Federal legislation, regulation, litigation.  Scholarships and Competitions.  Plus Educational Resources. Recent Original Writings. And Advanced Biofuels USA activities.
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Happy Earth Day!

Instead of Fireworks, let's celebrate EarthDay with this Explosion of Color. Wonders of nature; a virus decorates these modern Rembrandt tulips.  Quite appropriate for the biofuels world that relies on yeasts and bacteria.

Reminder - Advanced Biofuels USA Split Newsletter into Two Parts: Conference Calendar, which is sent separately; and Policy, Legislation, Regulations and Happenings--this one.  All can be found archived on our NEWS page.

Happenings on Capitol Hill, at the White House and in Federal Agencies

New Tags:  2016 US Presidential Campaign and 2016 US House and Senate Campaigns

During the Presidential and Congressional campaign season, Advanced Biofuels USA is following comments by candidates to help you make sustainable renewable transportation fuels part of the 2016 campaign conversation.  Click on these tags to keep in touch with the latest: 2016 US Presidential Campaign and 2016 US House and Senate Campaigns.  To find tags on our website, just scroll down to the bottom of the right margin.

Latest Federal Legislation Posts

We follow proposed and actual federal legislation.  Here are some key stories.  For more legislative news, click here.

We also follow policy developments in the US, other countries and states.  For more information on those topics, click on the name of the country or state that appears along the right margin of our website at
Environmental Groups File Lawsuit over Pollution from U.S. Aircraft
April 18, 2016 – 10:51 am | No Comment
by Valerie Volcovici (PlanetArk)  Three environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday to press for faster action in setting limits on greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. aircraft.  Earthjustice, the Center for …
How Reid Vapor Pressure Impacts #Ethanol
April 15, 2016 – 3:39 pm | No Comment
by Cindy Zimmerman (  â€¦ American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) senior vice president Ron Lamberty gave a brief lesson on RVP to attendees at the organization’s annual legislative fly-in this week as they prepared to visit …
Advanced Biofuels Association Heads Unusual Team against Biodiesel Producers Tax Credit
April 15, 2016 – 11:39 am | No Comment
by Meghan Sapp (Biofuels Digest)  In Washington, the Advanced Biofuel Association has teamed with an unexpected group of lobbying partners in favor of keeping the biodiesel tax credit as a blenders credit. Partners include the National …
Where’s the Algae?
April 13, 2016 – 9:41 am | No Comment
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)  â€¦ This week, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced an amendment  that would provide tax credit support for carbon capture and utilization technologies that enable the conversion of CO2 into valuable …
Fact Sheet: A Brief History of Octane in Gasoline: From Lead to Ethanol
April 7, 2016 – 10:45 am | No Comment
by Jessie Stolark (Environmental and Energy Study Institute)  A cornerstone of U.S. environmental policy has been the reduction of harmful tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks. Thanks to EPA regulations of mobile sources, air pollutants …
Biofuel Trade Associations Ask Congressional Leaders to Extend Advanced Biofuel Incentives
April 5, 2016 – 5:52 pm | No Comment
(Biotechnology Innovation Organization/Business Wire)  Today, six biofuel trade associations sent a letter to House and Senate leaders asking Congress for a multiyear extension of advanced biofuel tax credits. The Advanced Biofuels Business Council, Algae Biomass …
Redefining Renewable Biomass: A Policy Change with Cascading Outcomes
April 4, 2016 – 3:30 pm | No Comment
by Katie E. Moore-Drougas, Daniel T. Schwartz, Laurel James and Jim Durglo (Brookings Institution)  â€¦ One solution that has the potential to substantially curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a change in the Energy Independence and Security …
Jerke: Despite Big Oil’s Efforts, Biofuels Are Moving U.S. Forward
March 18, 2016 – 7:53 pm | No Comment
by  Mike Jerke (Dickinson Press/Guardian Energy LLC) American-made ethanol is a clean-burning, environmentally friendly biofuel that represents an exciting step forward from dirty, foreign-sourced oil, yet an op-ed (“Renewable Fuel Standard continues to devastate”, March …
Life As We Might Have Known It: What If Ethanol Was Our Primary Engine Fuel
March 16, 2016 – 4:23 pm | No Comment
by  Marc J. Rauch  (The Auto Channel)  â€¦ Our exchange began with his comments that government should not decide which fuel is the winner; that fossil fuels dominance over alternative fuels was due to consumer choice; …
Smith Featured at Briefing Focused on E15
March 16, 2016 – 2:36 pm | No Comment
(Rep. Adrian Smith’s office/Ethanol Producer Magazine)  Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., presented at a briefing March 1 to educate congressional staff on the impacts of a U.S. EPA regulation that currently prevents the sale of E15 …
King Supports Cruz And RFS
March 14, 2016 – 1:48 pm | No Comment
(  Congressman Steve King has endorsed Texas Senator Ted Cruz for the GOP Presidential nomination, causing many to ask Iowa’s fourth-district representative about his commitment to the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). … Cruz’ plan is to …
The Miami Republican Debate: Trump vs. Cruz on Ethanol
March 14, 2016 – 1:44 pm | No Comment
(FactCheck) … Cruz said he bravely opposed ethanol mandates in Iowa where they are popular with corn growers, but Trump accused him of waffling on that issue.
During the run-up to Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses, Cruz publicly …
How Cheap Oil Is Undermining Obama’s Fuel-Economy Rules
March 14, 2016 – 12:39 pm | No Comment
by Brad Plummer (VOX)  â€¦ Note that the CAFE standards come up for a midterm review in 2017. Some automakers have been arguing that the rules should be weakened in light of recent low oil prices …

