News

EV Tax Credits to Spur More Vehicle Sales Are Entering a Critical Phase

Source: By Amara Omeokwe, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Thursday, September 29th, 2022

The government is pressing to complete new rules on tax breaks for electric-vehicle purchases by an end-of-year deadline as auto companies seek guidelines that help qualify as many vehicles as possible.  The Treasury Department is leading the effort after the August signing of a law that extended an existing $7,500 tax credit through 2032. The EV plan, included in Democrats’ climate, health and tax-policy package known as the Inflation Reduction Act, included new requirements for U.S. battery sourcing that auto makers have warned will make it difficult for models available today to be eligible. 

Los Angeles wholesale gasoline hits new high on refinery outages

Source: By Erwin Seba, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, September 29th, 2022

Wholesale October gasoline sold in the Los Angeles market at $2.50 a gallon over NYMEX November RBOB gasoline futures on Wednesday, a high previously unseen in the West Coast refined products markets on tight supply because of refinery outages, traders said. The price for wholesale CARBOB gasoline, which stands for the gasoline blend to mix with ethanol required by the California Air Resources Board, has been climbing for the past two weeks as planned and unplanned refinery outages tightened supply.

Enviro Asks Federal Court to Throw Out RFS Volumes for 2020-2022, Lacked ESA Review

Source: By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer • Posted: Thursday, September 29th, 2022

The Center for Biological Diversity asked a federal appeals court on Tuesday to vacate EPA’s June 2022 final Renewable Fuel Standard rule, alleging the agency has failed to conduct an Endangered Species Act review of the RFS. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has twice issued rulings that EPA had not conducted an ESA review of other final RFS rules prior. The CBD asked the court to vacate the latest rule for fear it is damaging endangered species habitats.

Methane Might Be a Bigger Climate Problem Than Thought, Study Finds

Source: By Henry Fountain, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, September 29th, 2022

The researchers looked at operations in the Permian and Eagle Ford basins in Texas and the Bakken in North Dakota, which together account for about 80 percent of the flaring in the United States. “The idea was if we can go do a nice representative sample in those domains, we’d get a good picture of what it looks like looks like across the U.S.,” Dr. Kort said. They sampled gas plumes from the flares by flying through them in a small plane. They found that flares that were burning destroyed only about 95 percent of methane, not 98 percent. And they found that in some basins as much as 5 percent of flares were unlit. That brought the overall efficiency down to about 91 percent.

Algae Biofuel Back From Dead, Now With Carbon Capture

Source: By Tina Casey, GreenTechnica • Posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

In January of this year the Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) launched the new AlgaePrize competition for students, aimed at developing “the next generation of bioeconomy professionals by expanding novel solutions to production, processing, and new product development on the way to gigaton-scale algae commercialization for fuel, food, products, and carbon dioxide utilization/sequestration.” Last week the office announced a $16.5 million round of funding for six algae projects related to carbon dioxide capture. The six projects were selected for their potential to demonstrate an improvement in carbon capture by algal systems leading to biofuels and other products, while also cutting costs and decreasing overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Could a rail merger snarl the U.S. freight system?

Source: By Mike Lee, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

A pending $27 billion merger between two railroads is causing concern in the energy industry, where some sectors say it could worsen existing freight delays and service problems. The Surface Transportation Board will begin a three-day hearing Wednesday to consider the merger between Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. and Kansas City Southern. The two companies say the deal will lead to better service, won’t cause any job losses and will help the environment by getting tens of thousands of trucks off the road. They’ve lined up hundreds of their customers in favor of the deal.

Biden jet fuel plan adds pressure on EPA to maximize biofuel feedstocks

Source: By Inside EPA • Posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

The SAF Grand Challenge Roadmap unveiled Sept. 26 is the result of a collaboration between the Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy and Department of Transportation, outlining measures the federal government can take to realize the goal of net-zero carbon emissions from aviation by 2050. SAF must achieve at least a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions relative to petroleum-based jet fuel. So far, volumes of the fuel are very small, requiring a dramatic ramp-up in production that the roadmap makes clear can only come from use of all available feedstocks.

DOE releases draft clean hydrogen production standard

Source: By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

The U.S. Department of Energy is opening a public comment period on its Clean Hydrogen Production Standard draft guidance. Ethanol and biomass are among the sources of hydrogen production addressed in the draft guidance document. Development of the draft guidance is required by the Infrastructure Investment Act. That legislation, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, was signed by President Joe Biden in November 2021. The law, in part, directs the DOE to develop an initial standard for the carbon intensity of clean hydrogen production.

EV charge points in Britain are now nearly as expensive as gasoline, research shows

Source: By Anmar Frangoul, CNBC • Posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

Electric car drivers in the U.K. have seen the cost of using a public, “rapid” charger on a pay-as-you-go tariff rise by 42% since May, according to data released Monday. Figures from RAC Charge Watch — which is part of the RAC, a motoring organization — show that it now costs EV drivers using the above infrastructure an average of 63.29 pence (72 cents) a kilowatt hour to charge their vehicle. Breaking the figures down, the RAC said this meant an 80% rapid charge of a “typical family-sized electric car” using a 64 kWh battery cost, on average, £32.41 (around $34.87).

Shell sees 2024 aviation fuel demand recovering to pre-pandemic levels

Source: By Isabel Kua and Florence Tan, Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

Shell is considering building two more sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) plants in the United States, as it aims for renewable fuel to account for 10% of its global jet sales by 2030, Toschka said. One of the projects would utilise the traditional hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) technology while Shell hopes to tap on newer technology for the second. “There are limits to producing products based on HEFA … we need to look into cellulosic material, alcohol to jet, less restricted feedstocks,” he said.