Return to Today's Publications

 

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


Colorado City Fleets Switching to RNG (Ind. Report)
City of Longmont, City of Boulder
Date: 2021-09-08
In Colorado, in late 2019 the City of Longmont completed and commissioned a renewable natural gas (RNG) project at its Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) to produce fuel for use in the City's fleet of trash trucks. Eleven of Longmont's 21 diesel collection trucks were replaced with compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks capable of using RNG fuel. The remaining diesel trucks are expected to be replaced in 2024. The Waste Services division anticipates using about 50 pct to 70 pct of the biogas produced at the WRRF.

The City of Boulder's WRRF completed its Biogas Use Enhancement Project in 2020, producing RNG from the treatment plant's biogas. The RNG is sold to Western Disposal which can fuel up to 38 trucks in it trash collection fleet. Tetra Tech provided engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to the Boulder facility which incorporates Tetra Tech's proprietary BioCNG™ gas conditioning system.

The RNG is injected into the Public Service Company of Colorado's pipeline. Boulder also is capitalizing on the sale of RIN credits in the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) marketplace. (Source: City of Longmont, Pr, 31 Aug., 2021)Contact: City of Longmont, Longmont Utilities, (303) 776-6050, www.longmontcolorado.gov/departments/departments-n-z/utilities; Tetra Tech, www.tetratech.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News City of Boulder,  City of Longmont,  RNG,  RenewableBiogas,  Natural Gas,  Tetra Tech,  


EPA Rcommends RFS Biofuel Blend Mandate Rollback (Reg & Leg.)
Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2021-08-30
Reuters is reporting the U.S. EPA is recommending the retroactive lowering Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuel blending mandate.

Under the RFS, U.S. oil refiners are required to blend billions of gallons of biofuels into the nation's fuel mix, or purchase tradeable credits (RINs) from those that do.

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: Reuters, 26 Aug., 2021)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Standard,  Biofuel Blend,  


"Dear Mr. President... Yours Truly, ACE" (Opinions & Asides)
American Coalition for Ethanol
Date: 2021-08-16
In a letter to President Joe Biden, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) called for the President to set the maximum statutory volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in the 2021 and 2022 Renewable Volume Obligation rule-making and to pursue all options to ensure uninterrupted market access for E15. The letter notes these actions are the quickest way to reduce GHG emissions from the U.S. transportation fleet in the near term and support net-negative biofuel production that can help achieve a fully decarbonized transportation future.

"We recognize your goal is to electrify the vehicle fleet in the future, but the inconvenient truth is there are hundreds of millions more people driving vehicles capable of using low-carbon substitutes to petroleum such as E15 and E85 today than any other alternative. Since this reality will exist well into the future, increasing the use of ethanol today will immediately reduce GHGs while the production of electric vehicles (EVs) ramps up" the letter notes.

"In the near-term, a properly implemented RFS and year-round availability of E15 will meaningfully reduce the carbon intensity of the U.S. transportation sector by capitalizing on the existing vehicle fleet's ability to use lower-carbon biofuels. In the mid-term, the pending RVO decision will act as a harbinger for companies on how much to rely on your commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050 when making investment decisions," the letter added.

"If the Administration is not willing to ensure the RFS will call for 15 billion gallons of low-carbon ethanol already being produced to replace petroleum at the pump, legitimate questions will be asked about the merits of non-binding executive orders setting national goals for less deployable decarbonization technologies," the letter concluded.

Download the full ACE letter HERE . (Source: American Coalition for Ethanol, Website PR,11 Aug., 2021) Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, www.ethanol.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News American Coalition for Ethanol,  RFS,  E15,  Ethanol,  Renewable Fuel,  Biofuel,  


NBB Calls for Biden to Support Renewable Fuel Standard (Ind. Report)
National Biodiesel Board,Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2021-08-04
In Washington, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has launched an ad campaign in Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin calling on Pres. Joe Biden to maintain his commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

"As a candidate last August, Joe Biden called the Renewable Fuel Standard 'our bond with our farmers and our commitment to a thriving rural economy.' But now, there are reports he's considering handouts to oil refiners -- at the expense of biodiesel producers and soybean farmers," the ad notes.

According to the NBB, the U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel industry supports 65,000 US jobs and more than $17 billion in economic activity each year. Every 100 million gallons of production supports 3,200 jobs and $780 million in economic opportunity. Biodiesel production supports approximately 13 pct of the value of each US bushel of soybeans. (Source: NBB, Aug., 2021) Contact: NBB, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.nbb.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  


RFA Comments on Refiners' RFS Arguments Rejection (Ind. Report)
Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2021-07-23
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) issued the following comments on the D.C. Circuit Court's July 16th rejection of arguments from oil refiners that the "Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) causes them economic hardship and therefore the EPA should have waived their 2019 RFS obligations." The court ruled on the follow specific points:

  • Severe Economic Harm Waiver -- The court rebuffed the refiners' argument that EPA should have waived the 2019 RFS requirements because East Coast refiners purportedly could not pass through their RFS compliance costs and thus experienced "severe economic harm." According to the Court, "Obligated parties assert that the 'pass-through' theory is flawed and that RFS requirements impose severe economic consequences on refiners in the Eastern United States. We reject this challenge. EPA reasonably concluded that obligated parties had failed to make the strong causal showing required to trigger the waiver. It was reasonable for EPA to conclude that RFS costs alone were not the primary driver of the refineries' economic difficulties", the Court added.

  • Inadequate Domestic Supply Waiver -- The court also shot down the refiners' claim that a waiver of 2019 RFS requirements would have been justified due to an "inadequate domestic supply" of renewable fuels to meet the standards. "EPA adequately explained its refusal to exercise the inadequate domestic supply waiver," the judges wrote.

  • Point of Obligation -- Refiners also argued that EPA should have used the 2019 RFS rule-making to change the point of obligation for RFS compliance from refiners and importers to fuel blenders. The court discarded that argument stating "Refiners have repeatedly but unsuccessfully urged EPA to include blenders in the point of obligation. EPA's decision not to undertake another reassessment in the 2019 rule-making was not an abuse of discretion."

  • Exported Renewable Fuel -- The Court similarly rejected refiner arguments that exported renewable fuels should count toward RFS compliance. "EPA at no point suggested that it was substantively reconsidering its longstanding policy concerning the treatment of exported renewable fuel, and it reasonably refused to consider obligated parties' arguments for changing that policy," the court ruled. (Source: Renewable Fuels Assoc., Website PR, 16 July, 2021) Contact: RFA, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  RFS,  RFS Waiver,  


  • Growth Energy Calls for Congressional Biofuel Support (Ind. Report)
    Growth Energy
    Date: 2021-07-23
    Growth Energy has launched a new online digital ad campaign urging President Biden and leaders in Congress to stop oil industry handouts and uphold their commitments to reduce carbon emissions, support low carbon biofuels and strong Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

    According to Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor, "It's time for leaders in Washington to make good on their commitments to clean, renewable energy and put a stop to Big Oil's efforts to restore its monopoly over the US fuel mix. The evidence is clear. Congress and the administration cannot decarbonise transportation without a growing role for low-carbon biofuels, which are vital to our climate, working families, and the economy. The last thing we can afford are more handouts to the oil industry. Policymakers must act swiftly to ensure uninterrupted, year-round access to E15 and set ambitious biofuel blending levels, including a statutory minimum of 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuel, under annual targets." (Source: Growth Energy, Website PR, 22 July, 2021) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  Renewable Fuels,  


    EIA Expects Biodiesel Production Increase in 2022 (Ind. Report)
    Energy Information Administration
    Date: 2021-07-09
    In Washington, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is predicting that biodiesel production will increase by 10 pct in 2022 following a slight decline in 2021, while biomass-based diesel net are imports are expected to rise in both years.

