Upcoming Presentation: Biofuel Legal and Policy Issues

This Friday, May 2, 2014, I will be presenting a talk at the 6th Annual Biofuels Law and Regulation Conference at the University of Illinois. My talk, entitled “Legal and Policy Issues Affecting Biofuel Development,” will briefly summarize a number of key legal, policy and regulatory issues that are critical for the successful development of the biofuels industry in the U.S. and internationally. The slides from that presentation can be found here, and after the conference, I’m planning a series of posts here on in Biofuel Policy Watch to elaborate on the issues I intend to cover in the presentation. These topics are as follows (with links to the blog posts describing each topic):

In each post, I’ll briefly summarize the issues I’ve presented in the talk, and to the extent possible I’ll also report on any relevant discussion on these topics that arose during the conference. I’ll be happy to answer any questions anyone may have on this presentation, these topics, and the forthcoming blog entries.

D. Glass Associates, Inc. is a consulting company specializing in government and regulatory support for renewable fuels and industrial biotechnology. David Glass, Ph.D. is a veteran of over thirty years in the biotechnology industry, with expertise in industrial biotechnology regulatory affairs, U.S. and international renewable fuels regulation, patents, technology licensing, and market and technology assessments. More information on D. Glass Associates’ government and regulatory consulting capabilities, and copies of some of Dr. Glass’s prior presentations on biofuels and biotechnology regulation, are available atwww.slideshare.net/djglass99 and at www.dglassassociates.com. The views expressed in this blog are those of Dr. Glass and D. Glass Associates and do not represent the views of any other organization with which Dr. Glass is affiliated. Please visit our other blog, Advanced Biotechnology for Biofuels

 

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Biofuel Policy Updates January 24, 2014

Here’s a quick wrap-up of some recent developments relating to biofuel policies in the U.S., particularly relating to the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).

2014 RFS volume mandates. The end of the public comment period is approaching on the US EPA’s proposed rule for the 2014 volume mandates (renewable volume obligations, or RVOs) under the RFS. As I reported in my 2013 year-end summary, this proposal represented the first time that EPA was proposing to reduce not only the targets for cellulosic fuels, but also the mandated volumes both for advanced biofuels (a category which includes cellulosic fuels) and the overall target for all renewable fuels. The biofuel industry and its proponents have been up in arms about this proposal, conducting an intense war of words in the media, the Twittersphere, and elsewhere, with numerous companies, trade groups, elected officials and others publicly voicing their opinions opposing these reductions in the RVOs. The public comment period closes on January 28, 2014, and it is not known how quickly EPA will respond and set the final 2014 volume mandates. My prediction is that EPA will respond to the public comments by raising the volumes from the levels in the proposed rule, but not restore them to the levels originally set in the RFS legislation.

Challenges to the RFS. In October 2013,  the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) filed petitions with the EPA challenging the 2013 cellulosic biofuel volume mandates, in view of an August 2013 announcement from KiOR that the company was lowering its projections for the amount of cellulosic biofuels it would be able to produce that year. On January 23, 2014, EPA announced, in letters to API and AFPM posted on its website, that it was partially granting these petitions for reconsideration of the 2013 cellulosic RVOs, based on the “new information” from KiOR, and that EPA expected to propose such revised volume mandates in upcoming rulemaking. I haven’t yet seen any industry reaction to this announcement, but I’m sure that responses from the biofuel industry will be swift and harsh, especially coming so closely on the heels of EPA’s proposed reduction in the 2014 RVOs. Note that the October 2013 petitions are different from the petitions filed by API and AFPM in August 2013 asking for a partial waiver of the 2014 RVOs, and are also in addition to a lawsuit these groups and others had filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals challenging the 2013 volume mandates.

