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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,  


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,  


Trump USDA Announces 30 pct Biofuel Goal for 2050 (Ind. Report)
USDA
Date: 2020-02-21
In Washington, as part of a new department-wide sustainability initiative the USDA is reported to have announced a goal for biofuels to make up 30 pct of U.S. transportation fuels by 2050.

Under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) refineries are presently required to blend 20.09 billion gallons of biofuel in 2020 – roughly 10 pct of projected crude oil production, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. (Source: KLO, Various Media, Reuters, 20 Feb., 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA news,  RFS news,  Ethanol news,  Ethanol Blend news,  


Oberon Fuels, SHV Energy Partner on Renewable DME (Ind. Report)
Oberon Fuels,SHV Energy
Date: 2020-02-12
San Diego-based ultra-low-carbon, renewable dimethyl ether (rDME) transportation fuel producer Oberon Fuels reports it is partnering with the Netherlands-headquartered global propane fuel distributor SHV Energy to accelerate the use of renewable DME to reduce the carbon footprint of transportation fuel. The two firms will collaborate on: further developing DME fueling infrastructure and vehicle development; using SHV Energy's technical resources to test the use of rDME blended with propane, and; using SHV's global distribution network to facilitate greater use of rDME in numerous energy applications worldwide.

Oberon Fuels, which raised over $30 million in private funding since 2010, received $2.9 million in California grant funding to upgrade its existing DME pilot facility to demonstration scale and facilitate -- the first production of rDME in the U.S., with a target production capacity of approximately 1.6 million gpy of DME.

DME is approved as a renewable fuel under the U.S. EPA Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), and is eligible for RIN credits when made from biogas by the Oberon process. California Air Resources Board (CARB) has estimated that dairy manure converted to DME by the Oberon process has a CI of -278 gCO2e/MJ compared to ultra-low-sulfur diesel which has a CI of 100 gCO2e/MJ, according to the company. (Source: Oberon Fuels, PR, Feb., 2020) Contact: Oberon Fuels, Ruben Martin, CEO, 619.255.9361, 619.756.6470 - fax, info@oberonfuels.com www.obersonfuels.com; SHV Energy, Bram Graber, CEO, +31 (0) 23 5555 700, +31 (0) 23 5555 701 - fax., www.shvenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Oberon Fuels,  SHV Energy,  


ABA's EPA Biofuel Waivers Lawsuit Dismissed (Reg. & Leg.)
Advanced Biofuels Association
Date: 2019-11-15
Following up on our 26th April coverage, the Washington, D.C., District Court of Appeals has dismissed the Advance Biofuels Association's (ABA) lawsuit challenging the EPA's use of small refinery exemptions on the grounds that the ABA failed to "identify a final agency action."

In its suit, the ABA claimed the EPA was exceeding its authority when it granted a larger number of waivers under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) to small oil refineries. The court did, however, note "the EPA's briefing and oral argument paint a troubling picture of intentionally shrouded and hidden agency law that could have left those troubled by the agency's actions without a viable avenue for judicial review."

Since 2016, the EPA has granted a total of 85 waivers accounting for 4.04 billion gallons of biofuels that were not blended into the nation's fuel supply.

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 Media, NAFB News Service, 13 Nov., 2019) Contact: Advanced Biofuels Association, www.advancedbiofuelsassociation.com

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


Notable Quote -- Sen. Chuck Grassley Comments on EPA, RFS
Grassley,RFS
Date: 2019-11-08
"As the number one producer of corn, ethanol, biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol, the renewable fuels industry is an important sector of Iowa's economy. It generates nearly $5 billion of Iowa's GDP, over $2.4 billion in household incomes and supports 47,000 jobs across Iowa.

"President Trump made a commitment to Iowa and other biofuels producing states, and I look forward to seeing this promise fulfilled. The EPA shouldn't undercut President Trump's support of the Renewable Fuels Standard. I urge EPA to adjust the proposed supplemental rule to account for actual waived gallons using hard data from past practice to provide certainty to the marketplace." -- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in a letter to EPA Dir. Wheeler this week on the EPA's proposed supplemental rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard. Contact: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), www.grassley.senate.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Grassley,  RFS,  Ethanol,  


GEVO CEO Comments on RFS Announcement (Opinions & Asides)
Gevo
Date: 2019-10-09
"Friday's (renewable fuels standard) announcement by the EPA is a step in the right direction and will hopefully put the RFS back on track after 31 oil refineries received exemptions back in August. I'm glad President Trump supported this step. A robust renewable fuel standard is important for our farmers, the biofuel industry, and reducing greenhouse gases. Every drop of biofuel we get into the market is a win and helps to change the conversation about what is possible from low carbon, sustainable biofuels.