    According to the EIA, U.S. biodiesel production increased by approximately 5 pct from 2019 to 2020, averaging an estimated 118,000 bpd last year. The agency expects biodiesel to fall slightly to 117,000 bpd this year, before increasing by 10 pct to 129,000 bpd in 2022, due in part to biodiesel's role in meeting multiple Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) targets and the biodiesel production tax credit through 2022.

    The EIA also noted that despite high renewable identification number (RIN) prices, record-high feedstock costs are expected to limit biodiesel production growth over the forecast period.

    The EIA expects net imports to increase to an average of 29,000 bpd in 2021 and 44,000 bpd in 2022. (Source: EIA, July, 2021) Contact: EIA, www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Information Administration,  Biodiesel ,  


    Aemetis, Murex Ink $200Mn Biofuels Agreement (Ind. Report)
    Aemetis, Murex
    Date: 2021-06-16
    Cupertino-California-headquartered Aemetis, Inc. is reporting an estimated $200 million biofuels offtake agreement with Plano, Texas-based international renewable fuels supplier Murex, LLC to be delivered during 2021 to 2023.

    Under the agreement, fuel and the related Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Renewable Fuel Standard Credits will be sold at a fixed discount to the market price at the time of delivery. (Source: Aemetis, Inc., 14 June, 2021) Contact: Murex LLC, Robert Wright, President, www.murexltd.com; Aemetis Advanced Fuels, Andy Foster, Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO, (408) 213-0940, emcafee@aemetis.com, www.aemetis.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aemetis,  Murex ,  Biofuel,  


    Growth Energy Applauds Senate Push for RFS Transparency (Ind. Report, Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Growth Energy
    Date: 2021-05-28
    In Washington, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor has thanked U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), who reintroduced the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Integrity Act. A companion to House legislation introduced in February, the bipartisan proposal would bring greater transparency to the U.S. EPA small refinery exemption (SRE) process and ensure refiners apply for exemptions in a timely manner.

    "This legislation provides long-overdue transparency for requests to avoid blending more low carbon renewable fuels that are key to America's low-carbon future. We applaud Senators Fischer and Duckworth for working to protect the integrity of the RFS so that farmers and biofuel producers, as well as the entire fuel supply chain, across the nation can count on stable demand and continue providing cleaner and more affordable fuel choices at the pump, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said."

    "By arming the public with greater information on biofuel exemptions, we can keep oil refineries accountable to following the law and ensure uninterrupted progress toward achieving cleaner air and a healthier climate," Skor added.

    Currently, EPA does not provide a deadline for refiners submitting a request for an SRE. The bipartisan Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act explicitly sets a June 1st deadline the year prior to the biofuel targets going into effect the following year. This will allow EPA to account for any exempted gallons in the following year's Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) as required by the Clean Air Act and ensure that the RVOs are met. Additionally, the legislation increases transparency into the SRE application process, allowing the public greater insight into which companies are receiving exemptions and why, according to the release. (Source: Growth Energy , Website PR, 25 May, 2021) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, www.growthenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Grwoth Energy,  RFS,  


    Quebec Low-Carbon Fuel Regulation Lauded (Opinions & Asides)
    Advanced Biofuels Canada
    Date: 2021-05-14
    Vancouver-based Advanced Biofuels Canada (ABFC) applauds the Government of Quebec's release of a draft regulation to require increased use of low carbon fuels in the province.

    Effective January 1, 2023, gasoline and diesel fuels distributed in the province are to have low-carbon content of 15 pct and 10 pct respectively by 2030, with progressively higher inclusion rates between 2023 and 2030. Diesel pool content in 2023 will be 3 pct and gasoline pool content 10 pct in 2023. In both pools, the low-carbon content volume requirements will be adjusted by a carbon intensity factor. Volume bonuses will be awarded if the average carbon intensity of low carbon fuels in the year is greater than 45 pct below the gasoline carbon intensity, or 70 pct below the diesel carbon intensity; in 2028, the bonus will apply after 50 pct and 75 pct, respectively. Consultation on the draft regulation closes June 26, 2021.

    The regulation respecting the integration of low-carbon-intensity fuel content into gasoline and diesel fuel is expected to result in 2.5 MT of GHG reductions per year by 2030, and contribute to the provincial goal of reduced reliance on fossil fuel imports. With Quebec's regulation, over 90 pct of Canadian fuel consumption will be subject to a provincial low-carbon or renewable fuel standard, with biofuels supplying most of the compliance pursuant to these standards.

    ABFC is the national voice for producers, distributors, and technology developers of advanced biofuels. ABFC promotes the production and use of low carbon advanced biofuels in Canada, which our members supply across North America and globally. These companies have invested in processing and supply chain operations in Quebec and are actively bringing to market the next generation of low carbon biofuels. Since 2005, ABFC has provided provincial and federal leadership on sound biofuels policies to expand clean energy options, achieve measurable climate action results, and stimulate new investments and clean growth. (Source: Advanced Biofuels Canada, PR, 13 May, 2021) Contact: Advanced Biofuels Canada, Ian Thompson, Pres., (604) 947-0040, ithomson@advancedbiofuels.ca, www.advancedbiofuels.caABFC, Ian Thomson, www.advancedbiofuels.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuels Canada,  Biofuel Blend,  Low-Carbon Fuel,  


    RINs Hit Highs as High Court Deliberates RFS Waivers (Ind. Report)
    RFS, Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2021-04-28
    Reuters is reporting U.S. renewable fuel standard credits (RINs) jumped Tuesday to record highs as costs for soybean oil pushed up both renewable fuel and biomass-based credits.

    Renewable fuel (D6) credits for 2021 traded up from $1.44 to $1.50 each and biomass-based (D4) credits traded at $1.58 each, up from $1.52 previously -- highest since Reuters began reporting data for renewable fuel credits in 2013 and biomass-based credits in 2014.

    The credits, known as RINs, rose at the same time that the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday was hearing oral arguments for a case involving the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires refiners to blend biofuels into their fuel mix each year or buy RINs from those that do. The Supreme Court's decision around the case will likely heavily influence the future of the RFS.

    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.Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, the nation's oil refineries are required to blend billions of gallons of biofuels such as ethanol into the fuel or buy credits from those that do. But the EPA can waive their obligations if they prove compliance would cause them financial distress. (Source: Various Media, Reuters, 27 Apr., 2021)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Standard,  


    ADM Rebooting Idled Ethanol Plant Production (Ind. Report)
    Archer Daniels Midland
    Date: 2021-04-05
    Further to our 27 April, 2020 coverage, Chicago-headquartered biofuel pioneer and ethanol producer Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) reports it is rebooting ethanol production at its 300-gpy corn dry mills plants in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Columbus, Nebraska.

    "We've been carefully monitoring a wide variety of industry ethanol conditions, and in recent weeks, we've seen consistent signs pointing to accelerating demand for domestic ethanol. company said in a statement. Inventories across the industry are steadily coming down, China is importing volumes, we continue to expect driving miles to increase as the pace of vaccinations accelerates, and the EPA's support of a strong Renewable Fuel Standard is helping drive great blending economics," according to a company statement . Ethanol deliveries are expected by mid-April, with full capacity by late spring. (Source: Archer Daniels Midland, PR, Apr., 2021) Contact: ADM, Juan Luciano, Pres., CEO, (312) 634-8100, www.adm.com

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


    National Academies to Study Low-Carbon Transport Fuels (Ind Report)
    National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
    Date: 2021-03-01
    In the nation's capitol, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (National Academies) reports it is forming a committee to study the current methods for life cycle analyses (LCA) of low-carbon transportation fuels in the U.S.

    Low carbon fuel standards, such as the Federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), are major US programs for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation fuels. These standards rely on life cycle assessment (LCA) as a tool to estimate fuel GHG emissions.

