The EPA under Trump issued 85 retroactive small refinery exemptions for the 2016-2018 compliance years, undercutting the renewable fuel volumes by a total of 4 billion gallons, according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA)
As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance
(Source: US EPA, 22 Feb., 2021)Contact: RFA, www.ethanolrfa.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA, Renewable Fuel Standard, "Hardship Waiver", Ethanol Blend,
A Successful Farming report notes the U.S. Midwest, which produces more ethanol than any other region in the country, saw its production drop to 868,000 bpd from day from 895,000 bpd from the previous week and the lowest output level since late September. The East Coast and Gulf Coast regions stayed at an average of 12,000 bpd while the Rocky Mountain and West Coast production levels were unchanged at 9,000 bpd, on average, according to the EIA. Stockpiles increased to 24.297 million barrels in the seven days ending on February 12.
In other ethanol industry news, the US EPA has announced all 16 "hardship waiver" exemption petitions under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) from 2020 are still pending. In total, 66 petitions that date back as far as 2011 are still pending.
As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. (Source: US EIA, Ag Central News, 20 Feb., 2021) Contact: US EIA, www.eia.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News US EIA, Ethanol, RFS, "Hardship" Waiver,
To gain ENERGY STAR recognition, the plant replaced and upgraded various equipment for greater energy efficiency and expanded its energy team and increased energy efficiency awareness throughout the plant.
(Source: CalPortland, Global Cement News , 12 Jan., 2021) Contact: CalPortland, Allen Hamblen, CEO, 520-744-3222, www.calportland.com; DOE ENERGY STAR, www.energystar.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News ENERGY STAR, Energy Efficiency,
The standards meet the EPA's obligation under the Clean Air Act to adopt GHG standards for certain classes of airplanes as a result of the 2016 Finding That Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Aircraft Cause or Contribute to Air Pollution That May Reasonably Be Anticipated To Endanger Public Health and Welfare for six well-mixed GHGs emitted by certain classes of airplane engines. Airplane engines emit only two of the six well-mixed GHGs, CO2 and nitrous oxide (N2O).
"It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that EPA is missing its statutory deadline for publishing the final rule for 2021 RVOs, given that we still haven't even seen a proposed rule. And even if a proposed rule was released today, it would be next to impossible to have a final rule done by the end of the calendar year, or even by inauguration day.
"At this point, it likely makes more sense to let the new administration handle the 2021 RVO rulemaking process entirely. President-elect Biden has correctly noted that the RFS waivers granted by the current EPA have severely cut ethanol production, costing farmers income and ethanol plant workers their jobs. Thus, we are confident that the new EPA administrator, whoever that may end up being, will stop doing secret favors for oil refiners and ensure the RFS is implemented in a way that is consistent with the law and Congressional intent. We know it may take a few months for the new administration to get a final 2021 RVO rule done, but in the meantime, the statute is crystal clear that refiners must blend at least 15 billion gallons of conventional renewable fuel in 2021.
"So, while there may be some uncertainty around where the final advanced and cellulosic volume requirements may end up, the marketplace should be able to enter 2021 with some level of confidence around the conventional renewable fuel and biomass-based diesel requirements."
National Farmers Union President Rob Larew added, "By punting a decision on 2021's RVOS to the next administration, EPA is introducing yet more uncertainty to the biofuels industry -- uncertainty that most farmers and biofuels producers can't afford right now. Despite promising again and again to uphold RFS, the Trump administration has consistently undermined the program with its misappropriation of small refinery exemptions, preferential treatment of oil corporations, and disregard for its legal responsibility to restore lost demand, all of which has cost America's farmers and biofuel producers dearly. To add insult to injury, fuel use -- and, consequently, ethanol use -- has dropped significantly during the pandemic, cutting deeply into profits.
