EPA issues emergency waiver for summertime sale of E15
For the second year in a row, the EPA said it would waive air pollution rules and permit summertime sale of E15 — gasoline with a 15 percent mix of ethanol — on an emergency basis, even though fuel prices are roughly 57 cents a gallon lower than they were a year ago.
Farm-state lawmakers prod EPA chief on biofuels and WOTUS
The Biden administration is turning a cold shoulder to biofuels and rural America by encouraging the use of electric vehicles, said farm-state Republicans during a complaint-filled House hearing with EPA administrator Michael Regan on Wednesday. Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon pointed to the so-called WOTUS rule on wetlands protections and declared, “Any goodwill the administration has built with farmers and ranchers is gone.”
Settlement proposed in green group challenge of RFS
The EPA, to settle a lawsuit over biofuel regulation, said on Monday it would consult with federal wildlife agencies on whether the Renewable Fuel Standard adversely affects endangered species. The consultation would be performed before the EPA finalizes the RFS for 2023-23, now expected in June.
Farmers expect a revenue payoff from growth in renewable diesel
Farmers are far more bullish about the chances of expansion of the renewable diesel industry than in ethanol, the dominant "green" fuel in rural America, said a Purdue University poll on Tuesday. The telephone survey for the monthly Ag Economy Barometer also found nine of 10 farmers expect higher soybean prices at the farm gate as more and more renewable diesel fuel reaches the market.
Announce summer waiver for E15 soon, asks ethanol group
To prevent the disruption of fuel supplies, the Biden administration ought to announce an emergency waiver soon for the sale of E15 throughout the summer, like it did last year, said an ethanol trade group on Thursday. “We ultimately need a federal fix to air pollution laws to ensure year-round availability of the fuel,” said Emily Skor, chief executive of Growth Energy, during a teleconference.
Poll: Ethanol is more popular than crude oil
More than half of Americans have a favorable view of ethanol as a fuel source, compared to 45 percent for crude oil, according to a poll commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association. The trade group said the results "demonstrate that Americans strongly support expanded use of lower-cost, lower-carbon renewable fuels like ethanol."
Oil and biofuel groups agree on year-round E15
As a gateway to year-round sales of E15 gasoline, Congress should adjust air pollution laws so they apply equally to all blends of ethanol, said groups ranging from the oil industry and fuel retailers to farmers and biofuel makers. In a joint letter Tuesday, the groups said the waiver would …
Second company seeks Iowa permit to build a carbon capture pipeline
A Texas-based company filed for a permit with the Iowa Utilities Board on Tuesday to build a 900-mile pipeline across the state to transport liquefied carbon dioxide, collected from the smokestacks of ethanol refineries, to Illinois, where it would be sequestered underground.
Biofuel groups push EPA to maximize RFS levels
The Renewable Fuel Standard is the most successful clean energy tool available to the government, which should make full use of it when setting the biofuel mandate for 2023 and future years, said farm and biofuel trade groups on Thursday. “What we’re really looking to take place with EPA is that they maximize the full potential of the RFS,” said Emily Skor, chief executive of Growth Energy.
USDA offers $100 million for biofuel infrastructure
The government will pay up to half of the cost of installing pumps, tanks and other equipment at gas stations and other retailers that want to sell higher blends of biofuels, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Tuesday. Projects would receive cost-share grants drawn from $100 million available through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIPP).
EPA finally sets date for RFS reset
The EPA has a free hand in writing the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2023, but the agency could be 18 months late and operating under a court order when it finally issues its proposal this fall. A biofuel trade group says nailing down the release date is a milestone in the campaign for expanded use of the alternative fuels.
Carbon pipelines face continued resistance in Iowa
A group of farmers and climate change activists attended the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) meeting in Des Moines last week and demanded the board vote against using eminent domain to acquire land for several proposed carbon pipeline projects.
Global demand for biofuels to slow in decade ahead, says forecast
Corn will become less important and sugarcane will become the dominant feedstock for making ethanol in the coming decade, said an agricultural outlook published jointly by the OECD and FAO on Wednesday. The report forecast a relatively slow growth rate for biofuels, averaging 0.6 percent a year worldwide, with growth in the United States constrained by declining gasoline consumption.
House votes to create USDA meat investigator
Over the objections of Republicans, the House passed legislation on Thursday to create a USDA special investigator to enforce fair-play rules in the highly concentrated meatpacking industry. It was the most significant livestock marketing reform to advance in Congress this session.
Highest-ever ethanol mandate will boost homegrown biofuels, says EPA
As part of an effort to "re-set and strengthen" the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the EPA set the corn ethanol mandate at its highest level ever, 15.25 billion gallons, for this year. Ethanol is cheaper than gasoline at present, so biofuel backers said consumers would benefit at the fuel pump with more ethanol in the gasoline supply.
EPA to propose 2023 ethanol mandate within four months
The trade group Growth Energy sued the EPA last month because it was far behind schedule in setting the ethanol mandate for 2023, the first year the agency has a free hand in drafting the regulation. A consent decree, if approved, would resolve the complaint and oblige the EPA to propose the renewable fuel program by Sept. 16 and finalize it by April 23, 2023.
Ethanol likely worse than gasoline for carbon emissions, say researchers
The Renewable Fuel Standard, which guarantees corn ethanol and other biofuels a share of the U.S. gasoline market, results in the release of at least as much carbon "and likely at least 24 percent higher" greenhouse gas emissions than the petroleum it displaced, say scientists who studied the program's first eight years.
Biden restores summer sales of E15, a farm-state goal
The EPA will issue an emergency waiver allowing sales of E15 — gasoline that is 15 percent corn ethanol — this summer, announced President Biden on Tuesday, ahead of a trip to Iowa, the No. 1 corn- and ethanol-producing state. The step will save motorists up to 10 cents a gallon on surging gasoline prices and aid the rural economy, said the White House.
EPA rejects 36 small-refiner exemptions from biofuel mandate
Facing a court-ordered deadline for action, the Environmental Protection Agency denied on Thursday 36 requests by small refiners for "hardship" exemptions from the U.S. ethanol mandate. Biofuel and farm groups lamented the decision "fails to remedy the economic harms" of reduced demand for corn ethanol.