Another SRE from RFS obligations withdrawn/ineligible | EPA on E15, RINs | Wehrum to leave EPA
— From USDA...
Question (Q): If I plant a cover crop and cut it for hay after September 1, can I sell it without affecting my prevented planting payment?
Answer (A): Yes. If a cover crop is hayed on or after September 1 the insured may receive a full prevented planting payment provided all other policy provisions have been met.
Some industry sources say that will mess up the commercial hay market.
Link for more questions and answers on prevented planting flooding.
— USDA issues update on farm bill implementation: Link.
— USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue told reporters after a speech to the NCFC that there will be a 'minimal' MFP 2 payment on covered crops on PP acres. But Perdue did not say how much 'minimal' is. Some other USDA officials were caught off guard.
— Another small refiner exemption from RFS obligations withdrawn/ineligible. Data from EPA now shows there are 38 small refiner exemption (SRE) requests pending for the 2018 compliance year as of June 24. There were 40 SRE requests received by EPA and the data now shows that two have been declared ineligible or have been withdrawn from consideration. SREs continue to be a major focus with US biofuel interests, with the White House ordering a review of the SRE process after President Donald Trump was hit with criticism at an Iowa event. Farmers told Trump that while they appreciated the administration’s efforts to approve year-round sales of E15, the SREs were effectively more than offsetting the benefit from the potential expanded ethanol sales.
— EPA issues guidance on compliance dates for E15, RIN changes. The range of dates relative to compliance with the final rule providing for year-round sales of E15 and modifications to the Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) have prompted EPA to issue a notice that clarifies those dates. All parties, including fuel retailers, could start taking advantage of the one pound per square inch (psi) Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver for E15 as of June 1, EPA said.
“Fuel and fuel additive manufacturers must still have an EPA-approved E15 misfueling mitigation plan (MMP) prior to the introduction into commerce of E15 or ethanol for use in producing E15,” EPA stated. “Fuel and fuel additive manufacturers must also satisfy the other parameters of the substantially similar determination in the final rule.” Those requirements include the need to submit an MMP to EPA.
“Parties will be required to comply with the RIN market reforms beginning on January 1, 2020,” EPA said. “This means all RIN calculation, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements finalized in the rule will be required beginning January 1, 2020.”
The first quarterly RFS activity report reflecting the new rules is due to EPA by June 1, 2020.
— Wehrum to leave EPA. Bill Wehrum, head of EPA’s air and radiation office, will depart the agency at the end of this month, EPA has announced. “I would like to thank Assistant Administrator Bill Wehrum for his service, his dedication to his job, the leadership he provided to his staff and the agency, and for his friendship,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement released by the agency. “While I have known of Bill’s desire to leave at the end of this month for quite some time, the date has still come too soon. I applaud Bill and his team for finalizing the Affordable Clean Energy regulation last week and for the tremendous progress he has made in so many other regulatory initiatives.”
Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator Anne Idsal will assume the responsibilities of the Acting Assistant Administrator, Wheeler said. Wehrum’s departure comes as there is a congressional probe into his former law firm’s work on behalf of a coalition of electric utilities fighting Obama-era environmental regulations.
— Bank of America sees risk of $30 oil if China devalues yuan. A further deterioration in relations between the U.S. and China could set off a chain of events that would push oil down more than 50% to as low $30 a barrel, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.