"Trump's EPA has almost invariably fallen short in its handling of biofuels, and today's decision, or lack thereof, is no different. We sincerely hope Biden's EPA learns from their mistakes and takes biofuels policy in a much more promising direction." (Source: National Farmers Union, Renewable Fuels Association, FencePost, 30 Nov., 2020)
Contact: National Farmers Union, Rob Larew, Pres., (202) 554-1600, www.nfu.org; Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association, RFS, National Farmers Union ,
Since 2007, CEMEX USA cement plants have earned more than 50 ENERGY STAR® Certifications. In addition, dozens of CEMEX USA cement terminals and ready-mix concrete operations have achieved the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry. (Source: CEMEX USA, PR, 10 Nov., 2020) Contact: CEMEX USA, Jaime Muguiro, Pres., 713-650-6200, www.cemexusa.com; US DOE, ENERGY STAR, www.energystar.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News CEMEX, ENERGY STAR, Energy Efficiency,
For example, PG&E customers that sign up for the utility's time-of-use rate plan and purchase a qualifying ENERGY STAR smart thermostat may be eligible for a $120 rebate through the end of the year. The amount of the smart thermostat rebate recently increased from $50. The purchase of a smart thermostat combined with a time-of-use rate plan can reduce costs by shifting heating or cooling needs to low energy demand times when energy demand and rates are lower, and the amount of renewable energy is higher. By way of illustration, PG&E notes the following ENERGY STAR product specific savings:
PG&E notes if every clothes washer, clothes dryer, dishwasher and refrigerator purchased in the U.S. this year were ENERGY STAR models, the equivalent of the greenhouse gas emissions from 450,000 cars would be avoided, and consumers would save more than $615 million in annual energy costs. (Source: PG&E, PR 2 Nov., 2020) Contact: PG&E, Aaron August, VP Business Development & Customer Engagement, www.pge.com; ENERGY STAR, www.energystar.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News PG&E, Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency Rebate, ENERGY STAR,
"My House colleagues and I have written President Trump twice recently, asking him to protect the RFS. This message is clear -- the EPA must follow the law and stop reducing the amount of renewable fuel in our fuel supply. Our farmers need this market. South Dakota's biofuels industry can produce more than 1 billion gallons annually, adding more than $980 million to the economy -- but this only happens if there is reliable market access. The EPA can get this done.
"The nation's eyes were on South Dakota during President Trump's visit to Mount Rushmore. I'll continue to deliver agriculture's request that the EPA support clear, homegrown biofuels. The president supports farmers -- and it's time the EPA does, too." -- South Dakota congressman Dusty Johnson (R).
Editor's Note: As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. Under the now vanquished administrator Greg Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was denied. (Source: Rep. Dusty Johnson , Mitchell Republic, 12 July, 2020)
Contact: Rep. Dusty Johnson , (202) 225-2801, www.dustyjohnson.house.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News US EPA, Andrew Wheeler, Renewable Fuel Standard, RFS Waiver,
In a letter to the EPA' Administrator Andrew Wheeler, NWF President and CEO Collin O'Mara echoed the requests of six state governors and stressed the need for smaller biofuel mandates. In its letter, the AFPM noted:
The NWF letter concludes: “"In short, the corn ethanol mandate has led to the loss of important wildlife habitat, particularly in regions critical for monarch butterflies, ducks and other ground-nesting birds, and many other species -- threatening outdoor recreation opportunities as well as the economy. The mandate has also resulted in deteriorated water quality and harmful algal blooms in important surface waters as a result of increased farm runoff. Increasing mandated blending levels increases the potential for further land conversion, presenting a marked threat to the battle against global climate change, with its consequent catastrophic effects on human health and the environment. Higher blends of ethanol necessitated by unrealistic RVOs diminish public health. In light of the clear and present danger to the environment, we join with the Governors of six states in asking for a waiver to the RVO." (Source: National Wildlife Federation, AFPM, Hydrocarbon Engineering, 7 July, 2020) Contact: National Wildlife Federation, Colin O'Mara, CEO, www.nwf.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, Renewable Fuel Standard, Ethanol,
The NAAQS are limits on atmospheric concentration of six pollutants that cause smog, acid rain, and other health hazards. Established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under authority of the Clean Air Act, NAAQS is applied for outdoor air nationwide.
