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Holland & Knight

Split emerges between biofuels leaders in wake of EPA delay

The decision last week by the Obama administration to delay a final biofuels rule for 2014 is leading to conflict within the industry over the future of the program.

Mike McAdams, president of the Advanced Biofuels Association, on Tuesday renewed his call for Congress to write new legislation to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard, a stance that put him at odds with other biofuels groups.

He argued that the approach adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency to keep biofuels at about 10 percent of the motor vehicle fuel market, based on the predominant blend of ethanol into gasoline sold to consumers, threatens to kill investment into ethanol made from non-corn cellulosic feedstocks.

"It's time for Congress to step in and do something," McAdams said in an interview.

EPA delays 2014 RFS rule

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday that it will not finalize its 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard proposal this year and will set final targets next year, potentially with 2015 requirements. 

The agency is more than a year late in finalizing the annual mandate for biofuels use in transportation fuels. Late last year it proposed to cut required use compared to 2013, which prompted intense lobbying from the biofuels industry in an effort to raise the totals in a final rule.

"Due to this delay, and given ongoing consideration of the issues presented by the commenters, EPA is not in a position to finalize the 2014 RFS standards rule before the end of the year," the agency said in a Federal Register notice.

Report: RFS biodiesel mandate could be lower than 1.5B gallons

Source: 
Platts

Sources tell Platts that the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2014 biodiesel production will range from 1.28 billion to 1.5 billion gallons, far lower than industry capacity that reached 1.8 billion gallons last year.

Jessie Kalbfeld

Biofuels lobby turns up heat on Obama over RFS

The biofuels coalition Fuels America on Thursday rolled out new ad buys in Washington-based news outlets to pressure the White House not to cut the mandated use of biofuels at the pump.

The ads are the latest push by ethanol and biodiesel makers against a proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency to lower this year's Renewable Fuel Standards target for biofuels use.

Associated Press

Analysis: Long odds against the E0 argument

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.

Navy Green Fleet exercise/Navy Photo

Obama puts $210 million toward Navy biofuels refineries

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.

Corn slides again, extending recent losses

Corn futures slumped again Tuesday, extending a recent slide brought on by expectations of a huge crop this year.

Corn for December delivery fell 6.5 cents to $3.82 a bushel.

Aviation, marine industries boost biofuel demand

Source: 
FuelFix

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.

Corn falls as favorable weather continues

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.

Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor Photo

McCarthy: No target date to finish RFS levels for 2014

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.

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