Monday, June 11, 2012

Palm Oil Groups Retain Holland & Knight to Lobby EPA on Biofuels

Holland & Knight notified Congress this week (May 27) that it is lobbying for a trio of organizations that are looking to overcome U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concerns about the use of biofuels from oil palm trees. Houston-based Neste Oil U.S. Inc., the Indonesian Palm Oil Board and Malaysian Palm Oil Council have hired the firm to advocate for the inclusion of palm oil-based biofuels in the EPA's Renewable Fuel Standard program. The program, which requires U.S. gasoline and diesel to have a minimum amount of renewable fuel, won't include palm oil if a proposal the EPA released in January goes into effect.

The Center opposes the EPA proposal.  Palm oil is a vital food resource and a very good greenhouse gas mitigation tool.

The EPA said in the proposal that palm oil-based biofuels failed to meet an emissions-reduction threshold that fuel blends must reach to join the program. In January, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposed finding that biofuels derived from palm oil feedstocks failed to meet the standards set by the agency’s 2007 renewable fuels mandate. While they were found to have lower life-cycle emissions than conventional gasoline and diesel, palm oil came up short of the 20 percent reduction in related emissions that is required for inclusion in the new biofuel blends.
The proposal’s public comment period, which ended on April 27, drew hundreds of submissions from Neste, the Indonesian Palm Oil Board, Malaysian Palm Oil Council and other supporters of palm oil, as well as its detractors, including the Union of Concerned Scientists, National Wildlife Federation and World Wildlife Fund. (Legal Times, 5/17/2012)

No comments: