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Vilsack: Release of 40BSAF-GREET model to be delayed by ‘weeks, not months’

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By Erin Voegele

March 01, 2024

Sustainable Aviation FuelsPolicy

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on March 1 announced a short-term delay in the release of the GREET model for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), citing the need to get calculations for climate-smart agriculture right.

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Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack expressed confidence that the U.S. EPA will issue an emergency waiver to allow E15 to remain available this summer and discussed the USDA’s ongoing efforts with regard to SAF during a Feb. 28 congressional hearing.

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Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor encourages the Biden administration to follow the science, and maintain the Argonne GREET model’s integrity in calculating the 40B sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) tax credit.

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American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings on Feb. 27 sent a letter to members of the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Interagency Working Group regarding the GREET Model for SAF Lifecycle GHG Emissions under Section 40B of the IRA.

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EIA: D4, D6 RIN prices decline 45% from start of year

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By U.S. Energy Information Administration

February 29, 2024

The price of compliance credits for biomass-based diesel and ethanol has decreased about 45% since the start of the year, when prices were already the lowest in about three years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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The government of Singapore has unveiled an action plan that aims to decarbonize the country’s aviation sector. The program will, in part, require flights departing Singapore to be fueled with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) starting in 2026.

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The U.S. Senate on Feb. 26 confirmed Basil Gooden at USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development. He has served as director of state operations in the USDA Office of Rural Development since July 2021.

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The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. EPA on Feb. 22 released a funding opportunity announcement (FOA), entitled, “Inflation Reduction Act Funding for Advanced Biofuels,” for up to $9.4 million for the development of advanced biofuels.

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Argentina has authorized for the first time the commercialization of four genetically modified (GM) yeasts to enhance ethanol production through grain fermentation, according to a report filed with the USDA.

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The U.S. EPA issued a final rule on Feb. 22 that will allow E15 to be sold year-round in eight Midwestern states beginning in 2025. The ethanol industry has welcomed the rule but is expressing disappointment in its delayed implementation.

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European renewable ethanol producers have launched a new legal challenge, now directed to the EU’s RefuelEU Aviation Regulation, charging that it improperly excludes crop-based biofuels from the effort to reduce GHG emissions from air transport.

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Feb. 15 signed legislation that allows fuel retailers within the state to claim a fuel tax refund of up to 5 cents per gallon of E15 sold. The tax refund can be claimed for calendar years 2025 through 2029.

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At the National Ethanol Conference in San Diego, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper told nearly 1,000 attendees that 2024 will be “one of the most pivotal and consequential years the ethanol industry has ever experienced.”

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Growth Energy on Feb. 20 submitted comments to CARB regarding the board’s proposed changes to California’s LCFS, noting that the proposed changes ignore plant-based fuel options that could immediately help the state reach its climate goals.

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In comments submitted to CARB on proposed amendments to that state’s LCFS, the RFA expressed concerns about a previously undiscussed sustainability certification program and the state’s continued delay in allowing sales of E15.

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ACE comments on CARB 2024 proposed amendments to LCFS

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By American Coalition for Ethanol

February 21, 2024

ACE has submitted comments to CARB regarding its 2024 proposed amendments to the LCFS. The comments focused on proposed “sustainability criteria” for crop-based biofuels, the need to approve E15 in California and the importance of E85 and FFVs.

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More than 1.89 billion renewable identification numbers (RINs) were generated under the Renewable Fuel Standard in January, up from 1.76 billion generated during the same month of 2023, according to a data released by the U.S. EPA on Feb. 15.

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The U.S. EPA has published updated SRE data, reporting that 35 SRE petitions are now pending, up from 15 that were pending as of mid-January. No new SRE petitions were filed, but 20 previously denied petitions are being reconsidered by the agency.

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The Renewable Fuels Association released its 2024 Ethanol Industry Outlook and Pocket Guide today as a kickoff to the 29th annual National Ethanol Conference, taking place this week in San Diego.

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Growth Energy commended a large bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers on Feb. 15 for urging the Biden administration to finalize its revisions to the U.S. DOE’s Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions and Energy Use in Technologies (GREET) model.

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Growth Energy continued to urge the Internal Revenue Service to follow the science, and the law, when developing GHG lifecycle analysis models used to assess eligibility for tax incentives under the biofuels provisions of the IRA.

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The RFA on Feb. 15 thanked a bipartisan group of 43 lawmakers who sent a letter to the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Lifecycle Analysis Interagency Working Group, asking them to meet their March 1 deadline for updates to the GREET model.

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Life cycle carbon assessments (LCA) are used in clean fuels policy. They are also key tool that can help investors and companies decide where to invest their money, but LCA integrity must be a priority.

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Forum addresses development of CFS in New York

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By Clean Fuels NY Coalition

February 14, 2024

Clean Fuels NY Coalition, the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, Delta Air Lines, and the New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association Hosted an informational forum New York about a Clean Fuel Standard.

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The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s late 2023 guidance on carbon-intensity modeling is a potential step in the right direction for ethanol becoming a major feedstock for SAF. But many questions remain.

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The life cycle analysis of GHG emissions is essential in a world full of credits and customer requirements revolving around carbon intensity. Life Cycle Associates knows how to help ethanol producers square it all up to maximize value.

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The Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP) Board approved 74 project applications totaling more than $3.4 million in cost-share funding for Iowa fuel retailers during its most recent quarterly board meeting.

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A letter signed by 3,466 farmers from across the country was sent to President Biden on Feb. 7 expressing concern that his administration is taking a short-sighted approach to addressing climate change by prioritizing the use of EVs over biofuels.

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Growth Energy commended the Ohio General Assembly on Feb. 8 after its approval of a tax incentive that would make it easier for fuel retailers in the state to sell higher bioethanol blends like E15 and E85.

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In order for Minnesota to achieve its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals, biofuels must be included in a fuel- and technology-neutral clean transportation standard (CTS), according to the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.

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