EPA Lowers Renewable-Fuels Target for 2014

FREEPORT, IL - OCTOBER 4: Signs mark the location of various corn hybrids grown for use in ethanol production on a plot of land farmed by Kevin Otte October 4, 2004 near Freeport, Illinois. Certain varieties of corn grown specifically for ethanol production have been determined to produce about 4 percent more ethanol than other varieties. A bushel of corn produces 2.7 gallons of ethanol. Currently the United States produces 3.3 billion gallons a year, by 2012 it is estimated it will exceed 5 billion gallons a year. 
National Journal
Clare Foran
Add to Briefcase
Clare Foran
Nov. 15, 2013, 3:28 a.m.

The En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency dealt a blow to bio­fuels pro­du­cers Fri­day with the re­lease of a pro­pos­al for the 2014 re­new­able-fuel stand­ard re­vis­ing the total re­new­able volume ob­lig­a­tions down­ward for the first time.

The 2014 man­date pro­poses a range of 15 bil­lion to 15.52 bil­lion gal­lons of bio­fuels to be ad­ded to the U.S. fuel sup­ply next year, with a re­com­men­ded tar­get of 15.21 bil­lion gal­lons with­in that range.

The tar­get num­ber, if it be­comes law, would be a re­duc­tion of nearly 3 bil­lion gal­lons re­l­at­ive to the stat­utory re­quire­ment for 2014 of 18.15 bil­lion gal­lons.

It also pro­poses a range of 2 bil­lion to 2.51 bil­lion gal­lons of ad­vanced bio­fuels with a re­com­men­ded tar­get of 2.2 bil­lion gal­lons. The range falls be­low the pro­posed tar­get of 3.75 bil­lion gal­lons un­der the En­ergy Se­cur­ity and In­de­pend­ence Act of 2007.

On a call with re­port­ers Fri­day morn­ing, a seni­or ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial cited the blend wall, or the point at which eth­an­ol ex­ceeds 10 per­cent of the total fuel sup­ply, as one of the prin­cip­al reas­ons the agency de­cided to lower the man­date.

“The blend wall is an is­sue of par­tic­u­lar in­terest in de­term­in­ing this year’s stand­ard be­cause pro­duc­tion of re­new­able fuels con­tin­ues to in­crease but over­all gas­ol­ine con­sump­tion con­tin­ues to be less than what Con­gress an­ti­cip­ated when the pro­gram was es­tab­lished in 2007,” the of­fi­cial com­men­ted, adding: “While un­der the law volumes of re­new­able fuel are set to in­crease each year this unanti­cip­ated re­duc­tion in fuel con­sump­tion brings us to a point where the real­it­ies of the fuel mar­ket must be ad­dressed to prop­erly im­ple­ment the pro­gram.”

The oil and gas in­dustry has long warned that blend­ing eth­an­ol at levels above 10 per­cent of the total gas­ol­ine sup­ply could dam­age car en­gines. Bio­fuels pro­du­cers, however, have dis­missed these claims as an at­tempt by the in­dustry to weak­en the stand­ard.

Once the rule is pub­lished in the Fed­er­al Re­gister there will be a 60-day pub­lic com­ment peri­od. The agency is ex­pec­ted to fi­nal­ize the rule by next spring.

Read the full re­lease here. 

What We're Following See More »
WITH LIVE BLOGGING
Trump Deposition Video Is Online
4 hours ago
STAFF PICKS

The video of Donald Trump's deposition in his case against restaurateur Jeffrey Zakarian is now live. Slate's Jim Newell and Josh Voorhees are live-blogging it while they watch.

Source:
SOUND LEVEL AFFECTED
Debate Commission Admits Issues with Trump’s Mic
5 hours ago
THE LATEST

The Commission on Presidential Debates put out a statement today that gives credence to Donald Trump's claims that he had a bad microphone on Monday night. "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," read the statement in its entirety.

Source:
TRUMP VS. CHEFS
Trump Deposition Video to Be Released
5 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A video of Donald Trump testifying under oath about his provocative rhetoric about Mexicans and other Latinos is set to go public" as soon as today. "Trump gave the testimony in June at a law office in Washington in connection with one of two lawsuits he filed last year after prominent chefs reacted to the controversy over his remarks by pulling out of plans to open restaurants at his new D.C. hotel. D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman said in an order issued Thursday evening that fears the testimony might show up in campaign commercials were no basis to keep the public from seeing the video."

Source:
A CANDIDATE TO BE ‘PROUD’ OF
Chicago Tribune Endorses Gary Johnson
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."

FUNERAL FOR ISRAELI LEADER
Obama Compares Peres to ‘Giants of the 20th Century’
9 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Speaking at the funeral of former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, President Obama "compared Peres to 'other giants of the 20th century' such as Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth who 'find no need to posture or traffic in what's popular in the moment.'" Among the 6,000 mourners at the service was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Obama called Abbas's presence a sign of the "unfinished business of peace" in the region.

Source:
×