Top News Stories This Week
RFA Welcomes Inclusion of Low Carbon Fuel Standard in Select Committee Recommendations
RFA agrees with the Committee that widespread use of liquid fuels and internal combustion engines will continue for decades to come.
RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper.  
RFA | By Ken Colombini | June 30, 2020 — Today, Democrats on the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis unveiled a comprehensive action plan to promote a clean energy economy and combat climate change. The report, which lays out a series of policy recommendations for Congress aimed at significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the decades ahead, highlights renewable fuels like ethanol as one key piece of the strategy. Among the report’s many recommendations are development of a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), broad deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and incentivizing increased agricultural carbon sequestration.
“RFA continues to analyze the report, but at first blush we are highly encouraged by the Select Committee’s acknowledgement that renewable fuels like ethanol can play an important role in reducing the carbon impacts of our nation’s transportation sector in the future,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. READ MORE
Climate Panel Urges Sweeping Change, Deep Carbon Cuts
Report endorses a carbon tax, but offers no estimate of the cost to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., will present her committee's plan Tuesday morning.
ROLL CALL | June 30, 2020 — House Democrats will on Tuesday reveal a sweeping slate of recommendations to address climate change by lowering emissions, investing in low-carbon industries, pulling away from high-pollution sectors and speeding the shift away from fossil fuels.
The suggestions, included in a report by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, are by turns highly technical and granular as well as expansive in scope. The report includes some cost and benefit estimates for certain policies, but it does not include a cost for the Democrats' entire plan, which likely includes thousands of steps and has not been turned into legislative language.
Governors’ Biofuels Coalition Urges EPA To Drop “Gap Year” RFS Waivers
Noem says approving prior-year SRE’s ignores the court’s decision, congressional intent, and will severely impact farmers and rural communities that support the biofuels industry.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who serves as chair of the Coalition, says the exemptions are an attempt to circumvent a Tenth Circuit Court ruling earlier this year.
B ROWNFIELD | By Mark Dorenkamp | June 30, 2020 — The Governors’ Biofuels Coalition is urging the EPA to drop the 52 retroactive “gap-year” RFS waivers recently requested by oil refiners.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who serves as chair of the Coalition, says the exemptions are an attempt to circumvent a Tenth Circuit Court ruling earlier this year that found EPA overstepped its authority in granting a handful of small refinery exemptions.
Noem says approving prior-year SRE’s ignores the court’s decision, congressional intent, and will severely impact farmers and rural communities that support the biofuels industry.
Renewable Fuels Association CEO Geoff Cooper says these governors have witnessed first-hand the significant effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and know that now is not the time for EPA to give in to oil industry demands and harm the rural economy further.   READ MORE
Anglo-Dutch Energy Giant’s Action Follows A Similarly Large Move By BP
The coronavirus pandemic has stalled factories and shut down business around the world, causing a historic drop in oil demand just as production was reaching new highs.  
WALL STREET JOURNAL | By Sarah McFarlane | June 30, 2020 — Royal Dutch Shell PLC is writing down the value of its assets by up to $22 billion because of lower energy prices caused by the demand-sapping coronavirus pandemic. The write-down follows one by BP PLC on a similar scale earlier this month. Lower oil and gas prices brought on by the pandemic and uncertainty over the pace of the transition to lower carbon energy have caused major oil companies to question the value of their reserves. The broad reassessment of asset values by two of the energy sector’s largest companies is about more than a response to the pandemic and its impact on oil and gas prices, said Luke Parker, vice president, corporate analysis at consultancy Wood Mackenzie. The actions signal that large amounts of oil and gas are likely to be left in the ground. READ MORE
Ernst Sinks Vote On Trump EPA Nominee
Ernst said in a statement on Friday that she would oppose the nomination, citing issues that ethanol and biodiesel producers have with the agency over blending requirement waivers for oil refiners.
Douglas Benevento’s (right) awaits nomination for the No. 2 position at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
THE HILL | By Rachel Frazin | June 26, 2020 — The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will not take up Douglas Benevento’s nomination for the No. 2 position at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) announced her opposition. 
Ernst said in a statement on Friday that she would oppose the nomination, citing issues that ethanol and biodiesel producers have with the agency over blending requirement waivers for oil refiners. 
“Until EPA tells us exactly what they plan to do with the ‘gap year’ waivers, Mr. Benevento does not have my vote,” Ernst said. “Iowa’s hardworking ethanol and biodiesel producers are sick of being yanked around by Andrew Wheeler and the EPA. Our producers need certainty; until we get that, no EPA nominee is getting my vote.”
In response, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), who chairs the panel, said that the committee will not hold a vote on the nomination.   READ MORE
In 5 Countries, Overwhelming Majorities Want Cleaner Air, Poll Finds
A new survey in five countries found significant support for stricter air quality regulations and enforcement of existing rules.
