The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased and renewable chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.

As explained in the notice issued by Neste, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), with President Trump’s signing of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (H.R. 1892), the blenders tax credit was extended retroactively for 2017.  Qualified biofuel blenders are eligible for a tax credit of $1.00 per gallon of biodiesel or renewable diesel used in the blending process in 2017.  The blenders tax credit was one of several biofuel-related tax incentives that were extended retroactively.  The incentives, which also include tax credits for second-generation biofuel production and alternative fuel vehicle refueling property, and a special allowance for second generation biofuel plant property, were not extended through 2018.


 

The BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology will take place on July 23-26, 2017, at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.  Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) will co-host a Bioeconomy Leaders and Innovators Reception with Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C. from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on July 25, 2017.  Enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while engaging with colleagues to exchange ideas and explore the prospect of establishing new partnerships.  Christine Lhulier, Corporate Counsel for DuPont Industrial Biosciences, will participate in a brief question and answer (Q&A) session to initiate dialog for the evening.  Register for the reception
 
Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Senior Chemist with B&C, and Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D., Manager of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), will be attending the conference and will be pleased to discuss questions attendees may have about their own biotechnology products. 

We look forward to seeing you there! 


 

The BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology takes place July 23-26, 2017, at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.  Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) will co-host a Bioeconomy Leaders and Innovators Reception with Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C. from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on July 25, 2017.  Enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while engaging with colleagues to exchange ideas and explore the prospect of establishing new partnerships.  Christine Lhulier, Corporate Counsel for DuPont Industrial Biosciences, will participate in a brief question and answer (Q&A) session to initiate dialog for the evening. Register for the reception
 
Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Senior Chemist with B&C, and Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D., Manager of BRAG, will be attending the conference and will be pleased to discuss questions attendees may have about their own biotechnology products. 
 
We look forward to seeing you there!


 

The BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology takes place July 23-26, 2017, at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, and features two new tracks on Flavors, Fragrances and Food Ingredients, and Agricultural Crop Technologies and Biomass Supply.  Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) will co-host a Bioeconomy Leaders and Innovators Reception on July 25, 2017, with Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C.  More details to come.  Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Senior Chemist with B&C, will be attending the conference and will be pleased to discuss questions attendees may have about their own biotechnology products. 
 
There is still time to register online.  We look forward to seeing you there!


 

The BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology brings together business leaders, investors, and policy makers in biofuels, biobased products, and renewable chemicals.  The event taking place July 23-26, 2017, at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, features two new tracks on Flavors, Fragrances and Food Ingredients; and Agricultural Crop Technologies and Biomass Supply.  Registration is now open.


 

On January 31, 2017, two bills were introduced in the U.S. Congress that propose to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the national biofuels mandate.  The first bill would require the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to assess the performance, safety, and environmental impact of mid-level ethanol, and the implications of the use of mid-level ethanol blends compared to gasoline blends containing ten percent or less ethanol.  The second bill would reduce the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) cellulosic biofuel volume requirements under the RFS program to what is commercially available pending a NAS report on the environmental and economic impacts and feasibility of large scale production of cellulosic biofuel.


 

On November 1, 2016, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) issued a call for panel session proposals for the 2017 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology.  Leaders from biotechnology, bioenergy, chemical, consumer products manufacturing, and agricultural industries as well as academia and financial sectors industries are invited to submit proposals to present on groundbreaking research and partnerships in the industrial biobased industry.  Specific program tracks for the 2017 World Congress include:  


 
Advanced Biofuels and Biorefinery Platforms; 
 

 
Renewable Chemicals and Biobased Materials;
 

 
Agriculture Crop Technologies and Biomass Supply;
 

 
Flavors, Fragrances and Food Ingredients;
 

 
Synthetic Biology and Genomics Research;
 

 
Research and Technical Presentations; and
 
Growing Global Biobased Markets.

More information on submitting a proposal is available online.  The conference will be held July 23-27, 2017 , in Montreal, Canada.


 

A post from the Environmental Law Institute's "Vibrant Environment" Blog

By Lynn L. Bergeson

The last thing the push for TSCA reform needs is another delay, and Senator Paul's unexpected interest in H.R. 2576 has caused just that. Under typical circumstances, a Member's focused interest in legislation is refreshing, and as today highlights, entirely too infrequent. In this instance, the circuitous road to TSCA reform is anything but typical—the complexity of the legislation has invited an unusual divisiveness that has frustrated passage—and delay is the enemy of the good.

When TSCA reform achieved bipartisan support in 2015, the Miracle on 34th Street quality of it all invited cautious optimism that reform of our ancient chemical management law just may be possible after all. Through 2015 and early 2016, the roller coaster ride the legislation took between the House and Senate was both nerve-wracking and energizing. Members and others "close to the legislation" metered out bits of information, sufficient to telegraph the patient was alive but requiring extreme measure to stay afloat. When the House voted on May 24, 2016, by an overwhelming majority to approve H.R. 2576, there was a palpable buzz in the chemical community and a real sense that this insanely stubborn law was finally going to relent and get its much- needed overhaul.

