October 4, 2013

KiOR Plans Second Biofuel Facility

On September 26, 2013, cellulosic biofuels company KiOR, Inc. announced that it intends to build a second cellulosic biorefinery near its existing plant in Columbus, Mississippi. This second plant, or "Columbus II," is expected to cost $225 million and the Company intends to build it in 18 months after it raises sufficient capital. This announcement is significant, especially as it comes at a time when federal RFS opponents are strong and have waged a campaign...
October 4, 2013

DTSC Safer Consumer Products Regulations Effective October 1, 2013

On August 28, 2013, California's Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) Safer Consumer Products Regulations (Regulations). The Regulations took effect on October 1, 2013. The Regulations are the much anticipated regulatory implementation of California's Green Chemistry Initiative. DTSC's implementing regulations have gone through several iterations, including an initial draft released on June 23, 2010, a revised draft...
October 4, 2013

DOE Announces Intent To Award $100 Million For Energy Research

On Monday, September 30, 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it intends to award $100 million for cutting edge energy research in areas including biofuels as part of its Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC). In 2009, DOE granted five-year awards ranging from $2 million to $5 million per year to each of 46 EFRCs throughout the country. The current Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is available online. Under the FOA, applicants must submit...
October 4, 2013

Farm Bill Expires

Not only did the U.S. government shut down at midnight on Monday, but so did the nine month extension of the 2008 Farm Bill. With no new five-year Farm Bill, the future is uncertain for rural energy programs supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), including the Biorefinery Assistance Program that promotes the development of biorefineries in the U.S. As we have reported earlier this year, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the...
October 4, 2013

Efforts On The RFS Continued In Face Of Shutdown

All legislative and regulatory efforts on the federal RFS are at a standstill until the government re-opens. RFS legislative and regulatory efforts, however, were strong in the days before the government shutdown. Last week, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy urging EPA to deny the joint petition by the American Petroleum Institute and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers requesting EPA grant a partial waiver of the 2014 RVOs...
October 4, 2013

Shutdown Delays Important Regulatory And Legislative Work Affecting Industr

The U.S. government is shut down until the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives approve the same version of legislation to fund it and the President then signs it into law. House Republicans have been trying to tie funding the government with defunding certain parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which went into effect on October 1. The Senate has rejected every funding bill sent to it by the House because each has contained...
October 1, 2013

DTSC Safer Consumer Products Regulations Effective Today

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC or Department) Safer Consumer Products Regulations (Regulations) take effect today. Memoranda providing background information on the Regulations are available online. The Regulations and Final Statement of Reasons are available online. The most onerous requirements for "responsible entities" (i.e., manufacturers, importers, assemblers, and retailers) will not be felt until DTSC identifies the first Priority Products, that is,...
September 27, 2013

Senator Urges Investigation Of RIN Market Speculation

This week, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) sent a letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) asking for an investigation into claims that speculators are manipulating the RIN market in which RIN credits are bought and sold to help obligated parties meet their annual renewable volume obligations (RVO) under the federal RFS. Senator Stabenow expressed concern with the lack of transparency in the RIN market. Ethanol RIN prices have dramatically risen this year and there...
September 27, 2013

Another Biodiesel RIN Fraud Case, But Industry States It Should Not Change Current Enforcement Plan

Last week, federal securities regulators charged Imperial Petroleum, Inc. and its subsidiary, Indiana-based E-Biofuels LLC, with carrying out a fraudulent federal RFS renewable identification number (RIN) and tax credit scheme. It is alleged that from November 2009 to January 2012, this scheme generated 52 million fraudulent RIN credits and $35 million in false tax credits, and cost investors approximately $60 million. More information is available online. This is the fourth major biodiesel RIN...
September 27, 2013

EPA Funding

If the Continuing Resolution (CR) currently funding the government is allowed to expire on September 30, it could prove devastating to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Unlike other federal agencies, EPA cannot claim exceptions for many of its employees. In the event the CR expires, as EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy asserted in public remarks this week, EPA "would effectively shut down." It would only have skeletal staff and would surely impact Renewable Fuel Standard...