"With Gevo it is possible, for example, to replace an entire gallon of transportation fuel with fuels that are renewable with net zero, or even carry a negative, GHG profile. That is a game changer. Good for farmers, good for consumers, good for the environment." -- Patrick Gruber, CEO, Gevo, 8 Oct., 2019 Contact: Gevo, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

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


EPA, USDA Agree to 15Bn Gal. Ethanol Blend Minimum (Ind. Report)
US EPA, USDA, Renewable Duel Standard
Date: 2019-10-07
On Friday in Washington, the Trump administration U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a long awaited agreement on the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and will now request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020.

The agreement will ensure the blending of 15 billion gallons of ethanol with fuel supplies starting in 2020 and will also ensure the biomass-based diesel volume is met. EPA will also start the process for streamlining labeling and removal of other barriers for the sale of E15 fuel.

Among other changes, the EPA will begin to account for projected numbers of gallons exempted when coming up with Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) for refiners, which means greater certainty for farmers and producers. It will ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol are blended into the nation's fuel supply starting in 2020. Additionally, the USDA will invest in infrastructure projects to facilitate higher blends of biofuel, such as E85. (Source: US EPA, McDonough County Voice, Various Other Media, 4 Oct., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Biofuel,  Ethanol Blend,  USDA,  US DOE,  


NBB's EPA RFS "Hardship" Waivers Challenge Nixed (Reg & Leg)
NBB,National Biodiesel Board
Date: 2019-09-09
In the nation's capitol, the US Court of Appeals has announced it will not review the Trump administration US EPA's refusal to account for its granting of numerous retroactive Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) "hardship" waivers, as challenged by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).

The Court nixed the NBB's appeal on the grounds that the biofuel industry did not comment on the topic or give the EPA sufficient opportunity to address those comments. (Source: NBB, Biofuels News, 9 Sept., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB,  Biodiesel,  RFS,  "hardship" Waivers,  


GEVO Touts New No Particulate Renewable Diesel (Ind. Report)
GEVO
Date: 2019-09-06
Englewood, Colorado-based renewable fuels and chemicals manufacturer GEVO reports the development of a proprietary, breakthrough processes that converts

either low-carbon isobutanol or low-value "fusel oils" -- a mixture of alcohols that are byproducts from fermentation processes -- into renewable diesel. This new renewable diesel is expected to compete head-to-head on price with natural and petroleum-based equivalents while reducing particulates and CO2 emissions.

Low-carbon renewable diesel is biomass-derived transportation fuel suitable for use in diesel engines and has increased in demand since the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard came into effect. Additionally, the marine sector will have to reduce sulphur emissions to meet new international water regulations beginning in 2020. (Source: GEVO, PR, 4 Sept., 2019)Contact: GEVO, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  Renewable Diesel,  isobutanol,  


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


EPA Issuing Partial RFS "Hardship" Waivers for 2018 (Ind. Report)
EPA, RFS,American Coalition for Ethanol
Date: 2019-03-25
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will reportedly issue partial waivers to some of the 39 refiners asking for exemptions from the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The agency also notes it will keep granting partial waivers until the end of March and won’t retroactively reallocate those waived obligations.

According to the American Coalition for Ethanol the EPA's position is "disappointing and has caused a lot of ethanol demand destruction."

As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: American Coalition for Ethanol, EPA, WNAX Radio, 25 Mar., 2019) Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, Ron Lamberty, VP, (605) 334-3381, https://ethanol.org.

More Low-Carbon Energy News American Coalition for Ethanol,  RFS,  Hardship Waivers,  Biofuel Blend,  


More RFS "Hardship" Waiver Applications Filed (Ind. Report)
RFS,Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2019-01-02
According to a recently released US EPA list of small-refinery "hardship" waivers filed under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), seven new applications for waivers have been filed for the 2018 compliance year. All of the waivers were filed between November 10 and December 18, 2018, when the EPA reported receipt of 22 waiver requests for the 2018 compliance year.

