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Calif. Trumps the Fed's Light Bulb Efficiency Standard (Ind. Report)
American Lighting Association
Date: 2020-01-17
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association and the American Lighting Association are reported to have has dropped the lighting industry's challenge to California's new efficiency standards for lightbulbs. The California standards, which exceed federal standards took effect this month while the Trump administration was rolling back similar requirements nationwide.

The California Court ruled in favour of the California regulations on the grounds that federal law appeared to allow the state to set stricter standards, and that Congress had recognized the state's "history of leadership in energy".

The new California rules require most types of newly sold light bulbs to emit at least 45 lumens of light for each watt of electricity they burn -- effectively banning the sale of standard incandescent and halogen bulbs, which produce roughly 15 to 20 lumens per watt.

As an aside, when commenting on his administration's effort to roll-back existing federal lighting efficiency standards, Trump noted in his typically colorful and disjointed language: "The light bulb. People said what's with the light bulb. I said here's the story, and I looked at it. The bulb that we're being forced to use. Number one, to me, most importantly, the light's no good. I always look orange. And so do you. The light is the worst."

Commenting on the President's dodgy logic, Alex Young of Consequences of Sound Radio noted: "So to recap, we're killing the environment to suffice the fragile ego of a man who made himself orange because he used a garbage tanning bed and now he can't handle being called a Cheeto."(Source: Various Media, National Electrical Manufacturers Association, American Lighting Association, SF Chronicle, Jan., 2020) Contact: National Electrical Manufacturers Association, www.nema.org; American Lighting Association, www.alalighting.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Lighting Energy Efficiency,  American Lighting Association,  


"I Always Look Orange" -- Trump Talks Light Bulbs -- Notable Quote

Date: 2020-01-17
"The light bulb. People said what's with the light bulb. I said here's the story, and I looked at it. The bulb that we're being forced to use. Number one, to me, most importantly, the light's no good. I always look orange. And so do you. The light is the worst." -- Pres. Donald Trump.

Commenting on the President's dodgy logic, Alex Young of Consequences of Sound Radio noted: "So to recap, we're killing the environment to suffice the fragile ego of a man who made himself orange because he used a garbage tanning bed and now he can't handle being called a Cheeto." (Source: Consequences of Sound Radio, 14 Sept., 2019)


PSEG Trumpets Customer Energy Efficiency Savings (Ind. Report)
PSEG Long Island
Date: 2020-01-08
PSEG Long Island is reporting its energy efficiency initiatives and energy efficiency improvements have saved its business and residential customers an estimated $280 million on their energy bills in the last six years. According to the utility, energy savings are the result of upgraded lighting, appliances, heating and cooling systems, and other energy-efficiency modifications that resulted in $265 million in rebates, in addition to the $280 million in estimated energy savings.

The utility claims the effort saved 1.6 billion kilowatt hours of energy since Jan. 1, 2014, the equivalent of powering 191,530 homes for one year. Business customers saved money in the past six years by completing 20,000 energy efficiency projects, which earned them a collective $161 million in rebates and incentives, according to PSEG Long Island. The installed energy conservation measures are expected to save 633 million kWh in annual energy savings. (Source: PSEG, PR, Long Island Bus. News, 6 Jan., 2020) Contact: PSEG Long Island, , Michael Voltz, Director of Energy Efficiency and Renewables, www.psegliny.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News PSEG Long Island,  Energy Efficiency ,  


The finalized rule incorporates the Wheeler plan

Date: 2019-12-31
that merely estimates future small refinery waivers based on DOE recommendations, according to Iowa Corn Growers Association. ICGA supports a simple, mathematical solution by averaging the past three years of actual waivers granted, then adding those gallons back into the RFS. ICGA’s supported resolution would have created market certainty, so as not to rely on the EPA or DOE Administrators for their annual decisions. “Apparently President Trump doesn’t care about his promise to Iowa’s farmers. He had the opportunity to tell his EPA to stick to the deal that was made on Oct. 4,” said ICGA President Jim Greif. “I can say for certain that ICGA pushed for a positive outcome, and we didn’t go down without a fight.” “The Environmental Protection Agency seems to be more concerned with politics than cleaner-burning, healthy air with renewable fuels. It was as simple as following the original Oct. 4 agreement with our elected officials and here we are with empty promises and no market certainty,” said Kelly Nieuwenhuis, ICGA member from Primghar and Chair of the Iowa Corn Industrial Usage and U.S. Production committee. During the comment period for the supplemental rule, ICGA sent out two calls to action with one directed at the EPA and the other at the President. Altogether the calls to action gathered over 1,000 farmer comments. Additionally, ICGA held a press conference along with other biofuels groups, worked with our entire delegation of public leaders, as well as attended roundtables, townhall meetings and EPA’s public hearing in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The final push was a meeting by ICGA with the director of the U.S. National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, at the White House earlier this week. (Source: High Plains Journal, 29 Dec. 2019)


Ruling Awaited on Trump Lightbulb Efficiency Rollback (Ind. Report)
Energy Efficiency
Date: 2019-12-30
Cronkite News at Arizona State University is reporting the Trump administration's plan to roll back Obama-era stricter regulations on energy-efficient lightbulbs may have put environmentalists and some utility companies on the same side of an issue. The Obama-ear new, tougher rules were set to take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

In October, the Trump DOE announced it would not impose the new rules, framing the decision as one of choice for consumers who were already moving in the direction of energy-efficient bulbs on their own. The department doubled down Friday, with a notice in the Federal Register that it has determined tougher restrictions on general service incandescent lamps "would not be economically justified." When Trump signed the rollback in October, he criticized the rules for forcing consumers to buy a "much more expensive bulb that doesn't have a good-looking light."

The Trump plan to roll back the tighter rules was challenged in court by 15 states -- NEW YORK, CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, CONNECTICUT, ILLINOIS, MARYLAND, MAINE, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, NEW JERSEY, NEVADA, OREGON, VERMONT, and WASHINGTON, the COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,and the CITY OF NEW YORK. The NRDC has joined multiple environmental groups in a separate lawsuit. To date, the courts have allowed the rollback to proceed. (Source: Cronkite News, Arizona State University, 27 Dec., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Lightbuld Efficiency,  


Trump Breaks Promise With RVOs, says NFU (Ind. Report)
RFS,EPA,National Farmers Union
Date: 2019-12-23
In Washington, the US EPA's just released final renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for the year 2020 is already drawing flak.

As outlined, RVOs will account for a portion of the 4 billion gallons of demand for biofuels eliminated over the past three years due to the rampant misappropriation of small refinery "financial hardship" sexemptions (SREs). Rather than determine relief using an actual three-year average of exempted gallons, the agency has instead used much lower values recommended by the DOE The former would have increased the amount of biofuels in the transportation sector by approximately 1.35 billion gpy, while the latter will increase it by just 770 million gpy.

