling to adapt to policies enunciated by Congress. But making space in the market for alternative fuels that contribute to energy independence, environmental improvement, and economic development is exactly the point of RFS2."
(Source: American Farm Bureau Federation, FBNews, 21 Aug., 2018) Contact: American Farm Bureau Federation, Sarah Brown Dirkes,
Exec. Director, Industry Relations,
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, Hardship Waiver, EPA,
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: RFS, WNAX Radio, 2 Aug., 2018)Contact: RFA, Bob Dinneen, Pres., (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS Waivers, Renewable Fuels Association, Renewable Fuel Standard ,
The NBB brief is the first the courts will consider in arguing that EPA must account for all small refinery "hardship" exemptions -- including retroactively granted exemptions -- when it sets the annual RFS volumes and renewable volume obligations (RVOs).
The NBB brief claims the "EPA unlawfully failed to account for all small-refinery exemptions it awards, violating its duty to promulgate percentage standards that 'ensure' all aggregate volumes are met. Unaccounted for small-refinery exemptions reduce aggregate volumes, and EPA's approach creates a new, de facto waiver authority contrary to Congress's design. Despite knowing those consequences, EPA declines to adjust percentage standards to account for that shortfall, either before it is likely to happen or after it actually does."
The EPA has disclosed that it recently retroactively granted 48 small refinery hardship exemptions, reducing the 2016 and 2017 RVOs by a combined 2.25 billion RINs. In the brief, NBB notes that the exemptions reduced the 2016 RVOs by 4.3 pct and the 2017 RVOs by 7.5 pct.
Separately, NBB estimates the 2016 and 2017 exemptions reduced demand for biodiesel by more than 300 million gallons, potentially putting hundreds of new jobs at risk.
The NBB argues that EPA violated its duty to ensure that the annual volumes it sets are met and that the use of its cellulosic waiver authority to reduce the 2018 advanced biofuel RVO below the volume the agency determined would be reasonably attainable. The "EPA's view that it has unlimited discretion to do whatever it wants to the advanced-biofuel volume via the cellulosic waiver provision is not supported by this Court's precedents and would, if correct, render the provision unconstitutionally broad," the NBB brief states.
the NBB brief also argues that EPA set the 2019 biomass-based diesel volume based on factors that are not mentioned in the RFS statute, while disregarding factors that are in the statute. "EPA set the 2019 BBD volume nearly identically to how it set the 2018 volume, which NBB is challenging in a separate
proceeding. But the result here is even worse for the industry," NBB says in the brief. (Source: National Biodiesel Board , PR, 30 July, 2018) Contact: National Biodiesel Board, Kurt Kovarik, VP of Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board , RFS, Biofuel Blend,
The plan would have boosted the renewable fuel blending obligation from 10.88 pct to 11.76 pct to offset volumes lost under the waiver program, which has been expanded sharply under Scott Pruitt's tenure at the EPA.
The idea was apparently aimed at assuaging the U.S. corn lobby which has accused Trump's EPA of undermining the demand for biofuels like corn-based ethanol through the waiver program, but was scrapped amid intense protest from the refining industry, according to the Reuters report.
The "hardship" exemptions representing some 2.25 million gallons worth of biofuel were granted for 2017 and 2016, including waivers covering 1.46 million compliance credits (RINS). The EPA projected some 8.18 billion gallons of gasoline and 5.44 billion gallons of diesel produced by small refiners would be exempt from the requirements in 2019, according to the EPA.
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: EPA, Manitoba Co-oporator, Various Media, Reuters, 12 July, 2018)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel Blend, RFS, Pruitt, Renewable Fuel Standard, "Hardship" Waiver,
Cellulase enzymes assist in hydrolyzing the corn kernel fiber which, broken down, releases more sugars to be fermented into ethanol.
Ethanol from corn kernel fiber may qualify for D3 RINS under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) which encourages producers to utilize non-starch components of grains and other waste products in the production of biofuels.
Initial product prototypes have proven successful in both laboratory and ethanol plant scale testing, and more evaluations are planned, the companies say.