California Low Carbon Fuel Standard. The full 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued a decision on January 22, 2014 that it would not, after all, rehear a case previously decided in favor of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), when a 3-judge panel of the Court ruled by a 2-1 vote that the LCFS did not unconstitutionally discriminate against out-of-state fuel producers. That panel decision reversed a lower court decision that went against CARB. The decision not to rehear the case leaves the decision by the 3-judge panel in place and would allow CARB to continue to administer the LCFS program. However, seven justices on the Court signed on to a dissent that is widely believed could signal the path for the industry groups who are the plaintiffs to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The crux of the dispute is whether the requirement that the energy costs of transporting fuel into California from other states be considered in determining the carbon intensity of fuels under the LCFS discriminates against out-of-state fuels in violation of the Constitution’s provisions that prohibit states from interfering with interstate commerce. 

 

Year-End Biofuel Policy Wrap-Up

The close of 2013 seems to be a good time to post a quick wrap-up of some recent developments relating to biofuel policies in the U.S. and Europe, particularly relating to the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the European Renewable Energy Directive (RED). As some of these stories have already been widely reported in the trade press and onlnie, I have not included links for all the stories — please contact me for more information on any of these developments.

2014 RFS volume mandates. As has been widely reported, the US EPA published its proposed rule for the 2014 volume mandates (renewable volume obligations, or RVOs) under the RFS. In the proposal, EPA used its statutory authority to propose reduction of certain of the volume mandates below what was called for in the original 2007 legislation. This included a substantial reduction in the target for cellulosic fuels, as has been done in recent years, to a level corresponding to EPA’s assessment of actual gallons of cellulosic fuel expected to be produced next year. But for the first time, EPA used its authority to also lower the mandated volumes both for advanced biofuels (a category which includes cellulosic fuels) and the overall target for all renewable fuels, the latter being reduced by about 3 billion gallons. Combined, these adjustments also lead to about a 1 billion gallon reduction in the portion of the mandates corresponding to corn ethanol.

This is only a proposed rule, and EPA is taking comments on the proposal until January 28, 2014. The proposal elicited the expected vehement reactions on both sides of the renewable fuels debate, and biofuel supporters have been pulling out all the stops to convince EPA to scale back or eliminate the proposed reductions in the mandates.

EPA has held public hearings on this proposal. A hearing in Washington DC on December 5 drew approximately 150 commenters over a 12-hour period. Reportedly, RFS supporters outnumbered RFS opponents roughly 2-to-1. The outcome of all the public comments and debate will likely not be known until after the close of the public comment period.

Challenges to the RFS. Among pending actions challenging the RFS are the following.

  • EPA has requested public comment on the petition asking for a waiver of the 2014 RVOs filed in August 2013 by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM). Public comments have been requested by January 28, 2014.
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals has agreed to expedite review of a pending lawsuit challenging the 2013 volume mandates that EPA issued in August 2013. The Court had previously consolidated three separate lawsuits filed by API, AFPM, and Monroe Energy. A number of organizations have filed briefs on both sides of the issue, including BIO and the National Biodiesel Board in defense of the 2013 volume mandates. The case should move quickly after a February 2014 deadline for submission of all briefs.

Congressional action. Although EPA’s proposal to lower the 2014 mandates may have temporarily quieted Congressional Republican efforts to repeal the RFS in its entirety, at least two new bills have been, or are expected to be, filed in Congress to revise the RFS, in addition to at least one bill addressing the tax credits due to expire today, December 31, 2013.

  • On December 13, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and eight cosponsors introduced the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2013. The bill eliminates the corn ethanol mandate within the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires annual increases in the amount of renewable fuel that must be blended into the total volume of gasoline refined and consumed in the United States. Cosponsors of the bill are Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Bob Corker, (R-Tenn.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.).
  • Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and David Vitter (R-La), the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, have been widely reported to also be working on legislation that would curtail corn’s portion of the RFS mandate. Details on this bill have not yet been disclosed.
  • On December 11, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on the RFS. Although testimony and statements from committee members were heard on both sides of the issue, Committee Chair Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) reportedly closed the hearing by indicating that her committee would not be pursuing any legislation that would “reverse course” on the RFS.
  • On Dec. 12, Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif), introduced H.R., 3758, which would extend the second generation biofuel producer credit and the special allowance for second generation biofuel plant property. The bill, entitled the “Second Generation Biofuel Extension Act of 2013,” would extend both the second generation biofuel tax credit and the second generation biofuel plant property allowance for one year, extending the expiration dates from to Jan. 1, 2015.

