Moving the Point of Obligation Is the Latest Misguided Ploy to Undermine the RFS
by Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) (The Hill) Six billion gallons. That is the approximate amount of ethanol produced in Iowa and Illinois each and every year. It is more than the annual gasoline equivalent production of some Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members.
The RFS has been a critical piece of our domestic energy revolution, offsetting billions of barrels of foreign oil that would otherwise have been imported as our dollars went overseas.
This Made in America energy supports tens of thousands of jobs across the country, and has an economic ripple effect throughout farm country, rural communities and the entire nation.
most recently—attempts to move the so-called “point of obligation,” which currently requires petroleum importers and refiners to meet certain ethanol inclusion goals, away from refiners and onto downstream entities – blenders and retailers.
This latest attack is simply another tactic that aims to inject further uncertainty into the program, create a compliance nightmare, and upend the market dynamics that have led to expanded consumer acceptance of renewable fuels. When the EPA structured the RFS program, it placed the point of obligation with the petroleum refiners and importers to keep regulatory complexity to a minimum and to incentivize those parties to provide petroleum blendstock suitable for the inclusion of renewable fuels.
Moving the point of obligation downstream to blenders would significantly increase the number of parties obligated to meet the goals from a few hundred to many thousands. This would create a compliance nightmare for both the EPA and the numerous newly-obligated parties, many of whom would be small and mid-sized retailers with no experience in dealing with this level of regulatory compliance. More importantly, shifting the point of obligation downstream would leave the refiners with little incentive to provide the appropriate gasoline blends, hanging the retailers out to dry.
As Veterans who have fought to defend this nation, we have seen firsthand the price we pay for our dangerous dependence on oil imported from our adversaries. READ MORE
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Don Siefkes (E100 Ethanol Group/Biofuels Digest) ... When the CARB (California Air Resources Board) refers to Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs), they are talking only at the tailpipe and every time they or the Wall Street Journal uses the ZEV designation, it should be followed by the phrase “at the tailpipe only.” You have to make the electricity to run electric vehicles and that process emits CO2. READ MORE
People’s Climate Movement March — April 29, 2017 — Washington, DC
JUST ANNOUNCED--MARCH ROUTE, MEETING AREAS
Join the People’s Climate Movement this April 29th in Washington, D.C. and across the country to stand up for our communities and climate.
Throughout the first 100 days in office, the People's Climate Movement is organizing a country-wide arc of action, culminating on April 29th in Washington DC in a powerful mobilization to unite all of our movements. To change everything, we need everyone.
There is no denying it: Donald Trump’s election is a threat to the future of our planet, the safety of our communities, and the health of our families.
This new administration is attacking the hard-won protections of our climate, health, and communities, and the rights of people of color, workers, indigenous people, immigrants, women, LGBTQIA, young people, and more.
If the policies he proposed on the campaign trail are implemented, they will destroy our climate, decimate our jobs and livelihoods, and undermine the civil rights and liberties won in many hard fought battles. READ MORE
/ MORE WATCH
(Years of Living Dangerously)
On April 29, 2017:
11:00am: Gather in front of the Capitol Building in contingents that spell out values: justice, truth, democracy, faith and more. Advanced Biofuels USA group will meet near the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art at 3rd Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue (an easy walk from Judiciary Square or Union Station METRO, Red Line). We will be holding signs, handing out postcards about advanced biofuels resources and answering questions about truly sustainable renewable fuels.
12:30pm: The march begins up Pennsylvania Avenue.
1:30pm: Marchers will surround the White House on all sides, and take powerful collective action to honor the lives at stake and make a loud sound demanding climate justice and good jobs.
3:00pm: Reconvene at the Washington Monument grounds to connect and share the stories that brought marchers to DC. Hear from the front line of the climate crisis and share solutions rooted in marchers' own communities. There will be music and art from around the country that shows local demands and visions. Individual signs will be gathered into one collective message.
The Advanced Biofuels USA message goes beyond resistance to planned positive action to work to replace as much fossil-based fuel as possible in the US and around the world. We will demonstrate our mission of promoting understanding, development and use of advanced biofuels.
March for Science — April 22, 2017 — Washington, DC
The March for Science is a celebration of our passion for science and a call to support and safeguard the scientific community. Recent policy changes have caused heightened worry among scientists, and the incredible and immediate outpouring of support has made clear that these concerns are also shared by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Mischaracterization of science as a partisan issue, which has given policymakers permission to reject overwhelming evidence, is a critical and urgent matter. It is time for people who support scientific research and evidence-based policies to take a public stand and be counted.