(Source: ADM, DuPont, World-Grain, 21 June, 2018)
Contact: DuPont Industrial Biosciences, Troy Wilson, www.biosciences.dupont.com; ADM, Juan Luciano, Pres., CEO, (312) 634-8100, Collin Benson, VP Bioactives, Jackie Anderson, ADM Media, (217) 424-5413, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.adm.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Archer Daniels Midland , DuPont Industrial Biosciences, Cellulosic, Enzyne,
"We believe RINs for exported ethanol could be perceived as an export subsidy, against our World Trade Organization obligations. They could put a target on our back globally.
We are already seeing the impact of trade policy barriers on ethanol exports and we would like to have the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) look at the implications of export credits for RINs." -- Tom Sleight, US Grains Council, Pres., CEO , 9 May, 2018 Contact: USGC, (202) 789-0789, www.grains.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, US Grains Council, Biofuel, RINs, Ethanol,
The Andeavor announcement late on Monday came after Reuters reported last month that the EPA granted the company a "financial hardship waiver" that freed its smallest refining facilities from the regulation. Andeavor recorded net profits of $1.4 billion in 2017.
Andeavor's EPA hardship exemptions freed the company's refineries in North Dakota, Utah and New Mexico from having to blend biofuels or purchase RINs for the 2016 compliance period.
The company did not explicitly credit small refinery exemptions for the savings, according to the Reuters report. (Source: Andeavor, Reuters, 8 May, 2018) Contact: Andeavor, (210) 626-6000, www.andeavor.com; Philadelphia Energy Solutions, [endlink]www.pes-companies.com[endlink]
More Low-Carbon Energy News Andeavor, RFS, Philadelphia Energy Solutions,
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: WHTC Radio, Reuters,3 April, 2018)
Contact: Andeavor, (210) 626-6000, www.andeavor.com; Philadelphia Energy Solutions, www.pes-companies.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, RINs, Biofuel Blend, Point of Obligation, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, RFS, EPA,
Biomass-based diesel and cellulosic biofuels (advanced biofuels) can qualify for RINs for their advanced biofuel category, as well as conventional biofuels (which has a lower threshold of greenhouse gas emissions reductions). The interconnected nature of the program and how RINs can qualify for multiple categories is one reason that capping one type of RINs impacts other fuels. (Source: Kentucky Soybean Board , Dennis Clark, Marshall County Daily, 15 Mar., 2018) Contact: Kentucky Soybean Board, www.kysoy.org;
National Biodiesel Board, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board, RINs, Ethanol,
The third-part verification represents a commercial validation of Velocys' technology and supports the Company's strategy to build a biorefinery in Natchez, Mississippi.
ENVIA Energy has inked a fixed-price RIN purchase and sale agreement with TransMontaigne Product Services, LLC (a wholly-owned subsidiary of NGL Energy Partners).
Only 400,000 D7 RINs have ever been generated within the US. ENVIA is expected to generate around 100,000 D7 RINs per month under the approved pathway.
By way of contrast, Velocys' future Mississippi biorefinery is being designed to generate over 20 million gallons of fuel and is expected to generate over 30 million D3/D7 RINs per year. (Source: Velocys, PR, DigitalJournal, 15 Mar., 2016) Contact: Velocys, David Pummell, CEO, +44 1235 841 700, (713) 275-5840-- Houston Office, email@example.com, www.velocys.com;
ENVIVA Energy, www.envivabiomass.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Velocys, RINs, ENVIA Energy,
Under the new agreement, the South Philadelphia-based refiner will retire 138 million RINs before April 1, when it plans to emerge from bankruptcy, and another 64.6 million of the credits after that date.
Although the price of RINs has been as high as $1.45, it has dropped to about $0.35 its lowest in a year.
PES claimed has been paying $75-85 million a year for RINs since 2014, and the cost is now the second-biggest after crude oil.