California Low Carbon Fuel Standard. The full 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will rehear a case previously decided in favor of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), when a 3-judge panel of the Court ruled by a 2-1 vote that the LCFS did not unconstitutionally discriminate against out-of-state fuel producers. That panel decision reversed a lower court decision that went against CARB. Briefs have been filed on both sides of the issue, but it is not known when the full Appeals Court will decide the issue.

European Union Renewable Energy Directive. In meetings December 12-13, the Energy Ministers from EU nations failed to reach agreement on the path forward for amendments to the Renewable Energy Directive. In particular, the ministers rejected a compromise proposal from Lithuania that would have capped crop-based biofuels at 7% (up from the 6% limit passed by the European Parliament) but would also have required mandatory reporting of indirect land use change (ILUC). This action apparently means that the proposal will not advance any further until after the 2014 parliamentary elections, and assures that there will not be final action until sometime in 2015. In the meantime, the provisions of the Renewable Energy Directive remain in place as originally adopted.

Biodiesel and Biojet News: April 24, 2013

This post summarizes recent news items and other public policy developments relating to use of biomass-derived diesel (“biodiesel”) as a motor vehicle fuel. I’ll plan to update such news periodically, to include not only biodiesel but also news about other biofuels (other than ethanol or butanol), including novel aviation fuels produced from renewable feedstocks.

United States


Another perpetrator of fraudulent RINs receives jail sentence. In early April, the head of Absolute Fuels, Jeffrey David Gunselman was sentenced to fifteen years in prison and to pay $55 million in restitution, after pleading guilty last year to the charge of selling fraudulent RINs. This came shortly after  Rodney R. Hailey of Clean Green Fuel LLC was been sentenced to twelve and a half years in prison and monetary damages for RIN fraud.

Dispute arises over waivers of New Mexico biodiesel blending requirement. The New Mexico Petroleum Marketers Association intends to seek a third waiver of a state law that institutes a 5% biodiesel blending mandate in the state. The current waiver, the second granted by the state because of low biodiesel production by in-state companies, expires on April 30, and the state’s Department of Agriculture is considering the request to grant a further waiver. The Renewable Energy Group of Ames, Iowa opposes any further waivers and wants the mandate enforced. As previously reported, in the legislative session that recently ended, the New Mexico legislature rejected proposals to repeal the 5% biodiesel blend mandate.

International


The European Union has announced that it will register larger amounts of imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, based on evidence that subsidies given by these countries were “causing material injury to the European Union industry”. The EU has reportedly instituted both anti-subsidy and anti-dumping inquiries against biodiesel imports from these countries, and has already been registering imports from certain Argentine and Indonesian companies under the anti-dumping inquiry. These inquiries were instigated in response to complaints lodged by the European Biodiesel Board, and the European Commission is reportedly considering duties of 28.5-29.5% for Argentinean imports and 35.5-37.5% for Indonesian imports.

It has been reported that senior Indonesian government officials will meet with an EU delegation during the week of April 22, to give Indonesia a chance to respond to the ongoing EU investigations of anticompetitive activities regarding Indonesian biodiesel. Indonesian officials believe that the EU’s findings are based on a misunderstanding, and that the subsidies the government gives to biodiesel are aimed at the domestic market and do not affect the price of biodiesel sold in the international market.