Growth Energy's letter to the EPA reiterates its May comments urging the EPA Science Advisory Board to examine the impact of toxic gasoline additives on respiratory health, as well as the potential benefits offered by bio-based alternatives like ethanol. (Source: Growth Energy, 2 July, 2020) Contact: Growth Energy, Chris Bliley,
(202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy, Ethanol,
Average estimated real-world auto CO2 emissions are projected to fall 6 g/mi to 346 g/mi and fuel economy is projected to increase 0.4 mpg to 25.5 mpg. All the large manufacturers -- with production of more than 150,000 in model year 2018 -- ended the 2018 model year in compliance with the GHG target program, the report noted.
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) the states currently under the COVID-19 pandemic "stay at home orders" account for 95 pct of US fuel demand. Meanwhile, ethanol market producers and players say that it is a "convenient reason for them (oil refiners) to escape a US law", and that doing so would further harm ethanol demand.
As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. Under the now vanquished administrator Greg Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was denied.Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, the nation's oil refineries are required to blend billions of gallons of biofuels such as ethanol into the fuel or buy credits from those that do. But the EPA can waive their obligations if they prove compliance would cause them financial distress.(Source: Various Trade Media, ICIS, 17 April, 2020)
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, Hardship Waiver, Biofuel Blend,
From 2005 to 2018, total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions fell by 12 pct. In contrast, global energy-related emissions increased nearly 24 pct from 2005 to 2018. (Source: EPA, 25 April, 2020)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Greenhouse Gas Emissions, GHG,
PERFORM teams will design risk scores that communicate the delivery risk of an asset's offer, such as the reliability of electricity from a solar plant due to the weather on a given day. They will also develop grid management systems that internally capture uncertainty and evaluate the system risk to meet or exceed a set baseline. This risk-driven paradigm will enable grid operators to better maintain a supply-demand balance and system reliability, even with the intermittency of renewables. In turn, they can optimally manage the system and assess the true value of essential reliability services in real time, allowing for a more diverse energy mix.
Since the pandemic's onset, the oil industry has asked for broad regulatory relief to help it survive sharply reduced global demand for fuel and to lower related costs.
(Source: US EPA, Reuters, 27 Mar., 2020) Contact: US EPA, Andrew Wheeler, Administrator, www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epas-acting-administrator
More Low-Carbon Energy News US EPA, Andrew Wheeler, Renewable Fuel Standard,
Recipients of the 2020 ENERGY STAR Awards come from 37 states and include: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Energize Connecticut -- statewide energy efficiency initiative in partnership with Eversource Energy and AVANGRID, HP, Palo Alto, CA, NY-based global financial service company MetLife, Faifax, Virginia-based home energy rating company Patuxent Environmental Group, and the electric utility Public Service Company of Oklahoma in Tulsa, and others.
Since 1992, the ENERGY STAR program and its thousands of partners have helped save more than 4 trillion kWh of electricity and achieve over 3.5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions. In 2018 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped Americans avoid nearly $35 billion in energy costs. (Source: US EPA, 30 Mar., 2020) Contact: EPA ENERGY STAR®, www.energystar.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News ENERGY STAR, Energy Efficiency,
In its appeal, Suncor, which received waivers for what were previously two refineries in Commerce City, Colorado, argued the agency's action was "arbitrary, capricious, and not otherwise in accordance with law." The EPA reportedly rejected Suncor's petition because the refineries no longer meet EPA's definition of a small refinery, which produces 75,000 bpd or less. Suncor previously received waivers for what were two small refineries, one that produced nearly 33,000 bpd and another at nearly 67,000 in 2018. The refineries were among the original facilities to receive waivers in 2006.
