As industry and politicians await this year's final ethanol mandate from the Environmental Protection Agency, the oil industry hopes to get a lower total out of the Obama administration with a long shot pitch that consumers want gasoline free from biofuels.
The American Petroleum Institute has asked EPA to consider an apparent increase in sales of unleaded gasoline with no ethanol. It has said those sales of so-called E0 should prompt a lower Renewable Fuel Standard requirement, below the 13.1 billion gallons of conventional ethanol it proposed last fall.
But the argument is running up against lobbying by the ethanol industry, which wants the totals raised, and EPA itself, and its success would be a surprise.
The Obama administration on Friday awarded $210 million to three companies to build refineries that will be able to make more than 100 million gallons a year of biofuels to power Navy ships and jets.
The awards come some three years into President Barack Obama's initiative to develop a domestic military-grade biofuels sector. It follows the testing of biofuels by the Navy in a live exercise in 2012.
Navigant Research said in a report that marine and aviation industries have been expanding their use of biofuels in recent years and projected that biofuels will make up 6.1 percent of the aviation fuel market by 2024, FuelFix reports.
NEW YORK (AP) — The price of corn fell to its lowest in almost four years on Monday as favorable weather conditions for the crop persist in the Midwest.
Corn for delivery in September fell 9 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $4.06 a bushel, its lowest price since August 2010. As recently as April 29, corn was trading at $5.22.
The price of corn has slumped in the last two months as the right combination of sun, rain and moderate summer temperatures has boosted the chances of a record crop this year. U.S. corn is currently entering its pollination stage, a critical point of its development.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy on Wednesday said there is still no target date to issue final Renewable Fuel Standard biofuels requirements for 2014.
"I'm hoping to get that out soon," she said when asked about the status of the 2014 RFS proposal. "I know that people are concerned about it. I also know that there was a ton of comment on our proposal and we need to get this right," McCarthy added.
The EPA's decision to extend its deadline for refiners to meet 2013 Renewable Fuel Standard requirements will delay the agency's rule for 2014 levels until late summer, a development that could help Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, in his bid for the Senate, E&E reports.
The Obama administration's proposal for biodiesel fuel use in 2014 will be "disastrous" for the industry if it goes into effect, the Senate's second-ranking Democrat said Wednesday, calling on regulators to reverse course in the name of jobs.
Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chamber's majority whip, joined other senators to renew pressure on the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency to raise biofuels mandates under the Renewable Fuel Standard when it finalizes 2014 levels next month.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday rolled back its mandated use of non-corn cellulosic biofuel in gasoline to under 1 million gallons, a fraction of the levels it previously finalized for 2013 under the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Last August, the EPA set the amount at 6 million gallons before agreeing to reconsider the target at the behest of the American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuel and Petrochemicals Manufacturers. Administrator Gina McCarthy revised the requirement to 810,185 ethanol-equivalent gallons in light of lower-than-expected production last year.
The availability of 85 percent ethanol for use in cars that can take the biofuel blend has grown rapidly over the past six years, notably outside the industry's traditional base in the Midwest, the Energy Information Administration reported Friday.
EIA said about 2 percent of all gas stations sold the blend, known as E85, by the end of last year. That's more than double the number of retail outlets since the first state data was gathered in 2007, although growth has slowed in the past two years.
The fuel can be used in about 5 percent of U.S. vehicles.
China processed 10.3 million barrels of oil a day in September, a record analysts -- who say companies are replenishing their stockpiles -- attribute to the drop in crude prices, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Oil prices gained early Tuesday on news of record demand in China in September. Crude increased 55 cents, bringing the U.S. benchmark to $83.26 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent hit $85.95, Reuters reports.
Monday’s settlement for November natural gas futures on the Nymex – down 9.6 cents to $3.67 per million British thermal units – represents an 11-month low, and analysts told Platts a mild weather forecast for the month will likely reinforce the sluggish trend.
Despite recent improvements in the numbers, oil and gas firms still have more deaths from explosions and fires than any other private industry and carelessness is still a problem, according to E&E’s review of federal statistics.
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Tex. and chair of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, has sent a second letter to Administrator Gina McCarthy about the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule limiting carbon emissions from existing power plants, this time demanding a full cost analysis in the face of what he calls “the flaws and deficiencies in EPA’s modeling,” The Hill reports.
The reduction in the federal investment tax credit that’s due to take effect at the end of 2016 will drive a wave of consolidation that will leave six to 12 major players in the solar industry, an analyst predicted at the start of the Solar Power International conference in Las Vegas, Bloomberg reports.
Tesoro Logistics is getting into the natural gas business, picking up assets from QEP Resources in Colorado, Utah and North Dakota in a deal with a $2.5 billion price tag, the San Antonio Express-News reports.
Taking the first formal step in the process to limit strontium in drinking water, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued a preliminary determination to regulate levels of the substance and will take public comment on the matter, The Hill reports.