(Source: State Impact Pennsylvania, Law360, Various Media, 13 Mar., 2018)Contact: Philadelphia Energy Solutions, www.pes-companies.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Philadelphia Energy Solutions, Renewable Fuel Standard, RFS,
"There's some things on the trading platform I think should happen no matter what. There seems to be a hoarding of RINs which inflates the price of RINs. Some have talked about limiting the participants who buy and sell, so you can get away from some of the speculation that's taking place," Pruitt told the Houston Chronicle.
Reforming the RINs program has been a top request of refiners and their allies in recent months, particularly after a major Philadelphia refiner declared bankruptcy in January, blaming RIN costs.
Pruitt also told the Houston Chronicle he supports letting fuel stations sell higher ethanol blends in the summer than they are currently allowed to, but only if such a change can withstand legal challenges. (Source: US EPA, Houston Chronicle, The Hill, 12 Mar., 2018)
Contact: EPA Scott Pruitt, www.facebook.com/EPAScottPruitt; www.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-office-administrator
More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol, RINs, RFS, Scott Pruitt,
"For farmers, ethanol blending equals corn demand. Farmers care about RIN values, not because we want them to be high, but because we want the RIN market mechanism to work freely to incentivize (ethanol) blending. Increased blending will, in turn, lower RIN values, exactly the way the RFS is intended to work. Government manipulation of the RIN market, on the other hand, disrupts the incentive to blend."
An Iowa State study concluded that:
a leading Renewable Fuel Standard reform proposal considered by policymakers would allow E15 sales throughout the year and implement a cap on D6 RIN prices between $0.10 to $0.20/RIN;
while year-round sales of E15 would encourage retailers to sell the fuel, capping D6 RIN prices would reduce consumption of E15 and E85:
a cap on D6 RIN prices between $0.10/gal to $0.20/gal would likely reduce the effective ethanol mandate from 15 billion gallons to about 14.3 billion gallons in 2018; and
unless increased ethanol exports compensate for the reduced mandate, corn prices would decrease under the proposal's D6 RIN price cap. (Source: NCGA, Farm Equipment, 9 Mar., 2018) Contact: NCGA, (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News NCGA, Corn Ethanol, Ethanol Blends, RFS,
The agreement was free of cost for GM which will use transferable renewable energy credits (RINs) to measure emission reduction at its manufacturing sites.
Consumers handled direct investment and resourcing.
GM plans to run one-fifth of its global facilities on renewable energy by the end of 2018 and all 350 operations by 2050.
Consumer's Energy aims to produce more than 40 pct of its energy through renewable sources and energy storage by 2040.
(Source: Consumers Energy, Crains Detroit Business, Mar., 2018) Contact: Consumers Energy, Garrick Rochow, VP Operations, Patti Poppe, CEO, (517) 788-0550,firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ConsumersEnergy.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Consumers Energy, Solar ,
"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,
"We need to get some accountability in the RIN market. There is a lot of speculation that goes on with respect to RINs, there are enforcement issues, fraud that occurs ... there is a lot to be done to get accountability and reform in the RIN market.
"Whether or not the EPA can take action to allow sales of E15 year-round. In the past, the EPA has said they could not issue a Reid Vapor Pressure, or the tool used to measure the evaporative emissions of fuel, for E15 for the summer months. Meaning, the fuel couldn't be sold during that time." -- US EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt commenting on Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) associated costs and their impact on
a recent Philadelphia refinery bankruptcy.
More Low-Carbon Energy News Scott Pruitt, RFS, RINs, Ethanol, Biofuel,
As previously reported, PES' plan to exit it Chapter 11 bankruptcy is dependent upon its shedding existing biofuel "point-of-obligation" biofuel blending costs under the US DOE Renewable Fuels Standard.
The company claims its 2016-17 biofuels obligation totaled $185 million, and the cost of RINs in 2017 alone was $218 million, according to Reuters. (Source: PES, Reuters, Various Media, Feb., 2018) Contact: Philadelphia Energy Solutions, www.pes-companies.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, Point-of-Obligation, RINs, Ethanol, Ethanol BlendPhiladelphia Energy Solutions, RFS, Point of Obligation, EPA,
PES claims its 2016-17 biofuels obligation totaled $185 million, and the cost of RINs in 2017 alone was $218 million, according to Reuters.