National Farmers Union (NFU), a strong proponent of biofuels and the RFS, reports it was disappointed with EPA's proposal when it was first released and urged the agency to account for all 4 billion gallons worth of demand in the final rule. In a statement, NFU Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Rob Larew restated the organization's mounting frustration with the administration's destructive approach to biofuels policy.

The NFU NFU represents more then 200,000 family farmers, fishers and ranchers across the country, with formally organized divisions in 33 states. (Source: National Farmers Union, Aberdeen News, 20 Dec., 2019) Contact: National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, www.nfu.org

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


White House Confirms 2020 Biofuel RVO Plan (Ind. Report)
Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2019-12-20
Reuters is reporting the Trump administration plans to stick with its proposed 2020 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) biofuel blending requirements as proposed in October, despite the farming sector's complaint that the plan does too little for corn growers.

Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) oil refiners are required to blend some 15 billion gpy of corn-based ethanol into their gasoline, but small facilities can be exempted if compliance would hurt them financially.

The October proposal was intended to placate corn growers and compensate the biofuel industry for the administration's expanded use of refinery exemptions, but which the industry has largely panned as insufficient, according to Reuters. The EPA's October plan would raise the biofuels volumes that some refineries must blend in 2020 based on DOE recommendations for volumes that should be exempted.

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, Various Media, 19 Dec., 2019)

For details see our Oct. 21 report as follows -- Proposed Volumes for 2020 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021. The Trump administration EPA has issued the attached supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking seeking additional comment on the recently proposed rule to establish the cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volumes for 2020 and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2021 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.

The notice does not change the proposed volumes for 2020 and 2021. Instead, it proposes and seeks comment on adjustments to the way that annual renewable fuel percentages are calculated. Annual renewable fuel percentage standards are used to calculate the number of gallons each obligated party is required to blend into their fuel or to otherwise obtain renewable identification numbers (RINs) to demonstrate compliance.

Specifically, the agency is seeking comment on projecting the volume of gasoline and diesel that will be exempt in 2020 due to small refinery exemptions based on a three-year average of the relief recommended by the BOE, including where DOE had recommended partial exemptions. The agency intends to grant partial exemptions in appropriate circumstances when adjudicating 2020 exemption petitions. The agency proposes to use this value to adjust the way it calculates renewable fuel percentages. The proposed adjustments would help ensure that the industry blends the final volumes of renewable fuel into the nation's fuel supply and that, in practice, the required volumes are not effectively reduced by future hardship exemptions for small refineries. Consistent with the statute, the supplemental notice seeks to balance the goal of the RFS of maximizing the use of renewables while following the law and sound process to provide relief to small refineries that demonstrate the need.

Download the Renewable Fuel Standard Program -- Proposed Volumes for 2020 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021 HERE. Contact: EPA Renewable Fuel Standard, 800-385-6164, www.epa.gov/fuels-registration-reporting-and-compliance-help/forms/fuels-program-helpdesk

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


Disappointed COP25 Participant Quotes (Opinions and Asides)
COP25
Date: 2019-12-16
"Never have I seen such a disconnect between what the science requires and what the climate negotiations are delivering in terms of meaningful action. Most of the world's biggest emitting countries are missing in action and resisting calls to raise their ambition." -- Alden Meyer, Union of Concerned Scientists, Director of Strategy and Policy

"The US has not come here in good faith. They continue to block the world's efforts to help people whose lives have been turned upside down by climate change."

"Developing countries came to this climate conference with the expectation that the people who have lost their crops to drought, or who have lost their homes to cyclones, will finally get help from the UN system. Instead, they have faced bullying, arm-twisting and blackmail. Rich countries most responsible for the crisis have refused to provide a single penny of new money to support communities to recover from the devastation caused by increasingly frequent and severe climate disasters." -- Harjeet Singh, ActionAid Climate Lead

"Major players who needed to deliver in Madrid did not live up to expectations. But thanks to a progressive alliance of small island states, European, African and Latin American countries, we obtained the best possible outcome, against the will of big polluters." -- Laurence Tubiana, European Climate Foundation, CEO, France's Top Climate Negotiator and Architect of the Paris Agreement.

"The only thing more disastrous than the state of UN climate negotiations at COP 25 is the state of the global climate. This is nothing less than a breakdown in the Paris Agreement. This is not climate leadership, this is a betrayal of humanity and future generations," -- Eric Holthaus, Meteorologist

"What's happening today at COP 25 is a clear and present threat to civilization itself. The Trump administration and its fossil fuel allies around the world have sabotaged the Paris Agreement -- the only global treaty we have to fight climate change. This is a betrayal of humanity.

"For so many people gripped by devastating floods, fires, and storms, time is up. And instead of helping them, rich countries hold on to your dollars and hold up loss and damage. Public mobilizations are swamping the streets. The status quo you are working so stubbornly to protect is not working for people or the planet." -- Catherine Abreu, Climate Action Network Canada

(Source: COP25 Wrap-Up, Various Media, 15 Dec. 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News COP25,  Climate Change,  


"Being a vain person, that's really important to me."-- Notable Quote from Pres. "The Donald" Trump
Trump
Date: 2019-12-11
"It (standard light bulb) gives you an orange look, I don't want an orange look. Being a vain person, that's really important to me." -- Trump commenting on his administration's move to kill Obama administration's light bulb energy efficiency standards.

The President was equally candid in his comments on new automobile quality, emissions and efficiency; "Frankly they don't work very well (because of standards which California put in place). Right now the cars are made out of papier-mache, and ours are actually, we allow steel content." -- the President stumbled.

More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  Light Bulb Efficiency,  


Notable Quotes -- "The Donald" Rambles On -- Enough Trump Already!
Trump
Date: 2019-12-09
"We have a situation where we're looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms where you turn the faucet on -- and in areas where there's tremendous amounts of water, where the water rushes out to sea because you could never handle it, and you don't get any water. You turn on the faucet and you don't get any water. They take a shower and water comes dripping out. Just dripping out, very quietly dripping out," the President continued, lowering his voice as he spoke about the drips. "People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once.

"They end up using more water. So (the) EPA is looking at that very strongly at my suggestion.

"You go into a new building or a new house or a new home and they have standards only you don't get water. You can't wash your hands practically, there's so little water comes out of the faucet. And the end result is you leave the faucet on and it takes you much longer to wash your hands.

"There may be some areas where we'll go the other route -- desert areas -- but for the most part you have many states where they have so much water -- it comes down, it's called rain. They don't know what to do with it "So we're going to be looking at opening up that I believe. And we're looking at changing the standards very soon." -- Pres. “The Donald” Trump speaking at a recent roundtable on deregulatory actions.

