EU Looks to Tax Argentine, Indonesian Biodiesel

John Davis

eu-flag.gifThe European Union is targeting foreign biodiesel … again. Reuters reports this time the EU is looking to hit imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia with a duty to keep the green fuel out:

Those countries represent 90 percent of EU biodiesel imports and face retroactive duties from Thursday if an investigation finds the countries have benefited from illegal subsidies.

In an official publication, the European Commission said it had enough evidence that producer subsidies were “causing material injury to the (European) Union industry, which is difficult to repair”.

The European Union is already registering biodiesel from some companies in the two countries as part of a separate case on alleged price dumping – deliberately selling products for less abroad than at home, or for less than they cost to make.

For Argentina, the world’s No. 1 biodiesel exporter, EU regulators said taxes placed on exports of raw materials like soy bean oil used to make biodiesel, but not on the finished product, made it uneconomical to buy the fuel from European Union refiners.

A similar raw material export tax exists in Indonesia, which the Commission said undercuts European refiners.

Both Argentina and Indonesia say they are in line World Trade Organization rules.

U.S. renewable fuel producers have already had their own issues with the EU. Soybean-based biodiesel from the U.S. is banned in Europe, and anti-dumping measures were put on ethanol earlier this year.

Biodiesel, International

See You at Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference!

John Davis

ABLC2013-1We’ll see you next week at the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference (ABLC) in Washington, DC!

Our friends from Biofuels Digest are promising this will be a great forum running April 15-17 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center with real dialogue on the real issues facing the biofuels industry. Just look at some of the folks who will be attending!

Thomas Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, USDA
Brooke Coleman, Executive Director, Advanced Ethanol Council
Brent Erickson, Executive VP, BIO
Joe Jobe – CEO, National Biodiesel Board
Mike McAdams, President, Advanced Biofuels Association
Mary Rosenthal, Executive Director, Algae Biomass Organization
Harry Baumes, Director, Energy Policy, USDA
Mindi Farber-DeAnda, Head, Biofuels & Emerging Technologies, Energy Information Agency
Gerald Ostheimer, FAS Science Advisor, USDA – US technical lead, Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP)
Congressman Joe Garcia (D-FL)
Valerie Sarisky-Reed, Acting Director, DOE Biomass Program

Plus, many, many more from industry, financing and the military.

I’ll be there Monday to catch all the action and post it right here on Domestic Fuel. See you in DC!

advance biofuels, biofuels, conferences

Advanced Biofuels USA to Host “Freedom”

Joanna Schroeder

Advanced Biofuels USA is teaming up with HEAT, an environmental advocacy team based at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, to present a showing of the documentary “FREEDOM“. Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion featuring local leading advanced biofuel researchers and supporters. The event takes place on Earth Day, Monday, April 22, 2013 at Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall. The event is FREE to the public.

The two groups plan to bring to light the finiteness of the fossil fuel industry, the grip it has on our country’s economy, and the negative impacts on our environment. They will also inform attendees about the growing biofuel industry and how it can help to remedy America’s dependence on fossil fuels.

The documentary FREEDOM, created by Josh and Rebecca Tickell, the makers of the Sundance Film Festival Award Winning “FUEL,” takes place in the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The documentary includes insightful and inspirational interviews from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former NATO Commander Wesley Clark, Amy Smart, and more.

FREEDOM invites people, “Not to just get mad, but get motivated and calls for ‘a revolution in how we live.’ The documentary states a need for, “a shift in the types of houses and cities we live in. We must rethink the way we work and the way we treat each other and the planet. And most importantly, we must transform ourselves.” The New York Times stated that their previous movie, ‘FUEL’ “would make, “Al Gore weep all over his PowerPoint.”.

Following the showing of the documentary, the two organizations plan to hold a group panel discussion featuring local leaders in the research, use, and education of advanced biofuels. The panel will tentatively include: moderator Joanne Ivancic, the president and executive director of Advanced Biofuels USA; Robert E. Kozak, treasurer of Advanced Biofuels USA and president of Atlantic Biomass Conversions will talk about policy roadblocks currently confronting the industry; Dr. Craig Laufer, Hood College biology professor and secretary of Advanced Biofuels USA will talk about the science of advanced biofuels research.

advance biofuels, Education, Environment

Lee Enterprises and ICM Forge Alliance

Joanna Schroeder

Lee Enterprises Consultants logoLee Enterprises Consulting has formed of a strategic alliance with ICM, Inc. Recently, ICM developed a proprietary patent-pending Generation 1.5 Integrated Fiber to Cellulosic Ethanol Technology for the production of cellulosic ethanol.

ICM’s Director of Sales and Product Management, Brock Beach, will serve as ICM’s liaison to the consulting group. “As ICM continues to expand our presence into other alternative fuels, we are delighted to work with Lee Enterprises Consulting,” said Beach. He notes the new alliance allows the immediate pursuit of discussions with respect to projects combining various types of alternative and renewable fuels.

“We continually seicm_logoek alliances with the top companies to further our ability to fully serve every alternative and renewable fuels industry client,” said Wayne Lee, principle owner of Lee Enterprises Consulting.  “As a leading biofuels and technology provider, ICM has been involved with the global development of 102 ethanol facilities, representing 6.6 billion gallons of annual ethanol production.”

