– by John Stang, October 31, 2016, GeekWire
Photo: Alaska Airlines
One big hurdle in getting airlines to use biofuels is the cost difference biofuels and petroleum-based fuels. Right now, petroleum-based jet fuels are cheaper. But biofuels produce fewer carbon emissions.
So the Port of Seattle, sustainable jet fuel company SkyNRG and Sir Richard Branson’s nonprofit Carbon War Room announced today that they are partnering on a study to find out how to compensate airlines for the difference in fuel prices. Backers of the study hope to have some results by February.
– by Bob Adelmann, October 28, 2016, The New American
(Graphic: Taxpayers for Common Sense)
When the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was signed into law by then-President George W. Bush, it was well-intended: It would increase America’s oil independence and reduce dependence on foreign oil, it would produce cleaner air, and it would help farmers.
The Act required refiners to add ethanol to every gallon of gasoline they produced. If a refiner decided it couldn’t (too costly) or wouldn’t (internal decision) do so, it would be required to buy ethanol credits. Those credits, called RINs (for Renewable Identification Numbers), are now being traded and reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in gains for the big oil companies. According to the New York Times, the Act has “inadvertently become a multi-billion-dollar windfall for some of the world’s biggest oil companies.”
– by John Siciliano, October 22, 2016, Washington Examiner
Hillary Clinton’s campaign mulled supporting the elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency’s renewable fuels program before a campaign tour through the corn state of Iowa last year, according to illegally obtained emails posted by the website WikiLeaks.
Senior campaign aides suggested in the April 2015 emails that coming out forcefully against the EPA would put her at odds with the Obama administration but would go “further” than any Democrat or Republican on the issue of EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard. Supporting the repeal of the standard, which requires certain amounts of ethanol and other biofuels be added into gasoline and diesel supplies, would put her at odds with many Midwest corn states and environmental groups that support the program.
– by Todd Neely, October 19, 2016, DTN/The Progressive Farmer
Biofuel refinery (Photo: DTN)
At some point before Dec. 9, Congress will need to vote on a budget bill to continue to fund the government, and one ethanol interest group is asking House and Senate leaders to take that opportunity to extend a number of biofuels tax incentives as well.
While the upcoming expiration of the biodiesel blenders credit has received most of the attention in recent months, the Renewable Fuels Association is pressing Congress to extend the second-generation biofuel producer tax credit, the special depreciation allowance for second-generation biofuel plant property, and the alternative fuel vehicle refueling property credit.
CONFERENCE CALL AUDIO: An Overview of Aviation Biofuels (September 2016)
The Biomass Monitor speaks with Almuth Ernsting, co-director of Biofuelwatch, about the current forms of aviation biofuels and those likely to be used in the future.
The Biomass Monitor conference calls are held the 3rd Thursday of every month. For notice of future calls, go to thebiomassmonitor.org and subscribe to our free, monthly online journal investigating the whole story on bioenergy, biomass, and biofuels.
– by Robert Rapier, October 13, 2016, Investing Daily
Permit me to engage in a bit of shameless self-promotion. If you are interested in U.S. ethanol policy, consider watching a new PBS documentary called The Ethanol Effect. It debuted just this week on PBS World, but should be distributed to local PBS channels shortly. The video is currently available online, here.
The documentary is hosted by former Scientific American energy and environment editor David Biello, who came to my office in Arizona to interview me for the program last April. I come on just before the 48-minute mark, discussing progress in cellulosic ethanol.
– by Erin Voegele, October 4, 2016, Ethanol Producer Magazine
On Oct. 3, the USDA released a new report showing that the biobased products industry contributed $393 billion and 4.2 million jobs to America’s economy in 2014. From 2013 to 2014, the sector created new 220,000 jobs and grew by $24 billion.
The new report, commissioned by the USDA BioPreferred Program, is the second Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry released by the USDA. It analyzes revenue and jobs created by the biobased products industry at the national and state level in 2014. The first report, released last year, analyzed 2013 data.