In its bankruptcy filing on Monday, the company said it does not have enough cash to comply with the laws for 2016 and 2017.
(Source: Reuters, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, Various Media, 23 Jan., 2018) Contact: Philadelphia Energy Solutions,
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, Biofuel Blending, Point of Origin,
The plan is in line with other major cities and their commitments in the wake of Trump's announced plan to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Accord.
Atlanta's goal will require the addition of renewable energy, the purchase of renewable energy credits (RINs), and dramatically increased energy efficiency city wide, according to Matt Cox, CEO of the Greenlink Group, the Atlanta company working on the technical aspects of the plan.
The plan is due to city council by the end of the month. (Source: City of Atlanta, WABE 90, 19 Jan., 2018)Contact: City of Atlanta,
Megan O'Neil, Mayor's Office of Resilience, Energy Programs Manager, www.atlantaga.gov/government/mayor-s-office; Greenlink Group, www.thegreenlinkgroup.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy, Clean Energy,
Subject to the confirmation of the pathway compliance, all necessary processes to trade the D7 RIN credits will be completed in the first quarter of 2018.
ENVIA's Fischer-Tropsch process creates a drop-in fuel from renewable biogas and pipeline natural gas. For a fuel produced exclusively from renewable feedstock, this equals to RIN values at around $4.0 per gallon .
(Source: Velocys PLC, ENVIVA, Alliance News , 16 Jan., 2018) Contact: Velocys, David Pummell, CEO, +44 1235 841 700, (713) 275-5840 - Houston Office, email@example.com, www.velocys.com; ENVIVA Energy, www.envivabiomass.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Fischer-Tropsch, ENVIVA, RINs, Velocys PLC, Renewable Fuels,
Edeniq's enzyme technology enables co-production of starch ethanol and cellulosic ethanol at existing corn ethanol production facilities. (Source: Edeniq, PR, 6 Dec., 2017) Contact: Mid America Agri Product, (308) 326-4570; Edeniq, Sasha Forsen, (402) 935-3087, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.edeniq.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News RINs, RFS, Edeniq, Cellulosic Biofuel,
The EPA data also indicated an increase in D4 RINs generation in October compared with September. More than 349 million biodiesel RINs were generated last month, up 18.6 million RINs from September and up by more than 6 million RINs from the same month in 2016.
Historically, the US has obtained a large portion of its biodiesel and D4 RINs from imported product. But recent anti-dumping duties levied against Argentina and Indonesia have stemmed the flow of biodiesel from those countries.
Through October, imported RINs generation accounted for 19 pct of the total number of D4s. Last year that figure was over 21 pct. (Source: US EPA, UKR, Nov. 17, 2017).
More Low-Carbon Energy News RINs, Biodiesel,
"The cost of compliance to this regulation puts at risk these energy-sector jobs in our region. In addition, these high costs also contribute to the cost of gasoline for residents and consumers," the legislators claim.
The legislators note the EPA has legal authority under the Clean Air Act to waive the renewable obligations “should they present a harm to a state or regional economy."
(Source: NJ Spotlight, Various Media, 17 Nov., 2017)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard, Ethanol Blend, RINs, Ethanol,
Enerkem's Edmonton facility is the first ever municipal waste-to-cellulosic ethanol plant to receive approval to sell in the United States. Under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, 16 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuels are to be blended in the conventional transportation fuel pool by 2022.
Enerkem is now registered for D3 Renewable identification numbers (RINs) credits.
Previously this year, the Edmonton biofuel facility was expanded to produce 13 million gpy of cellulosic ethanol following the commissioning of its methanol-to-ethanol conversion unit. The Edmonton plant was funded by private sources, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), Alberta Innovates and Alberta Energy.