A smoggy day in London town.
NEW YORK TIMES | By Somini Sengupta | June 17, 2020 — The coronavirus lockdown has fed a common desire in some very different countries: the need for cleaner air and support for tougher government rules to get rid of pollution, according to an opinion poll made public on Wednesday.
A survey of people in five countries — Britain, Bulgaria, India, Nigeria, and Poland — found significant support for stricter air quality regulations and enforcement of existing rules. The survey was carried out amid the pandemic, between May 22 and June 2, by the online polling service, YouGov, on behalf of an advocacy group called the Clean Air Fund.
About 90 percent of those surveyed in India and Nigeria said they want improved air quality. Large majorities — more than 80 percent in both countries, where the working poor tend to walk and use bicycles — said they supported repurposing roads for pedestrians and bicyclists. In every country, large majorities of people surveyed said they wanted “improved” public transport. That figure ranged from 70 percent among Britons to 93 percent among Nigerians. READ MORE
Iowa Governor Signs Bill Extending Biofuel Tax Differential
Iowa continues to lead on innovative ways to drive demand for biofuels,” Reynolds said.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signs SF 2403 June 30
BIODIESEL MAGAZINE | By Ron Kotrba | June 30, 2020 — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed legislation June 30 that extends the tax differential for higher blends of biodiesel and ethanol. The governor signed the bill, Senate File 2403, during her weekly press conference at Pine Lake Corn Processors in Steamboat Rock. The measure extends a tax differential of 3 cents per gallon for biodiesel blends greater than 10 percent and ethanol blends of 15 percent or higher. The tax break would have expired June 30, 2020, but is now extended through June 30, 2026.
“Iowa continues to lead on innovative ways to drive demand for biofuels,” Reynolds said. “This legislation makes higher blend biofuels even cheaper at the pump while driving demand for homegrown renewable fuel.”
CUHK Scientists Develop Novel Enzyme Generation For Biodiesel
Enzymes are small microscopic engines that drive the various chemical processes needed for life.
CUHK research team develops a novel technology for generating biocatalysts. From left, Professor Michael Chan, Bradley Heater and Zaofeng Yang.
CHINESE UNIVERSITY HONG KONG | By The Chinese University of Hong Kong | June 25, 2020 — A research team from the School of Life Sciences at The Chinese University of Hong Kong has developed a novel method for extracting enzymes from bacteria, which lowers the production cost yet improves the enzyme’s stability. It also opens up a new avenue for the enzymatic production of biodiesel, an ecofriendly and effective substitute for fossil fuels. The research findings were recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Enzymes are small microscopic engines that drive the various chemical processes needed for life. Chemists often generate tailor-made enzymes and use them to produce drugs and other useful chemicals that we use daily. One example is the enzymatic synthesis of biodiesel. READ MORE
Circular-economy Partnership Formed In The Netherlands 
“We are big enough to make a difference,” said Jeroen Dekkers, head of the McDonald’s Netherlands supply chain.
By Ron Kotrba | June 25, 2020— Renewable diesel producer Neste Corp. announced a circular-economy partnership June 24 with McDonald’s Netherlands and HAVI, a global supply chain company. Used cooking oil (UCO) from McDonald’s Netherlands will be turned into renewable diesel by Neste at its plant in Rotterdam, and then the fuel will be used to power HAVI trucks that both collect UCO from and deliver goods to McDonald’s restaurants in the Netherlands.
“We are big enough to make a difference,” said Jeroen Dekkers, head of the McDonald’s Netherlands supply chain. “Circularity and reducing waste are one of the pillars of our ongoing sustainability program.” READ MORE
DC Public Works Expands B100 Use With Optimus Technologies System
The Department of Public Works in Washington, D.C., intends to have nearly 100 trucks upgraded with the Optimus Technologies Vector System to allow even greater B100 use within the next year.
The Department of Public Works in Washington, D.C., intends to have nearly 100 trucks upgraded with the Optimus Technologies Vector System to allow even greater B100 use within the next year.
BIODIESEL MAGAZINE | By Optimus Technologies | June 24, 2020 — The D.C. Department of Public Works increased the number of heavy-duty fleet vehicles capable of running on renewable pure biodiesel (B100) by installing Optimus Technologies’ Vector System onto 17 new refuse trucks. The innovative fuel system allows the DPW to realize its sustainable energy goals immediately, as enabling the trucks to operate on B100 reduces up to 86 percent of the vehicles’ greenhouse gas emissions.
The DPW began an evaluation of the technology in 2018, when the Optimus system was installed on six garbage and recycling trucks. The Vector System allows these medium- and heavy-duty vehicles to run on pure biodiesel, a cleaner fuel solution produced from waste fats and oils. READ MORE
EU Research Project IDEALFUEL Seeks to Develop Marine Low-sulfur Heavy Fuel Oils from Biomass
In an EU-funded research project, an international consortium is aiming to develop new production methods for sustainable marine fuels to replace heavy fuel oils in shipping.