More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  


Notable Quotes -- "The Donald" Rambles On -- Enough Trump Already!
Trump
Date: 2019-12-09
"We have a situation where we're looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms where you turn the faucet on -- and in areas where there's tremendous amounts of water, where the water rushes out to sea because you could never handle it, and you don't get any water. You turn on the faucet and you don't get any water. They take a shower and water comes dripping out. Just dripping out, very quietly dripping out," the President continued, lowering his voice as he spoke about the drips. "People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once.

"They end up using more water. So (the) EPA is looking at that very strongly at my suggestion.

"You go into a new building or a new house or a new home and they have standards only you don't get water. You can't wash your hands practically, there's so little water comes out of the faucet. And the end result is you leave the faucet on and it takes you much longer to wash your hands.

"There may be some areas where we'll go the other route -- desert areas -- but for the most part you have many states where they have so much water -- it comes down, it's called rain. They don't know what to do with it "So we're going to be looking at opening up that I believe. And we're looking at changing the standards very soon." -- Pres. "The Donald" Trump speaking at a recent roundtable on deregulatory actions.

More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  


Bay State AG Pushes Back on Trump EPA's Planned Methane Regulations Rollback (Reg. & Leg.)
Methae, EPA
Date: 2019-11-25
Reporting from Boston, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on Friday last joined a coalition of 20 state attorneys general in calling on the Trump administration EPA to "withdraw its illegal attempt to gut Obama era regulations that limit methane emissions and other harmful pollutants from new, reconstructed and modified sources in the oil and natural gas sector" -- the largest industrial source of environmentally damaging methane emissions.

The coalition contends the EPA's unlawful proposal to rescind the Obama era methane regulation will threaten public health and the environment by increasing extremely harmful methane emissions, smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs), benzene, formaldehyde and others.

The Obama era 2015 rule is projected to reduce 300,000 tons of methane, 150,000 tons of VOCs, and 1,900 tons of hazardous air pollutants in 2020 alone. The rule will protect the environment and save businesses money with a net benefit of $35 million in 2020 and $170 million in 2025. On the other hand, the EPA's estimates show their planned proposal will increase methane emissions and VOCs by hundreds of thousands of tons through 2025!

Joining AG Healey are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia, as well as the City of Chicago, the City and County of Denver, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. (Source: Office of Mass. AG, STL News, 23 Nov., 2019) Contact: Office of Mass. AG, (617) 727-2200, www.mass.gov/orgs/office-of-attorney-general-maura-healey

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Emissions,  EPA Methane Emissions Rollback,  


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,  


Trump Expands on DoE Light Bulb Standard Rollback (Notable Quote}
Trump
Date: 2019-11-06
"The light bulb. People said what's with the light bulb. I said here's the story, and I looked at it. The bulb that we're being forced to use. Number one, to me, most importantly, the light's no good. I always look orange. And so do you. The light is the worst." -- Pres. Donald Trump.

Commenting on the President's dodgy logic, Alex Young of Consequences of Sound Radio noted: "So to recap, we're killing the environment to suffice the fragile ego of a man who made himself orange because he used a garbage tanning bed and now he can't handle being called a Cheeto." (Source: Consequences of Sound Radio, 14 Sept., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficient Lightbuld news,  Trump news,  


NRDC Fighting DoE Lightbulb Standards Rollback (Reg. & Leg.)
NRDC,Earthjustice
Date: 2019-11-06
The NYC-headquartered Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Earthjustice, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and others have filed suit against the US DoE for its rollback of established light bulb efficiency standards in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. According to the NRDC, the "DOE's latest rollback follows a pattern of repeatedly delaying, stalling, and weakening energy efficiency requirements."

In 2007, Republican President George W. Bush signed bipartisan legislation to phase out inefficient incandescent and halogen light bulbs by 1 January 2020. The first tier of standards (phased in between 2012 and 2014) required light bulbs to use 25 to 30 pct less energy than old-style incandescent bulbs. The second tier was due to become effective in 2020, requiring everyday "general service" light bulbs to use about 65 pct less energy.

The lawsuits contend the Trump administration's DoE acted illegally in reversing its 2-year-old rules expanding the types of bulbs required to become more energy efficient as of 1 January 2020, under a law passed by Congress in 2007.

DOE announced this year that it was reversing that decision even though almost 64,000 comments were registered against the rollback, including 37 major electric utilities serving 55 million customers in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Five lighting companies, and their trade association support the DoE's rollback. (Source: NRDC, Smart Energy, Nov., 2019) Contact: NRDC, Kit Kennedy, Snr. Dir. Climate and Clean Energy Programme, 212.727.2700, nrdcinfo@nrdc.org, www.nrdc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News NRDC,  Earthjusice,  Light Bulb Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency,  


Its Offical! US Begins Paris Climate Accord Withdrawal (Ind Report)
COP15, Paris Climate Agreement
Date: 2019-11-06
On Monday, the Trump administration formally notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord. The withdrawal will come into effect on Nov. 4, 2020.

The notification comes more than two years after Trump announced he would pull the U.S. out of the agreement becuase it "imposed an unfair burden on the U.S. and (was) doing little to halt climate change." The agreement aims to limit global temperature increases to less than 2 degrees Celsius, with each country setting its own nonbinding emission targets and reporting on its progress to reduce them. (Source: Various Media, 4 Nov., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  Paris Climate Agreement,  COP15,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


Growth Energy Calls on EPA to Fix Flawed RFS Proposal (Ind. Report)
Growth Energy, EPA, RFS
Date: 2019-11-01
In testimony before the US EPA on the agency's proposed supplemental rule on 2020 biofuel targets under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor called on EPA to fix this flawed draft proposal and reverse the demand destruction that has shuttered biofuel plants across the heartland. "As drafted, EPA's plan fails to accurately account for lost gallons and betrays President Trump's promise to rural America. It cuts the fix we were promised in half, if not more, and destroys what may be our last chance to bring back the ethanol plants that have shut down and help ease the burden facing American farmers," Skor said.

To begin repairing the damage, Skor called on the EPA to uphold the president's commitment to farmers and biofuel workers. "Midwestern lawmakers and governors have seen the damage firsthand and worked with the president to secure a deal that would start to undo the damage -- a deal that would honor this administration's commitments to farmers, biofuel producers, rural America, as well as small refineries. But instead, the EPA has undercut the president's promise and has yet again tilted the table in favor of the nation's largest oil companies -- all at the expense of the American farmer," Skor said.

Skor urged regulators to use the rolling average of actual exempted volumes from the three most recently completed compliance years in the final rule, as promised by the administration. She also called on the agency to formally bind itself to the revised methodology for future years and expedite work to remove additional barriers to the sale of E15. "EPA must fix this rule immediately by properly accounting for exempted gallons and restoring lost demand. American biofuel producers and farmers cannot afford anything less," concluded Skor. (Source: growth Energy, PR, 30 Oct., 2019)Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Elizabeth Funderburk, (202) 545-4000, EFunderburk@GrowthEnergy.org, www.growthenergy.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Growth Energy,  


Notable Quote from Former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson
Exxon,Climate Change
Date: 2019-11-01
"We (Exxon) knew it (climate change) was a real issue. We tried to understand how this (climate change) was going to affect everything." -- Rex Tillerson, former Exxon CEO and Trunp administration Secretary of State, testified Wednesday in a securities fraud lawsuit against Exxon brought by the New York attorney general's office.

Tillerson was unceremoniously sacked with a tweet for disagreeing with Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord and a myriad of other differences.

Editor's Note: Somehow we would have expected something more insightful and profound than "We knew it (climate change) was a real issue" from a former Exxon CEO and U.S. Secretary of State!

More Low-Carbon Energy News Rex Tillerson,  Climate Change,  Exxon,  


Automakers Rally to Trump's Banner in Calif. Vehicle Emissions Fight (Ind. Report, Reg & Leg)
Association of Global Automakers
Date: 2019-10-30
In the Golden State, the Sacramento Bee is reporting General Motors, Toyota and other major automakers are supporting the Trump administration's lawsuit regarding California's higher than national standards for vehicle fuel economy and carbon emissions to address climate change.

The Association of Global Automakers and the Coalition for Sustainable Automotive Regulation -- a group including GM, Toyota, Mazda, Fiat Chrysler and Mitsubishi -- split with four other automakers that had agreed to follow tougher rules enacted by California. The coalition said it simply wants to avoid a two-track system in which carmakers have to follow one set of rules for California, and the states that are supporting California, and another set of rules imposed by the federal government. Such a scenario would create chaos in the industry, the group argued. (Source: Sacramento Bee, 29 Oct., 2019) Contact: Association of Global Automakers, www.globalautomakers.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Vehicle Emissions,  CO2,  GHGs,  EPA,  California Vehicle Emissions,  Climate Change ,  


Biofuels Coalition Challenges EPA's "Hardship Waivers" (Ind Report)
Growth Energy, U.S. Grains Council,Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2019-10-25
Previously this week in Washington, a coalition of the American Coalition for Ethanol, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and Renewable Fuels Association filed a petition with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, challenging the process by which the U.S. EPA issue economic "hardship waivers" to over 30 small refineries from their respective Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuel blending obligations for 2018.

The coalition's brief noted, "Even as the Trump Administration indicates it is taking steps to account for future small refinery exemptions, the coalition remains concerned that EPA's abuse of the small refinery exemption program diverges from the spirit and letter of the Clean Air Act. From a substantive and procedural perspective, this is not the way for a federal agency to make such a momentous decision." (Source: Growth Energy, U.S. Grains Council, and Renewable Fuels Association , 23 Oct., 2019) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Elizabeth Funderburk, (202) 545-4000, EFunderburk@GrowthEnergy.org, www.growthenergy.org; U.S. Grains Council, Tom Sleight, Pres., (202) 789-0789, (202) 898-0522, www.grains.org; Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Growth Energy,  U.S. Grains Council,  Renewable Fuels Association,  


Trump's Emissions "Political Vendetta" Lambasted (Ind. Report)
CARB
Date: 2019-10-25
In the Golden State, the US Justice Department (DOJ) is claiming the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) regional greenhouse gas cap-and-trade system is unlawful because it included the Canadian province of Quebec. The DOJ cited the constitutional prohibition on states making their own treaties or agreements with foreign governments.

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom didn't miss a beat when he responded from Sacramento saying the Trump DOJ move was a "political vendetta" and only one in a series of acts against a liberal state government that has brought more than 30 environmental lawsuits alone, most of them to stop the rollbacks of climate change regulations enacted under the Obama administration.

"Carbon pollution knows no borders, and the Trump administration's abysmal record of denying climate change and propping up big polluters makes cross-border collaboration all the more necessary. This latest attack shows that the White House has its head in the sand when it comes to climate change and serves no purpose other than continued political retribution," Gov. Newsome noted. (Source, Office of Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom, NY Times, Various Media, Oct, 2019) Contact: Office of Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom, https://twitter.com/GavinNewsom, www.gov.ca.gov; California Air Resources Board, Melanie Turner, Information Officer, (916) 322-2990, melanie.turner@arb.ca.gov, www.arb.ca.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Cap-and-Trade,  California Cap-and-Trade,  California Air Resources Board ,  


Calif. Governor Comments on White House Bullying (Notable Quote)
Gavin Newsom
Date: 2019-10-25
"The White House has no interest in helping California comply with the Clean Air Act to improve the health and well-being of Californians. This letter is a threat of pure retaliation. While the White House tries to bully us and concoct new ways to make our air dirtier, California is defending our state's clean air laws from President Trump's attacks. We won't go back to the days when our air was the color of mud. We won't relive entire summers when spending time outside amounted to a public health risk. We won't be intimidated by this brazen political stunt." (Source: Office of Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 24 Oct., 2019) Contact: Office of Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom, https://twitter.com/GavinNewsom, www.gov.ca.gov;

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Clean Air Act,  California ARB,  


RFS Proposed Volumes for 2020 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021 (Ind. Report)
EPA, Renewable fuel Standard
Date: 2019-10-21
The Trump administration EPA has issued the attached supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking seeking additional comment on the recently proposed rule to establish the cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volumes for 2020 and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2021 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.

The notice does not change the proposed volumes for 2020 and 2021. Instead, it proposes and seeks comment on adjustments to the way that annual renewable fuel percentages are calculated. Annual renewable fuel percentage standards are used to calculate the number of gallons each obligated party is required to blend into their fuel or to otherwise obtain renewable identification numbers (RINs) to demonstrate compliance.

Specifically, the agency is seeking comment on projecting the volume of gasoline and diesel that will be exempt in 2020 due to small refinery exemptions based on a three-year average of the relief recommended by the Department of Energy (DOE), including where DOE had recommended partial exemptions. The agency intends to grant partial exemptions in appropriate circumstances when adjudicating 2020 exemption petitions. The agency proposes to use this value to adjust the way we calculate renewable fuel percentages. The proposed adjustments would help ensure that the industry blends the final volumes of renewable fuel into the nation's fuel supply and that, in practice, the required volumes are not effectively reduced by future hardship exemptions for small refineries. Consistent with the statute, the supplemental notice seeks to balance the goal of the RFS of maximizing the use of renewables while following the law and sound process to provide relief to small refineries that demonstrate the need.

Download the Renewable Fuel Standard Program -- Proposed Volumes for 2020 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021 HERE. Contact: EPA Renewable Fuel Standard, 800-385-6164, www.epa.gov/fuels-registration-reporting-and-compliance-help/forms/fuels-program-helpdesk

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


More RFS Mandate Frustration -- Notable Quote
RFS
Date: 2019-10-21
"All along, I've said what farmers and biofuels producers want is what was promised by Congress. And that's adhering to the biofuels blending targets in law. Ultimately, this will come down to trust and implementation at EPA. The ethanol and biodiesel industries have a lot of cause to distrust EPA and that is understandable. But President (Donald) Trump brokered this deal and any attempt to undermine it from EPA would represent a betrayal of the president. I expect EPA would not do that after all the work that's gone into this issue." -- Sen. Chuck Grassley, (R-Iowa) www.grassley.senate.gov

"We're incredibly frustrated and very disappointed." -- Emily Skor, CEO, Growth Energy, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Chuck Grassley,  Emily Skor,  RFS,  


Another "EPA Bait and Switch" (Opinions, Editorials & Aside)
NATSO
Date: 2019-10-16
Alexandria, Virginia-based NATSO, representing America's travel plazas and truckstops, today issued the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to implement the RFS deal that President Trump negotiated less than two weeks ago:

"Unfortunately, EPA's plan does not stay true to the President's promise to account for gallons that are waived as part of the RFS's small refinery exemption program.

"Specifically, today's plan would provide accounting relief for just a fraction of the gallons that have actually been waived and base that relief on the far smaller number of gallons that the DOE recommended be waived.

"When the deal was first announced on Oct. 4, many champions in the biofuels industry lauded the President because they thought that EPA received and understood the President's message. Apparently this is not the case.

"In the deal President Trump negotiated, EPA was supposed to ensure that it would account for all of the gallons that are waived as part of the small refinery exemption process. Today's plan simply does not do that. It is another 'EPA bait and switch' where the White House announces a deal that, at a high level, is favorable for the biofuels community, and EPA later decides to bail out refiners at the expense of farmers. I've seen this movie before.

"The math here is simple. In 2016, EPA waived 790 million gallons under the small refinery exemption program. In 2017, it waived 1.82 billion gallons, and in 2018 it waived 1.43 billion gallons. This averages out to 1.346 billion gallons waived per year over the past three years. To provide the accounting relief that President Trump negotiated in his deal just two weeks ago, EPA would need to ensure that 1.346 billion gallons are added to the 2020 renewable fuel obligations.

"Instead, the proposal EPA Administrator Wheeler issued today would provide accounting relief for just 580 million to 770 million gallons -- far less than the 1.346 billion gallons that President Trump promised. The irony in all of this is that by basing accounting relief on DOE's recommendations, rather than the actual volume waived, this proposal shines a bright light on the damage that EPA has directly inflicted on the biofuels community in recent years by disregarding DOE's recommendations and waiving more gallons than was recommended. It will undoubtedly generate the same level of opposition that the most recent round of small refinery exemption announcements generated, at a time when this Administration has enough on its plate already."

NATSO is the trade association of America's travel plaza and truckstop industry. Founded in 1960, NATSO represents the industry on legislative and regulatory matters; serves as the official source of information on the diverse travel plaza and truckstop industry; provides education to its members; conducts an annual convention and trade show; and supports efforts to generally improve the business climate in which its members operate. (Source: NATSO, PR, 15 Oct., 2019) Contact: NATSO, David Fialkov, VP Gov. Affairs, Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman, (703) 739-8578, www.natso.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  NATSO,  Trump,  


IRFA Dumps on Trump EPA's RFS Proposal (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2019-10-16
"The (Trump EPA) proposal today essentially asks Iowa farmers and biofuels producers to trust that EPA will do the right thing on SREs in 2021 when they have spent the last two years weaponizing SREs to unfairly undermine the RFS.

"It is unreasonable and counter productive to expect Iowans to put their faith in EPA to fix the SRE problem when they (EPA) were the ones who created the crisis in the first place." -- Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

Last week Shaw commented: "We welcome the (Trump RFS) proposal to restore integrity to the RFS. We will work with our champions and the White House to make sure the EPA's final rules ensure that a 15 billion-gallon RFS will actually be a 15 billion-gallon RFS. If that is accomplished, the integrity of the RFS will have been restored and President Trump's promise to protect and uphold the RFS will have been redeemed." Contact: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., (515) 252-6249, www.iowarfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Trump,  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  


NBB Poll Finds Voter Support for RFS and Biodiesel (Ind. Report)
National Biodiesel Board
Date: 2019-10-11
According to a recently released National Biodiesel Board (NBB) poll of registered U.S. voters, 81 pct of respondents indicated that a candidate's position on renewable fuels is important, 86 pct said a candidate's position on clean energy is important or very important and 85 pct agreed that it is important that Pres. Trump keep his promises on the RFS.

Nearly 80 pct expressed support for existing federal advanced biofuels programs, 78 pct support the federal tax incentive for biodiesel, and 79 pct support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) while 79 pct would encourage local communities and governments to promote use of biodiesel. (Source: NBB,Oct., 2019) Contact: NBB, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  RFS,  Biodiesel,  Ethanol,  Biofuel ,  


Trump administration reaches regulatory deal on Renewable Fuel Standard
EPA,RFS
Date: 2019-10-09
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that President Donald Trump is promoting a new Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Under the agreement, the following actions will be undertaken by EPA and USDA. In a forthcoming supplemental notice building off the recently proposed 2020 Renewable Volume Standards and the Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021, EPA will propose and request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020. EPA will seek comment on actions to ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol be blended into the nation’s fuel supply beginning in 2020, and that the volume obligation for biomass-based diesel is met. This will include accounting for relief expected to be provided for small refineries; the EPA intends to take final action on this front later this year. In the most recent compliance year, EPA granted 31 small refinery exemptions. Building on the president’s earlier decision to allow year-round sales of E15, EPA will initiate a rule making process to streamline labeling and remove other barriers to the sale of E15; EPA will continue to evaluate options for RIN market transparency and reform; and USDA will seek opportunities through the budget process to consider infrastructure projects to facilitate higher biofuel blends. (Source: Talk Business & Politics , 7 Oct., 2019)

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


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,  


Notable Quotes on Trump's RFS Action
RFS,Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,
Date: 2019-10-07
"We welcome the (Trump RFS) proposal to restore integrity to the RFS. We will work with our champions and the White House to make sure the EPA's final rules ensure that a 15 billion-gallon RFS will actually be a 15 billion-gallon RFS. If that is accomplished, the integrity of the RFS will have been restored and President Trump's promise to protect and uphold the RFS will have been redeemed." - Monte Shaw, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, (Source: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, 5 Oct., 2019)Contact: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., info@IowaRFA.org, (515) 252-6249, www.iowarfa.org

"It's up to each individual entity, but the innovation of taking advantage of low-carbon markets. I think if we can differentiate ourselves within the state of North Dakota, to take advantage of those and be long survivors in this industry." - Gerald Bachmeier, CEO, Red Trail Energy (Source: Red Trail Energy, West Dakota Fox, 5 Oct., 2019) Contact: Red Trail Energy, 701-974-3308, www.redtrailenergy.com

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


Are the Farmers Happy Yet? (Notable Quotes)
RFS, Trump
Date: 2019-10-02
"The farmers are going to be so happy when they see what we are doing for ethanol, not even including the E-15, year around, which is already done. It will be a giant package, get ready!

