– by James Q. Lynch, November 24, 2017, Globe Gazette
The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to deny attempts to change Renewable Fuel Standard rules is good news for the ethanol industry and fuel retailers who would have had to assume responsibility for blending ethanol with gasoline, according Iowa officials who opposed the changes.
“This is the right policy conclusion and I’m glad to see it happening,” Sen. Chuck Grassley said about the EPA decision announced Wednesday. “This decision puts the issue to bed, and certainty is so important. It’s a decision from the EPA that sides with the integrity of the RFS.”
– November 26, 2016, Farm and Dairy
Photo: Farm and Dairy
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finalized the increases in renewable fuel volume requirements across all categories of biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.
In a required annual rulemaking, the Nov. 23 action finalizes the volume requirements and associated percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for 2017, and for biomass-based diesel for 2018.
“Renewable fuel volumes continue to increase across the board compared to 2016 levels,” said Janet McCabe, the agency’s acting assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. “These final standards will boost production, providing for ambitious yet achievable growth of biofuels in the transportation sector.”
READ MORE at Farm and Dairy
– November 3, 2016, CBS Minnesota
POET biorefining (Photo: POET)
Federal investigators have found multiple safety violations at a South Dakota ethanol refinery expansion project following the death of a worker in May.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says it cited the worker’s employer, North Dakota-based Bilfinger-Westcon, with five major safety violations.
Investigators found the 38-year-old pipefitter was removing a vent line May 6 when 190-proof ethanol spilled onto him, flowed through a grated floor and was ignited by welding operations on a lower floor. The fire engulfed the man.
– by Bob Adelmann, October 28, 2016, The New American
(Graphic: Taxpayers for Common Sense)
When the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was signed into law by then-President George W. Bush, it was well-intended: It would increase America’s oil independence and reduce dependence on foreign oil, it would produce cleaner air, and it would help farmers.
The Act required refiners to add ethanol to every gallon of gasoline they produced. If a refiner decided it couldn’t (too costly) or wouldn’t (internal decision) do so, it would be required to buy ethanol credits. Those credits, called RINs (for Renewable Identification Numbers), are now being traded and reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in gains for the big oil companies. According to the New York Times, the Act has “inadvertently become a multi-billion-dollar windfall for some of the world’s biggest oil companies.”
– by John Siciliano, October 22, 2016, Washington Examiner
Hillary Clinton’s campaign mulled supporting the elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency’s renewable fuels program before a campaign tour through the corn state of Iowa last year, according to illegally obtained emails posted by the website WikiLeaks.
Senior campaign aides suggested in the April 2015 emails that coming out forcefully against the EPA would put her at odds with the Obama administration but would go “further” than any Democrat or Republican on the issue of EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard. Supporting the repeal of the standard, which requires certain amounts of ethanol and other biofuels be added into gasoline and diesel supplies, would put her at odds with many Midwest corn states and environmental groups that support the program.
– by Jerry DeMarco, September 30, 2016, Ridgefield Daily Voice
The owner and manager of a New Jersey feedstock collector and processor with offices in Ridgefield Park admitted double-dipping to generate more than $6 million in phony tax and renewable fuel credits, federal authorities said.
Pleading guilty to his role in the scheme, Malek Jalal, 52, admitted to a U.S. District judge in Ohio that his Unity Fuels bought fuel from a New York-based company that arranged for tax and RIN credits.
Unity then blended the fuel with other material and sold it back to the New York company in order to claim tax and RIN credits a second time.
– by Reuters, October 3, 2016, Fortune
Willow to biomass (Photo: Rokwood SRP)
The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday proposed tweaks to its Renewable Fuel Standard that would allow biofuels to be processed at more than one location and would allow cellulosic ethanol to be made from poplar and willow trees.
EPA also proposed new quality standards and environmental performance guidelines for biofuel blends containing 16 to 83% ethanol, and the agency is taking comments on the proposal for the next 60 days before it is approved.
– September 8, 2016, WNAX
A new study from the National Academy of Sciences says the expansion of corn and soybean acres to supply feed stock for biofuels is hampering habitat for bees. Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen says the study findings don’t make sense and are based on flawed information.
He says the Renewable Fuels Standard or RFS wouldn’t even be in force if acres were expanded at the rate the National Academy of Sciences suggests in their study.
– June 9, 2016, Reuters
Photo: REUTERS/Jim Young
Biofuels advocates, farmers and oil industry supporters gathered on Thursday to weigh in on U.S. regulators’ latest plan for biofuels use requirements.
Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) heard comments from over 100 participants on their plan for how much ethanol and other renewable fuel needs to be blended into motor gasoline and diesel next year, ahead of a Nov. 30 deadline to finalize the proposal.
The following are some of the prepared remarks regarding the EPA’s proposal for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for biofuels use next year and biomass-based diesel use in 2018:
– by Ann Purvis, March 18, 2016, Heartland
Opponents of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandate, which requires a certain amount of biofuels to be mixed with gasoline annually, often decry the requirement’s impact on prices and car engines, but a new study from researchers at Strata Policy (SP) and the Institute of Political Economy (IPE) at Utah State University suggests RFS also harms the very farmers the ethanol mandate was designed to help.
RFS was created by Congress as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The ethanol mandate was touted by RFS supporters as a way to boost profits for farmers in corn-producing regions of the United States.
According to the study by SP and IPE, the result has been just the opposite. The researchers say American taxpayers have spent $58 billion for direct ethanol subsidies alone since 1980, in addition to the costs added to the economy by the mandate.