Biobased and Renewable Products Update
November 30, 2017
EPA Denies Industry Request To Shift Point Of Obligation
On November 30, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice in the Federal Register announcing its decision to deny several petitions requesting that EPA initiate a rulemaking to change the point of obligation for compliance under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. Under the RFS program, refiners and importers of gasoline and diesel fuel are identified as “obligated parties” responsible for compliance with the RFS annual standards. In 2016, EPA received several petitions requesting a revision of the definition of “obligated party,” stating that such a change would align compliance responsibilities with the parties best positioned to make decisions on how much renewable fuel is blended into the transportation fuel supply in the United States. As previously reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) blog post, “EPA Announces Opportunity To Comment On Changing The RFS Point Of Obligation,” EPA requested public comment on the petitions and the Agency’s proposed denial of the requests. In reviewing the petitions and public comments, EPA stated that its primary consideration was whether or not a change in the point of obligation would improve the effectiveness of the program to achieve Congress’s goals. According to the notice, EPA determined that such a change would not improve the efficiency of the program, but would unnecessarily increase the complexity of the program and undermine the success of the RFS program.
DOE Announces $16 Million In Funding For SBIR And STTR Programs
On November 27, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued an announcement for its second funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for fiscal year (FY) 2018. The Phase I Release 2 FOA will provide funding for innovations that address multiple research and development programs throughout DOE, including the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Phase I grants are six to 12 months in duration with maximum award amounts of $150,000 or $225,000, depending on the research topic. Successful Phase I projects will compete for Phase II funding in FY 2019 to carry out prototype or processes research and development. More information on the FOA is available here.
DOE Advanced Development And Optimization Workshop
DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is hosting an Advanced Development and Optimization (ADO) Workshop on December 12-13, 2017, in Golden, Colorado. At the workshop, BETO intends to discuss how the new ADO program area can best serve stakeholders in developing the bioenergy industry, and to raise awareness of existing assets from past investments and discuss future needs and opportunities for maximizing these assets’ value. The ADO program aims to remove the risk associated with bioenergy production technologies through validated proof of performance at the pilot, demonstration, and pioneer scales and to remove any additional barriers to commercialization. More information on the ADO program is available on the BETO website. Registration is available online.
Neste Announces Partnership With California Fuel Distributors
On November 22, 2017, Neste, a member of BRAG, announced exclusive partnerships with four California fuel distributors that will provide public and private fleets access to a consistent and high-quality supply of Neste MY Renewable Diesel. Through the partnerships with IPC (USA), Inc., Ramos Oil Company, Van De Pol Petroleum, and Western States Oil, Neste renewable diesel will be available to customers in Southern California, Northeast California, the Central Valley, and the North Coast. According to Jeremy Baines, Vice President of Sales with Neste US, Inc., “these partnerships are vital in securing the delivery of our branded, high-quality renewable diesel to customers such as municipalities and private fleets, who will benefit from its performance and lower emissions.” Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a low-carbon drop-in fuel produced from 100 percent renewable raw materials that meets California’s strict fuel regulations.
Royal Dutch Shell, Bio-Bean Collaborate To Fuel London Buses
Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) announced a collaboration with bio-bean, a clean technology company, that will power London’s buses using a biofuel made partly from waste coffee grounds. Bio-bean collects waste coffee grounds from high street chains and factories, dries and processes the grounds, and then extracts the coffee oil, which Argent Energy, bio-bean’s fuel partner, processes into a blended B20 biofuel. The biofuel contains a 20 percent bio-component that contains part coffee oil and is being added to the London bus fuel supply chain without the need for modification. To date, 6,000 liters of coffee oil have been produced, which is capable of powering one London bus for a year. The collaboration represents the most recent part of Shell’s #makethefuture energy relay, which supports entrepreneurs turning bright energy innovations into a positive impact for communities around the world.
■ United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, “Major Countries Agree To Develop Sustainable Biofuels Targets And Scale Up Low Carbon Bioeconomy”
■ European Commission, “Technology Key To Ensuring Sustainable Bioenergy And Biofuel Production”
■ Science, “The Promise Of Plastics From Plants”
■ Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, “To Find New Biofuel Enzymes, It Can Take A Microbial Village”
■ Kansas State University, “Kansas State University Research Drives Wheat Straw Forward As Ethanol Fuel Source”
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The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.
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