Published on May 5, 2014
Legal and Policy Issues Affecting Biofuel Development David J. Glass, Ph.D. D. Glass Associates, Inc. 6th Annual Biofuels Law and Regulation Conference May 2, 2014
Overview US Renewable Fuel Standard Other Renewable Fuel Policies Ethanol “Blend Wall” R&D Policies Financial Policies International Trade Harmonization Biotechnology Policies
US Renewable Fuel Standard Ensure the stability of the RFS and its policies. Expedite, streamline RFS pathway reviews (e.g. current EPA 6-month initiative); increase staffing for RFS program? Assistance or exemptions for small businesses in completing RFS paperwork (e.g. pathway petitions, facility registrations). Create viable, reliable RIN validation schemes to avoid RIN fraud.
Other Renewable Fuel Policies – U.S. Ensure continued enforcement of California LCFS: • Overcome pending court challenges. • Adopt sensible amendments to petition process. Extend Oregon LCFS “sunset provision” and move to full implementation. Expand LCFS and renewable portfolio laws to other states and regional alliances. Adopt favorable policies for carbon capture, biogenic carbon, under GHG emission regulations.
Other Renewable Fuel Policies -- International Ensure continued enforcement of EU RED with sensible amendments to promote advanced biofuels. Encourage consistent, broader, international mandates for E10, B5 or B10, etc.
Ethanol “Blend Wall” Adopt state legislation to guarantee that E15 can be sold; block state bills that would prohibit sale of blends > E10. Adopt programs that allow/encourage infrastructure for E85 and other high ethanol blends – provide grants, tax breaks for assistance to retailers to improve infrastructure. Adopt policies mandating use of alternative fuels and high ethanol blends in captive government fleets. Ensure that automobile and other engines can utilize higher ethanol blends; eliminate confusion over engine compatibility; enhanced consumer education about higher ethanol blends. Provide incentives to promote use and sale of alternative fuel vehicles.
R&D Policies Provide greater availability of research funds, particularly for later stage research. Provide research funding dedicated to bridging the “gap” between research and commercialization. Avoid pigeonholing technologies, make grants more technology-neutral and not biased towards any particular technology. Reduce paperwork associated with government grant applications.
Financial Policies Restore biodiesel, advanced biofuel tax credits: federal and state levels. Ensure broader availability of financial support, loan guarantees, Master Limited Partnerships, etc. for process scale-up and plant construction. Provide more robust offtake agreements – longer duration, greater access – under Defense Production Act and otherwise. Provide offtake agreements for captive fleets (e.g. government vehicles). Level the playing field re: fossil fuels – abolish US subsidies for fossil fuels; acknowledge that even food-based biofuels have superior carbon footprints than fossil fuels.
International Trade Harmonization Eliminate trade barriers such as EU tariffs – facilitate ability to sell product anywhere in the world (balanced against legitimate concerns of protecting local markets). Other efforts to facilitate access to overseas markets, ability to build and finance plants overseas – assistance from U.S. Department of Commerce, USDA, etc.? Provide assistance in compliance with applicable regulations in countries where plants are planned.
Biotechnology for Advanced Biofuels Improve or streamline biotechnology regulations that govern use of GMOs in contained manufacturing of fuels. Provide a regulatory framework for field testing and commercial cultivation of transgenic plant feedstocks that distinguishes such uses from more controversial reviews of food-producing plants. Promote international harmonization of biotechnology regulations. Broader availability of research funding and other financial support to promote uses of biotechnology in biofuels throughout the world.
Questions, Discussion? David J. Glass, Ph.D. D. Glass Associates, Inc. 124 Bird Street Needham, MA 02492 617-653-9945 email@example.com www.dglassassociates.com
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