"At the same time I was able to save the small refineries from certain closing. Great for all!" -- Pres. "The Donald" Trump's Aug. 11 Twitter update of ongoing RFS Policy Change Negotiations which have now been stalled.

More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  RFS,  


EPA Halts RFS "Hardship" Waiver Changes (Ind. Report)
RFS,"Hardship Waivers"
Date: 2019-10-02
It is being widely reported by Fox News and others that the EPA has stalled on updates to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuels policy regarding biofuel blending "hardship" waivers (exemptions) that have been issued at near wholesale levels.

The EPA appears to be acting on instructions from Trump who is no doubt preoccupied with his own whistleblower and impeachment worries.

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: Fox News, Various Other Media, 2 Oct., 2019)

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


Corn Growers Praise, Plead Trump for RFS Action (Ind. Report)
Trump
Date: 2019-09-30
In a recent letter to Pres. Donald Trump, corn grower organizations in 23 states called on the President to direct his administration's EPA to account for projected waivers beginning with the pending 2020 RFS volume rule and to simply uphold the law.

"Dear President Trump,

"We are writing on behalf of the more than 300,000 corn farmers across the country who are being negatively impacted by a perfect storm of challenges in rural America. The 31 new Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers to big oil companies, recently approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and bringing total waivers issued under your Administration to 85, could not have come at a worse time for agriculture.

"Ethanol plants in several states, including Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota and Mississippi have closed or idled. These closures have cost 2,700 rural jobs and impacted demand for more than 300 million bushels of corn. Corn farmers are beginning harvest and continuing to lose markets to deliver their corn. Frustration in the countryside is growing.

"Corn farmers are not asking for a special deal. We are simply asking, as we have been for the past two years, that your EPA uphold the law. To effectively stop the harm caused by RFS waivers, EPA needs to account for projected waivers beginning with the pending 2020 RFS volume rule. Accounting for waivers in the annual RFS volume process restores integrity to the RFS. It also allows your Administration to continue granting waivers, as allowed by the law, while keeping the RFS whole."

"While adding gallons and improving market access for higher blends of ethanol are all policies farmers appreciate and support, future waivers will continue to minimize the RFS, unless your Administration acts to account for waivers beginning this coming year first.

"We were pleased to see press reports indicating that, following a meeting with farm-state lawmakers, an agreement had been reached to address the harm caused by waivers. With more than 4 billion gallons waived out of the RFS, we appreciate you listening to our elected representatives about what is needed to restore meaning to the RFS. Farmers across the country are anxiously awaiting the release of more details about this agreement. Ethanol plants will continue to close if you don't act soon, creating a rippling effect throughout the rural economy.

"Corn farmers are appreciative of your past support for agriculture and ethanol. We especially appreciate your efforts to remove the barrier to year-round sales of E15, but EPA's current use of waivers undermines growth potential for higher blends of ethanol, reduces demand, lowers the value of our crop, and puts the outlook for the rural economy in jeopardy.

"Mr. President, we firmly ask that you uphold your commitment to America's farmers and the RFS." (Source: Ag Ohio, Various Trade Media, Sept., 2019)

Editor's Note: For our reader's convenience, we have underlined the few lines that actually call on Trump to honestly do his job and uphold the RFS. The remaining five paragraph's are, in our opinion, little more than flattery to the White House.

More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  "Hardship" Waivers,  Corn Ethanol,  


DOE Invests $56Mn in Coal Technology Projects (R&D, Funding)
US DOE,DOE Office of Fossil Energy
Date: 2019-09-23
The U.S. DOE is announcing 32 winners for $56.5 million in federal funding for cost-shared R&D projects for advanced coal technologies and research under six separate funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). The projects further the (Trump) Administration's commitment to strengthening clean coal technologies and cover a range of topics, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage; rare earth element recovery; coal to products; crosscutting coal R&D; steam turbine efficiency; and advanced materials. The awards are as follows:
  • $10 million for ten projects under DE-FOA-0001992, Maximizing the Coal Value Chain. The projects will develop innovative uses of domestic coal for upgraded coal-based feedstocks used to produce power and make steel and for producing high-value products from coal or coal by-products.

  • $11.9 million under DE-FOA-0001996, Advancing Steam Turbines for Coal Boilers. The two projects selected under this FOA seek to improve the performance of steam-based power cycles, resulting in lower cost electricity with reduced emissions per megawatt-hour from coal fueled boilers.

  • $9.3 million for ten projects under DE-FOA-0002001, Crosscutting Research for Coal-Fueled Power Plants. This effort supports DOE's Crosscutting Research Program, which develops technologies that can be applied to a range of fossil energy uses.

  • $5 million under DE-FOA-0002002, Advanced Materials for High-Efficiency, Flexible and Reliable Coal-Fueled Power Plants. DOE selected five projects to support its Crosscutting Research program, which fosters the development and deployment of innovative systems for improving efficiency and environmental performance.

  • 3 projects will receive up to $15 million under DE-FOA-0002003, Process Scale-Up and Optimization/Efficiency Improvements for Rare Earth Elements (REE) and Critical Materials (CM) Recovery from United States Coal-Based Resources.

  • 2 projects will receive $5.3 million under DE-FOA-0001998, Transformational Sensing Systems for Monitoring the Deep Subsurface. This award seeks to reduce uncertainty of and enable real-time decision-making associated with subsurface carbon dioxide (CO2) storage. The selected projects support DOE's Carbon Storage Research Program by improving characterization and prediction of subsurface fluid movement and enhancing real-time measurement of critical subsurface properties.

    DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)will manage the selected projects. (Source: US DOE, 20 Sept., 2019) Contact: US DOE Office of Fossil Energy, www.energy.gov/fe; NETL, www.netl.doe.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE Office of Fossil Energy,  NETL,  Coal,  Clean Coal,  US DOE,  


  • More from "The Donald" -- Notable Quote
    RFS
    Date: 2019-09-23
    "More difficult than dealing with the Taliban." -- Pres. Donald Trump commenting on negotiations with ethanol producers and refineries on the RFS blending mandate "hardship waiver" negotiations

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump news,  RFS news,  RFS "hardship waivers" news,  


    Is China Scraping Its Ethanol Program (Int'l. Report)
    China Ethanol
    Date: 2019-09-20
    According to Agricensus, China's corn reserve is reportedly down from 211 million metric tonnes earlier this year to 56 million metric tonnes following its 4th consecutive annual auction to cut back on the overwhelming stocks and help regulate its domestic corn price.

    The sudden plunge is also spurring Trade floor rumors that China is planning to scrap its 2020 ethanol mandate because of the low stocks. The implication being that China won't be in the market for U.S. ethanol unless the Trump administration works out a trade deal and ends its trade war with China. (Source: RFD TV, 18 Sept., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  China Ethanol,  


    Grassley Comments on EPA "Hardship" Waivers -- Notable Quote
    EPA,Chuck Gressley
    Date: 2019-09-18
    "We want 15 billion gallons to be 15 billion gallons -- so that means basically you can waive all you want to waive for small refineries, just make sure we get 15 billion gallons." -- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R--Iowa) commenting of the Trump EPA's RFS "hardship" waivers. (Source: Iowa Radio, EnergyAg Wired, 18 Sept., 2019) Contact: Sen. Chuck Grassley, www.grassley.senate.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Chuck Grassley,  RFS,  "Hardship" waivers,  Ethanol,  


    Utilities Coalition Challenging Trump's ACE Plan (Ind. Report)
    Power Companies Climate Coalition
    Date: 2019-09-18
    Reuters is reporting New York-based Con Edison and eight other U.S. utilities -- the Power Companies Climate Coalition -- have filed a legal challenge to the Trump administration's Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants. Trump's plan replaces the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan that would have cut power plant carbon emissions by more than a third from 2005 levels by 2030 by virtually eliminating coal-fired power production.

    According to the filing, Trump's Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule undermines efforts already under way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by investing in renewable energy, electric vehicle infrastructure and energy efficiency and other clean technologies.

    ACE allows states three years to devise their own plans to cut emissions mainly by encouraging coal-fired power plants to improve efficiency.

    The coalition members include: Con Edison, Exelon Corp, National Grid, PG&E Corp, Public Service Enterprise Group Inc, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Seattle City Light, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and New York Power Authority. (Source: Con Edison, Guardian, Reuters, 16 Sept., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Power Companies Climate Coalition,  Obama Clean Power Plan,  Affordable Clean Energy Plan ,  


    Siouxland Energy Shuttering Iowa Ethanol Plant (Ind. Report)
    Siouxland Energy ,Plymouth Energy
    Date: 2019-09-16
    In the wake of Plymouth Energy's ethanol plant shutdown in August, Siouxland Energy, a farmer-owned cooperative in Sioux Center, Iowa, is reporting its board of directors has "decided to halt production."

    The shutdown is being blamed on the Trump Administration's waivers so ethanol doesn't have to be blended in gasoline produced at what the board said were "many large oil refineries." According to Siouxland Energy, the actions have "unfairly" benefited the oil industry at the expense of farmers and, "if not addressed soon, will impact the livelihoods of many." (Source: Siouxland Energy, Des Moines Register, 16 Sept., 2019)Contact: Siouxland Energy Cooperative, 712-722-4904, www.siouxlandenergy.com; Plymouth Energy, 712-938-2373, www.plymouth-energy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Siouxland Energy,  Plymouth Energy,  Ethanol,  


    Trump Expands on Light Bulb Standard Rollback (Notable Quote}
    Trump. EPA
    Date: 2019-09-16
    "The light bulb. People said what's with the light bulb. I said here's the story, and I looked at it. The bulb that we're being forced to use. Number one, to me, most importantly, the light's no good. I always look orange. And so do you. The light is the worst." -- Pres. Donald Trump.

    Commenting on the President's logic, Alex Young of Consequences of Sound Radio noted: "So to recap, we're killing the environment to suffice the fragile ego of a man who made himself orange because he used a garbage tanning bed and now he can't handle being called a Cheeto." (Source: Consequences of Sound Radio, 14 Sept., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  Light Bulb Efficiency Standard,  


    DOE Announces $110Mn Grant Funding for CCUS R&D (R&D Funding)
    US DOE,NETL
    Date: 2019-09-16
    The U.S. DOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has announced approximately $110 million in federal funding for cost-shared R&D projects under three funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). Approximately $75M is for awards selected under two FOAs announced earlier this fiscal year; $35M is for a new FOA.

    These FOAs further the (Trump) Administration's commitment to strengthening coal while protecting the environment. Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) is increasingly becoming widely accepted as a viable option for coal-fired energy sources or gas-fired power plants and other industrial sources to lower their CO2 emissions.

    Under the first FOA award, Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) Studies for Carbon Capture Systems on Coal and Natural Gas Power Plants, DOE has selected nine projects to receive $55.4 million for cost-shared R&D. The selected projects will support FEED studies for commercial-scale carbon capture systems.

    Under the second FOA award, Regional Initiative to Accelerate CCUS Deployment, DOE selected four projects to receive up to $20 million for cost-shared R&D. The projects also advance existing R&D by addressing key technical challenges; facilitating data collection, sharing, and analysis; evaluating regional infrastructure; and promoting regional technology transfer.

    Under the new FOA, , DOE is announcing up to $35 million for cost-shared R&D projects that will accelerate wide-scale deployment of CCUS through assessing and verifying safe and cost-effective anthropogenic CO2 commercial-scale storage sites, and carbon capture and/or purification technologies. These types of projects have the potential to take advantage of the 45Q tax credit for each ton of CO2 sequestered or utilized. The credit was recently increased to $35/metric ton for enhanced oil recovery and $50/metric ton for geologic storage.

    Projects selected under this new FOA shall perform the following key activities: complete a detailed site characterization of a commercial-scale CO2 storage site (50 million metric tons of captured CO2 within a 30 year period); apply and obtain an underground injection control class VI permit to construct an injection well; complete a CO2capture assessment; and perform all work required to obtain a National Environmental Policy Act determination for the site.

    DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory NETL) will manage the selected projects. (Source: US DOE, Office of Fossil Energy, PR, 13 Sept., 2019)Contact: US DOE Office of Fossil Energy. www.energy.gov/fe/foa-2058-front-end-engineering-design-feed-studies-carbon-capture-systems-coal-and-natural-gas, www.energy.gov/fe; NETL, www.netl.doe.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NETL,  CCS,  US DOE,  CCUS,  CO2,  Office of Fossil Energy,  


    Trump Plan Would Boost Biofuel Quotas 10 pct in 2020 (Reg & Leg)
    Teump
    Date: 2019-09-16
    Reuters is reporting U.S. Pres. Trump has tentatively approved a plan to increase the amount of biofuels that oil refiners are required to blend each year to compensate for the large number of financial "hardship" exemptions granted to "small" -- 75,000 bpd or less -- refiners by the EPA.