GREEN CAR CONGRESS | June 26, 2020 - The use of heavy fuel oils (HFOs) contributes to global warming due to the fossil origin of these fuels and, moreover, generating non-negligible emissions of pollutants such as sulfur oxides. The IDEALFUEL project aims to create sustainable alternatives by developing new efficient and low-cost methods to produce low-sulfur heavy fuel oils from wood-based non-food biomass. OWI Science for Fuels gGmbH and TEC4FUELS GmbH are involved in the project as research partners.  READ MORE
June 30, 2020
June 30, 2020
Feds Relaxing New Fuel Standards Short Term, Tougher by 2030
The Clean Fuel Standard originally proposed that the intensity of gasoline be reduced by 4% starting in 2022.
CANADIAN MANUFACTURING | OTTAWA | June 22, 2020 — Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is scaling back the government’s planned Clean Fuel Standard in the short term to give the fossil fuel industry a bit more time to recover from the pandemic-induced economic collapse.
But to make up for less stringent emissions reductions in the beginning, he said fuel producers will have to do more to green up their gasoline and diesel fuels starting in 2026.
“We think that’s appropriate in the context of the current environment where firms are having to come through a very difficult time,” Wilkinson told The Canadian Press.
The overall effect, said Wilkinson, will not reduce the impact the standard is to have by the time it is fully rolled out in 2030. READ MORE
Sustainability and Prosperity for Dairy Industry
The goal is to support dairy producers in adopting technologies and processes that transform nutrients extracted from dairy manure
University of Idaho Communications | MOSCOW, Idaho | June 23, 2020 —  A team of University of Idaho researchers has secured a $10 million U.S. Department of Agriculture – National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grant to evaluate the use of bioproducts from dairy waste streams to enhance sustainability for all of Idaho agriculture and develop economic opportunities for the state’s dairy industry. READ MORE
Biodiesel Demand And Prices Pick Back Up In May
Just about 222,000 tonnes of biodiesel were used for blending in Germany in March 2020. This was up 4.4 per cent from the previous month and a 27 per cent rise from March 2019.
BIOFUELS DIGEST | By Helena Tavares Kennedy  | June 28, 2020 In Germany, UFOP reports that demand for biodiesel picked up and prices climbed, drought and harvest concerns paralyzed the rapeseed business, and vegetable oils consistently firmed in May, driven by rising fuel consumption.
German rapeseed imports dropped significantly in March, U.S. soybean prices lacked clear orientation; abundant supply from, South America and favorable US crop forecasts had a negative impact, but new business with China lent support. Demand from compound feed manufacturers for rapeseed meal and expeller remained restrained. Crude oil prices recovered from lows on support from OPEC+ cap on production and growing buying interest.
Just about 222,000 tonnes of biodiesel were used for blending in Germany in March 2020. This was up 4.4 per cent from the previous month and a 27 per cent rise from March 2019. The amount of diesel fuel used for road transport amounted to 2.64 million tonnes. READ MORE
Ireland To Set Annual Emissions Goals To Reach 2050 Carbon Neutrality  
The formation of a historic coalition government has put climate action at the top of Ireland’s priorities, with a plan to halve emissions in the next decade.
Micheál Martin, leader of Fianna Fáil, and Leo Varakar, leader of Fine Gael, announced the government's new cabinet ministers on Saturday.
CLIMATE HOME NEWS | By Chloé Farand | June 29, 2020 Ireland’s new coalition government has set itself an ambitious goal to deliver steep greenhouse gas emissions cuts every year to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. 
Following months of negotiations, interrupted and delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, a three-party coalition government was confirmed on Saturday. No single party won a majority in a general election in February.
The unusual alliance of the Republican party Fianna Fáil, the more liberal Fine Gael party and the Green Party was endorsed by party members, delivering a mandate for Ireland to set tough short-term emissions reduction goals alongside addressing the country’s housing crisis. READ MORE
UK Risks Missing UN Climate Deadline, In Headache For Hosts Of Key Summit
Britain’s timeline for developing a more ambitious climate plan has slipped, challenging diplomatic efforts to encourage other countries to raise their game.  
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the launch of Cop26 in February in London.
CLIMATE HOME NEWS | By Chloé Farand | June 29, 2020 The UK host of the next critical UN climate summit may struggle to meet a UN deadline to submit a tougher climate plan.
Under the Paris climate accord, governments have agreed to update their 2030 climate targets this year. Collectively, they must make deeper emissions cuts to limit global heating “well below 2C” and strive for 1.5C – the agreement’s temperature targets.
They are expected to bring their strengthened plans to the UN climate summit known as Cop26, in Glasgow, which has been pushed back to November 2021 after the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible to hold an international conference this year. READ MORE
Which Countries Have A Net Zero Carbon Goal?