    The National Academies aims to develop a reliable and coherent approach for applying LCA to low-carbon fuel standards via a methodological assessment to identify the general characteristics and capabilities of GHG emissions estimation methods commonly needed across various types of low-carbon fuels programs applied at a national level. The committee will include the following considerations:

  • Direct GHG emissions over the entire lifecycle of a given transportation fuel, including feedstock generation or extraction, feedstock conversion to a finished fuel or blendstock, distribution, storage, delivery, and use of the fuel in vehicles.

  • Potentially significant indirect GHG emissions, such as those associated with indirect land use changes attributed to biofuels production.

  • Key assumptions, input parameters, and data quality and quantity for application of lifecycle GHG emission models for different regions of the U.S.

  • Needs for additional data, methods for data collection, standardized inputs for lifecycle analyses, and model improvements.

    The National Academies is seeking approximately 14 members with expertise in the fields of: life cycle analysis (LCA); fuel production and use (including fossil fuels, biofuels, and electricity); economics; greenhouse gas (GHG) emission modeling; uncertainty analysis; terrestrial ecosystems; and environmental policy decision-making.

    Details HERE (Source: National Academies. PR, 1 Mar., 2021) Contact: National Academiers, 202-334-2000, www.nationalacademies.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Low-Carbon Fuel,  Biofuel,  RFS,  GHGs,  


  • EPA Changes Course on RFS "Hardship" Waivers (Reg & Leg.)
    EPA, Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2021-02-24
    In Washington, the US EPA reports it will support a January 2020 decision by the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and farm groups lawsuit over "improperly granted" renewable fuel standard (RFS) "hardship" waivers granted to oil refineries under the Trump administration. The lawsuit is expected to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this spring.

    The EPA under Trump issued 85 retroactive small refinery exemptions for the 2016-2018 compliance years, undercutting the renewable fuel volumes by a total of 4 billion gallons, according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA)

    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, 22 Feb., 2021)Contact: RFA, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  "Hardship Waiver",  Ethanol Blend,  


    EIA Foresees Gradual Biofuel Growth Through 2050 (Ind. Report)
    EIA
    Date: 2021-02-22
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration released its Annual Energy Outlook 2021 (AEO2021) on Feb. 3, predicting that the consumption of biofuels as a share of the domestic fuel mix will gradually increase through 2050.

    Although the COVID-19 pandemic affected demand for all liquid fuels last year, the EIA notes that biofuel consumption has not decreased as much as petroleum-based fuels. AEO2021's reference case, which represents the EIA's best assessment of how energy markets will operate through 2050, predicts that biofuels consumption will return to 2019 levels in 2021, slightly faster than petroleum-based transportation fuels. As a result, biofuels will account for an increasing share of the domestic fuel mix.

    The EIA attributes the quicker rebound in biofuels consumption primarily to regulatory support, such as the federal Renewable Fuel Standard and California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

    In the AEO2021 reference case, the EIA projects that the percentage of biofuels blended into the U.S. transportation fuel pool will increase and slowly grow through 2050. In the event of high oil prices, the EIA expects the share of biofuels consumed in the U.S. would rise to a greater percentage as higher prices for gasoline and diesel would make biofuels more competitive.

    Biodiesel production is expected to grow slightly in the reference case, maintaining a steady level of supply through 2050. Renewable diesel production is expected to grow at a higher rate. Ethanol consumption is expected to return to pre-COVID levels in later years of the projection period, steadily growing through 2050 because of higher ethanol blends making their way into the on-road transportation fuel, according to the EIA.

    Domestic production of other biomass-derived liquids, including pyrolysis oils, biomass-derived Fischer-Tropsch liquids, biobutanol and renewable feedstocks used for the on-site production of diesel and gasoline, is expected to grow by 3.5 percent, reaching 90,000 bpd by 2050. The AEO2020 reference case predicted a 5.3 percent increase, which would equate to 110,000 bpd in 2050. (Source: EIA, 3 Feb., 2021) Contact: EIA, www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo

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


    U.S. Ethanol Production Drops (Ind. Report)
    US EIA
    Date: 2021-02-22
    According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), during the week ending on February 12, ethanol production fell to its lowest level in five months -- 911,000 bpd, down from 937,000 bpd during the prior week -- while stockpiles grew.

    A Successful Farming report notes the U.S. Midwest, which produces more ethanol than any other region in the country, saw its production drop to 868,000 bpd from day from 895,000 bpd from the previous week and the lowest output level since late September. The East Coast and Gulf Coast regions stayed at an average of 12,000 bpd while the Rocky Mountain and West Coast production levels were unchanged at 9,000 bpd, on average, according to the EIA. Stockpiles increased to 24.297 million barrels in the seven days ending on February 12.

    In other ethanol industry news, the US EPA has announced all 16 "hardship waiver" exemption petitions under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) from 2020 are still pending. In total, 66 petitions that date back as far as 2011 are still pending.

    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 EIA, Ag Central News, 20 Feb., 2021) Contact: US EIA, www.eia.gov

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


    Growth Energy Calls for EPA to Reject RFS Compliance Extension Deadlines (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Growth Energy
    Date: 2021-02-12
    In Washington, in testimony at the EPA virtual hearing on the proposal to extend the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance deadlines for the 2019 and 2020 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs), Growth Energy's Senior VP of Regulatory Affairs Chris Bliley called on the agency to reject calls to delay RFS compliance and instead take immediate steps to restore integrity to the RFS and restore lost biofuel demand.

    "The intent of the RFS is to blend more biofuels into our nation's transportation fuel supply. Period. It is not meant to have oil companies use questionable legal tactics to avoid blending biofuels and then demanding that the agency further delay compliance," Bliley said.

    Bliley also reminded EPA about the benefits of biofuels as America works toward its clean climate goals, stating that "With recent research showing that greenhouse gas emissions from corn ethanol are 46 pct lower than gasoline, it makes no sense why EPA should continue to exempt oil companies and further delay them from complying with their blending obligations."

    EPA's proposal would extend the RFS compliance deadline for the 2019 compliance year to November 30, 2021 and extend the RFS compliance deadline for the 2020 compliance year to January 31, 2022. (Source: Growth Energy, PR, Website, 9 Feb., 2021) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Chris Bliley, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  RFS,  


    Ethanol Ind. Leaders Comment on EPA's Last Minute RFA "Hardship" Waivers (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    RFS Waivers
    Date: 2021-02-01
    On Jan 19, the Trump administration's Andrew Wheeler-led EPA approved three small refinery "hardship" waivers to reverse one denial from 2018 and granting two for the 2019 compliance year. The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) was quick to respond with a petition for review and an emergency motion to stay EPA's action.

    "Based on empirical evidence from SREs improperly granted in other compliance years, the new 2018-2019 SREs will likely have a sudden, negative impact on both ethanol sales volumes and prices. This would be devastating to America's ethanol producers, many of which are already on the brink of closure due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This action by EPA is completely without legal merit," RFA Pres. and CEO Geoff Cooper Noted:

    "This midnight-hour attempt by the Trump administration to damage the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and sabotage the ethanol industry's recovery from the COVID pandemic simply cannot be allowed to prevail. With just hours remaining in his shameful term as EPA administrator, Wheeler couldn't stop himself from doling out a few more Clean Air Act compliance exemptions to his well-connected friends. But the fact remains that this action by EPA is completely without legal merit. It flouts both the statute and recent court decisions that clearly limit EPA's authority and ability to grant these exemptions. And while this action comes as one last sucker punch from the Trump administration, we are confident it will be a hollow victory for the politically connected oil companies receiving today's waivers, as the new Biden administration will most certainly act quickly to restore the volumes erased by these waivers," RFA president and CEO Geoff Cooper said.

    "Farm families and biofuel workers across the country have worked tirelessly to make a living over the past few months despite a global pandemic. And yet, the Trump administration's SRE abuse has piled on to the uncertainty and difficulty that rural Americans are facing every day," according to Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor.

