AFCC News & Reports - December 2019:
EPA Makes Final Ruling on RVOs /
FY2020 Spending Bills Signed into Law
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for 2020 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as well as the biomass-based diesel volume for 2021. The EPA took its lead from the White House, which stayed with its original 2020 biofuels plan despite farmer objections.
Spending bills for the fiscal year 2020 operations of federal agencies were signed into law by President Trump on December 20, 2019.
AFCC News & Reports - November 2019 #1:
Spending Bills Still Under Dispute
Spending bills for fiscal year 2020 operations of federal agencies such as Agriculture, Transportation and Interior remain stalled over partisan disputes over funding for President Trump’s border wall.
A Continuing Resolution passed by the House and Senate and signed by President Trump on November 21 has extended funding for federal government agencies until December 20.
AFCC News & Reports - November 2019 #2:
AFCC Submits Comments to the EPA on Proposed RFS Rule Changes
The Alternative Fuels & Chemicals Coalition (AFCC) submitted comments on November 29 to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the EPA's proposed rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS.)
To view AFCC's comments, please click on the button below.
AFCC News & Reports - November 2019 #3:
AFCC Responds to a Request for Information (RFI) From the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis
The Alternative Fuels & Chemicals Coalition (AFCC) submitted a response on November 22 to a Request for Information (RFI) from the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.
To view AFCC's response, please click on the button below.
AFCC News & Reports - October 2019:
AFCC RFI Response: Bioeconomy
Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Notice of request for information (RFI) for Bioeconomy, FR DOC. 2019-19470
AFCC's Executive Vice President for Policy, Rina Singh, Ph.D., prepared a response to the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) notice of request for information (RFI) for the U.S. biobased economy, which was submitted to the OSTP on October 22, 2019.
AFCC's response provides recommendations on the four topics on which OSTP requested information:
What specific actions could the U.S. Government take to reinforce a values-based ecosystem that will guide the transformation and expansion of the U.S. Bioeconomy, in both the short- and long-term?
In what ways can the U.S. Government partner with the private sector, industry, professional organizations, and academia to ensure the training and continued development of a skilled workforce to support the growth of the Bioeconomy?
In what ways can the U.S. Government partner with the private sector, industry, professional organizations, and academia to establish a more robust and efficient Bioeconomy infrastructure?
Across the spectrum, from basic discovery to practical application, what data policies, information-sharing mechanisms, and safeguards will be necessary for a prosperous U.S. Bioeconomy?
Please click on the button below to read AFCC's response.
AFCC's Capitol Hill Round Up - September 2019:
Congress Passes Continuing Resolution to Fund the U.S. Government Through Novebmer 21
The Senate Committee on Appropriations on September 26, 2019 approved the FY2020 Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, S.2581. The 82-15 vote came just days before the September 30th deadline when government funding would have expired. The House passed the same measure the week before.
President Trump signed the stopgap bill into law, which prevents closing the government until November 21, 2019. The Senate bill provides $3.593 billion in discretionary budget authority, and an additional $1.499 billion is reserved for the House-only items, bringing total funding to $5.092 billion, which was approved.
IN OTHER NEWS: The Alternative Fuels & Chemicals Coalition (AFCC) will be having its first Governing Board of Directors (BOD) meeting on Tuesday, December 10th, which will be held at the Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP offices in Washington, D.C.
AFCC's Capitol Hill Round Up - August 2019:
Senate Passes and President Trump Signs Two-Year Budget Deal
The U.S. Senate approved a budget deal on August 1, 2019 that would increase spending across federal agencies over the next two years.
Senate staff are expected to draft the appropriations bills over the break, with markups expected soon after the Senate returns from recess on September 9.
Senate appropriators will likely conference those bills with the House versions.
Both chambers are expected to move these bills to the floor for passage ahead of the new fiscal year.
However, there's widespread acknowledgment on Capitol Hill that all of these bills won't be completed, and Congress will need to pass stopgap spending legislation in late September for at least some agencies to avoid a shutdown when current funding expires.
AFCC's Capitol Hill Round Up - July 2019:
House & Senate Leaders Reach Agreement on Two-Year Budget Deal
Negotiations between Senate Republicans and the White House on FY2020 budget allocations stalled early this month following several short-lived attempts to reach agreement.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) met behind closed doors earlier this month and hammered out a sweeping budget deal which meets many of the objectives of both chambers. President Trump agreed to the budget deal on July 22.
The two-year bipartisan budget deal would:
Raise FY2020 spending by $320 billion over current levels, which will benefit domestic agencies that have not received more than $100 billion in funding increases since President Trump took office, and boost defense spending by 3 percent to $738 billion,
Lift the debt ceiling for two years,
Set a course for funding the government without the fiscal brinkmanship that has occurred in recent years, and
End the automatic “sequester” created by the 2011 Budget Control Act, which would have mandated $125 billion in automatic spending cuts for FY2020.
Because of the limited number of legislative days remaining once the House and Senate return from their August recesses the second week of September, it is likely that a stopgap funding bill will have to introduced to ensure all agencies are funded past September 30.