According to the company's website, since 2006, Suncor has been making a significant impact in Canada's emerging biofuels industry. Suncor is using revenues from oil sands development to invest in biofuels, particularly ethanol produced from corn. Ethanol is a cleaner burning, renewable resource. The ethanol production industry is expanding in Canada and the United States. New government regulations require that a percentage of ethanol be blended into fuels to reduce the environmental impacts of vehicle emissions. Suncor operates Canada's largest ethanol facility -- the St. Clair Ethanol Plant in the Sarnia-Lambton region of Ontario. (Source: Suncor Energy, DTN, 6 Jan., 2019) Contact: Suncor Energy USA, 303-793-8000, www.suncor.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Suncor Energy , RFS, "Hardship Waiver",
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,
This year, SUNY Cobleskill received $1.6 million in grant funding from the two government agencies to build and demonstrate a fully automated, portable rotary gasifier system that will produce 60 kilowatts of ppd from roughly 2 tpd of feedstock at a military base in the US.
Caribou Biofuels will work with SUNY Cobleskill, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Scaled Power and the Joint Bioenergy Institute to to develop the mobile biomass processing system. (Source: SUNY, Caribou Biofuels, Biofuels, 13 Dec., 2019) Contact: SUNY Cobleskill, Prof.David Waage, 518-255-5312, email@example.com, www.cobleskill.edu
More Low-Carbon Energy News Caribou Biofuels ,
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,
These two CEMEX plants have been repeatedly certified by the EPA's ENERGY STAR® program for their conservation efforts. This year's recognition marks nine consecutive years of ENERGY STAR® Certification for CEMEX's Miami Cement Plant, while the Brooksville South Cement Plant has achieved the certification seven out of the last eight years.
(Source: CEMEX, USA PR, 10 Oct., 2019) Contact: DOE Energy Star®, www.energystar.gov; CEMEX USA, www.cemexusa.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News ENERGY STAR, Energy Eficiency, CEMEX,
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,
Producing 275 million gpy of Honeywell Green Diesel™, Diamond Green Diesel is the largest commercial advanced biofuel facility in the US. The expansion, which will increase the facility's annual production by nearly 150 pct to 675 million gpy, will also produce about 60 million gpy of renewable naphtha when completed and operational in late 2021.
Diamond Green Diesel's product is a qualified Advanced Biofuel under the US EPA Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). (Source: Honeywell, Hydrocarbon Engineering, Oct., 2019) Contact: Diamond Green Diesel, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.diamondgreendiesel.com; Valero Renewable Fuels, Joe Gorder, Pres., (800) 324-8464, www.valero.com; Darling Ingedients, Melissa A. Gaither, VP IR , (972) 281-4478, email@example.com, www.darlingii.com; Honeywell UOP, Bryan Glover, VP Petrochemicals & Refining Technologies, www,uop.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Honeywell UOP, Diamond Green Diesel, Renewable Diesel, Valero, Green Diesel, Darling Ingedients,
The EPA's April 2019 inventory report showed total methane emissions are down 15.8 pct since 1990 -- insufficient to achieve regulatory compliance on methane emissions in order to address the global impacts of climate change.
ETRN and EQM currently utilize various methane mitigation methods across their operations and are evaluating additional enhancement and mitigation efforts, such as: expansion of the Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) programme; pneumatic controller upgrades; re-compression of pipeline gas prior to maintenance procedures; and upgrading existing stations with air or electric starts.
ETRN is a member of the Environmental Partnership -- a voluntary reduction programme offered through the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the ONE Future Coalition of natural gas companies working together to voluntarily reduce methane emissions across the natural gas supply chain to 1 pct pct. (Source: ETRN, PR, Sept., 2019) Contact: Equitrans Midstream Corporation, Diana Charletta , Pres., CEO, www.equitransmidstream.com; EQM Midstream Partners, www.eqm-midstreampartners.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane, EPA,
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,
The proposed RVO would require biofuels to make up 10.92 pct of US transportation fuel, including 2.75 pct advanced biofuels, 1.99 pct biomass-based diesel and 0.29 pct cellulosic biofuel.
The rule making also proposed amendments to the RFS regulations including:
clarification of diesel RVO calculations; pathway petition conditions; a biodiesel esterification pathway; distillers corn oil and distillers oil pathways; renewable fuel exporter provisions
allowing the production of biomass-based diesel from separated food waste; flexibilities for renewable fuel blending for military use; heating oil used for cooling; RFS facility ownership changes; additional registration deactivation justifications; a new Renewable Identification Number (RIN) retirement; a new pathway for co-processing biomass with petroleum to produce cellulosic diesel, jet fuel and heating oil; public access to information; and other revisions.
The amendments came as part of the as yet finalized Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support rule.
(Source: EPA, Oils & Fats Int'l., 22 July, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard, RVO, Biofuel Blend,
The Trump administration EPA has more than quadrupled the number of waivers it has granted to refinerswhile at the same time raising the ire of the corn industry who claim the move threatens ethanol demand.
The small refinery coalition's letter to the EPA said the "EPA is required to act on a petition within 90 days after receipt" and that it also failed to issue decisions on the outstanding 40 petitions for 2018 by March 31, 2019, which the letter said was the compliance deadline.
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: Reuters, Various Media, 18 July, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, "Hardship" Waiver, Ethanol Blend,
"While Nebraska appreciates the EPA's timely release of renewable volume obligations, this proposal does not reflect the agency's legal duty to enforce a robust RFS or the president's commitment to our farmers," Governor Ricketts said while urging the EPA to "reallocate waived gallons and ensure that the agency is giving our farmers and ethanol producers the predictability they need, especially during tough times for agriculture."
Nebraska Ethanol Board Administrator Roger Berry said the "Nebraska Ethanol Board is "extremely disappointed in the proposed Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) numbers released by the EPA. The fact that EPA did not account for any of the lost gallons due to Small Refiner Exemptions directly undermines demand for the quality fuel produced by our hard-working farmers and the 1,400 Nebraskans employed in the ethanol industry."
Nebraska is the second-largest ethanol producer in the U.S. with over 2 billion gallons production capacity from 25 ethanol plants processing over 700 million bpy of corn for a $5 billion per year economic impact in the state.
(Source: Nebraska Ethanol Board, The Independent, 9July, 2019) Contact: Office of Gov. Pete Ricketts, www.governor.nebraska.gov; Nebraska Ethanol Board, Roger Berry, Administrator, (402) 471-2941, www.ne-ethanol.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, Renewable Fuel Standard, RVO, Nebraska Ethanol Board ,
(Source: Growth Energy, Various Media, June, 2019) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Elizabeth Funderburk, (202) 545-4000, EFunderburk@GrowthEnergy.org, www.growthenergy.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy, E15, Ethanol Blend, Biofuel Blend,
The change removes a barrier to wider sales of E15 and is expected to expand the market for ethanol -- although immediate effects on the market are expected to be minimal since only about 1,000 to 1,500 of more than 150,000 U.S. gas stations currently sell the higher-ethanol blend, according to the EPA Office of Air and Radiation. (Source: EPA, PBS New, 31 May, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News E15 news, Ethanol Blend news,
The mandate includes 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuels -- ethanol -- unchanged from 2019, and 5.04 billion gallons of advanced biofuels, up from 4.92 billion in 2019.
The biodiesel mandate of 2.43 billion gallons for 2021, would be unchanged from 2020.
(Source: US EPA, AgWEB, 14 May, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel Blend, RFS, Renewable Fuel Standard ,
The project is subject to US EPA approval.
(Source: News & Tribune, 8 May, 2019)
Contact: Wabash Valley Resources LLC, (929) 400-5230, www.wvresc.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS, Carbon Storage, CO2,
"The Iowa renewable fuels industry accounts for more than $5 billion (roughly 3 pct) of Iowa's GDP, generating $2.5 billion of income for Iowa households and supporting almost 50,000 jobs throughout the state. Year-round access to E15 represents a long-overdue step toward creating a truly competitive fuel market, where cleaner, lower-cost biofuel blends are available to all consumers. This means stronger markets for farm families across Iowa who have been struggling with ongoing low commodity prices and trade tensions." Naig said.
"In addition to allowing year-round sales of E15, the EPA's proposed regulatory changes would modify certain elements of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance system to improve the renewable identification number (RIN) market."
Iowa is expected to have nearly 1,000 E-15 pumps at 200 stations statewide by the end of 2019.
(Source: Iowa Dept. of Agriculture, Crop Life, 30 April, 2019) Contact: Iowa Dept. of Agriculture, Mike Naig, Sec., (515) 281-5321, www.IowaAgriculture.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, Ethanol Blend, E15,
In particular, the researchers determined that the emissions from several key sources -- pre-1980 residential boilers and heating stoves, specific off-road engines, and heavy-duty diesel and light-duty gasoline-powered vehicles assembled prior to 1970 -- should be increased significantly.
According to the research, between 1960 and 1980, the updated U.S. emissions totaled approximately 690 gigagrams per year in 1960 and 620 gigagrams per year a decade later. The revised inventory also exhibits a decreasing trend through 1980 that is not apparent in earlier reports.
(Source: EPA, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Black Carbon,
Various recent studies have identified how climate change is already affecting the U.S. and the globe -- regional temperatures have increased by almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1970s, early snow-melts extending the fire season by three months and quintupling the number of large fires. Another EPA co-authored paper found that unless the U.S. slashes carbon emissions, climate change will probably cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars annually by 2100.
The suit contends the EPA approved waivers for small refiners that didn't meet the minimum U.S. DOE score to qualify, and improperly considered the debts of small-refiners' parent companies when considering waiver requests. The brief also noted the agency considered small-refiners' operating losses whether or not they were related to RFS compliance. The agency also considered what small refiners might spend on biofuel credits, without looking at revenue the refiners would later generate from sales of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). Accordingly, the ABA suit asked the court to declare the EPA's methodology for determining disproportionate economic hardship "unlawful" and to strike down the agency's economic "hardship" policy.
As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: ABA, DTN, April, 2019) Contact: Advanced Biofuels Association, www.advancedbiofuelsassociation.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuels Association, "hardship Waiver: RFS,
After a 60-day test period, AAPS will update the Arizona Corporation Commission regarding whether converting the coal generator to burn biomass would be cost efficient, officials said.
According to the US EPA , electricity from forest biomass is carbon neutral and does not contribute to climate change. (Source: APS, WRAL.com, AP. 6 April, 2019) Contact: APS, Barbara Lockwood, VP, www.aps.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Arizona Public Service, Woody Biomass, Coal ,
EPA is also proposing regulatory changes to modify elements of the renewable identification number compliance system under the Renewable Fuel Standard program to enhance transparency in the market and deter price manipulation. Proposed reforms to RIN markets include: prohibiting certain parties from being able to purchase separated RINs; requiring public disclosure when RIN holdings exceed specified thresholds; limiting the length of time a non-obligated party can hold RINs; and increasing the compliance frequency of the program from once annually to quarterly.
Download details on proposed rulemaking HERE. (Source: US EPA, Irrigation & Green Energy, Mar., 2019) Contact: US EPA, www.epa.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News E-15, E15, Biofuel Blend, EPA, Alternative Buels, Renewable Fuel, Biofuel,
The proposed rule does not have to be approved by Congress to be finalized, but it does have to be published and put out for public comment. In order for E15 to be available for summer sales, the process has to be completed before June 1, 2019.
(Source: US EPA, Feedstuffs, 8 Mar., 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA, RINs, E15, Biofuel Blend,
The suit contends the EPA approved waivers for small refiners that didn't meet the minimum U.S. DOE score to qualify, and improperly considered the debts of small-refiners' parent companies when considering waiver requests. The brief also noted the agency considered small-refiners' operating losses whether or not they were related to RFS compliance. The agency also considered what small refiners might spend on biofuel credits, without looking at revenue the refiners would later generate from sales of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).
Accordingly, the ABA suit asked the court to declare the EPA's methodology for determining disproportionate economic hardship "unlawful" and to strike down the agency's economic "hardship" policy.
As previously reported, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance.
In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: ABA, DTN, 8 Mar., 2019) Contact: Advanced Biofuels Association, www.advancedbiofuelsassociation.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuels Association , RFS, Hardship Waiver,
EPA ENERGY STAR certification signifies that the facilities perform in the top 25 pct of similar facilities for energy efficiency and meet strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA. On average, ENERGY STAR certified plants consume 35 pct less energy and contribute 35 pct fewer greenhouse gas emissions than similar non-certified operations.