Lee notes that ICM has focused its innovation efforts on cellulosic ethanol and gasification technologies, and adds “In addition to having the best ethanol, cellulosic ethanol and gasification partner available, I think our collaboration will also open the door to many combination projects, so I am very excited to work with ICM.”

Miscellaneous

AFPM Compares E15 to MTBE

Joanna Schroeder

The American Fuel and Petroleum Manufacturers Association (AFPM) had compared the recent New Hamsphire Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) lawsuit loss by the oil industry to E15. MTBE  has been found to contaminate ground water and as a result nearly half the states in the U.S. have banned its use. E15, the most test fuel in the history of the country has never been shown to contaminate ground water and is a more environmental friendly option.

RFA-logo-13Bob Dinneen, CEO and president of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), called the statement “reckless” and “revisionist”. “AFPM and the oil companies are living in a fantasy parallel universe if they think they can revise history to tarnish E15 and the RFS.  MTBE did not go through the same 211F waiver process that E15 did.  MTBE did not undergo six million miles of testing like E15 did.  The oil companies pushed 15 percent MTBE approval under a much less rigorous waiver process that did not require the robust emissions and drivability testing that E15 has successfully completed.”

“Oil companies also did not conduct extensive 211(b) health effects testing prior to the registration of MTBE for commercial use,” continued Dinneen.  “Oil companies chose MTBE over biodegradable ethanol because it was a product they produced and it increased their profits.  In fact, they used MTBE to keep ethanol out of the market because the two fuels could not be used together. Unfortunately, MTBE was not compatible with the fuel distribution system. It leaked from tanks and quickly migrated to drinking water supplies.  MTBE is toxic.  Oil companies losing the court case in New Hampshire screams a dire warning that oil companies should not be trusted with our energy future.  Oil companies have a disturbing track record of putting their monopoly ahead of innovation and progress, and their profits ahead of consumer pocketbooks.”

Growth_Energy_logo-1Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy called the statement “absurd” and noted that in terms of the New Hampshire lawsuit, AFPM, refiners and oil companies refused to use cleaner-burning, biodegradable ethanol, and instead chose to use an oil-derived alternative that ended up contaminating water systems throughout the U.S., and is also suspected of having carcinogenic properties.

“This is just another example of the length the refiners will go to avoid using renewable fuels,” said Buis. “They chose MTBE over ethanol until it polluted water systems because of leaks – and switched to ethanol after states and local communities started banning its use. The only consistency among the oil companies and its affiliates like AFPM is that they will say and do anything to block market access for biofuels to protect their near monopoly on the liquid fuel system, as well as their bottom line – even if it is at the expense of their customers.”

“In a wild stretch of the imagination that ignores reality and facts, AFPM are trying to say the most tested fuel ever in American history, which is cleaner and biodegradable, will have the same negative effects as a toxic additive produced by AFPM. Give me a break. Big Oil – why don’t you tell the American people just what is in the oil spilling in communities across America, such as the Yellowstone river, the Mississippi river, Kalamazoo, Mayflower Arkansas and all over the Gulf of Mexico? I can tell you one thing – it isn’t environmentally safe, biodegradable ethanol,” concluded Buis.

E15, Environment, Ethanol, Growth Energy, RFA

EIA Previews New State Energy Portal

Joanna Schroeder

2013_05_smallThe U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has launched the most comprehensive, dynamic, and interactive view of the U.S. government’s national and state energy data and information currently available to the public. The state energy portal adds a unique visual dimension to each state’s energy resources and infrastructure.

The agency designed the new portal with a range of users in mind, including policy makers, energy analysts, and the general public, who want to locate and compare state energy data and rankings and customize their own maps and charts, using an assortment of interactive tools.

“The EIA state energy portal raises the bar for visually segmenting state-level energy data. It provides a wealth of energy information to a wide variety of users, including state officials wanting detailed information on the mix of energy resources in their state, analysts assessing a state’s energy sustainability, or government officials seeking the most comprehensive energy information to help develop energy policy,” said EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski.

The portal takes EIA’s vast portfolio of state energy data and analyses and organizes it geographically. Its comprehensive 30-layer mapping feature provides a dynamic visual representation of energy infrastructure and energy resources at the national, state, Congressional district, or county level. Map layers for Federal lands and Electric Reliability regions are also included.

The new portal is EIA’s response to requests from policy makers and energy experts for quick access to multi-level state energy data presented in an easy-to-understand way. EIA collaborated with state energy officials and other stakeholders on the portal’s design and solicited feedback from the public during the beta phase of the project.

Miscellaneous

Genscape Launches 1M QAP-B-Assured RINs

Joanna Schroeder

Through Genscape’s Quality Assurance Plan (QAP), there are now 1,058,000 QAP-B Renewable Identification Numbers (RINa) available for identification to obligated parties using Genscape’s RIN Integrity Network, a visual platform where obligated parties identify producers offering QAP RINs. Genscape’s validation process utilizes the its monitoring technology to offer a cost-effective and truly independent solution to ensure producers are meeting the EPA’s RFS2 regulations.