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,  


EPA Waivers Costly for Ethanol Ind., says Study (Ind Report)
EPA "Hardship Waivers"
Date: 2019-01-02
According to a recently released University of Missouri Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) study, the US EPA's small refinery "hardship" waivers of their obligations under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) could cost the ethanol industry nearly $20 billion annually.

The study concludes that the small refinery waivers could account for as many as 4.6 billion gallons of domestic demand lost over the next six years, along with the hit to revenue. Conventional biofuel such as corn ethanol stands to fall in use, along with consumption of ethanol in flex fuels and mid-level blends, and wholesale ethanol prices could slip as much as 19 cents per gallon on average. The study also notes that U.S. ethanol consumption stands to drop 761 million gpy on average between 2018 and 2023 with a resulting decline in gross ethanol sales revenues, with an average of $3.3 billion lost per year. (Source: University of Missouri Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute, Transportation Today, 2018) Contact: University of Missouri Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute, (573) 884-4688, www.fapri.missouri.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  "Hardship Waiver",  Ethanol Biofuel,  


Evonik Boosting Ala. Sodium Methylate Plant Capacity (Ind. Report)
Evonik
Date: 2018-12-07
Germany-based specialty chemicals producer Evonik Industries reports it plans to expand its production facility for sodium methylate -- used as a catalyst for large-scale production of the renewable fuel -- in Mobile, Ala. The expansion includes new infrastructure and logistics, rail transportation and storage facilities, according to the company release.

Evonik's project follows on the U.S. EPA's announced new renewable volume obligations (RVO) for 2020 that changed the ways that refiners comply with the Renewable Fuels Standard. (Source: Evonik, PR, Powder & Bulk Solids, 4 Dec., 2018) Contact: Evonik,Andreas Kripzak, VP and GM for North America, www.evonik.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Evonik,  Renewable Fuel,  


Renewable Fuels Standard "Hardship" Waivers on Hold (Reg & Leg)
Renewable Fuels Standard
Date: 2018-11-30
It is being widely reported that the Trump Administration is reconsidering and temporarily frozen Renewable Fuels Standard "hardship" waivers exempting small oil refineries from biofuel blending requirements.

Under the RFS, oil refiners must increasingly blend ethanol and other biofuels into their fuel each year or purchase blending credits from those that do. The 2005 regulation was intended to help farmers and to cut fuel imports. But small oil refineries can be exempted from the standard if they prove compliance would cause disproportionate hardship. The EPA granted 29 waivers for the 2017 compliance year, up from 14 in 2015 and 20 in 2016. (Source: Various Media, 28 Nov., 2018)

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


Washington Should Eliminate Costly Boondoggles Like the RFS, says Americans for Prosperity (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Americans for Prosperity
Date: 2018-10-12
In response to President Trump's announcement that his administration will be promoting the use of ethanol by allowing year-round sales of E15, Americans for Prosperity Chief Government Affairs Officer Brent Gardner issued the following statement:

"President Trump has revitalized our economy in part by rolling back counterproductive, job-killing federal mandates and regulations, but this move would undo some of that success by preserving the harmful renewable fuel standard (RFS) at the expense of taxpayers and consumers. Rather than trying to make this market-distorting boondoggle viable with yet another rule written by bureaucrats in Washington, DC, he (Trump) should consign the costly and misguided RFS to the dustbin as well. The best way to make a mandate easier to meet is to eliminate it."

Americans for Prosperity, founded in 2004, is a U.S. libertarian/conservative political advocacy group funded by David H. Koch and Charles Koch. As the Koch brothers' primary political advocacy group, it is one of the most influential American conservative organizations. (Source: Americans for Prosperity, 11 Oct., 2018) Contact: Americans for Prosparity, Brent Gardner, Gabrielle Braud, Press, GBraud@afphq.org, www.AmericansForProsperity.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Renewable Fuels Standard,  Biofuel,  Ethanol,  


Study says EPA Waivers Could Cost Ethanol Ind. $20 bln (Ind Report)
EPA
Date: 2018-09-12
According to a recently released University of Missouri Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) study, the US EPA's small refinery "hardship" waivers of their obligations under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) could cost the ethanol industry nearly $20 billion annually.