Latest Federal Regulation Posts

Octane's value remains a popular topic as the industry makes the case for the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce the Renewable Fuel Standard as intended; and as focus shifts to the mid-term correction for new CAFE standards.  A number of articles emphasize the need for high octane fuels to optimize the mileage, emissions controls and performance of today's and tomorrow's engines. 

For a close-to-home example, scroll down to read Bob Kozak's report on the Advanced Biofuels USA retrofitted Focus.  For a more technical challenge to EPA relying on out-dated data, read about the Urban Air Initiative's recent filing.

Requests to adjust Reid Vapor Pressure regulations are back on the agenda, too.

Renewable chemicals and other bio-based products have become intertwined with renewable fuels production.  Scroll down for information about regulations related to some of these co-products among our latest postings. Others you'll find in the Federal Regulations category online.
New, Evolving Coproducts Require Regulatory Due Diligence
April 15, 2016 – 3:01 pm | No Comment
by Kurt A. Rosentrator (Distillers Grains Technology Council/Ethanol Producer Magazine)  Altered, novel products may require new AAFCO definitions, GRAS affirmations.  â€”  â€¦ During the past two years, we have reviewed and commented on two key rulings in …
Barbecues, Beaches and E15? You Bet
April 14, 2016 – 6:15 pm | No Comment
by Bob Dinneen (Ethanol Producer Magazine)  â€¦ Nearly 30 years ago, the U.S. EPA provided a 1-pound-per-square-inch (psi) waiver of the Reid vapor pressure (RVP) volatility requirements for certain ethanol blends. It did so in recognition …
Urban Air Initiative, Energy Future Coalition Challenge EPA Data on Ethanol’s Lifecycle Emissions
April 11, 2016 – 4:55 pm | No Comment
(Urban Air Initiative)  Urban Air Initiative joined the Energy Future Coalition and the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition (GBC) in calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to recognize an overwhelming body of new evidence showing …
Ethanol Completes the Puzzle
April 7, 2016 – 4:54 pm | No Comment
by Dave VanderGriend (Ethanol Producer Magazine/ICM/Urban Air Initiative)  We have a tremendous opportunity to make the case in the Midterm Review in what EPA says will be a “data driven and transparent process.” We can show …
Fact Sheet: A Brief History of Octane in Gasoline: From Lead to Ethanol
April 7, 2016 – 10:45 am | No Comment
by Jessie Stolark (Environmental and Energy Study Institute)  A cornerstone of U.S. environmental policy has been the reduction of harmful tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks. Thanks to EPA regulations of mobile sources, air pollutants …
Push Poll Push Back
April 6, 2016 – 6:02 pm | No Comment
by Joanna Schroeder (  The American Petroleum Institute has unveiled yet another anti-biofuel poll. The latest released during a media call today was conducted by Harris Poll. According to the poll, 77 percent of registered …
Importing to Meet California Demand
April 6, 2016 – 5:25 pm | No Comment
by Ron Kotrba (Biodiesel Magazine)  The U.S. imported a record volume of biomass-based diesel in 2015.  â€¦  This increase in imports is particularly interesting because 2015 was a year with no forward-looking $1-per-gallon blender’s tax …
CA Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Questioned: Study Raises Doubts About Long-Term Viability of Rule
April 6, 2016 – 12:35 pm | No Comment
by Todd Neeley (DTN/The Progressive Farmer)  California’s controversial low-carbon fuel standard may not be able to survive long term unless more biodiesel and corn-based ethanol are allowed into the state’s market quickly, according to a …
BRAG Petition Succeeds: EPA Expands Chemical Data Reporting Exemptions To Biodiesel Products
April 5, 2016 – 2:13 pm | No Comment
(Bergeson & Campbell/BRAG)  On March 29, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Partial Exemption of Certain Chemical Substances from Reporting Additional Chemical Data final rule in the Federal Register. This final rule amends …
Redefining Renewable Biomass: A Policy Change with Cascading Outcomes
April 4, 2016 – 3:30 pm | No Comment
by Katie E. Moore-Drougas, Daniel T. Schwartz, Laurel James and Jim Durglo (Brookings Institution)  â€¦ One solution that has the potential to substantially curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a change in the Energy Independence and Security …
