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 Kathleen M. Roberts

On June 5, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) International Trade Administration (ITA) announced in the Federal Register that the preliminary determination in the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations on biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia will be postponed.  The preliminary determination will be due by August 21, 2017, and the final determination will be due within 75 days of the issuance of the preliminary determination.  Pursuant to Section 703(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, a preliminary determination is due within 65 days of the initiation of a CVD investigation unless DOC receives a request to postpone the determination from a petitioner, which DOC received on May 22, 2017.  The notice states that the petition was granted since there was no compelling reason to deny the request.


 

On January 27, 2017, AkzoNobel, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), signed a framework joint development agreement with Itaconix, a specialty chemicals company and U.S. subsidiary of Revolymer, to explore opportunities for biobased polymer production.  According to the agreement, Itaconix will provide proprietary polymerization technology to turn itaconic acid from fermented sugars into polymers and AkzoNobel will carry out the development and commercialization of the biobased polymers.  The deal aligns closely with AkzoNobel’s sustainability agenda and will generate biobased polymers with unique properties for use in everyday applications while furthering the development of biobased chemistry on a large scale.


 

On May 25, 2016, DOE published a Notice For Solicitation of Nominations in the Federal Register to fill vacancies on the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee (Committee). The Committee advises DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on technical and direction issues related to the Biomass Research and Development Initiative. The Committee meets quarterly, typically for two days at a time, in Washington, D.C. and other locations. This round of applications is focused on individuals with a commodity trade association affiliation, an expertise in agricultural economics, or expertise in process engineering related to biorefineries or biobased coproducts that enable fuel production. Nominations are due June 30, 2016, via e-mail to Elliott Levine at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or overnight delivery service to:

Elliott Levine
Designated Federal Officer for the Committee
U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Mail Stop EE-3B
1000 Independence Avenue. S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20585

 

On December 12, 2014, the Senate passed a House amendment to the Carl Levin and Howard P. "Buck" McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (NDAA FY15). The final version of the NDAA FY15 places restrictions on how the military is able to acquire biofuels by prohibiting funding from being used for bulk purchase of drop-in biofuels where the fully burdened cost of the biofuels is not cost competitive with the fully burdened cost of available traditional fuels. The bill defines a fully burdened cost as "the commodity price of the fuel plus the total cost of all personnel and assets required to move and, when necessary, protect the fuel from the point at which the fuel is received from the commercial supplier to the point of use."

In addition, the NDAA FY15 requires the Secretary of Defense, or the Secretary of the relevant military department, to submit a business case analysis to the Congressional defense committees at least 30 days before entering contracts for the "planning, design, refurbishment, or construction of a biofuels refinery, or of any other facility or infrastructure used to refine biofuels." The Congressional Budget Office has completed a review of the effect that the bill would have on direct spending and revenue and has determined that NDAA FY15 would result in a decrease in direct spending by $1.9 billion from 2015 to 2024.

 

 

Beta Renewables, a joint venture between chemical company Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi and investment company TPG, announced that it had begun commercial production at its cellulosic ethanol plant in Crescentino, Italy, at a price competitive with corn ethanol and gasoline. Novozymes, the leading producer of enzymes used for biofuels production, has invested in Beta Renewables. Beta Renewables expects to export the technology to develop about 20 new plants by 2017.