The Argentina Chamber of Biofuels (Carbio) says that the country’s biodiesel industry is running at 40-50% production capacity because of the anti-dumping investigation currently being undertaken by the European Commission. Exports of biodiesel from Argentina to Europe reportedly dropped 50% after the EC opened its investigation. More recently, the Argentinean government announced that it will raise its biodiesel blend mandate from 7% to 10%, effective June 1, 2013. The government says this move was not related to the EU anti-competitive investigations but was instead triggered by a desire to compensate for the effects of a fire at Argentina’s largest oil refinery, which has caused the refinery to operate at half capacity.

In Brazil, According to Biofuels Digest, the fuel regulator ANP was only able to secure 65% of the 750 million liters of biodiesel sought in order to supply the country’s B5 blend. The 488.4 million liters were purchased during the 30th biodiesel auction held earlier this month and are meant for May/June delivery.

Biofuels Digest is also reporting that the environmental coordinator in the Asturias region of Spain is balking at granting approval for a proposed biodiesel plant in the city of Lleu, because economic conditions have idled so many other biodiesel plants around the country.

It has been reported that trading of biodiesel that is compliant with the European Union Renewable Energy Directive (RED) has been complicated in some European countries by purchasers’ insistence that the fuel meet stricter sustainability criteria than required under the RED. Although standards vary across EU member states, in some countries customers are reportedly requiring compliance with the biodiversity criteria of Birdlife International and UNESCO programs to preserve biosphere reserves. Customers in Germany require a certificate from the Nabisy sustainable biomass system, although non-Nabisy biodiesel is acceptable in other parts of Europe such as Italy and the UK.

Biojet and Renewable Aviation Fuels


USDA and FAA extend partnership to promote development of biojet fuel. On April 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Federal Aviation Administration announced an agreement to continue working together for another five years on a program to promote the development of a viable biobased aviation fuel. This new agreement follows the creation in 2010 of the “Farm to Fly” initiative, initially created by USDA, Airlines for America and Boeing, and a three-year agreement between USDA and FAA to develop aviation fuel from forest and crop residues and other renewable feedstocks. The goal of these programs is to support the annual production of 1 billion gallons of drop-in aviation biofuels by 2018.

Think tank report critical of aviation biofuels released. The Oakland Institute, a California think tank, has issued a report criticizing current strategies for developing renewable aviation fuels from agricultural commodities. The report, entitled “Eco-Skies: The Global Rush for Aviation Biofuel,” concludes that it will require an enormous amount of agricultural land to meet the aviation industry’s goals of greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2050, and that biofuels are a “false solution” to achieve these goals. While criticizing the aviation industry’s reliance on biofuels to reduce carbon emissions, the report does not present a clear alternative other than vague calls for improvements in airplane fuel efficiency, more efficient flight paths, etc. Furthermore, the report sets up a “straw man” by its implicit assumption that the 2050 goals could only be met by the agriculture-intensive technologies existing today (e.g. used cooking oil and oils from palm, Jatropha and Camelina), 37 years before the target date, thus ignoring yield and efficiency improvements as well as the potential impact of emerging technologies such as the use of algae or other photosynthetic bacteria.

Previous Biofuel Policy Watch posts on biodiesel and biojet policy:

D. Glass Associates, Inc. is a consulting company specializing in government and regulatory support for renewable fuels and industrial biotechnology. David Glass, Ph.D. is a veteran of over thirty years in the biotechnology industry, with expertise in industrial biotechnology regulatory affairs, U.S. and international renewable fuels regulation, patents, technology licensing, and market and technology assessments. Dr. Glass also serves as director of regulatory affairs for Joule Unlimited Technologies, Inc. More information on D. Glass Associates’ government and regulatory consulting capabilities, and copies of some of Dr. Glass’s prior presentations on biofuels and biotechnology regulation, are available at www.slideshare.net/djglass99 and at www.dglassassociates.com. The views expressed in this blog are those of Dr. Glass and D. Glass Associates and do not represent the views of Joule Unlimited Technologies, Inc. or any other organization with which Dr. Glass is affiliated. Please visit our other blog, Advanced Biotechnology for Biofuels

Biodiesel and Biojet News: April 1, 2013

This post summarizes news items and other public policy developments over the last few months relating to use of biomass-derived diesel (“biodiesel”) as a motor vehicle fuel. I’ll plan to update such news periodically, to include not only biodiesel but also news about other biofuels (other than ethanol or butanol), including novel aviation fuels produced from renewable feedstocks.