(Source: Enerkem Inc., 6 Nov., 2017) Contact: Enerkem, Vincent Chornet, Pres., CEO, Annie Pare, Communications, (514) 875-0284, x. 251, email@example.com, www.enerkem.com; Sustainable Development Technology Canada, www.sdtc.ca; Alberta Innovates, (780) 427-1956, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://bio.albertainnovates.ca
More Low-Carbon Energy News Alberta Innovates, Enerkem, RFS, Municipal Solid Waste, Waste-to-Fuel, SDTC,
"As you are aware, obligated parties such as oil refiners are required to submit RIN credits to the EPA to demonstrate compliance with the RFS. However, the merchant refiners of the Northeast are not able to acquire enough RIN credits to meet their RFS obligations because they have limited blending capacity. Therefore, they must purchase RINs on the secondary market, where prices have increased significantly,," Wolf's letter read.
Wolf's letter asked for a waiver "until or unless the market prices deflate. Absent this waiver, the Northeast and specifically Pennsylvania will experience significant economic impacts."
The Clean Air Act allows a waiver if the EPA administrator determines the implementation of RFS requirements would severely harm the economy of a state, a region or the country as a whole.
(Source: Feedstuffs, Various Media, Progressive Farmer, 24 Oct., 2017) Contact: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, www.governor.pa.gov/contact
More Low-Carbon Energy News RINs, RFS,
Alliance BioEnergy Plus, Inc., which focuses on the renewable energy, biofuels, and new technologies sectors, holds the license to the patented technology CTS, a mechanical/chemical dry process for converting cellulose material into sugar for use in the biofuels industry. The company aims to retrofit existing and/or shuttered ethanol plants with the mechnocatalytic cellulosic conversion process, transforming them into carbon-neutral and waste-free production facilities. (Source: Alliance BioEnergy Plus, Inc., PR, 24 Oct., 2017)
Contact: Progressive Fuels Ltd., Curtis Chandler, President, www.progressivefuelslimited.com; )Contact: Alliance BioEnergy Plus, Alliance Bio-Products, Daniel deLiege, Pres., (888) 607-3555x1106, email@example.com, www.alliancebioe.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Progressive Fuels Limited, Alliance BioEnergy ,
To qualify for compliance with the RFS program, any new production above the grandfathered gallons must meet a 20 pct greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction threshold when compared to the program's gasoline baseline. The efficient producer pathway petition process is designed to aid ethanol plants in gaining pathway approval for expanded production above those grandfathered volumes.
According to documents published by the EPA, The Andersons Marathon Ethanol plant achieves a greenhouse gas reduction of 22.5 percent when compared to baseline gasoline. A typical natural gas-fired dry mill ethanol plant that produces 100 percent dry distillers grains achieves a 16.8 percent GHG reduction when compared to the gasoline baseline.
(Source: EPA, Ethanol Producer, Various Media, 13 Oct. 2017)Contact: The Andersons Inc, (419) 893-5050, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.andersonsinc.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News RINs, RFS, The Andersons, Ethanol, Marathon Ethanol,
According to Baker, a carbon tax proposal represents a good faith effort to move beyond debate over current climate policies and fighting climate change using a carbon tax and tariffs would be more effective than emissions regulations.
"I don't think we ought to let our national debate on this issue wait until somehow 'the moment is right.' Such a perfect moment may never arrive if we spend too much time debating the exact role that mankind may play in climate change and not enough time seeking solutions," Baker said.
(Source: Source: Xinhua, Various Other Media, 28 Sept., 2017) Contact: Rice University Baker Institute, www.bakerinstitute.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,
author Kenneth Green says Canadian provinces do not follow that model but will instead rebate the carbon tax revenues to voters,
special interest groups and projects such as public transit bike paths. To be effective, carbon tax revenues should go back to the public through reductions in income tax and business taxes, not through income-based rebate programs, according to the Fraser Institute report. (Source: Fraser Institute, 660News, 8 May, 2017) Contact: Fraser Institute, Kenneth Green, (514) 281-9550, www.fraserinstitute.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Carbon Tax, Carbon Tax Rebate, Fraser Institute, Carbon Tax, Climate Change,