TSCA

Seemingly out of nowhere, Senator Paul put a hold on the bill's further consideration. Taking his explanation at face value, wishing to read the legislation is not an unreasonable request. In addition to wanting to read the legislation closely, Senator Paul reportedly is concerned about the enhanced criminalization provisions in the bill that raise fines for TSCA violations and enhance penalties for knowingly putting someone in imminent danger. Both of these changes are consistent with penalties stipulated in other federal environmental laws. Paul’s request to put a hold on TSCA, however, disturbs a fragile balance that is not well-suited to sustain disruption, and plainly breaks the momentum the legislation enjoyed before the Memorial Day recess.

It is imperative that days do not turn into weeks, or worse. We need this law, and we need it yesterday. TSCA has not kept pace with chemical innovation and EPA desperately needs enhanced authorities to manage potential risks from existing chemical substances. The Senate must make this vote a priority when it reconvenes so President Obama can sign it, as we expect he will, and we can start the important work of implementing the law.


 

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) is a proud sponsor of the 2016 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology. Make sure to visit our tabletop display to pick up content-driven articles about the current state of biotechnology regulations, with commentary by B&C and Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) professionals. Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Senior Chemist with B&C, will be attending the conference and will be pleased to discuss questions attendees may have about their own biotechnology products. There is still time to register online and we look forward to seeing you there!


 

With Republicans recapturing the Senate majority, GOP lawmakers now take the helm of several Senate committees of interest. For the most part, those Republican Senators who were ranking members now move into the chair roles.


Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee: Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) will take over the EPW reins from Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). His committee will have the primary role in amending the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Senator Inhofe was lauded by the late Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) for his assistance in working with stakeholders on TSCA reform. In a public statement, Senator Inhofe stated that although TSCA's current risk-based review process protects human health and the environment, he is open to changes to the law "but only if those changes modernize chemical reviews, increase public understanding of the process, and strengthen protections for human health and the environment." He set forth several principles that he believes any TSCA revisions must follow. These are:

* The use of data and methods based on the best available science and risk-based assessment.

* Including cost/benefit considerations for the private-sector and consumers.

* Protecting proprietary business information, as well as information that should be protected for security reasons.

* Prioritizing reviews for existing chemicals.

* Eliminating provisions that encourage litigation or citizen suits.

* Avoiding provisions that compel product substitution.


Senator Inhofe is an unabashed skeptic of climate change and critic of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). He has sponsored numerous bills aiming to "rein in" the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He is also likely to be critical of many of EPA's most prominent rules, including those on powerplant emissions, fracking, water quality, and other issues. He will likely be joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).


Budget Committee: Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) will take over the Budget Committee. He is a fiscal conservative, a budget hawk, and a vocal critic of the Obama Administration's spending policies.


Finance Committee: Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) will take the helm of the Finance Committee and will have significant influence on the prospects for major tax and trade reform. He is a conservative politician, but one who has demonstrated the ability and willingness to reach across the aisle to Democrats.


Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) takes over this Committee and is most likely to battle federal control of mining and drilling interests.


In the House, Republicans retained control in the mid-term elections, but because of retirements and party-imposed term limits on committee Chairs, more than half a dozen committees will be getting new Chairs. Under House rules, GOP members can only serve three terms as senior members of a committee, unless they are granted a waiver by the Republican Steering Committee. Major House committees of interest expected to get new leaders next year include:


Agriculture Committee: With Oklahoma Representative Frank Lucas term-limited, Representative Michael Conaway (R-TX) is the most likely replacement. Representative Conaway now chairs the Ethics Committee.


Budget Committee: Representative Tom Price (R-GA) is in line to succeed Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) as Chair of the Budget Committee. Representative Price worked closely with Representative Ryan in assembling prior GOP budgets and he is likely to take a similar approach in crafting this year's budget.


Natural Resources Committee: Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT) is expected to take over this Committee. He has pushed for more oil and gas leases on federal land and has accused the Obama Administration of using the Antiquities Act to designate unilaterally public acreage as national monuments off limits to developers.


Oversight and Government Reform Committee: In a bit of good news for the Obama Administration, Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is considered the favorite to succeed term-limited Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA). Representative Chaffetz will likely be challenged by Representative Michael Turner (R-OH) and Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH). Representative Chaffetz, who currently chairs the Oversight Committee's Subcommittee on National Security, has led the investigation into security breaches involving the Secret Service, giving him a high-profile. He has a reputation for being less confrontational than Representative Issa and has reached out to Democrats on the panel, including Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD). Representative Issa has been a major burr under the Obama Administration's saddle, leading investigations into the Internal Revenue Service -- the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, among other topics. Along the way he has alienated not just Democrats but also fellow Republicans with his confrontational and overbearing style. Chaffetz has made it clear he would do things differently. A strong conservative, he is liked by fellow Republicans and viewed as being dogged but not shrill in his committee role.


Ways and Means Committee: Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) is expected to move from the Budget Committee to become Chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, which is arguably the most powerful House Committee chairpersonship.
 


 
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