ON APRIL 22, 2017, WE WALK OUT OF THE LAB AND INTO THE STREETS.
We are scientists and science enthusiasts. We come from all races, all religions, all gender identities, all sexual orientations, all abilities, all socioeconomic backgrounds, all political perspectives, and all nationalities. Our diversity is our greatest strength: a wealth of opinions, perspectives, and ideas is critical for the scientific process. What unites us is a love of science, and an insatiable curiosity. We all recognize that science is everywhere and affects everyone.
Science is often an arduous process, but it is also thrilling. A universal human curiosity and dogged persistence is the greatest hope for the future. This movement cannot and will not end with a march. Our plans for policy change and community outreach will start with marches worldwide and a teach-in at the National Mall, but it is imperative that we continue to celebrate and defend science at all levels - from local schools to federal agencies - throughout the world. READ MORE
(American Council on Science and Health) and MORE
(The Washington Post) and MORE
(Science Magazine) and MORE
(Politico's Morning Energy) and MORE
(The Washington Post)
Excerpt from Politico's Morning Energy: Science marches expanding rapidly:
The March for Science, an Earth Day gathering meant to champion the role of science and scientific integrity in the U.S., announced that what started as an online post had expanded to nearly 300 gatherings worldwide and unveiled a first roster of partners that includes the American Association for the Advancement of Science, NextGen Climate America, the Earth Day Network and the Union of Concerned Scientists. "This started as an idea, but it's rapidly actualizing into a global movement," said Valorie Aquino, one of the march's three national co-chairs, said in a statement. "Scientific integrity serves everyone, and we need to speak out for science together." READ MORE
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Due to "updates" by WordPress that are not compatible (yet) with our specialized GoDaddy server and/or the "theme" of our website, the appearance and legibility of the articles posted on this site is terrible. We are working to fix this problem. In the meantime, I suggest that you click on the READ MORE at the end of articles that interest you to find something easier to read. I do hope this is fixed soon. -- Joanne Ivancic, Executive Director
Bioeconomy under the Radar
by Chris Clayton (DTN The Progressive Farmer) Leaders Tout Potential Growth, Challenges for Renewable Refinery Products -- ... Whether it is spoons, Coke bottles or carpets made out of corn, livestock enzymes for pharmaceuticals, or John Deere tractors using soy oil for plastic, supporters of a growing bioeconomy are trying to highlight that renewable chemicals is a more than $252 billion market that could grow to more than $440 billion by 2020.
Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of BIO, testified before a House Agriculture Subcommittee on Thursday about some of the economic impact and potential of the bioeconomy and the role of energy programs in the farm bill.
"As we look at it, there is potential for advanced bioproducts to affect rural America as profoundly as ethanol has over the last 20 years," said John Bode, president and CEO of the Corn Refiners Association.
Other bioproducts won't have the volume of demand as ethanol, but still have a profound impact because of capital investment and jobs that come from developing those processing facilities. Bode pointed to the example of a $100 million investment to add a fermentation unit to a wet mill.
"There are now restaurant chains that are priding themselves on the fact that all of the utensils -- the plastic utensils, packaging, everything they use -- is bio-based," Bode said. "The waste from those restaurants goes into corn-based trash bags and all of the waste goes into composting. None of it goes to landfills."
Bode said leading scientists said EPA sought to treat biogenic carbon dioxide -- carbon released when a crop is processed -- as the same as carbon released from fossil fuels even though the biogenic carbon has a one-year lifecycle while the fossil-fuel carbon had been sequestered for millions of years.
"It disregards the fact that there is a fundamental difference, and the natural lifecycle of plant growth is part of our environment," Bode said.
"These are risks that companies are going to evaluate within the emerging bioeconomy," said Rod Snyder, executive director of Field to Market.
Executives at food companies are actually having conversations about topics such as nutrient management, buffer strips and cover crops. "They want to make sure their products are not having an adverse effect on the environment and that they can engage with farmers upstream and help to advance better practices," Snyder said.
Snyder expects that, in the coming years, companies are going to want more transparency about crop sourcing for products in the U.S., so they can talk to consumers and shareholders about agricultural sustainability.
The other side of the conversation, however, is that a new level of transparency is just going to be part of doing business in the coming years. Companies will simply want more information about how they are sourcing their raw materials but are not planning to pay more for such information. READ MORE