Genscape Logo Genscape B-RINs are validated using the same  technology and monitoring processes as their A-RINs. “The Genscape B-RIN should be even more valuable than any other QAP provider B-RINs because of the rigor and transparency of Genscape’s processes,” said David Dunn, a broker with Progressive Fuels Limited (PFL). “Their model allows for sign-off on all B-RINs from any producer whereas other providers might not get a blanket acceptance because of their plant-by-plant auditing process.”

Through QAP pre-registration on the EPA website, Genscape is able to provide A-RIN and B-RIN assurance in the interim period between January 1, 2013 and the final QAP rulemaking.

“The interim period enables obligated parties to take advantage of the benefits of affirmative defense and the A-RIN backing before the rule is final. We are aggressively responding to market demand for QAP’d RINs in the interim period,” added Olson.

biofuels, RINS

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner: Stop E15

Joanna Schroeder

Following the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology’s mark up and ultimate approval of H. 875, legislation designed to untimely repeal approval of E15 that was introduced by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner.

Rep Jim Sensenbrenner“The House Science Committee is ignoring hard data and facts that show E15 is reliable and the most tested fuel to date,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. “It is ironic that many members of the Committee chose to ignore the science, kick the can down the road and keep our nation addicted to foreign oil. Clearly this legislation does nothing to increase our energy security or independence; rather it only provides additional roadblocks and legislative hurdles for homegrown American energy from entering the commercial marketplace.

Buis continued, “H. 875 is a legislative tactic to delay, and ultimately repeal approval of E15. This is truly unfortunate as E15 is the most tested fuel to date and all the ethanol industry is asking for is the chance to compete in a free marketplace, where market share is not blocked and consumers and retailers have the opportunity to make the voluntary choice of the fuel they wish to use. However oil companies, refiners and special interests know that once higher blends of biofuels become available, consumers will line up to get a cleaner, higher performing, better fuel that is made in America instead of paying more to continue our reliance on foreign oil.”

Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), added, “This legislation is a tribute to stubbornness. Congressman Sensenbrenner refuses to acknowledge that E15 is a thoroughly tested and approved fuel option that gives consumers a cost-saving, environment-enhancing, domestic renewable choice at the pump. E15 has been test driven the equivalent of 4,700 round trips from Washington, D.C. to Milwaukee. If he doesn’t want to use it, fine, but American drivers have a right to choose. Stop throwing bad paid-for ‘science’ and scary warnings around in the name of oil monopoly protectionism.”

E15, Ethanol, Growth Energy, Legislation, RFA

USDA Increases Corn for Ethanol Use

Cindy Zimmerman

usda-logoThe latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate released this week increased 2012-13 year-ending corn stocks and corn use for ethanol.

Domestic corn use for 2012/13 is projected 100 million bushels lower as a 50-million-bushel increase in corn used to produce ethanol partly offsets the lower projection for feed and residual disappearance. Larger-than-expected March
1 corn supplies, lower corn prices, and favorable margins for producing and blending ethanol limit the expected year-to-year decline in ethanol production during the second half of the marketing year (March-August).

The report also projects higher world corn production, increasing 1.5 million tons for Brazil, 1.4 million tons for Europe with upward revisions to production in Spain, Hungary, and Poland and a bit more for Russia on the final government estimate.

corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, USDA

Biodiesel Board Announces Bioheat Campaign Winners

John Davis

BioHeatBioheat is doing more than warming bodies; it’s warming hearts. The National Biodiesel Board announced the winners of its NYC Proud 2B2 Renewable Warmup campaign, a four-week program recognizing charities in the New York area that dedicate their time and energy to provide much needed warmth to the city’s residents. A total of $30,000 in grants have gone out to three NYC charities, the largest recipient being the United Way’s Project Warmth, getting a $15,000 grant.

The United Way Project Warmth helps “warm” NYC, providing assistance to vulnerable Long Islanders who heat their home with oil. Their donation of oil heat helps families overcome a short-term financial hardship. They also offer case assistance, which results in 80% of families not needing assistance after. Their initiative also played an instrumental part in helping NY and NJ recover from Hurricane Sandy.

Achilles for Kids, a charity that wants to give out 3,500 pairs of new sneakers to low-income children with disabilities who complete a virtual marathon, received a $10,000 grant. The New York Foundling After School Program, which helps children in the South Bronx with tutoring, homework support and ongoing enrichment opportunities, picked up a $5,000 grant.

The article goes on to say that New York City is the country’s largest municipal user of biodiesel, with a 2 percent mandate for home heating oil.

Paul Nazzaro, president of Advanced Fuel Solutions and advocate for the National Biodiesel Board’s Bioheat Fuel education program stated, “Our NYC Proud 2B2 Renewable Warmup campaign has increased awareness and support of not only Bioheat Fuel, but the profile of the great work that so many of the greater NYC nonprofits provide. As we look to increased use of Bioheat Fuel by NYC and others, we help to clean up our air and create more jobs in the heartland of our country. It’s a sustainable movement that everyone can participate in.”

Biodiesel, NBB