The study concludes that the small refinery waivers could account for as many as 4.6 billion gallons of domestic demand lost over the next six years, along with the hit to revenue. Conventional biofuel such as corn ethanol stands to fall in use, along with consumption of ethanol in flex fuels and mid-level blends, and wholesale ethanol prices could slip as much as 19 cents per gallon on average.

The study also found that U.S. ethanol consumption stands to drop 761 million gpy on average between 2018 and 2023 with a resulting decline in gross ethanol sales revenues, with an average of $3.3 billion lost per year.

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: University of Missouri Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute, Transportation Today, 11 Sept., 2018) Contact: University of Missouri Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute, (573) 884-4688, www.fapri.missouri.edu

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


Andeavor N.D. Refinery Considers Renewable Diesel (Ind. Report)
Andeavor
Date: 2018-08-03
Andeavor, fka Tesoro, the owner of a small crude oil refinery in Dickinson, North Dakota is proposing to convert the facility to process vegetable oil, soybean oil and other renewable feedstocks instead of petroleum to produce renewable diesel.

The renewable diesel would meet both the federal Renewable Fuels Standard and California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard and would be marketed in California.

The proposal builds on a pilot project at the Dickinson Refinery, which has involved processing vegetable oil along with Bakken crude to produce a 5 pct renewable diesel blend. The new project, which would process 12,000 bpd of locally sourced renewable feedstocks, is expected to be complete in late 2020, subject to permitting approval. (Source: Andeavor, Bismark Tribune, 2 Aug., 2018) Contact: Andeavor, (210) 626-6000, www.andeavor.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Andeavor ,  Renewable Diesel,  Biodiesel,  


EPA Stalls Biofuel Blend Quota Announcement (Ind. Report)
EPA
Date: 2018-06-25
Bloomberg and others are reporting oil industry criticism has caused the Trump Administration to reconsider a proposal to require large refineries to blend more biofuel to make up for "hardship" exemptions granted to smaller refineries. Accordingly, the EPA has put a planned announcement on proposed biofuel quotas for 2019 on hold.

Ethanol producers and farm-state lawmakers say that recent waivers granted to small refiners have undercut the Renewable Fuels Standard. The Trump administration's plan to make up for the lost biofuel gallons would have put the burden on non-exempted refineries, prompting an outcry from the two top oil industry trade groups.

As previously reported, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. (Source: Various Media, Bloomberg, HoosierAg Today, 24 June, 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard,  Ethanol Blend,  Pruitt,  


Grassley Warns Pruitt to Shape-Up or Ship-Out (Notable Quote)

Date: 2018-05-18
Iowa's senior senator Chuck Grassley (R) is calling for EPA administrator Scott Pruitt to support the Trump Administration's biofuels policies, the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and the biofuels industry in general. Failing Pruitt's support, Grassely said he'd call for Pruitt's resignation.

"I'm done playing around. I've supported Pruitt but if he pushes changes to RFS that permanently cut ethanol by billions of gallons he will have broken Trump's promise and should step down and let someone else do the job of implementing Trump's (biofuel) agenda. Trump was elected with an agenda; Pruitt was not elected," Grassley said.

Grassley's position is in response to growing farm-state frustration with the EPA's management of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compelling refiners to use biofuel such as corn-based ethanol. Iowa is a top producer of both corn and ethanol. (Source: Wallaces Farmer, Others, Bloomberg, 17 May, 2018) Contact: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R), www.grassley.senate.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Grassley,  Scott Pruitt,  Biofuels,  


ABFA Seeks Ruling on Pruitt's RFS Refinery Exemptions (Reg & Leg)
Advanced Biofuels Association
Date: 2018-05-02
Reuters is reporting the Washington, DC-based biofuels trade group Advanced Biofuels Association (ABFA) has petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington DC. to rule whether the Trump administration's U.S. EPA and its administrator Scott Pruitt violated the law in granting a growing number of small refineries exemptions under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), according to a court filing.

