December 23, 2013

Iowa Delegation Requests RFS Hearings

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad (R), Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, and State Secretary of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Bill Northey led an effort to send a letter to EPA requesting it to convene a field hearing in Iowa on the Agency's proposed 2014 RFS rule. The letter was signed by the entire Congressional delegation from Iowa. A copy of the letter is available online. EPA's proposed 2014 RFS rule would reduce the 2014 statutory gallon requirements...
December 23, 2013

Senate Finance Chair Releases Draft Energy Incentive Bill And Requests Comment By January 31, 201

On December 18, 2013, Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) unveiled a detailed summary of staff discussion draft legislation designed to reform current energy incentives under the U.S. Tax Code. In sum, the proposal would consolidate nearly all 42 existing energy incentives under two categories of incentives: technology-neutral tax incentives for domestic production of (1) clean electricity and (2) clean fuels. The detailed summary of the discussion draft acknowledges and requests...
December 23, 2013

Congressional Efforts To Extend Biofuels Incentives

On December 12, 2013, Representative Scott Peters (D-CA), Chair of the House Algae Caucus, introduced H.R. 3758, a bill to extend the $1.01/gallon second generation biofuel producer credit and the special allowance for second generation biofuel plant property. These incentives are among several currently set to expire at the end of the year. Members of the House and Senate have sent letters to the Chairs and Ranking Members of their respective tax writing Committees —...
December 23, 2013

House Energy And Commerce Subcommittee Chair Cites TSCA Reform Among Top Priorities For 201

It has been reported that the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Power Chair John Shimkus (R-IL) has listed reform of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) among his top priorities for 2014. Chair Shimkus has stated publicly that the House is still determining how best to draft and move TSCA reform legislation, but he expects a House TSCA reform bill to be introduced by the spring, with...
December 23, 2013

House Passes Farm Bill Extension Before Adjourning Until January

Just before adjourning for its winter recess, the U.S. House of Representatives approved on December 13, 2013, by voice vote an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill through January 31, 2014. The vote is considered symbolic because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has asserted that the Senate will not consider an extension. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Representative Colin Peterson (D-MN), two of the principals leading Farm Bill negotiations, have reportedly stated that an...
December 13, 2013

Evonik And LanzaTech Partner On Bio-Processed Precursors For Specialty Plastic

This week, Evonik Industries and LanzaTech announced that they have entered into a three year research agreement under which Evonik will "combin[e] its existing biotechnology platforms with LanzaTech's synthetic biology and gas fermentation expertise for the development of a route to bio-processed precursors for specialty plastics from waste derived synthesis gas. In this route, microorganisms placed in fermenters are used to turn synthesis gas into chemical products." A copy of...
December 13, 2013

Virent And Renmatix Partner On Biobased Packaging

Renewable fuel and chemical company Virent and cellulosic sugar producer Renmatix have announced plans to collaborate to convert cellulosic sugars to renewable chemicals and biobased packaging materials. According to Virent's press release on the effort, "Renmatix's Plantrose™ platform will be evaluated and potentially optimized to provide an affordable sugar stream for Virent's Bioforming® process for the large-scale production of bio-based paraxylene. Paraxylene is a...
December 13, 2013

Sapphire Energy Deal With Phillips 66

Renewable energy company Sapphire Energy, Inc. and Phillips 66 have entered into a joint development agreement designed to promote and facilitate the commercial production of Sapphire's algae-based crude oil, which will be made into fuels. According to Sapphire's press release describing the agreement, "the companies will work together to collect and analyze data from co-processing of algae and conventional crude oil into fuels. The goal is to complete fuel certifications to ready...
December 13, 2013

BRAG Presents At BIO’s Pacific Rim Summit In San Diego

This week, the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG™) participated in the Biotechnology Industry Organization's Pacific Rim Summit on Biotechnology and Bioenergy in San Diego, California. The Summit included over 400 attendees with broad interest and involvement in biofuels and renewable chemicals. During the Summit, BRAG Executive Director Kathleen M. Roberts gave a presentation titled "The Here and Now of TSCA," in which she emphasized the criticality of...
December 13, 2013

Industry Urges Extension Of Key Biofuels Incentives

On December 9, 2013, 60 companies sent a letter to the leaders of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and U.S. Senate Committee on Finance urging them to extend various biofuels incentives. These incentives, including the $1.00 per gallon credit for biodiesel, are scheduled to expire at the end of the year. While industry was able to secure extension of these incentives last year in legislation to prevent the "fiscal cliff," the prognosis for...