    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: RFA, Growth Energy, AgriNews, 30January, 2021) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org; RFA, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Blend,  RFA,  Growth Energy,  RFS,  "Hardship" Waivers,  ,  


    EPA Proposes Extension of RFS Deadlines (Ind. Report)
    EPA, Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2021-01-18
    In its just published draft rulemaking, the EPA proposed extending the deadline for refineries to prove compliance with federal renewable fuel standard (RFS) blending mandates in 2019.

    The agency proposed a new 2019 compliance deadline of 30 November 2021, with a 1 June 2022 deadline for refineries processing less than 75,000 b/d of crude a year. The 2020 mandates would have deadlines of 31 January 2022 and 1 June 2022 for small refineries, under the proposal. Deadlines to prove compliance for the 2019 mandates were last March, and for the 2020 compliance year March of this year.

    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: EPA, PR, 14 Jan., 2021)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  ,  Hardship Waiver,  Biofuel Blending,  


    Supreme Court to Review RFS Biofuel Waivers (Reg. & Leg.)
    RFS Waivers
    Date: 2021-01-11
    The US Supreme Court will review the ability of oil refineries to win exemptions from federal biofuel-blending quotas under Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) legislation.

    Under the January 2020 ruling that the Supreme Court will now review, the EPA was found to have wrongly waived three refineries from the renewable fuel requirements. A three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit also said that refineries are only eligible for relief if they have received uninterrupted, continuous extensions of the exemptions -- an exclusion that means only a handful nationwide will qualify.

    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: Various Trade Media, 8 Jan., 2021)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS Waiver,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  Hardship Waivers,  


    CVR Energy Advancing OK Renewable Diesel Project (Ind. Report)
    CVR Energy
    Date: 2020-12-23
    Sugarland, Texas-based CVR Energy Inc is reporting Board approval to advance work on a $110-million renewable diesel plant in Wynnewood, Oklahoma.

    When commissioned and fully operational, the facility will produce almost 100 million gpy of renewable diesel and roughly 6 million gpy of renewable naphth and significantly lower the company's annual Renewable Identification Number (RIN) exposure under the Clean Air Act's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

    The use of RNG as a transportation fuel has reportedly increased 291 pct over the past 5 years, displacing close to 7.5 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). That is the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent of driving 18.6 trillion miles in a typical passenger cat. It is the CO2 emissions equivalent of consuming 842 million gallons of gasoline. This equates to the total amount of fuel used by 63,171 transit buses every year, according to trade data(Source: CVR Energy, PR, 22 Dec., 2020) Contact: CVR Energy Inc., David Lamp., CEO, (281) 207-3200, www.cvrenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RINs,  CVR Energy,  Renewable Diesel,  


    Biofuels Coalition Challenges 2018 RFS Hardship Waivers (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-12-09
    A coalition of the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Biodiesel Board, American Coalition for Ethanol, and National Farmers Union have filed a brief to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging EPA's August 2019 decision to exempt 31 small refineries from their obligations to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2018.

    The filing argues the EPA was not authorized to issue the exemptions and that it acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner in its decision.

    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.

    Download the coalition's brief HERE. (Source: Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Biodiesel Board, American Coalition for Ethanol, National Farmers Union, 8 Dec., 2020) Contact: National Farmers Union, Rob Larew, Pres., (202) 554-1600, www.nfu.org; Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS Hardship Waiver,  Renewable Fuels Association,  RFS,  National Farmers Union,  


    More Refiners Seeking RFS Biofuel Hardship Waivers (Ind. Report)
    EPA, RFS
    Date: 2020-11-20
    In Washington, the EPA is reporting over the past 30 days, US refiners added five requests for "hardship waiver" exemptions of 2020 renewable fuel blending requirements and one to exempt 2019 requirements . There are nine pending applications to waive Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements for 2020 and 32 pending applications to waive 2019 requirements.

    EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler stated that the agency would not act on waiver requests for compliance years since 2019 until ongoing court challenges to prior decisions are settled.

    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.

    On Sept 18 we reported Trump had suggested he'd provide $300 million to oil refiners and that those funds would come out of the USDA Commodity Credit Corp. (CCC) which is intended to provide farmers with Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments. Trump later denied suggesting cash payments to refineries whose waiver applications had been rejected. (Source: EPA, Various Media, 19 Nov., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  ,  Hardship Waiver,  Biofuel Blending,  


    Growth Energy Comments on Biofuel Production (Opinions & Asides)
    Growth Energy, USDA
    Date: 2020-11-02
    Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor recently submitted the following comments to the USDA's Agriculture Innovation Agenda regarding readily available technologies that enable our domestic agriculture sector to increase production while reducing its environmental footprint.

    In her comments, Skor argued that biofuels like ethanol play a critical role in achieving the USDA's goals and called for building on current investments to expand renewable fuels role in the nation's transportation infrastructure. "Supporting programs like the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and initiatives to expand access to higher biofuel blends like E15, E30, and E85 can build on biofuels' environmental progress and expand the market for American agriculture,", said Skor. "USDA's Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) is a prime example how the agency can support the productivity of our farmers, while decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and encouraging further adoption of sustainable farming practices across our agriculture sector."

    Skor also notes the biofuels industry's continued advancements to capture CO2 and the plant-based fuel's ability to replace harmful toxics and improve air quality. "We have a better option in ethanol, the single most affordable and abundant alternative to petroleum-based fuel additives that threaten air quality in communities across the globe. To expand on these benefits, USDA should continue to promote programs that boost biofuels access and use throughout the country.

    As the department works to streamline programs and seek opportunities to improve sustainable farming across the country, Skor encouraged USDA to continue exploring the strong link between U.S. agriculture and our biofuels industry, and promote the increased use of biofuels so our nation's farmers can continue to rely on these markets as we work to reduce the environmental impact of the agriculture sector.

    The organizations have asked the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to order the following: EPA should not withhold the name of the company submitting an application for an SRE nor the name and location of the refinery for which relief is requested; EPA should immediately produce the information that was unlawfully withheld for Renewable Fuel Standard compliance years 2015, 2016, and 2017, and; EPA should not withhold any of the five data elements identified in the proposed Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support (REGS) rule (Source: Growth Energy, Website PR , 28 Oct., 2020) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  USDA,  RFS,  Biofuel,  


    Growth Energy Touts Biofuels' Advantage to Meet Ag Innovation Goals (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Growth Energy, USDA
    Date: 2020-10-30
    In Washington, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor submitted comments to the USDA as part of the agency's Agriculture Innovation Agenda, regarding readily available technologies that enable the U.S. domestic agriculture sector to increase biofuel production while reducing its environmental footprint.

    In her comments, Skor argued that biofuels play a critical role in achieving the department's goals and called for building on current investments to expand renewables fuels' role in the nation's transportation infrastructure.

    "Supporting programs like the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and initiatives to expand access to higher biofuel blends can build on biofuels' environmental progress and expand the market for American agriculture. USDA's Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) is a prime example of how the agency can support the productivity of our farmers while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging further adoption of sustainable farming practices across our agriculture sector," Skor noted.

    Growth Energy is the world's largest association of biofuel producers representing 89 U.S. plants that produce more than 7.5 billion gpy of renewable fuel, 96 businesses associated with the production process, and tens of thousands of biofuel supporters across the country, according to its website.

    Download Skorr's full comments HERE. (Source: Growth Energy, Website PR, 28 Oct., 2020) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  Biofuel,  USDA,  RFS,  Biofuel Blends,  HBIIP,  


    MN Dem. Calls for EPA, RFS Waiver Transparency (Reg & Leg)
    RFS Waivers
    Date: 2020-09-18
    In Washington, Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson (D), chair of the House Agriculture Committee, has introduced legislation that would set a deadline for refiners to request exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and require the EPA to publicly release the name of refiners requesting a waiver, the number of gallons requested to be waived and the number of gallons of biofuel that won't be blended as result of the waiver.