A growing number of governments are setting targets to end their contribution to global warming. Bookmark this page to stay up to date.
Where's the good 'ol USA on the list?!
CLIMATE HOME NEWS | By Megan Darby | June 29, 2020 To end dangerous overheating of the planet, humans need to stop putting more greenhouse gases into the air than we take out.
The 2015 Paris Agreement set a global goal (couched in legalese) to reach net zero emissions in the second half of the century.
An increasing number of governments are translating that into national strategy, setting out visions of a carbon-free future. Is it enough? Of course not. But it is becoming the benchmark for leadership on the world stage.
Here is a handy guide to who is promising what. List of countries follows in link.   READ MORE
Growth Energy Cheers Governors’ Biofuels Coalition Opposition To Exemptions
“Our producers need certainty; until we get that, no EPA nominee is getting my vote.”Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).
Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).
BIOFUELS INTERNATIONAL | June 30, 2020 Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor has thanked the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition, which issued a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opposing retroactive small refinery exemptions (SREs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
The governors noted: “Approving prior-year SREs in this manner ignores the court’s decision and congressional intent and will severely impact farmers and rural communities that support the biofuels industry.”
The letter was signed by coalition co-chairs South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, as well as Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts.
It echoes last week’s call by Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), who warned the agency that: “Our producers need certainty; until we get that, no EPA nominee is getting my vote.” READ MORE
Indonesia’s State Oil Company To Produce B100 Biodiesel Next Year
This would allow Indonesia to slash its fossil fuel imports by $4.5 billion (€4 billion) a year.
Indonesia and Malaysia are the largest producers of palm oil.
BIOFUELS INTERNATIONAL | June 29, 2020 The Indonesian government approved regulations regarding the use of biodiesel as a substitute for fossil fuel across all economic sectors in 2018.
Recently the South East Asian government mandated to mix 20% biodiesel with 80% fossil fuel (B20).
And at the end of last year the country launched biodiesel containing 30% palm-based fuel – the highest mandatory mix in the world.
This would allow Indonesia to slash its fossil fuel imports by $4.5 billion (€4 billion) a year.
Now the country’s state oil firm PT Pertamina will start producing 3,000 barrels of ‘green’ diesel made from 100% palm oil from June 2021. CEO Nicke Widyawati informed Parliament about the plans.
PT Pertamina then plans to gradually increase output to 6,000 barrels per day.
VolkerFitzpatrick And Green Biofuels Unite To Reduce Carbon Emissions
The adoption of Green D+ will reduce VolkerFitzpatrick’s overall emissions in excess of 4,000 metric tonnes per annum.
BIOFUELS INTERNATIONAL | June 29, 2020 Green Biofuels, a provider of low emission fossil-free fuel for fleet and infrastructure operators, has teamed up to reduce carbon emissions across VolkerFitzpatrick’s UK Rail enterprise.
GreenD+ is the leading hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) fuel that significantly reduces notrogen oxide and total particulates, as well as carbon emissions, giving the lowest emission of any advanced fuel for replacing standard diesels in plant and equipment on construction sites.
Crucially, Green D+ can be used without any changes to equipment or fuel tanks meaning companies can take climate change action with no costly upgrades to machinery or equipment.
VolkerFitzpatrick is the first construction company to adopt Green D+ across its entire rail network. This includes multiple ongoing rail infrastructure projects at Water Beach and Littleport with one recently completed at Kings Lynn; a new train station at Brent Cross West; station upgrades to Dagenham East and facilitating the RAF airbase extension at Lossiemouth, Scotland.
The adoption of Green D+ will reduce VolkerFitzpatrick’s overall emissions in excess of 4,000 metric tonnes per annum. READ MORE
New Lawsuit Against Fossil Fuels
Minnesota launched a similar lawsuit against Exxon, the American Petroleum Institute and Koch Industries alleging the three had violated state and common law provisions regarding false advertising, deceptive trade practices and consumer fraud.
POLITICO |By KELSEY TAMBORRINO  | June 26, 2020 The District of Columbia sued four Big Oil companies Thursday for "systematically and intentionally" misleading consumers on the role their products play in climate change.
The complaint , filed against ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Shell in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, alleged the companies violated the Consumer Protection Procedures Act, a broad statute that prohibits businesses from misinformation about consumer goods and services. "The defendants violated the District's consumer protection law by concealing the fact that using fossil fuels threatens the health of District residents and the environment," D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said in a statement.
The lawsuit comes one day after Minnesota launched a similar lawsuit against Exxon, the American Petroleum Institute and Koch Industries alleging the three had violated state and common law provisions regarding false advertising, deceptive trade practices and consumer fraud. The D.C. AG's office said it was not aware of the Minnesota suit until Wednesday. READ MORE