By deploying clean technology, the United States can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by the end of this decade, said President Biden at an Earth Day summit intended to spark global action on climate change. "That's where we're headed as a nation, and that's what we can do if we take action to build an economy that's not only more prosperous but healthier, fairer, and cleaner for the planet."
The winner of the 2016 Iowa presidential caucuses, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said he will block a confirmation vote on a key USDA nominee until President Trump convenes a meeting to hash out oil-state complaints about the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Argentina and Indonesia unfairly subsidize the production of biodiesel fuel, so the United States will levy countervailing duties as high as 68 percent on the imported fuel, which competes with U.S.-made biodiesel, said the Commerce Department in a preliminary ruling. “Even friendly nations must play by the rules,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
The EPA erred when it set the target for biofuels use in 2016 below the levels specified by Congress, said the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in a decision that vacated the regulation and ordered EPA to try again. The three-judge panel said EPA improperly interpreted the "inadequate supply provision" that allows it to waive the statutory targets for renewable fuel use.
Two months behind schedule, the EPA has proposed the targets for renewable fuel use in 2018 — corn-based ethanol in its usual place as the primary biofuel, at 15 billion gallons, and so-called advanced biofuels at 4.24 billion gallons. The agency said it will begin the technical analysis that could lead to a permanently lower mandate for advanced biofuels, which are being produced in far smaller quantities than envisioned in a 2007 law.
The avowed watchdog group Public Citizen says in letters to the U.S Senate and House that businessman Carl Icahn, a special adviser to the White House, may have violated federal lobbying laws when he tried to change the Renewable Fuels Standard, reports DTN. Icahn says the group is inciting a "witch hunt" against him.
The largest of the ethanol trade groups, the Renewable Fuels Association, is out in the cold for supporting a change in the program that gives biofuels a share of the U.S. gasoline market. Fuels America, an agribusiness coalition "committed to protecting America's Renewable Fuels Standard," severed ties with RFA, while the second-largest ethanol group, Growth Energy, said the RFA was doing the dirty work of the oil industry.
An ethanol trade group says the EPA can open the door to year-round sales of E15 - a 15 percent blend of ethanol into gasoline - and the eventual use of even higher blends such as E20 or E25 if it would "eliminate an arcane regulatory barrier."
With Abebgoa to open its $300 million celllulosic ethanol plant in Kansas on Friday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune says there is worry within the industry that debut of large-scale cellulosic plants in the United States may also be the closing act for big plants domestically.
The Agriculture Department announced a $91 million loan guarantee for an advanced biofuel plant in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, that will turn pine chips into 8-10 million gallons a year of reformate, a drop-in ingredient for gasoline and jet fuel that can be added during the regular refinery process.