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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE June 21, 2023

Top Story

EPA Finalizes Multi-Year RFS Volumes

By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted June 21, 2023

Biofuels interest groups expressed disappointment Wednesday after the EPA finalized a multi-year Renewable Fuel Standard that reduces volumes from proposed levels for both advanced biofuels and corn ethanol. EPA final numbers show a 250-million-gallon reduction in total corn-ethanol volumes for 2024 and 2025 from the original proposal, setting those volumes at 15 billion gallons for both years. [ read more … ]

RFS

US to boost biofuel mandates over next 3 years, but not for ethanol

By Stephanie Kelly in New York and Jarrett Renshaw in Philadelphia, Reuters  •    •  Posted June 21, 2023

The Biden administration plans to increase the amount of biofuels that oil refiners must blend into the nation’s fuel mix over the next three years, but the plan includes lower mandates for corn-based ethanol than it had initially proposed, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to finalize biofuel blending volumes at 20.94 billion gallons in 2023, 21.54 billion gallons in 2024 and 22.33 billion gallons in 2025, the sources said. That compares with the initial proposal announced in December of 20.82 billion in 2023, 21.87 billion in 2024, and 22.68 billion in 2025. [ read more … ]

Biden Biodiesel Quotas Deal Blow to Plant-Based Fuel Makers

ByJennifer A Dlouhy and Kim Chipman, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted June 21, 2023

The Biden administration handed a setback to makers of bio and renewable diesel with federal quotas for the fat-based fuel that advocates say ignore a surge in production and a wave of investment in new manufacturing plants. Under a regulation set to be finalized Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency in 2023 will require the use of 2.82 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel, generally made from soybean and canola oil — just a 2.2% increase over the 2.76 billion gallons mandated last year. For 2024 and 2025, the quotas are being set at 3.04 billion and 3.35 billion gallons, respectively.  [ read more … ]

EPA Explains Thinking Behind Biomass-Based Diesel Volumes, Other Reaction to RFS Volumes

By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted June 21, 2023

“As in recent years, we believe that excess volumes of BBD beyond the BBD volume requirements will be used to satisfy the advanced biofuel volume requirement within which the BBD volume requirement is nested,” the agency said in the final rule. “Historically, the BBD standard has not independently driven the use of BBD in the market. This is due to the nested nature of the standards and the competitiveness of BBD relative to other advanced biofuels. Instead, the advanced biofuel standard has driven the use of BBD in the market. Moreover, BBD can also be driven by the implied conventional renewable fuel volume requirement as an alternative to using increasing volumes of corn ethanol in higher level ethanol blends such as E15 and E85. We believe these trends will continue through 2025.
[ read more … ]

US Boosts Biodiesel Quotas Only Modestly Despite Lobbying Frenzy

ByJennifer A Dlouhy and Kim Chipman, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted June 21, 2023

The Biden administration is only modestly boosting quotas for plant-based diesel despite a fierce lobbying push by biofuel makers who complained the government is lowballing the industry’s potential production. Under a final slate of biofuel quotas set to be released Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency will require at least 3.35 billion gallons of bio and renewable diesel be blended into US fuels in 2025 — up from an earlier proposal of 2.95 billion and last year’s 2.76 billion requirement, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named before a formal announcement.
[ read more … ]

Automakers, biogas producers brace for disappointment in RFS ‘set’ rule

By Inside EPA  •    •  Posted June 21, 2023

As EPA prepares to finalize its “set” rule establishing biofuel blending volumes for 2023 through 2025 under the renewable fuel standard program, producers of electric vehicles and biogas are bracing for likely disappointment if EPA delays measures to award RFS credit for electricity, amid intense lobbying over the issue. [ read more … ]

RINS

Biden to Tighten Policing of Biofuel Credits After Wild Swings

By Jennifer Jacobs and Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted June 21, 2023

The Biden administration is planning to step up the US government’s policing of an opaque market in biofuel compliance credits, following long-running complaints of wild price swings and manipulation.  The Environmental Protection Agency is set to lay out plans to collaborate more closely with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Federal Trade Commission on the matter as part of a renewable fuel quota plan being unveiled Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named before a formal announcement. [ read more … ]

Refiners target EPA’s blanket denial of RFS waivers in D.C. Circuit suit

By Inside EPA  •    •  Posted June 21, 2023

Refiners are charging that EPA’s blanket denial of small refiners’ requests for economic hardship waivers from renewable fuel standard (RFS) biofuel blending mandates willfully misinterprets the Clean Air Act and relies on ‘extra-statutory factors’ and vacated legal precedent to support the policy. [T]he Biden administration has adopted a policy of denying all such waiver requests, on the basis that refiners pass on their compliance costs to customers and are not therefore harmed by the RFS. [ read more … ]

Carbon Capture

Carbon pipeline faces test in Iowa as opponents challenge permitting timeline

By Leah Douglas, Reuters  •    •  Posted June 21, 2023

Iowa regulators will begin a permit hearing for the country’s largest proposed carbon pipeline in August, a timeline that the project’s opponents, including environmental groups and landowners, say doesn’t give them adequate time to prepare. Whether Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions can obtain a permit in its home state, which would house the most pipeline miles of its proposed 2,000-mile, five-state route, is a critical test for the company and the carbon capture and storage industry. [ read more … ]

EPA

EPA nominee: 200 enforcement jobs ‘will be restored’

By Kevin Bogardus, E&E News  •    •  Posted June 21, 2023

A top EPA official said the agency is filling dozens of jobs for its enforcement team, which could help supercharge the Biden administration’s push to crack down on polluters. David Uhlmann, deputy assistant administrator in EPA’s enforcement office, said at a panel discussion hosted by the Federalist Society on Tuesday that he had advocated for more resources for the program. He added the agency had suffered losses from a decade of budget cuts, including 950 enforcement positions at EPA nationwide, or 30 percent of its enforcement and compliance workforce. [ read more … ]

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.