SOURCE: ACORE

May 18, 2015 16:37 ET

ACORE Brings Together Biofuel Industry to Publish Comments Addressing RFS Rules

Industry Leaders and ACORE Members Take Up Issues With Co-Location Requirements Under the RFS Which Impede Advanced Biofuels Development

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - May 18, 2015) - Today, the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) has submitted a white paper to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), calling for clarification of the agency's interpretation of feedstock materialwithin the definition of facility under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) (see 40 CFR 80.1401). Specifically, the definition of facilityrequires the production of advanced biofuel, from the delivery of feedstock material to production and final storage of the end product, to be completed at one location, controlled by the same person in order for the fuel to qualify toward meeting the RFS goals. The white paper was co-authored by leaders of the advanced biofuel industry, who pre-process their feedstock away from final refineries and are prohibited from contributing to the goals of the RFS, due to EPA's interpretation of feedstock material.

Jeramy Shays, ACORE's Director of Transportation, explained why EPA must clarify its interpretation of feedstock material: "The RFS calls for increasing amounts of renewable, clean, domestic biofuels to be blended into the transportation fuel market to enhance our country's economic, energy and environmental security," Shays said. "To fully achieve the goals of the RFS, ACORE encourages EPA to clarify its interpretation of feedstock material under the definition of facility to allow for advanced biofuels, incrementally processed at one or more facilities, to count towards the volumetric goals of the RFS."

The paper presents multiple case studies from advanced biofuel companies that are currently ineligible to generate Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) under the RFS due to their use of intermediates or precursors, despite the end product fuel meeting all the other requirements of the RFS. The RFS will not foster sufficient development of advanced biofuels as long as EPA's definition of facility excludes these advanced biofuels from the RIN market.

"The ability of Algenol to generate RINs from all of our products is critical for us and for our investors, and to support the intent of the Renewable Fuels Standards. We need EPA to expedite resolution of this major impediment to commercial production of our renewable fuels," said Paul Woods.

As Magnus Nelsson Folkelid, Business Manager, Cortus Energy explained, "Clarifying the interpretation of feedstock material under the definition of facility to allow for the development of intermediate fuels at a separate location will encourage Cortus Energy to bring its biomass innovations to U.S. markets."

"It is important that EPA clarify its interpretation of feedstock material in the Renewable Fuel Standard definition of facilityas any material that arrives at a renewable fuels facility which is processed into the end renewable fuel product for a number of reasons," said Joanne Ivancic, executive director of Advanced Biofuels USA, a nonprofit educational organization. "This will make EPA policy implementation consistent with government investment activities in advanced biofuels development and will harmonize the activities of multiple U.S. agencies to achieve a shared national goal embodied in the Energy Security and Independence Act of 2007, to significantly transition away from fossil fuels toward sustainable, renewable transportation fuels."

Partner at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, Mark Riedy agreed, "Congress enacted the RFS as an incentive to develop and build a clean fuels industry for environmental and national security purposes in the same manner and for many of the same reasons that state legislatures enacted their respective RPS programs. This Administration, in particular, as a proponent of clean energy, must step up and resolve the issues that are impeding the growth of these industries. It is time for this President to take an active leadership role in securing his legacy in clean energy." Riedy continued, "It is high time to 'walk the talk' and deliver on the promises underlying the policies espoused by the Administration in order to advance the ball on clean energy."

The paper concludes with recommendations, for how the EPA can clarify the understanding of feedstock material within the definition of facility while addressing compliance concerns, in order to remove this obstacle to the growth of advanced biofuels. In addition to the EPA, this paper was also provided to agency officials at the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).

Contributors to the paper included:

  • Joanne Ivancic, Executive Director, Advanced Biofuels, USA
  • Jacques Beaudry-Losique, Senior Vice President, Corporate and Business Development, Algenol Biofuels
  • Wayne Gears, Head of Business Development, Cortus Energy
  • Ted Kniesche, Vice President, Business Development, Fulcrum Bioenergy
  • Mark Riedy, ACORE Chief Counsel and Partner, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Laurel Harmon, Vice President, Government Relations, LanzaTech
  • Pernille Hager, Vice President, Business Development, Solena Fuels

About ACORE:

ACORE, a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization, is dedicated to building a secure and prosperous America with clean, renewable energy. ACORE seeks to advance renewable energy through finance, policy, technology, and market development and is concentrating its member focus in 2015 on National Defense & Security, Power Generation & Infrastructure, and Transportation. Additional information is available at www.acore.org

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