United States


New Mexico retains its biodiesel blend requirement
. In its 2013 session, the New Mexico legislature rejected proposals to repeal the state’s requirement that diesel fuel sold in the state include a 5% biodiesel blend. According to the National Biodiesel Board, New Mexico is one of just seven states with legislation requiring a minimum amount of biodiesel to be blended in the transportation diesel fuel supply. This move was hailed by the biodiesel industry, although it has also been reported that this B5 requirement, first enacted in 2006, has never been enforced due to a lack of biodiesel production capacity within the state.

Arkansas considers biofuel tax credit. A bipartisan group of state legislators has introduced SB 933 into the Arkansas legislature to create a 10-cent per gallon fuel production tax credit for alternative fuel producers in the state. The bill would reportedly benefit two large biodiesel producers already located in the state. The law would take effect on January 1, 2014 if approved. The bill’s sponsors note that neighboring states already provide incentives for biodiesel production in their states, with Mississippi granting a production tax credit of 20 cents per gallon for alternative fuels, Texas exempting biodiesel from the state tax on diesel fuel, and with Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, and Kentucky also providing significant financial incentives for biodiesel production. The Arkansas bill is currently pending before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development.

Iowa biodiesel industry seeking exemption from pending gas tax increase. The Iowa legislature is seriously considering raising the state’s gasoline tax, and the state’s biodiesel industry is advocating that fuels containing a higher biodiesel blend than the currently common 5% mix qualify for an exemption from this potential tax increase. The Iowa Biodiesel Board is reportedly lobbying for the state to adopt a B10 biodiesel mandate by 2022.

RIN Quality Assurance Programs. Several independent companies are creating quality assurance plans (QAPs) to offer RIN validation services in accordance with pending EPA regulations. EPA’s proposed regulations setting the standards for RIN validation programs (described in an earlier entry in Biofuel Policy Watch) were created in response to several highly-publicized instances in 2012 of companies selling obligated parties fraudulent RINs not corresponding to actual volumes of renewable fuel.  EcoEngineers of Des Moines, Iowa, partnered with Great Lakes Biodiesel, has received EPA approval for its proposed QAP program. In a February press release, Genscape says is the first service provider preregistered by the EPA to provide a QAP program for A-RIN and B-RIN assurance. Under EPA’s proposed rules, in validating RINs as A-RINs, the QAP provider must provide financial backing to replace those RINs if they later become invalid.

Perpetrator of fraudulent RINs receives jail sentence. In a related story, Rodney R. Hailey has been sentenced to twelve and a half years in prison and ordered to surrender profits and pay restitution to twenty energy companies who purchased fraudulent RINs from Hailey’s company Clean Green Fuel LLC.

International


Canada ending its biofuel subsidy program
. According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, the Canadian government has decided to end its ecoEnergy program that has provided subsidies to ethanol and biodiesel producers. The newspaper reports that Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said in a late February letter to a Canadian industry group that “The government will not redesign or reopen the ecoEnergy for biofuels programs to new applicants,” citing budgetary constraints as the reason. Reportedly, the government has already granted $672 million in subsidies to ethanol and biodiesel producers planning or building plants, and plans to continue providing subsidies under existing commitments through 2017, at an estimated further cost of $1 billion. The Minister’s letter was apparently critical of the country’s biodiesel industry for failing to produce as much renewable fuel as promised. This decision apparently does not affect the country’s existing fuel regulations that require a 5% ethanol blend in gasoline and a 2% biodiesel component in the nation’s diesel supply.

Ecuador has announced that its B5 biodiesel blend mandate will take effect in May 2013. Reportedly, this mandate will increase over time to a B10 requirement.

Biojet and Renewable Aviation Fuels


U.S. FAA and Spain to cooperate on aviation fuels
. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Spanish Aviation Safety and Security Agency (AESA) signed a Declaration of Cooperation in February to promote the development and use of sustainable alternative aviation fuels in the United States and Spain. The declaration calls for exchanges of ideas and know-how, collaboration on projects of mutual interest, and other activities to promote the development of sustainable alternative jet fuels.


Previous Biofuel Policy Watch posts on biodiesel policy:

D. Glass Associates, Inc. is a consulting company specializing in government and regulatory support for renewable fuels and industrial biotechnology. David Glass, Ph.D. is a veteran of over thirty years in the biotechnology industry, with expertise in industrial biotechnology regulatory affairs, U.S. and international renewable fuels regulation, patents, technology licensing, and market and technology assessments. Dr. Glass also serves as director of regulatory affairs for Joule Unlimited Technologies, Inc. More information on D. Glass Associates’ government and regulatory consulting capabilities, and copies of some of Dr. Glass’s prior presentations on biofuels and biotechnology regulation, are available at www.slideshare.net/djglass99 and at www.dglassassociates.com. The views expressed in this blog are those of Dr. Glass and D. Glass Associates and do not represent the views of Joule Unlimited Technologies, Inc. or any other organization with which Dr. Glass is affiliated. Please visit our other blog, Advanced Biotechnology for Biofuels

Biodiesel News: March 5, 2013

This post summarizes news items and other public policy developments over the last few months relating to use of biomass-derived diesel (“biodiesel”) as a motor vehicle fuel. I’ll plan to update such news periodically, to include not only biodiesel but also news about other biofuels (other than ethanol or butanol), including novel aviation fuels produced from renewable feedstocks.

United States


API files lawsuit over 2013 RFS biodiesel mandate. In November 2012, the American Petroleum Institute filed suit against the EPA’s decision to set the 2013 RFS volume mandate for biomass-derived diesel at 1.28 billion gallons. API, which has challenged other aspects of the RFS in similar legal maneuvers, claimed that EPA should not have extended this volume mandate beyond the 1 billion gallons that is the minimum annual volume required under the RFS statute. This lawsuit is presumably still pending.

Economic impact of biodiesel tax credit. University of Illinois economists have published an analysis of the impact the recently-reinstated $1 per gallon biodiesel tax credit in the United States will have on meeting the 2013 RFS volume mandates. The authors conclude that the tax credit makes domestic biodiesel somewhat more competitive than Brazilian sugarcane ethanol, but that at this time it looks likely that Brazilian imports would be economically favored to fulfill the portion of the “Advanced Biofuels” volume mandate that is not met by volumes of “Renewable Biodiesel” required under the RFS.

First RINs for cellulosic diesel. EPA has reported that the first RINs for cellulosic diesel were generated in November 2012, and that a new record high of advanced biofuel RINs were generated in that month. EPA reports that 1,741 RINs were generated for cellulosic diesel and also that 127 million RINs for biomass-derived diesel were generated in that month. During the first 11 months of 2012, more than 1.49 billion biomass-based diesel RINs were generated for biodiesel production.

Economic impact of biodiesel in Iowa. A study released in January 2013 by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, the Iowa Soybean Association, the Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Biodiesel Board concluded that the growing demand for the use of soybean oil to produce biodiesel could lead to increased revenues for farmers in Iowa. The report found that almost 72% of the biodiesel produced in Iowa was derived from soybeans, and that the use of soybeans for biodiesel production benefited both the state’s economy and farmers’ bottom lines.

Use of B20 biodiesel blends in 2013 and 2014 car and truck models. General Motors has announced that its new 2014 Chevrolet Cruze light-duty diesel passenger car is approved for use with 20% biodiesel blends (referred to as B20). This article in Biofuels Digest also lists a number of other 2013 model trucks and vans that have been approved for use with B20 blends.

International


International biodiesel mandates
. Biofuels Digest recently published its annual summary of biofuel mandates and target volumes in various countries around the world. I have summarized the findings of this report regarding ethanol use in gasoline in a previous post on Biofuel Policy Watch. The following is a brief summary of some of the biodiesel mandates included in that article (in these abbreviations, the number which follows “B” refers to the targeted or mandated blend percentage: for example, B5 is a diesel fuel containing 5% biodiesel and 95% conventional diesel).

  • Canada introduced a B2 mandate in July 2011 as part of its renewable fuel regulations.
  • Agrentina has a B7 mandate, which is an increase from a B5 mandate in place in 2010, but with a planned increase to B10 by October 2013 seeming to be on hold.
  • Brazil has a B5 mandate with a goal of reaching B20 by 2020, and so there is reportedly some effort to raise the rate to 7% for the current year.
  • Chile has a B5 target. Costa Rica maintains a B20 mandate. Paraguay has a B1 mandate. Peru has a B2 mandate in place, with plans to go to B5. Uruguay has a non-binding B2 policy.
  • In Australia, although there is not a national mandate, the state of New South Wales maintains a B2 mandate.
  • The Philippines has a B2 mandate. Taiwan maintains a B1 mandate. Thailand has a B5 mandate. It has separately been reported that Indonesia is prepared to raise its 7.5% blending mandate to B10.
  • Malaysia has a B5 mandate which began in June 2011, and which was being phased in on a state-by-state basis. The Digest later reported that the country is planning to adopt a B10 blending mandate by mid-2014 to boost the country’s palm oil industry.

South Korea biodiesel mandate. The government of South Korea is reportedly reexamining that country’s biodiesel blending mandates. The law currently requires diesel products sold in the country to contain at least 2% biodiesel, but this mandate has apparently not been enforced. In addition, the percentage was supposed to be raised to 3% this year and 5% at some future date, but the government is not prepared to implement such increases. There is apparently a great deal of confusion regarding this mandate and its applicability to diesel imports as well as domestically-produced fuel.

Spain biodiesel policies. On February 22, the government of Spain announced that it was revising its targets for overall consumption of biodiesel from 7% to 4.1%, with the goals of minimizing fuel prices and stabilizing the markets as the country heads towards compliance with the EU goals of 10% adoption of renewable fuels by 2020. Earlier this year, in January 2013, the Spanish government lifted an embargo that had been preventing the import of Argentinian biodiesel into Spain. This reverses a policy instituted in the spring of 2012 that stated that only EU-produced biofuels could count towards Spain’s national biofuels quotas.

D. Glass Associates, Inc. is a consulting company specializing in government and regulatory support for renewable fuels and industrial biotechnology. David Glass, Ph.D. is a veteran of over thirty years in the biotechnology industry, with expertise in industrial biotechnology regulatory affairs, U.S. and international renewable fuels regulation, patents, technology licensing, and market and technology assessments. Dr. Glass also serves as director of regulatory affairs for Joule Unlimited Technologies, Inc. More information on D. Glass Associates’ government and regulatory consulting capabilities, and copies of some of Dr. Glass’s prior presentations on biofuels and biotechnology regulation, are available at www.slideshare.net/djglass99 and at www.dglassassociates.com. The views expressed in this blog are those of Dr. Glass and D. Glass Associates and do not represent the views of Joule Unlimited Technologies, Inc. or any other organization with which Dr. Glass is affiliated. Please visit our other blog, Advanced Biotechnology for Biofuels