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To Harvest Stover or Not: Is it Worth it?

Corn stover is a readily available source of biomass for the production of biofuels. Three U.S. refineries – Poet, Abengoa and Dupont – are converting it at commercial scale to biofuel. These biofuel facilities partner and contract with farmers to procure the stover feedstock used in processing. Farmers face a choice of whether or not […]

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Questioning the Final RFS Rule, Part 3: Reasonableness of the Interpretation

Today’s article completes the discussion of EPA’s final rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Parts one and two in this series provided background on the RFS, a general review of the final rule and questioned EPA’s definition of the word ‘supply.’ This article delves into whether EPA’s interpretation in general can be considered reasonable […]

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Questioning the Final RFS Rule, Part 2: the Meaning of the Word “Supply”

This article continues the discussion of EPA’s final rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The previous article in this series provided background on the RFS and a general review of the final rule. This article looks specifically at EPA’s interpretation of the word “supply” in the waiver provision “inadequate domestic supply” and what Congress […]

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Questioning the Final RFS Rule, Part 1: the Rule and Background

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published the final rule that establishes the volume requirements for calendar years 2014, 2015, and 2016 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Previous discussions about EPA’s arguments for use of the general waiver authority in the RFS statute reviewed a leaked version of the proposed rule and the proposed […]

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How Does Changing Ethanol Capacity Affect Local Corn Basis?

Over the past decade, the United States has experienced a dramatic boom in ethanol production. The rapid expansion of ethanol was largely driven by the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS), first introduced in 2005, which mandates that 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel are produced per year by 2022, 15 billion gallons of which can come […]

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Growing a Sustainable Biofuel Economy: Part 1

The Environmental Appeal of Second-Generation Biofuels Second-generation biofuels from cellulosic feedstocks that were until recently thought to be always “five years away,” are now being produced commercially. In 2014, about 18 million gallons were produced, which was substantially higher than the 432,000 gallons produced in 2013. Poet-DSM and Abengoa are two of the refineries that […]

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Trading Off Fracked Natural Gas for Coal in China

China’s enormous growth in the past few decades stimulated a high demand for energy that historically has been fueled by coal. However, obtaining natural gas from fracking shale formations is becoming an economical competitor to coal in China because of advances in technology and economic incentives provided by the Chinese government (Thomas, p.1). Between 1984 […]

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