"ABFA members are concerned that Administrator Scott Pruitt is granting these exemptions in an arbitrary and capricious manner to undisclosed parties behind closed doors with no accountability for its decision-making process," Michael McAdams, the head of the trade group, said in a statement. (Source: Advanced Biofuels Association, Reuters, May, 2018) Contact: Advanced Biofuels Association, Michael McAdams, Pres., www.advancedbiofuelsassociation.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuels Association,  RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  Scott Pruitt,  


EPA Waivers Lower Ethanol Production, says RFA (Ind. Report)
Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2018-04-30
The US EPA has granted Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS)waivers to dozens of refineries over the last couple of years. The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) analyzed the EPA's own compliance data and found that the exemptions lowered volumetric obligations by at least 1.6 million gallons over that time period. The volume lost over the last two years is ten times greater than the collective losses from 2013-2015, according to the RFA. The EPA reportedly has not disclosed the number of waivers it has granted and how much blending volume those exemptions effectively erased.

According to the RFA, "The EPA data strongly implies that small refiner exemptions have effectively lowered the 2017 required volume of renewable fuels by 1.1 billion gallons, or six percent." (Source: US EPA, NAFB, Others, 28 April, 2018)Contact: RFA, Bob Dinneen, Pres., (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

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


ND Farmers Union Vents Against Refinery RFS Waivers (Ind. Report)
North Dakota Farmers Union
Date: 2018-04-09
In Bismark, the North Dakota Farmers Union (NDFU) is pulling its punches when it comes to the EPA's recent granting of Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) exemptions to PES Solutions and Andeavor oil refineries.

According to NDFU president Mark Watne, the EPA move is unfortunate, considering the low commodity prices and overall decline in farm income. "Farmers are told to get prices from the marketplace, yet our government is creating a market atmosphere that reduces demand and causes prices to drop. "When farmers need this administration (Trump) the most, we are getting broken promises." (Source: North Dakota Farmers Union, Bismark Tribune, 4 April, 2018) Contact: NDFU, Mark Watne, Pres., (701) 252-2341, www.ndfu.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Andeavor.PES,  


25 Refineries Exempted from RFS Obligations (Ind. Report)
RFS,ANdeavor
Date: 2018-04-06
Following up on the widely reported US EPA's granting Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) "extreme hardship" waivers to the recently bankrupt Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES Solutions) refinery, it is interesting to note that of the total 141 operating gasoline refineries in the US (EIA Jan. 2017 data) 25 have received "extreme hardship" waivers, including 3 smaller unites of one of the nation's largest oil refining companies Andeavor -- fka Tesoro Corporation -- which reportedly earned net profits of about $1.5 billion in 2017, according to Reuters coverage. So where's the "extreme hardship"?

As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing less than 75,000 bpd and suffering "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 Andeavor,  RFS,  Philadelphia Energy Solutions,  Andeover,  


EPA Issues RFS "Extraordinary Hardship Waivers" (Reg & Leg)
Andeavor,RFS
Date: 2018-04-04
Following on the heels of the EPA's exempting bankrupt Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) from compliance with U.S. Renewable Fuels Standard biofuels blending regulations, San Antonio-based Andeavor, one of the nation's largest oil refining companies, has reportedly been issued a similar "hardship waiver" for three of its 10 refineries. Andeavor -- fka Tesoro Corporation -- is reported to have earned net profits of about $1.5 billion in 2017, according to Reuters coverage.

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,  


EPA, PES Compromise on Renewable Fuel Credits (Ind. Report)
Philadelphia Energy Solutions
Date: 2018-03-16
Further to our 2nd February coverage, Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC caught a break in its Delaware bankruptcy proceedings Monday when it reached an agreement with the federal government to reduce its liability for buying Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) credits as required by the EPA Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). In its January bankruptcy filing, PES said compliance with the RFS program was the "primary driver" behind its decision to seek Chapter 11 protection.

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,  


Notable Quote -- Renewable Fuel Standard and Corn Ethanol
Ethanol
Date: 2018-03-14
"The (Renewable Fuels Standard) law hasn't worked out as we intended. We've now had more than a decade of experience with it (corn ethanol) and it had the best of intentions. But it has turned out to be a well-intended flop.

"It actually doesn't cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, it expands them. It's had a significant impact on over-planting in fragile areas of the corn belt. It has had significant impacts on small engines. And it's also had a significant impact on feed prices -- and there is a lot of evidence it has increased the cost of food." -- Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) NOQ Report, 12 Mar., 2018 Contact: Rep. Peter Welch, (888) -605-7270, https://welch.house.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Corn Ethanol,  

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