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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE August 8, 2013

The U.S. is hitting its ethanol limit. So the EPA may relax its biofuels rules.

By Brad Plumer, Washington Post  •    •  Posted August 8, 2013

Back in 2007, Congress passed a law that would essentially require the nation to use more and more ethanol and other biofuels each year. But for reasons of chemistry and economics, those targets are becoming increasingly difficult to fulfill. That helps explain why, on Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency took the rather unusual step of announcing that it would look into ways to adjust those targets in the years ahead. [ read more … ]

Prospect of ethanol hitting ‘blend wall’ could shake up EPA’s RFS in 2014

Tiffany Stecker, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted August 8, 2013

U.S. EPA lowered the required gallons for cellulosic biofuels for this year yesterday, but it also gave clues on how the agency might use its flexibility to conform with changing realities since the federal renewable fuel standard was approved by Congress six years ago. Yesterday, EPA cut the volume for cellulosic biofuels — fuels made from grasses, wood, corncobs, trash and other low-impact sources — from 14 million gallons of ethanol-equivalent fuel in the proposed rule to 6 million gallons in the final rule. The 6 million gallons is a tiny fraction of a percent of the 1 billion gallons EPA envisioned for 2013 when the RFS was first written. The agency also suggested that the bigger pools, which include traditional corn ethanol and sugar-cane ethanol from Brazil, could see a reduction in the future, as too much ethanol is produced for the current gasoline supply. [ read more … ]

Who’s blocking ‘good’ ethanol?

By Craig Giammona, Fortune  •    •  Posted August 8, 2013

The construction of DSM’s plant, a joint venture with ethanol producer POET, should be completed by the end of the year, with production of cellulosic ethanol ramping up in the first six months of 2014. The Iowa plant will use approximately 285,000 tons of corn waste to produce about 25 million gallons of cellulosic fuel a year. Once production starts, DSM wants to license the technology to other firms and help build the dozens of cellulosic biofuel plants required to reach the federal target by 2022. Welsh is confident that RFS won’t go away, but he’s concerned the scuttlebutt in Congress will muddy the waters and make Wall Street skittish about investing in cellulosic projects. “I’m not worried about Congress or the American people, but this is a massive distraction,” Welsh said. “This has strong support in the White House, but the oil industry can win just by having the debate.” [ read more … ]

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