Biobased Products News and Policy Report – Update from Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

Biobased and Renewable Products Update

September 5, 2019



DOE Office Of Science Announces BERAC Open Meeting
On September 5, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science announced an open meeting of the Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee (BERAC). The purpose of the meeting will be to provide advice to the Office of Science Director on various technical issues that occur in the development and implementation of the Biological and Environmental Research Program. Tentative agenda topics listed by DOE include news from the Office of Science and the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER); workshop briefing and research topic discussions; a report from the Biological Systems Science and Climate and Environmental Science Divisions; science talks; and an opportunity for public comment, among other topics. The meeting will take place in North Bethesda, MD, on October 24, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (EDT) and on October 25, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (EDT).
2020 Presidential Candidate, Elizabeth Warren, Writes Article On Achieving 100 Percent Clean Energy
On September 3, 2019, Medium published an article by U.S. Senator and 2020 Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren where she outlines her plan for achieving 100 percent clean energy. Highlighting the fact that the United States is the world’s largest historical carbon polluter, Warren claims that the United States has a “special responsibility to lead the way” in the clean energy movement. As an original supporter of the Green New Deal, which outlines a plan to achieve zero-net domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, Warren continues her public campaign calling for large and sustainable structural changes to decarbonize key sectors of the U.S. economy. In her article, Warren challenges other Presidential candidates to do the same in demonstrating commitment to clean energy through the decarbonization of electricity, vehicles, and buildings. Warren expands her argument by stating that a federal investment of $3 trillion will leverage additional trillions in private investment and create millions of jobs in addition to achieving:

  • 100 percent zero-carbon pollution for all new commercial and residential buildings by 2028;
  • 100 percent zero emissions for all new light-duty passenger vehicles, medium-duty trucks, and all buses by 2030; and
  • 100 percent renewable and zero-emission energy in electricity generation by 2030.

To achieve the goals outlined above, Warren states that there is no time to waste and that changes must begin now, including the readjustment of the U.S. economic approach to assure communities of color and other underserved populations are not left behind. As part of her campaign, Warren further delves into measures she would take as President to achieve these goals. Among these measures are the establishment of high standards for utilities; the creation of a Federal Renewable Energy Commission; federal subsidies to speed clean energy adoption; greater interstate and regional coordination; and the use of federal investment and policy to accelerate the transition. Warren further outlines her plan in her article, concluding by stating that should she win the election, she will “take bold action to confront the climate change crisis, starting on day one.”


National Chicken Council Submits Comments To EPA On The RFS Program Standards For 2020 And Biomass-Based Diesel Volume For 2021
On August 30, 2019, the National Chicken Council submitted a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expressing concerns with the proposed required volume obligations (RVO) for 2020 combined with the recent waiver that will increase the use of ethanol-15 (E15) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Representing companies that produce and process over 95 percent of the chicken in the United States, the National Chicken Council’s concerns are related to its broiler production, which comprises the largest single user of corn not operating under RFS. In its letter, the National Chicken Council claims that under RFS since 2007, broiler producers have faced $68.5 billion in higher feed costs for the production of broiler meat.  Calling for greater efforts to create a more sustainable approach under RFS, Mike Brown’s, National Chicken Council President, concluding statements express the view that both the proposed RVOs for 2020 and the waiver allowing for E15 sales year-round are overly aggressive. These measures, according to the letter, are also overly reliant on corn-based ethanol, stating that it is likely to cause disruptions to the feed supply in the U.S.


ELI To Host Webinar On Genetic Engineering
On September 11, 2019, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. (EDT), the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) will host a webinar titled “Genetic Engineering: The Good, The Bad, and The Necessary.” The webinar is designed to cover the vast possibilities offered by genetic engineering in a world where regulatory officials face increasing pressure to guarantee global food security. Along with the many possibilities associated with genetic engineering, however, there are great concerns about the environmental, health, and ethical implications of it. Webinar panelists will discuss many of these possibilities and concerns.

Other News

■  Live Kindly, “Edible Vegan Seaweed Pods Are the New Soda Bottles
Nikkei Asian Review, “Trapping CO2 into Concrete to Be Cheaper
Reuters, “Trump Promises Ethanol-related ‘Giant Package’ to Please Farmers
ZME Science, “This Fashionable Ski Jacket Is Made from Spider Silk Grown by Bacteria
Composites Manufacturing Magazine, “Lessons in Sustainability
Hellenic Shipping News, “Oil Industry Urges Trump Administration to Dismiss Biofuel Industry Wish List”
Oil Review, “Chemical Firms to Explore Electrical Cracking to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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