    Peterson is calling for transparency to be achieved before the 2021 oil refinery renewable volume obligations are released by the EPA. (Source: Office of Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson, WNAX, Sept., 2020) Contact: Office of Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson, (507) 637-2270, collinpeterson.house.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Refinery Waivers,  Biofuel Blend,  


    Could Trump Use USDA Funds for RFS Waiver Payoffs? (Ind. Report)
    RFS Waivers
    Date: 2020-09-18
    Further to our 16 Sept. coverage, the Trump EPA denied 54 of the pending 99 small refinery exemption (SRE) requests from oil refiners to blend less ethanol under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). However, EPA still hasn't acted on 44 waivers, 14 of which are also gap-year waivers and 31 of which are for the 2019 and 2020 blending requirements.

    In a blatant move to win support and placate the biofuels and refinery interests, Trump has suggested he'd provide $300 million to oil refiners and that those funds would come out of the USDA Commodity Credit Corp. (CCC) which is intended to provide farmers with Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments.

    Commenting on Trump's possible cash payments to refiners scheme, former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he "strongly expects that no action will be taken on the remaining waivers until after the election." Vilsack was critical of the reports that the President indicated that he would offer $300 million through the CCC fund in lieu of the waiver approvals, as the CCC is designed specifically to be used by USDA for the purpose of helping farmers.

    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: EPA, Feedstuffs, 17 Sept., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  RFS,  Refinery Waivers,  Biofuel Blend,  Tom Vilsack ,  


    54 Pending RFS Biofuel "Hardship" Waivers Denied! (Ind. Report)
    RFS Waivers
    Date: 2020-09-16
    In Washington, the Trump Administration's EPA has rejected 54 retroactive renewable fuel standard biofuel "hardship waiver" petitions that were pending review.

    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.

    Interestingly, it is being widely reported that Trump is suggesting cash payments to refineries that have had waiver applications rejected, thus placating the biofuels and oil industries in a thinly-veiled move to win re-election in Nov. (Source: Various Media, OilPrice, 14 Sept., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  RFS,  Refinery Waivers,  Biofuel Blend,  


    Trump Reportedly Denies Retroactive RFS Waivers (Ind. Report)
    RFS
    Date: 2020-09-11
    Reuters is reporting U.S. Pres. Trump has instructed the EPA to deny dozens of oil refiner requests for retroactive "hardship waivers" under the Renewable Fuels Standard.

    The president's could be seen as an effort to shore up his support in the Corn Belt states.

    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.Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, the nation's oil refineries are required to blend billions of gallons of biofuels such as ethanol into the fuel or buy credits from those that do. But the EPA can waive their obligations if they prove compliance would cause them financial distress. (Source: Chronicle Herald, 10 Sept., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  RFS,  Refinery Waivers,  Biofuel Blend,  


    Ethanol Ind. Stabilization Quotes from Growth Energy CEO
    Growth Energy
    Date: 2020-08-28
    "We have to make sure the (Trump) administration follows through on commitments that it has made. Last October, the administration made a series of commitments in terms of evaluating things like E15 labeling. An additional hurdle for us to have unfettered market access for higher blends is making sure the president has EPA follow through on its commitment to uphold a strong Renewable Fuel Standard.

    "We want to be building stronger global markets with free trade. We want expansion of E15. As drivers are hitting the road again as we are recovering from Covid, there's more opportunity to get higher blends like E15. We, ultimately, want to focus on that road to recovery conversation because that's what our future is going to be all about.

    "At this point, I think we may be okay. I think it will have different impacts in different areas regionally, and then certainly in the value chain. We're going to have to just wait and see. It's very disheartening to know what everybody has gone through." -- Emily Skor, Growth Energy, CEO , discussing ethanol industry stability.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Growth Energy,  


    NBB Launches RFS Support Ad Campaign (Ind. Report)
    National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2020-08-26
    The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) reports the launch of a two-week radio advertising campaign in six states including Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota urging Pres. Trump to direct the EPA to reject the gap small refiner waivers from the Renewable Fuel Standard.

    NBB wants farmers to go to their website and complete a pre-written request to the President and EPA administrator to reject those gap small refiner waivers, 85 bof which have been issues over the past three 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. 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: NBB, WNAX 26 Aug., 2020) Contact: NBB, Paul Winters, Pres., Kurt Kovarik, VP of Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.nbd.org

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


    EPA Urged to Stop Penalizing Ethanol Blends ( Editorials & Asides)
    Urban Air Initiative,American Coalition for Ethanol
    Date: 2020-08-17
    In Washington, the Urban Air Initiative (UAI) -- a coalition of state corn grower organizations -- along with the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and the Clean Fuels Development Coalition last Friday filed comments asking the EPA not to penalize ethanol's ability to reduce carbon emissions.

    The EPA is proposing to penalize the current Tier 3 test fuel that all automakers will use to meet CO2 emission standards because it contains 10 pct ethanol. This Tier 3 test fuel lowers CO2 emissions compared to the prior E0 test fuel from 1975. The EPA is creating this new penalty against ethanol by manipulating test procedures to inflate the tailpipe CO2 emissions of vehicles certified as using E10. Since the penalty would presumably increase with higher ethanol volumes, this rule would be a major disincentive for automakers to transition to higher ethanol blends.

    "Basically ethanol can't win. First EPA ignores ethanol's ability to reduce toxic aromatics, and now it wants to penalize ethanol for being a more efficient, lower-carbon fuel additive. The EPA is making this more complicated than it needs to be. It's creating rules based on older, non-representative fuels in its testing. Plus, EPA has no authority to penalize a particular fuel. Automakers can take advantage of high octane ethanol but not if they are penalized before they even start. In short, let the market work," Urban Air President Dave VanderGriend commented.

    "EPA's anti-ethanol bias is not limited to how it has badly mismanaged the Renewable Fuel Standard, it extends to the Agency's proposal to artificially inflate CO2 emissions from vehicles being tested on E10 blends for Tier 3 Test Fuel Procedures," ACE CEO Brian Jennings commented. (Source: Urban Air Initiative, PR, 17 Aug., 2020) Contact: Urban Air Initiative, Dave VanderGriend, Pres., www. fixourfuel.com; Clean Fuels Development Coalition, 301-718-0077, www.cleanfuelsdc.org; American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, (605) 334-3381, www.ethanol.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  American Coalition for Ethanol,  ACE,  Urban Air Initiative,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  


    RFA Report Details RFS Success (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    RFA
    Date: 2020-08-07
    Commemorating the 15th anniversary of Pres. George W. Bush's signing of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which created the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has released a report detailing how the industry has benefited the nation over the past decade and a half.

    "As you'll see in this report, the RFS has been a smashing success," said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. "In addition to decreasing reliance on imported petroleum, the RFS has reduced emissions of harmful tailpipe pollutants and greenhouse gases, lowered consumer fuel prices, supported hundreds of thousands of jobs in rural America, and boosted the agricultural economy by adding value to the crops produced by our nation's farmers." The report details how, since 2005:

  • Ethanol and co-product output has quadrupled, and the number of jobs supported by the industry has more than doubled;

  • Ethanol has contributed substantially to the agriculture sector, supporting corn prices and farm incomes;

  • Ethanol consumption has more than tripled, enhancing U.S. energy security while saving consumers money at the pump;

  • The use of ethanol has reduced greenhouse gas emissions and cleaned up air pollution;

  • "As ethanol production has increased, U.S. food price inflation has fallen and the number of people globally who are undernourished has declined.

    The report also includes historical perspective from RFA Senior Strategic Advisor Bob Dinneen, who led RFA through this important policy change. "We've probably all seen the Schoolhouse Rock version of 'How a Bill Becomes a Law', Dinneen writes. "It does a great job of explaining the legislative process. But it cannot capture the circuitous adventure and machinations that occur before an idea materializes into legislative language. That is particularly true when it comes to the 2005 Energy Bill and the Renewable Fuel Standard." (Source: RFA, 6 Aug., 2020) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA,  RFS.Ethanol,  Renewable Fuels,  


  • Meridiam, Sevana Bioenergy Partner on Biogas Project (Ind. Report)
    Sevana Bioenergy
    Date: 2020-07-24
    Paris headquartered global investment firm Meridiam and Larkspur, California-based Sevana Bioenergy are reporting an agreement to develop an existing 2011-vintage biodigester project in Twin Falls, Idaho. The plant presently produces renewable electricity through the anaerobic digestion of dairy manure that is delivered to the grid under a power purchase agreement with Idaho Power.

    Sevana Bioenergy will serve as the development partner, service provider, and long-term co-investor of the project, the second phase of which is expected to start in Q3 -- upgrading the facility to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) transportation fuel to be marketed under the renewable fuel standard ( RFS) programmes in the federal and California market.

    Meridiam is a global investor and asset manager specialized in developing, financing and managing long-term public infrastructure projects. Founded in 2005, Meridiam invests in public infrastructure in Europe, North America and Africa, according its website. (Source: Meridiam Website, July, 2020) Contact: Sevana Bioenergy, info@sevanabioenergy.com, www. sevanabioenergy.com; Meridiam ,+33 1 53 34 96 99, 212 798 8690 -- NY Office, www.meridiam.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RNG news,  Biogas news,  Sevana Bioenergy news,  


    EPA Considering Retroactive Small-Refinery Waivers (Ind. Report)
    EPA, RFS
    Date: 2020-07-17
    The EPA on Thursday posted six additional pending requests for retroactive small-refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to the agency dashboard, bringing the grand total to 58 such requests for waivers for compliance years 2011 through 2018.

    The agency now lists seven pending requests each for 2011 and 2012, 11 each for 2013 and 2015, 12 in 2014, eight in 2016 and two in 2018, as well as 27 listed for 2019 and one for 2020. The agency granted 85 waivers for the period 2016 to 2018.

    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.Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, the nation's oil refineries are required to blend billions of gallons of biofuels such as ethanol into the fuel or buy credits from those that do. But the EPA can waive their obligations if they prove compliance would cause them financial distress. (Source: EPA,DTN, 16 July, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Hardship Waivers,  Biofuel Blend,  


    Yet Another Letter to the President -- S.D. Congressman Calls for RFS Waivers Action (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    RFs
    Date: 2020-07-15
    In a recent letter to the EPA. South Dakota congressman Dusty Johnson (R) wrote: "President Trump has stood up for South Dakota's farmers, but the EPA is letting them down. For years, the EPA undermined the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by granting waivers to big oil, essentially cutting billions of gallons of biofuels demand and cutting off a vital market to corn farmers.

    "My House colleagues and I have written President Trump twice recently, asking him to protect the RFS. This message is clear -- the EPA must follow the law and stop reducing the amount of renewable fuel in our fuel supply. Our farmers need this market. South Dakota's biofuels industry can produce more than 1 billion gallons annually, adding more than $980 million to the economy -- but this only happens if there is reliable market access. The EPA can get this done.

    "The nation's eyes were on South Dakota during President Trump's visit to Mount Rushmore. I'll continue to deliver agriculture's request that the EPA support clear, homegrown biofuels. The president supports farmers -- and it's time the EPA does, too." -- South Dakota congressman Dusty Johnson (R).

    Editor's Note: 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: Rep. Dusty Johnson , Mitchell Republic, 12 July, 2020) Contact: Rep. Dusty Johnson , (202) 225-2801, www.dustyjohnson.house.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US EPA,  Andrew Wheeler,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  RFS Waiver,  


    ACE says EPA Misses Chance To Fix The RFS (Opinions and Asides)
    American Coalition for Ethanol
    Date: 2020-07-08
    The Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) reports it is concerned that the EPA has missed important deadlines dealing with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

    The EPA normally issues the Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) petroleum companies must meet under the RFS by July 4, but have missed that deadline for 2021 and there's no indication when they may be released, according to ACE CEO Brian Jennings.

    EPA also has not responded to an April ACE request for an emergency interim final rule on RVOs to restore RFS volumes to help ethanol producers hurt by the pandemic. The EPA is also being inactive on dealing with small refinery waiver requests which they need to deny in accordance with a January court ruling that will likely will take Congressional intervention to enforce, Jennings added. (Source: American Coalition for Ethanol, July, 2020) Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, (605) 334-3381, www.ethanol.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Coalition for Ethanol ,  Ethanol. RFS,  Renewable Fuels Standard,  


    NWF Supports Governors' Requests for RFS Relief (Ind. Report)
    AFPM
    Date: 2020-07-08
    According to a recent American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) blog posting, National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has become the most recent US EPA petitioner seeking a general waiver to reduce 2020 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance obligations.

    In a letter to the EPA' Administrator Andrew Wheeler, NWF President and CEO Collin O'Mara echoed the requests of six state governors and stressed the need for smaller biofuel mandates. In its letter, the AFPM noted:

  • "The RFS currently requires about 19 billion gal. of fuel derived from plants to be blended into gasoline. The overwhelming majority of that fuel is corn ethanol, and today 40 pct of the corn produced in the U.S. goes into our gas tanks."

  • "Increasing mandated blending levels increases the potential for further land conversion, presenting a marked threat to the battle against global climate change, with its consequent catastrophic effects on human health and the environment. Higher blends of ethanol necessitated by unrealistic RVOs diminish public health."

  • "In light of the clear and present danger to the environment, we join with the governors of six states in asking for a waiver to the RVO."

    The NWF letter concludes: “"In short, the corn ethanol mandate has led to the loss of important wildlife habitat, particularly in regions critical for monarch butterflies, ducks and other ground-nesting birds, and many other species -- threatening outdoor recreation opportunities as well as the economy. The mandate has also resulted in deteriorated water quality and harmful algal blooms in important surface waters as a result of increased farm runoff. Increasing mandated blending levels increases the potential for further land conversion, presenting a marked threat to the battle against global climate change, with its consequent catastrophic effects on human health and the environment. Higher blends of ethanol necessitated by unrealistic RVOs diminish public health. In light of the clear and present danger to the environment, we join with the Governors of six states in asking for a waiver to the RVO." (Source: National Wildlife Federation, AFPM, Hydrocarbon Engineering, 7 July, 2020) Contact: National Wildlife Federation, Colin O'Mara, CEO, www.nwf.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  Ethanol,  


  • SD Senator Introduces RFS Pathway Biofuels Legislation (Re g & Leg)
    Biofuel
    Date: 2020-06-19
    South Dakota Senator John Thune (R) has introduced bipartisan legislation that would help approve certain Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) pathway applications like corn fiber. The measure would compel the EPA to move forward on advanced biofuel applications rather than letting them sit idled at the agency awaiting action refinery applications for waivers move through the system, according to the Senator's release. (Soure: WNAX, 19 June, 2020) Contact: Senator John Thune, (202) 224-2321, (605) 348-7551, www.thune.senate.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Biofuel,  


    RFA Urges Trump to Reject Refinery Waivers (Ind. Report)
    RFA
    Date: 2020-06-12
    "One year ago today, you visited Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs to join us in celebrating a monumental achievement. At your direction, EPA had just completed regulatory changes finally allowing year-round sales of gasoline containing 15 pct ethanol (E15).

    "This long-awaited move unlocked the door to future demand growth for ethanol and corn. It also meant consumers would have increased access to cleaner and more affordable fuel options at the pump.

    "Just as expected, the marketplace responded quickly. In the year since the red-tape barrier was removed, E15 sales are up 50pct.

