The Administration of President Donald Trump has officially begun and everyone in D.C. is buzzing. The early days suggest it will indeed be a new paradigm – one that is unconventional in style, substance and process. The cabinet is beginning to take shape as the Senate works through the process of confirming nominees – –but no cabinet is complete without the Secretary of Agriculture, currently still vacant. Look for the Senate Agriculture Committee to hold confirmation hearings in the coming weeks for nominee Sonny Perdue. This former Governor of Georgia is making the rounds with Senators to share his vision for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and answer questions. The Senate aims to have him confirmed by the end of February or early March.
Articles under Capitol Hill
While many policy matters are on idle as we enter the heat of summer and this election year, biodiesel policy issues are not slowing down.
On May 27, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the proposed rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume requirements, including the volume requirements for biomass-based diesel for 2018 and the total advanced biofuels volumes for 2017 and 2018.
On Dec. 18, President Obama signed into law an omnibus appropriations bill and a package of tax provisions, both of which include items of significant interest and impact to farmers and the agricultural industry. Below is a summary of the two laws. The House of Representatives passed the tax package by a vote of 318-108 and the Omnibus Appropriations bill by a vote of 316-113; the Senate approved the package together with a vote of 65-33.
On Nov. 30, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Final Rule setting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume requirements, including the volume requirements for biomass-based diesel for 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. The Final Rule sets the biomass-based diesel volumes at the following levels:
The House and Senate Agriculture Committees, along with help from commodity and crop insurance industry groups, secured an agreement from Congressional leadership to reverse the $3 billion crop insurance cut contained in the Bipartisan Budget Act.