Setting the Record Straight on Heartland Institute’s False RFS Claims
March 24, 2016 – 4:12 pm | No Comment
by Tom Buis (Growth Energy)  Last week, the Heartland Institute published a blog post claiming  the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has a detrimental impact on American farmers and rural corn producing areas. Growth Energy responded to …
B&C Professionals Help Tell the Story of EPA’s “Half Century of Progress”
March 23, 2016 – 7:18 pm | No Comment
(Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.)  Many Americans today, including many legislators at the federal and state levels, were not yet born when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created by President Nixon in 1970, or …
Grassley, Klobuchar, 17 Other Senators Urge EPA to Set a High Blending Target Under the Renewable Fuel Standard
March 23, 2016 – 7:02 pm | No Comment
(Office of Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA))  Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and 17 other senators today urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set high blending targets under the Renewable …
Big Corn Finds Unlikely Allies in U.S. Biofuel Push: Carmakers and Drivers
March 23, 2016 – 1:52 pm | No Comment
by Chris Prentice (Reuters)  â€¦ Reuters’ analysis of vehicle sales and government data shows that almost a fifth of the vehicles on U.S. roads can safely handle E-15 fuel, a gasoline with 15 percent ethanol content, …
Ethanol Bust Adds to U.S. Fuel Glut and Losses Across Corn Belt
March 23, 2016 – 1:36 pm | No Comment
by Mario Parker (Bloomberg Business) … Back in 2007, when crude oil was headed toward a record $147.27 a barrel, ethanol was being touted as a cheap alternative from abundant domestic resources. The U.S. is the …
The United States’ Shifting Approach to Ethanol and other Biofuels Is a Case Study in Short-Sighted Decision Making.
March 23, 2016 – 10:36 am | No Comment
by Alexis Bateman and Yossi Sheffi (MIT Sloan Management Review)  How a Lack of Systemic Thinking Threatens a Sustainable U.S. Energy Policy — … In 2011, a combination of market conditions and government policies in the U.S. …
Major Impacts on U.S. Carbon Emissions Since the Great Recession
March 21, 2016 – 1:05 pm | No Comment
by John Miller (The Energy Collective)  U.S. total carbon emissions increased to a historic high in 2007.  During the 2007-09 Great Recession U.S. total carbon emissions declined rapidly due to a combination effective Government energy and …
Thorntons to Begin Selling E15 at Chicago Locations
March 21, 2016 – 12:47 pm | No Comment
(Renewable Fuels Association)  Fueling retailer Thorntons announced today that it will offer its branded E15 option, Unleaded15, at all 43 Chicago-area locations beginning this month. In response, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen …
House Hearing Attacks #RFS
March 18, 2016 – 7:01 pm | No Comment
by Cindy Zimmerman (  The House Oversight Subcommittees on Interior and Healthcare, Benefits and Administrative Rules held a joint hearing Wednesday to ostensibly examine the Renewable Fuel Standard but was basically an attack on the law.
US EPA ‘Analyzing’ Potential Shift in RFS Obligation from Refiners to Blenders
March 18, 2016 – 5:09 pm | No Comment
by Herman Wang (Platts)  The US Environmental Protection Agency is considering a request by several independent refiners to shift the responsibility for complying with the federal biofuels mandate to blenders, a top agency official said Wednesday.
But …
Endless Assault on the RFS
March 15, 2016 – 7:45 pm | No Comment
by Doug Durante (The Hill/ Clean Fuels Development Coalition)  With regard to the recent opinion expressed by Rob Green of the National Council of Chain Restaurants, all I can say is gosh, what a better …
What Are the CAFE Standards, and Why Do They Matter?
March 14, 2016 – 7:52 pm | No Comment
by Robin Vercruse (Fuel Freedom)  â€¦ Initially focused on reducing our nation’s petroleum use in the wake of the oil crisis of the 1970s, coupled with tailpipe emissions standards, the CAFE Standards have since become the …
It’s All about RON
March 14, 2016 – 2:24 pm | No Comment
by Ron Lamberty (Ethanol Producer Magazine)  â€¦ Ethanol’s high octane value is important and valuable, and it’s a part of most math and money discussions I regularly have with fuel station owners. In market conditions like …

Latest Federal Litigation Posts

Federal litigation news sometimes overlaps with Federal Regulation items.   Not much new this month in federal cases.

Find more items about federal litigation on our website, click here.


On The Road

Five Months of E30+ in the Advanced Biofuels USA 2002 Focus ZX3

Bob Kozak reports on Advanced Biofuels USA, quite literally, "on the road."

It's hard to believe that we converted the bright yellow ZX3 hatchback Focus (aka Pretty Baby) to run on high ethanol blends five months ago - November 11, 2015. Since then we’ve covered 6,450 miles using blends around E30.  Here’s some pretty neat statistics.
Miles Traveled   6,450
Barrels of Oil Displaced   2.5
Average Ethanol Fuel Content   39%
Gallons of Ethanol (E100) Used   89.3
Non-Renewable Carbon Displaced
(@60% GHG reduction compared to E10)
  314 lbs
Non-Renewable CO2 Displaced
(@60% GHG reduction compared to E10)
  1,151 lbs
Can’t wait to use that ½ ton of non-renewable CO2 number around some coal and natural gas fired electric car owners!
And on the “Fast and Furious” front… (In other words, don’t let the editor know!) With E30+ the ZX3 has picked up some nice low end torque and seems to rev faster as well. Lots of surprised looks on some of the hot hatchback drivers around here!

Original Articles!

Advanced Biofuels USA writers explore a wide variety of topics this month.

[Opinion] Advanced Biofuels: Nothing’s Perfect, but There’s a Lot of Good
April 11, 2016 – 1:51 pm | No Comment
by Joanne Ivancic (Advanced Biofuels USA/The Biomass Monitor)  Is the glass half full or half empty? Is a feedstock sustainable or harmful to the environment? Is a conversion technology efficient or too complex? Is a …
2016 National Renewable Energy Policy Forum: What’s Next? Driving Growth in a New Policy Landscape Explores a World of Clean Power Plans and Favorable Tax Incentives; Exposes Potential Cracks
March 19, 2016 – 6:26 pm | No Comment
by Joanne Ivancic* (Advanced Biofuels USA)  For a meeting about renewable energy held on St. Patrick’s Day, EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, Janet McCabe, began her address with appropriate …
An Open Letter to the New US House of Representatives Free Market Green Coalition – Without a Price on Pollution, There are No Market-Based Solutions to Clean Up the Environment
March 16, 2016 – 3:22 pm | No Comment
by Robert Kozak* (Advanced Biofuels USA)  We welcome US Representatives Adam Kinzinger, Barbara Comstock, Joe Heck, Chris Gibson, Ryan Costello, Kevin Yoder, Richard Hanna, Dave Reichert, Elise Stefanik, Carlos Curbelo, Tom Reed and Bob Dold …
Hybrid Truck: How This Came About, How It’s Used, Experience with Performance
March 9, 2016 – 6:11 pm | No Comment
by Jennifer Horrillo (Diesel Direct/Special to Advanced Biofuels USA)  At Diesel Direct, we are proud to have the nation’s first hybrid diesel electric fuel delivery truck.  The truck was put into use in the fall …

More Educational Resources

Presentations for Public Use

Just a reminder:  In the Biofuels Basics section of the Advanced Biofuels USA website, you can find PowerPoint presentations for use "as is" or as resources for your own slide show.

Most recently, a presentation was prepared to give students an introduction to advanced biofuels, and to teach about researching online using the Advanced Biofuels USA website as a library resource that links to articles in publications around the world.

Designed to encourage students to discuss the role of judgment and discernment when doing online research, to discuss how to look for bias that might be reflected in what they read online.

Download Presentation: Researching STEM/Biofuels Topics Online

Educational News

Student Startup Turning Heads by Utilizing Biofuel Waste for Good
April 15, 2016 – 11:49 am | No Comment
(Tennessee Today)  â€¦ Enter Tony Bova and Jeff Beegle, a pair of doctoral candidates in the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, which is run jointly by UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The pair …

March Madness Webinar Series: In Review, the 600+ slides, the BioChannel.TV Replay Schedule
April 15, 2016 – 11:21 am | No Comment
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)  â€¦We’ll have more webinars over the coming weeks as we turn our attention to new pressing topics — but first of all, thank you to the 1300+ season pass holders …

Environmental Engineering Student Wins Prestigious Award to Pursue Biofuel Research
April 14, 2016 – 5:44 pm | No Comment
(Tennessee Today)  UT Civil and Environmental Engineering doctoral student Hannah Woo was recently honored as one of ninety students in the United States and Canada to receive a $15,000 Scholar Award from the Philanthropic Educational Organization …

The BioenergizeME Social Media Campaign Begins Today!
April 11, 2016 – 5:59 pm | No Comment
(US Department of Energy)  The 2016 BioenergizeME Social Media Campaign kicks off today with high school students from all over the country sharing their infographics via social media. Check out the infographics on the BioenergizeME Challenge Map starting …

Towards a Sustainable Future
April 11, 2016 – 5:15 pm | No Comment
by Sarthak Saraswat  (The Hindu)  Shell is providing engineering students a platform to design energy-efficient vehicles and reduce carbon emissions. The recent Shell Eco-marathon Asia in Manila saw a clash of the best minds.
The atmosphere …

Butterfield-Odin Students Visit Heron Lake Bioenergy
April 11, 2016 – 3:58 pm | No Comment
(Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association)  Fourteen students from Butterfield-Odin visited the Heron Lake Bioenergy ethanol plant on April 8 to get a better understanding of clean Minnesota-grown renewable energy.
During the 90 minute tour, the students were briefed …

35,000 Students Take Virtual Field Trip
April 8, 2016 – 3:30 pm | No Comment
by Kelly Marshall (Precision Ag Wired)  This week students across the nation had to opportunity to visit a farm without ever getting on a school bus.  The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance and Discovery Education have put …

University of Vermont Announces Online Bioenergy Professional Certificate Program Summer Session — June 15-August 3, 2016
April 8, 2016 – 10:45 am | No Comment
(University of Vermont)  A new era of clean BioEnergy solutions is beginning to emerge now. Clean sustainable Bioenergy such as Bio-Electricity and Biogas production from Dairy manure and Food Waste streams is becoming a well-known …

From Near-Dropout to PhD, Berkeley Lab Scientist Now at Forefront of Biofuels Revolution
April 6, 2016 – 1:11 pm | No Comment
by Julie Chao (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)  Berkeley Lab scientist Ee-Been Goh thrives on re-engineering bacteria and mentoring students.  â€”  â€¦ â€œMy mom would say, ‘You used to be the worst in school—why would you want to …

Central High School Visits Heartland Corn Products / Sibley East High School Visits Heartland Corn Products
March 31, 2016 – 5:53 pm | No Comment
(Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association)  Nineteen high school students from Norwood Young America visited Heartland Corn Products in Winthrop today (March 24, 2016) to get a closer look at how clean, homegrown renewable fuels are produced.
The students, …

Science Teacher Plans First Coast-to-Coast Biofuel Flight
March 23, 2016 – 12:58 pm | No Comment
by Megan Elliott (Flying Magazine)  First transcontinental flight using aviation biofuel in a certified light aircraft. — High-school science teacher Ross McCurdy is planning the first transcontinental flight using aviation biofuel in a certified light aircraft. …

If you can help students attend conferences, please do.  It's an incredibly valuable experience.

Scholarships and Competitions

National Black Farmers Association Scholarships
(National Black Farmers Association)  Scholarship Program With the National Black Farmers Association Supports African American Farmers  â€”  The National Black Farmers Association (NBFA) Scholarship Program today opened the application period for 2016 scholarships. The application site, …

CBMNet Funding Announcements; Includes Undergraduate Vacation Scholarships  Various deadlines  (Crossing Biological Membranes Network)  At CBMNet we foster collaborations between academia and industry to tackle research challenges in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (IBBE).
We are working to understand the mechanisms by which substances are transported into, …

Grant Opportunities

For a list of grant opportunities, CLICK HERE.

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