    "But E15 growth would have been exponentially larger if not for your EPA continuing to excuse oil refiners from their legal obligations to blend renewable fuels. As we told you a year ago, EPA's refinery waivers have caused devastating demand losses for ethanol and corn, and they under mine the expansion of E15.

    "Even after a federal court overturned some refinery waivers in January, your EPA continues to receive dozens of exemption requests from oil companies. EPA is now even considering giving retroactive waivers for years that pre-date your administration.

    "This needs to stop. It is hurting farmers, costing consumers, and derailing progress on energy and environmental security.

    "The economic pain in farm country caused by these refinery waivers was compounded this spring—first by the Saudi-Russia oil price war, and then by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of this 'perfect tsunami,' half of the ethanol industry was recently shut down, leading to layoffs across rural America. The ethanol industry and farmers are hurting like never before.

    Mr. President, we need your help. We ask that you stand up for the Renewable Fuel Standard. Please direct your EPA to abide by the January court ruling and end the abuse of the refinery waiver loophole.

    "You stood by us, farmers, and consumers when you directed EPA to allow year-round E15. Now, we humbly ask that you stand with us again and ensure ethanol demand is not eroded by illegal refinery waivers. Thank you,"

    Geoff Cooper, Pres. & CEO Renewable Fuels Associationwww.EthanolRFA.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS news,  Refinery Waivers news,  Biofuel Blend news,  RFA news,  


    Biofuel Leaders Question Retroactive RFS Exemptions (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-06-10
    In a 9 June letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, the Renewable Fuels Assoc. wrote:

    "We are writing to request further information about petitions reportedly received by the U.S. EPA from small refiners seeking exemption from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for past compliance years.

    "The petitions in question were discussed during your testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on May 20, 2020. On the same day, U.S. DOE Under Secretary Mark Menezes confirmed that EPA is 'send[ing] over' past-year petitions for DOE review. Mr. Menezes described the petitions as 'gap filings' intended to reconstitute after-the-fact a continuous string of exemptions for select oil companies 'to be consistent with the Tenth Circuit decision.'

    "This attempt to circumvent the courts and the RFS should be rejected out of hand. Even if EPA granted retroactive 'gap' exemptions without simultaneously returning the number of RINs associated with the exemption to the petitioner, such exemptions would be inconsistent with EPA's own policies and regulations, legal precedent, and Congressional intent.

    "These 'gap filings' appear to be little more than the latest in a string of oil industry tactics designed to subvert the law and sidestep a court order to uphold the RFS. Read the full letter HERE. (Source: Renewable Fuels Assoc., 9 June, 2020) Contact: RFA, www.fuelsamerica.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  RFS Waiver,  RFS,  RFA,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  


    HollyFrontier Refinery Re-purposing to Renewable Diesel (Ind. Report)
    HollyFrontier
    Date: 2020-06-03
    Dallas-based independent petroleum refiner and marketer HollyFrontier Corporation reports it will spend between $125 million to $175 million to re-purpose its Cheyenne, Wyoming petroleum refinery to produce roughly 90 million gpy of renewable diesel by Q1, 2022. With the move, the Cheyenne refinery is effectively shedding its Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuel blending obligation to produce saleable renewable diesel and compliance credits.

    "Demand for renewable diesel, as well as other lower carbon fuels, is growing and taking market share based on both consumer preferences and support from substantial federal and state government incentive programs," according to a statement from HollyFrontier CEO Mike Jennings. (Source: HollyFrontier, PR, Bloomberg, 3 June, 2020) Contact: HoolyFrontier, Craig Biery, Inv. Relations, 214-954-6510, www.hollyfrontier.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News HollyFrontier,  Renewable Diesel,  Biouel Blending,  RFS,  


    Trump Urged to Reject Waiver Requests (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    EPA,Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2020-05-11
    In the nation's capitol, a bipartisan group of 24 U.S. senators -- including Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Tina Smith(D-Minn) Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich) have written the following to the White House:

    "We are writing to urge you to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and immediately reject the requests for a waiver of the RFS under Section 211(o)(7) of the Clean Air Act recently received by the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) from five state governors.

    "Across our states, biofuels lower fuel prices, create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the new energy economy, many of which are in rural areas, provide an important market for farmers, cut our reliance on foreign oil, reduce emissions and harmful air pollutants, and provide critical inputs to our food supply.

    "Our nation is facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the global health pandemic caused by COVID-19, with the impacts being felt across all of society. Waiving the RFS would cause further harm to the U.S.economy, especially our most vulnerable rural communities. It would also exacerbate the effects experienced by the biofuel sector as a result of COVID-19, causing far-reaching detrimental impacts on employment, farmers, food security, fuel prices, and the environment. The resiliency of America's renewable fuel industry has already suffered as a result of the EPA's drastic expansion of the small refinery waiver program in recent years.

    "The U.S. Department of Homeland Security identified the biofuels sector as an essential critical infrastructure workforce during the COVID-19 response. However, as motor fuel demand has plummeted, prices have slumped to record lows and producers are suffering heavy losses. At this point more than 70 ethanol facilities with an annual production capacity of 6.1 billion gallons have been fully idled, and approximately 70 more plants have reduced their operating rates by a combined amount of 1.9 billion gallons annualized. At least 46 pct of the ethanol industry's total production capacity is now idled, and eight biodiesel and renewable diesel facilities remain offline. Highly-skilled jobs across the country are being lost at an alarming rate.

    "Biofuel plant closures have ripple effects through the U.S. economy. Farm income is directly linked to the health of the renewable fuel industry. Plant shutdowns are causing commercial CO2 supply shortages and inhibiting the ability of meat packers and other food sectors to refrigerate, preserve,and supply food and beverages at current, affordable rates. Ethanol plants also produce low cost, high-protein animal feed (distillers grains). Supply shortages as a result of biofuel plant closures are impacting livestock feed procurement, rations, and prices. Biodiesel producers provide value to surplus and waste oils, fats and greases from food, feed and other biofuel production. Without the biodiesel industry, excess feedstocks will clog the supply chain, causing livestock producers to potentially raise prices for consumers. Removing biofuels from gasoline and diesel will also lead to an increase of greenhouse gas emissions, particulate matter, and toxics-causing degradation to our air quality.

    "Recent requests for a waiver of the RFS are unjustified and clearly do not satisfy the rigorous requirements necessary for EPA consideration. RFS waivers can only be granted by EPA if there is a demonstration of 'severe harm' to the economy or environment of a state, region or the United States that is directly caused by the RFS. None of these standards are met today and the following reasons clearly demonstrate the case for rejecting the waiver requests:

  • Challenging market conditions in the oil sector are the directresult of oversupply from international competitors combined with falling gasoline, diesel and jet fuel demand as a result of the COVID-19, not the RFS.

  • The RFS already accommodates demand reductions and provides flexibility to reflect the reality of motor fuel demand. EPA translates the annual RFS requirements into a percentage share of gasoline and diesel. Thus, the existing structure of the RFS regulations already results in an oil refiner's renewable volume obligations being proportionally reduced if overall motor fuel demand drops over the year

  • EPA has repeatedly found that RIN prices do not negatively impact refiners, a position reinforced by the 10th Circuit court in January 200. In addition, a record-large supply of RINs is available to refiners today, largely as a consequence of EPA's abusive expansion of the small refinery exemption program, so the threat of high RIN prices is currently non-existent.

    "We urge you to direct the EPA to reject all calls to waive the RFS. The RFS is more important now than ever as farmers, the biofuel sector, and rural America struggle to remain operational during the COVID-19 crisis." (Source: US Senate, 8 May, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  "Hardship" Waiver,  


  • Governors Seeking RFS Refinery "Hardship" Waivers (Ind. Report)
    EPS, Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2020-04-27
    ICIS is reporting the governors of Louisiana (D), Texas (R), Oklahoma (R), Utah (R) and Wyoming (R) have written to the US EPA asking for "hardship" waivers for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for refiners in their states. In their appeal, the governors noted plunging fuel demand as the reason for the request.