    Under the plan, the EPA will calculate a three-year rolling average of total biofuels gallons exempted under its Small Refinery Exemption program and add that figure to its annual biofuel blending quotas each year -- about 1.35 billion gallons in 2020. That would come in addition to a tentative agreement to boost 2020 blending volumes by 1 billion gallons, including 500 million gallons for conventional biofuels like corn-based ethanol and 500 million gallons for advanced biofuels like biodiesel, according to the Reuters report.

    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: Reuters, Various Media, 16 Sept., 2019)

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


    It's All About "The Donald" (Notable Quote)
    Trump
    Date: 2019-09-13
    (Because) "I look better in incandescent light." -- Pres. Donald Trump, 9 Sept. 2019, while speaking in Fayetteville, N.C. in answer to a question on why his administration is rolling back the Light Bulb Efficiency Standard .

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  Light Bulb Efficiency Standard,  


    Trump Asked to Honor RFS Pledge (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    NBB,National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2019-09-11
    "DearMr.President,

    "We are writing to express dismay at your recent decision to grant 31 waivers from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. Plainly stated, that decision is putting U.S.biodiesel producers out of business and worsening the year's outlook for soy farmers. And while you have expressed concern to save small petroleum refineries, you should also understand that small U.S. biodiesel producers need a positive signal.

    "Within a week of your decision on the 31 waivers, one U.S. biodiesel producer announced plans to close three plants -- in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Mississippi. Other producers have announced closings and laid off workers. More than 200 million gallons of domestic biodiesel production has been idled this year, due to instability in federal policy. We anticipate that additional facilities will close over the next several months if you do not take quick action to restore RFS volumes for biodiesel and renewable diesel.

    "Every small refinery waiver issued by the EPA has the potential to put a U.S.biodiesel producer out of business. A small oil refiner processing 75,000 barrels of oil per day can produce nearly 1 billion gallons of fuel in a year. The RFS program requires that oil refiner blend about 20 million gallons of biodiesel or renewable diesel during the year -- a very small fraction of overall fuel production. However, there are dozens of biodiesel producers who produce 20 million gallons of fuel or less each year; three-fifths of U.S. producers are small, non-integrated facilities.

    Small refinery waivers destroy demand for all biofuels across the board, with a significant impact on domestic biodiesel and renewable diesel producers. According to University of Illinois economist Scott Irwin, the exemptions especially harm biodiesel and renewable diesel producers because of the way the RFS is constructed. The 1.4 billion gallons of renewable fuel eliminated from the 2018 RFS through the 31 waivers includes hundreds of millions of gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel in the biomass-based diesel, advanced and overall volumes.

    "The small refinery exemptions are compounding the policy headwinds our industry is facing. Biodiesel producers have waited more than 20 months for Congress to address expired tax incentives. Additionally, your U.S. Department of Commerce is proposing to virtually eliminate countervailing duties on unfairly subsidized Argentine biodiesel. Those duties were put in place to counteract years' worth of unfair trade practices by Argentina. Soy farmers have faced closed markets, depressed crop prices, and weather-related challenges. Those forces have reduced soy planting by 15 percent for the current marketing year. Biodiesel is a value-added market driver for America's soybeans, at a time when markets have been shut or diminished.

    "The biodiesel industry continues to rely on the RFS to incentivize growth. Biodiesel and renewable diesel can be used in any existing diesel engine without special equipment for blending or dispensing. Producers therefore rely on a positive signal and support from federal programs to continue opening the transportation market to higher volumes.

    "Biodiesel producers and soy farmers rely on the RFS program. Growth in the biodiesel market is the only way to keep domestic producers operating and protect U.S. workers' jobs. Unfortunately, EPA is proposing zero growth for biomass-based diesel. We have asked the agency to do two things: first, properly account for the small refinery exemptions handed out over the past few years and going forward; and second, provide growth in the biomass-based diesel market for 2020 and 2021.

    "We ask that you continue to support the RFS and save small biodiesel producers. (signed) National Biodiesel Board (NBB)" (Source: NBB, 9 Sept., 2019) Contact: NBB, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB,  Biodiesel,  RFS,  


    RFS "Hardship Waiver" Update from "The Donald" (Notable Quote)
    RFS, Trump
    Date: 2019-09-11
    "The Farmers are going to be so happy when they see what we are doing for Ethanol, not even including the E-15, year around, which is already done. It will be a giant package, get ready! At the same time I was able to save the small refineries from certain closing. Great for all!" -- Pres. Donald Trump's Twitter update of ongoing RFS Policy Change Negotiations.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  


    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,  


    Trump DOE Dumps Inefficient Bulbs Phase-Out (Ind. Report)
    US DOE
    Date: 2019-09-06
    The New York Times and other media are reporting the Trump administration DOE has released new rules that annul Bush-era requirements on energy-saving light bulbs. The Bush-era regulation was to come into force on Jan. 1, 2020.

    . The new rules could make less-efficient bulbs for certain fixtures more common, potentially contributing to man-made climate change by increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Politically, it's part of the Trump administration's efforts to roll back climate and other environmental regulations. Energy conservation groups are expected to mount challenges to the Trump administration's move that is widely thought to border on "senseless." (Source: US DOE, NYT, 4 Sept., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficient Light,  Energy Efficiency,  


    More Climate Change Take-Aways from "The Donald" -- Notable Quotes
    Trump
    Date: 2019-09-06
    "1. Which country has the largest carbon emission reduction? AMERICA!

    "2. Who has dumped the most carbon into the air? CHINA!

    "3. 91 pct of the world's population are exposed to air pollution above the World Health Organization's suggested level. NONE ARE IN THE U.S.A.!"

    "The Donald" was defending his administration's role in cleaning the country's air and reducing carbon emissions to address climate change which Trump, as expected, says is "fake news" and doesn't exist.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Trump DOE Nixes Inefficient Bulbs Phase-Out (Ind. Report)
    DOE
    Date: 2019-09-04
    The New York Times and other media are reporting the Trump administration DOE has released new rules that annul Bush-era requirements on energy-saving light bulbs. The Bushera regulation was to come into force on Jan. 1, 2020.

    . The new rules could make less-efficient bulbs for certain fixtures more common, potentially contributing to man-made climate change by increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Politically, it's part of the Trump administration's efforts to roll back climate and other environmental regulations. Energy conservation groups are expected to mount challenges to the Trump administration's move that borders on senseless. (Source: US DOE, NYT, 4 Sept., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficient Light,  

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