The ENERGY STAR label can be found on over 60 different kinds of products as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings.
Over the past twenty years, American families and businesses have saved a total of nearly $450 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 3.1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from ENERGY STAR. (Source: Honda, EPA ENERGY STAR, Green Car Congress, 7 Mar., 2019) Contact: EPA Energy STAR, www.energystar.gov
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Now, a new 5-year search study has found that fossil fuel combustion is the main contributor to black carbon 9ssot). The research, which collected raw data in Alaska, Russia, Canada, Sweden, and Norway, found that fossil fuel combustion was responsible for most of the black carbon in the Arctic, annually around 60 pct. The findings are an important call to decrease worldwide fossil fuel consumption.
The study is published in the journal Science Advances, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. (Source: American Association for the Advancement of Science, Interesting Engineering, 21 Feb., 2019) Contact: American Association for the Advancement of Science, www.aaas.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Black Carbon, Climate Change,
According to Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor, the "EPA's inaction on addressing lost gallons due to small refinery exemptions in this rulemaking is a clear violation of law. In doing nothing to remedy these and other deficiencies, EPA has again failed to meet its statutory obligation to ensure that annual RVOs are met each year. Today's filing calls for greater accountability from EPA to ensure that every renewable fuel obligation is fulfilled as the law intended."
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: Growth Energy, Various Media, Biofuels Int'l, 13 Feb., 2019)
Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy, RFS Hardship Waiver, RFS, EPA,
The decrease in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion was a result of: a continued shift from coal to natural gas; increased use of renewables in the electric power sector; milder weather that contributed to less overall electricity use, and other factors.
Relative to the 1990 baseline, gross emissions in 2017 were higher by 1.6 pct, down from a high of 15.7 pct above 1990 levels in 2007. Overall, net emissions in 2017 were 12.7 pct below 2005 levels, according to the report.
The EPA has a deadline of November 30th each year to issue their RVOs, which establish the required total volume of renewable fuel to be blended with transportation fuel for the upcoming calendar year. In July of 2018, the industry found out that in previous years, the EPA had been granting an unprecedented amount of small refinery exemptions to numerous refiners.
The EPA made no apparent effort to publicly identify the refineries that received the exemptions. In the petition, Growth Energy is challenging the EPA's failure to reallocate the renewable volume obligations of exempt refiners, according to Growth Energy. (Source: NAFB, Growth Energy, 6 Feb., 2019)
Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, www.growthenergy.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS, "Hardship" Waiver, EPA, Growth Energy,
Presently, power plants spend up to $9.6 billion per to control mercury emissions, but the regulations that reduce mercury pollution only provides $6 million in direct benefits, according to the EPA. However, the same controls that reduce mercury also reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, which are precursors to fine particle pollution, haze and ozone. These additional benefits were worth up to $89 billion in reduced fine particle pollution and $360 million in avoided climate change impacts, according to the Obama-era EPA.
Most utilities are already in compliance with the 2012 mercury rule by installing costly pollution controls that limit emissions of mercury and other pollutants. The agency proposed retaining current mercury emissions standards.
(Source: Dairyland Power Cooperative, Crosse Tribune, Jan., 2019) Contact:
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, https://dnr.wi.gov/contact
More Low-Carbon Energy News , Emissions, Mercury Emissions, EPA ,
In 2015, the Obama administration determined that partial carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the best system of emission reduction (BSER) for new coal units.
The Trump EPA now proposes that the best system of emission reduction is the most efficient commercially-viable coal boiler combined with best industry practices. Under the new EPA proposal, new coal power plants would have to meet a standard of 1,900 pounds of CO2 per MWh rather than the current more stringent standard of 1,400 pounds per MWh. The Trump EPA's proposal is based on an updated analysis of the cost and geographic availability of CCS.
Presently, only two utility-scale CCS power plants in existence: Petra Nova in Texas and Boundary Dam in Saskatchewan.
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,
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,