    According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) the states currently under the COVID-19 pandemic "stay at home orders" account for 95 pct of US fuel demand. Meanwhile, ethanol market producers and players say that it is a "convenient reason for them (oil refiners) to escape a US law", and that doing so would further harm ethanol demand.

    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.Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, the nation's oil refineries are required to blend billions of gallons of biofuels such as ethanol into the fuel or buy credits from those that do. But the EPA can waive their obligations if they prove compliance would cause them financial distress.(Source: Various Trade Media, ICIS, 17 April, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Hardship Waiver,  Biofuel Blend,  


    EPA Considering RFS Blending Compliance Delay (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2020-04-03
    Reuters is reporting US EPA chief Andrew Wheeler is considering delaying the deadline for oil refineries to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuel blending regulation past March 31 to help the industry cope with fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Since the pandemic's onset, the oil industry has asked for broad regulatory relief to help it survive sharply reduced global demand for fuel and to lower related costs. (Source: US EPA, Reuters, 27 Mar., 2020) Contact: US EPA, Andrew Wheeler, Administrator, www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epas-acting-administrator

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US EPA,  Andrew Wheeler,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  


    Renewable Fuels Coalition Urges EPA to NOT Appeal Court "Hardship" Waiver Decision (Ind. Report, Reg. & Leg.)
    American Coalition for Ethanol
    Date: 2020-03-20
    With the need for a decision only days away, the Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, American Coalition for Ethanol and National Farmers Union -- the coalition that scored a unanimous court decision against the U.S. EPA -- is now calling for the agency to not appeal the decision.

    The coalition took the EPA to court and won over several "hardship" exemptions the EPA granted to small refineries, releasing them from their renewable fuel obligations in 2016 and 2017. The Trump Administration sought and secured an extension of the appeal deadline until Tuesday, March 24, this year.

    "With the renewable fuels industry reeling from coronavirus, trade disputes and small refinery exemptions, now is certainly not the time for the Trump administration to take any action that would cause further pain for ethanol producers or the farmers that supply them. The best thing they could do to support our industry and keep ethanol plants open is to announce immediately that they will not appeal," the coalition wrote.

    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.Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, the nation's oil refineries are required to blend billions of gallons of biofuels such as ethanol into the fuel or buy credits from those that do. But the EPA can waive their obligations if they prove compliance would cause them financial distress. (Source: American Coalition for Ethanol , Various Trade Media, 18 March 2020) Contact: 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; American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, (605) 334-3381 ext. 3389, www.ethanol.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Coalition for Ethanol,  RFS,  "Hardship Wiver",  Renewable Fuel ,  


    US Renewable Fuel Prices Up With RFS "Hardship Waiver" Program Announcement (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuel
    Date: 2020-02-28
    Reuters is reporting U.S. renewable fuel prices were up by 25 pct the week following a Bloomberg reports that the Trump administration has decided to cut back on "hardship waiver" exemptions for oil refineries from the renewable fuel standard biofuel blending laws.

    Following the Bloomberg report, renewable fuel credits for 2019 traded at 35 cents each , up 7 cents while credits for 2020 traded at 40 cents each.

    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.Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, the nation's oil refineries are required to blend billions of gallons of biofuels such as ethanol into the fuel or buy credits from those that do. But the EPA can waive their obligations if they prove compliance would cause them financial distress.

    (Source: Various Media, Successful Farming, Reuters, 26 Feb., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard,  RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  


    "New USDA Mandate for Biofuels Should be Withdrawn" (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    USDA
    Date: 2020-02-24
    "When the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its 'innovation agenda' to align USDA's resources, programs, and research to help the agriculture industry meet the 'climate demands of the future' the first reaction at Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is that this looks and sounds far too much like more taxpayers subsidies for programs that already exist. According to an April 30, 2018 Government Accountability Office report, the Office of Management and Budget found $13.2 billion in climate change funding across 19 agencies in 2017. The GAO reviewed six agencies and found that 94 pct of their reported climate change funding went to programs that touch on, but aren't dedicated to climate change, such as nuclear energy research. The government should determine whether those are effective and consolidate or terminate ones that are not before creating costly new mandates and programs.

    "The plan to reach 30 pct for biofuels in 2050 is especially troubling. The USDA's historic approach to 'market-driven blend rates' has been to aggressively pursue unachievable biofuel mandates that put manufacturing jobs at risk, result in more emissions and create a reliance on foreign fuels. Ethanol is cheaper than gasoline and does not need a mandate. If the USDA is truly interested in 'market driven' approaches, it should advocate eliminating the renewable fuel standard (RFS) so that renewable energy can economically compete on its own, rather than trying to promote mandates that drive quantities of ethanol-laced fuels that consumers may not want, while putting jobs at risk and raising costs at the pump. In fact, the blend rate is gradually increasing despite falling renewable identification numbers and small refinery exemptions. This shows that ethanol is economic on its own and that markets, not mandates, should determine our nation's fuel mix.

    "Calling for a 30 pct biofuels goal for 2050 is not something that should be coming out of the Trump administration. It sounds like an objective of the $93 trillion Green New Deal which President Trump and every free market and taxpayers group including CAGW has said is both unachievable and devastating to the economy. The USDA should withdraw its proposal and the RFS should be eliminated."(Source: The Waste Watcher - Against Government Waste , 21 Feb. 2020) Contact: The Waste Watcher -Against Government Waste www.cagw.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  Biofuel Blend,  RFS,  


    Court Disqualifies Recent RFS "Hardship" Waivers (Reg & Leg.)
    Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2020-01-27
    It is being widely reported that a U.S. appeals court has ordered the EPA to reconsider three recently issued Renewable Fuel Standard small refinery "hardship waivers" on the grounds that the refineries did not qualify for the waivers and their issuance was "flawed."

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit dated Jan. 24 came after a coalition of biofuel industry groups had challenged the 2016 exemptions for Holly Frontier's Woods Cross and Cheyenne refineries, as well as CVR Energy's Wynewood refinery.

    The court ruled the EPA overstepped its authority and errored in granting the waivers because the refineries had not received exemptions in the previous year. The court said the RFS is worded in such a way that any exemption granted to a small refinery after 2010 must take the form of an "extension".

    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 (Source: Successful Farming, Various Media, Reuters, 25 Jan., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  "Hardship" Waiver,  


    US GAO to Investigate EPA RFS Small Refinery Exemptions, "Hardship Waiver" Program (Ind. Report, Reg. & Leg.)
    RFS,U.S. Government Accountability Office
    Date: 2020-01-15
    On Capitol Hill, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has replied in the affirmative to a request from bi-partisan group of U.S House members led by Rep. Abby Finkenauer, (D-Iowa) -- Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade, and Entrepreneurship Committee on Small Business House of Representative -- urging the agency to examine the review and approval of small refinery exemptions (SREs), including the DOE's viability of scores for the 40 compliance year 2018 SRE applications that had been reviewed as of that date.

    In its Jan. 10 reply, the GAO accepted the request as being within the scope of its authority and assigned Mark E. Gaffigan, managing director of Natural Resources and Environment to begin the investigation shortly.

    "Granting more than 80 small refinery exemption waivers isn't just something this administration can sweep under the rug," Finkenauer said in a statement announcing the GAO investigation.

    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: Office of US Rep. Abby Finkenaur, 10 Jan., 2020) Contact: Office of US Rep. Abby Finkenaur , https://finkenauer.house.gov/sites/finkenauer.house.gov; U.S. Government Accountability Office, (202) 512-3000, contact@gao.gov, www.gao.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard,  "Hardship" Waiver,  

    Showing 1 to 50 of 126.

    Go to page:
    1 2 3