EXCLUSIVE Biden administration mulls big cuts to biofuel mandates in win for oil industry -document

Source: By Stephanie Kelly and Jarrett Renshaw, Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency, which administers the nation’s biofuel policy, would reduce blending mandates for 2020 and 2021 to about 17.1 billion gallons and 18.6 billion gallons, respectively, the document showed. That would be lower than a level of 20.1 billion gallons that had been finalized for 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic. The agency also would set the level for 2022 at about 20.8 billion gallons, the document showed. The EPA is setting the 2020 and 2021 mandates retroactively.

EPA watchdog starts audit of renewable fuel credits

Source: By Marc Heller, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

EPA’s investigative arm has begun auditing renewable fuel credits under the government’s biofuel-blending mandates, a system long criticized for fraud and abuse. In a memo last Friday to EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, the Office of Inspector General said it’s looking to verify that the agency can ensure that RINs — a form of currency that companies trade to demonstrate compliance with the renewable fuel standard — are valid.

Midlands Voices: Remove this roadblock to expand the use of Iowa-grown renewable fuel

Source: By Joni Ernst, Omaha World Herald • Posted: Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

One of the bill’s glaring flaws is in how it would measure those carbon reductions. Right now, it follows a carbon emissions model crafted by an agency of the United Nations. This model adds penalties to the carbon scores of renewable fuels made from U.S- grown crops like corn and soybeans. Worse, this same U.N.-supported model assigns advantages to fuels made from feedstock that aren’t even commercially available today

Vilsack Discusses Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Source: By Cindy Zimmerman, AgWired • Posted: Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

“The fact that the (Sustainable Aviation Fuels) Grand Challenge focused on the work that USDA is doing in terms of feedstocks, I would hope would indicate to people that is the administration’s position,” said Vilsack. “You want to make sure when you create a new industry that you provide opportunities in every part of the country to participate. Is it going to be corn and soybeans only? No, it’s not.”

Washington’s Attack On Oil And Gas May Backfire

Source: By Irina Slav, • Posted: Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

That the Biden administration and the Democratic-majority Congress have set their sights on the oil and gas industry as the ultimate culprit behind a changing climate was clear even before last year’s elections. Now, it seems, Washington is doubling down on its promise to crack down on oil and gas in any way possible. But the move may backfire badly. Last week, the House Oversight Committee wrote to the executives of the biggest oil companies operating in the United States along with the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to inform them that it is now investigating these companies for disinformation on climate change. The letter also called on the executives to appear in Congress next month to testify on the issue.

Special Report: BP gambles big on fast transition from oil to renewables

Source: By Ron Bousso, Politico • Posted: Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

Deep in the Oman desert lies one of BP’s more lucrative projects, a mass of steel pipes and cooling towers that showcases the British energy giant’s pioneering natural gas extraction technology. The facility earned BP Plc (BP.L) more than $650 million in profits in 2019, according to financial filings reviewed by Reuters. Yet the oil major agreed to sell a third of its majority stake in the project earlier this year. The deal exemplifies a larger strategy to liquidate fossil-fuel assets to raise cash for investments in renewable-energy projects that BP concedes won’t make money for years.

Electric vehicles divide opinion as car-loving Germany goes to polls

Source: By Philip Oltermann, The Guardian • Posted: Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

As the country heads to the polls on 26 September, all main parties on the ballot apart from the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) say they are committed to Germany reaching net zero within the next 14 to 29 years, and to curbing combustion engine emissions accordingly. The promise – and some say fiction – that these parties offer to voters is that such a historic change can be achieved without risking the world-leading status of Germany’s automobile industry. “Our great challenge is that we remain a car nation that is successful at making electric vehicles instead,” Olaf Scholz, the frontrunner in the race, said in a recent interview.

‘The biggest mashup we’ve ever had’: Dems scramble on agenda

Source: By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

Democrats are working to rescue their reconciliation plans, as another looming showdown between moderates and progressives threatens to upend the process. The next several days will be a crucial negotiating window on the $3.5 trillion package ahead of a scheduled House vote Sept. 27 on the bipartisan infrastructure bill that moderate Democrats negotiated last month with Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Eighty-Seven Ethanol, Grain Companies Ask Biden to Stand Behind RFS

Source: By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

As part of what Growth Energy is calling a virtual fly-in to Washington, D.C., a group of 87 ethanol and grain companies who are members of Growth Energy sent a letter to President Joe Biden calling for his support of the Renewable Fuel Standard. The ethanol industry is awaiting the release of proposed RFS volumes for 2021 and 2022, and possibly a proposal to reduce volumes from 2020.

Republicans request RFS rethink

Source: BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico • Posted: Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

A group of seven Pennsylvania House Republicans are pushing for reforms to the Renewable Fuel Standard, fretting that the current market for Renewable Identification Numbers is becoming too financially burdensome for many small refiners in the state. The lawmakers wrote to President Joe Biden with their concerns Monday after Democratic members of the state’s congressional delegation made a similar plea in their own letter.