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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE June 2, 2015

EPA’s RFS targets stir discontent among industry, greens

By Niina Heikkinen, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted June 2, 2015

After experiencing many months of delays, the biofuel industry had mixed responses to U.S. EPA’s proposed volume requirements under the renewable fuel standard (RFS). Friday’s long-anticipated announcement included renewable fuel volume requirements for 2014, 2015 and 2016, with biomass-based diesel requirements for 2017. If the requirements are approved, total fuel volumes will go up 9 percent, or 1.5 billion gallons, from 2014 levels to 2016. Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, described the proposal in a press call as promoting “ambitious but responsible growth” of renewable fuel and balancing the intent of the RFS with current capacity to increase biofuel production. [ read more … ]

Tyner: EPA went for compromise in revising RFS levels

By Keith Robinson, Purdue University, AG communications  •    •  Posted June 2, 2015

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tried to strike a balance between proponents and opponents of the Renewable Fuel Standards in setting levels for production of biofuels through 2016, said Purdue University energy policy specialist Wally Tyner. “Biodiesel appears to be a big winner with its mandate steadily growing over time and far exceeding the congressionally mandated level,” said Tyner, the James and Lois Ackerman Professor of Agricultural Economics. For corn ethanol, Tyner said the EPA accepted arguments that the “blend wall” is a legitimate barrier to significantly increased production and did not accept arguments that E85 fuel would grow if the EPA mandated higher ethanol levels. But its 2016 mandate of 14 billion gallons requires some growth of E85 and E15 without reaching the original legislated level of 15 billion gallons. [ read more … ]

Biodiesel campaign hits paydirt in RFS proposal 

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted June 2, 2015

Stakeholders from all around the biofuels debate groaned last week when U.S. EPA proposed renewable fuel targets. But one industry group cheered. The National Biodiesel Board called the proposed targets — which call for year-by-year increases in the use of its favorite fuel through 2017 — a much-needed “step in the right direction” by providing certainty to producers. [ read more … ]

USDA to provide grants for growing, harvesting feedstocks 

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted June 2, 2015

The Department of Agriculture announced its plans today for a federal program that assists farmers and energy facilities in growing and harvesting biofuel feedstocks. USDA said it will open up an application period this summer through the fall for farmers who wish to use the Biomass Crop Assistance Program to plant biofuel crops. USDA’s Farm Service Agency will administer the program and award up to $8 million for projects that expand and enhance areas that have previously been awarded BCAP funding, according to the statement. [ read more … ]

Cheap oil provides a drag rather than a boost 

Nathanial Gronewold, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted June 2, 2015

Cheaper crude oil and lower fuel prices at the pump have failed to lift the U.S. economy, according to the most recent federal government statistics. Rather, there’s mounting evidence that the oil price bust has been a net negative for the economy as a whole as business investment spending and state government revenues and spending have fallen.
Consumer spending is also lagging, meaning people are not using the money saved on gasoline and diesel purchases as much as observers had hoped. [ read more … ]

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