AFCC's Capitol Hill Round Up - June 2019:
House Passes FY2020 Spending Bills
House Democrats passed a $985 billion four-bill spending package on June 19 and a $383 billion five-bill spending package on June 25, 2019.
The Alternative Fuels & Chemicals Coalition (AFCC) identified 51 programs on which to focus its advocacy efforts that were targeted for elimination or severe cuts (amounting to cuts of $54 billion) in the FY2020 budget that the Administration delivered to Congress on March 11, 2019.
Except for the four programs that have not received funding for several years that AFCC wished to restore, all of AFCC funding level requests were met or exceeded in the spending packages passed by the House.
You may view AFCC’s funding level requests, compared with the funding levels passed by the House, here.
AFCC's Capitol Hill Round Up - May 2019:
House Appropriation Subcommittees Release Their FY2020 Marks
The House Appropriation Subcommittees which have oversight for the agencies and programs that AFCC has been monitoring -- Agriculture (Ag); Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS); Energy and Water (E&I); Interior and Environment (E&I); and Transportation -- have voted on and passed their subcommittee bills setting the appropriations for these agencies and programs for the upcoming fiscal year (FY2020).
A description of these bills, along with links to the full text of each bill, can be viewed by clicking on the button below. AFCC has been largely successful in drawing attention to the priority programs it has identified that are important to the alternative fuel and chemicals industries, and in advocating for funding levels consistent with prior year appropriations in opposition to the severe cuts and elimination of programs in the Administration's FY2020 Budget.
Close monitoring and advocacy still is required, however, since the bills are subject to amendments when they come up for votes on the floor of the House in June. AFCC continues to meet with professional staff and appropriators on the Senate appropriation subcommittees, which are waiting for action on the FY2020 budget allocations from the Senate Budget Committee prior to moving forward with their subcommittee bills.
Issues to Watch - May 2019
Fifty-one programs important to the alternative fuels and chemicals industries and the development and production of sustainable aviation fuels are under threat in the FY2020 budgets submitted by federal agencies and the Administration. Altogether, the proposals for the elimination of programs and agencies and cuts to long-standing programs represent a LOSS of $14 BILLION in program funding and $40 BILLION in loan authority. Here's what you can do to avoid these cuts.
AFCC's Capitol Hill Round Up - April 2019
Following its review of the President's Budget and agency requests for FY2020, the AFCCspent the first part of April preparing write ups listing the programs whose funding levels were of concern (see AFCC's Capitol Hill Roundup - March 2019, below) along with tables comparing the FY2020 funding requests with prior year funding levels for FY2016-FY2019. Summaries of AFCC's write ups and the tables showing funding level comparisons can be found on AFCC's FY2020 Appropriations Requests page. These write ups and tables were shared at the end of April to key professional staff on the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees.
Welcome, Rina Singh, PhD.
The Alternative Fuels & Chemicals Coalition (AFCC) added a new executive staff member at the beginning of April 2019: Rina Singh, PhD. Rina will serve as AFCC's Executive Vice President for Policy. Rina with over 16 years of industry and Hill experience. She holds a number of patents and has written several technical publications. She earned her B.Sc. in honors chemistry and her doctorate in natural products (synthetic organic chemistry) from McGill University, where she also completed a post-doctoral degree in polymer science.
AFCC's Capitol Hill Round Up - March 2019
AFCC has identifed 51 programs in the President's FY2020 Budget -- 18 under threat of elimination, 20 facing reduced funding levels, 5 that do not show up in the President's budget or any of the FY2020 agency requests since they did not receive funding in FY2019 (or before) which AFCC wishes to restore, and 8 that AFCC wishes to ensure continue to receive full funding -- along with one agency targeted for elimination and two agencies targeted for relocation -- for which AFCC is advocating with House and Senate Appropriations Committee and Subcommittee staff. Click on the button below to view and/or download more details.
AFCC's Capitol Hill Round Up - January & February 2019
AFCC made solid progress in its meetings on Capitol Hill during January and February 2019 laying the groundwork for appropriations to support the development and production of sustainable alternative fuels (SAF). AFCC also began working with two Senate offices, one of which is introducing a tax incentive bill that will make SAF production more competitive with Jet-A and one of which is developing a bill specifically to facilitate the development and production of SAF. Click on the button below to view and/or download AFCC's Capitol Hill Round Up.
AFCC's Objectives / The Benefits of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF)
Here at the talking points that AFCC has used in its meetings on Capitol Hill, which explain:
The funding categories that AFCC will be monitoring in the upcoming FY2020 appropriations bills
A definition of SAF -- what it is made of, its safety standards and fuel specification
How the production of SAF offers multiple economic opportunities to every state and to local communities in almost every Congressional district
A list of the benefits SAF offers over conventional petroleum jet fuel
Five significant economic benefits that SAF can provide to air carriers and the military
A list of the many challenges that currently hamper the production of SAF, which can be overcome or mitigated through wise investments in agency programs through FY2020 appropriations.
Click on the button below to view and/or download AFCC's talking points: