HHP Summit 2017


U.S. EPA Proposes Higher RFS Levels

June 1, 2016 in Biofuels, Biomethane, Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Agency Says It’s ‘Committed to Keeping the RFS Program on Track’

The U.S. EPA has proposed increases to the volumes required under the federal RFS/Renewable Fuel Standard program, the complex system of tradable credits that allows bio-based fuels to compete and indeed thrive in the marketplace.

Heavier NGVs: the Devil’s in the Details

January 11, 2016 in CNG, Legislation, LNG, NGVs, Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Natural Gas Trucks: 84,550 Pounds Total?

Special to Fleets & Fuels by Tom Guay in Washington

NGVAmerica and other backers of natural gas as a heavy truck fuel are watching to see how the Federal Highway Administration will enforce the new 2,000-pound exemption for Class 8 natural gas trucks authorized in by FAST, the new Fixing America’s Surface Transportation law.

U.S. EPA Finalizes Its RFS Volumes Rule

December 1, 2015 in Biodiesel, Biofuels, Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

‘The Biofuel Industry Is an Incredible American Success Story’

The U.S. EPA released the final volume requirements under its Renewable Fuel Standard program for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 this week, as well as final volume requirements for biomass-based diesel for 2014 to 2017.

Fleets Tapping into LCFS Credits Trading

November 18, 2015 in Alternative Fuels, batteries, Biodiesel, Biofuels, Biomethane, CNG, Companies, DME, Dual Fuel, Electric Drive, Ethanol, EVs, Hybrids, Hydraulic Hybrid, Hydrogen, Infrastructure, Legislation, LNG, money available, NGVs, Propane, Regulations, Renewable Diesel, Synthetic gasoline by Jon LeSage  |  No Comments

California’s AB 32 Law Has Been Generating LCFS Credits,
Fleets & Fuel Suppliers Are Learning How to Take 

Fleets and alternative fuel suppliers are tapping into credit trading and funding programs that come from California’s AB 32 Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard and cap-and-trade program are offering incentives for adopting renewable diesel, renewable natural gas, advanced biofuels, and clean vehicles. This fall, California Air Resources Board voted to readopt LCFS, and several states and Canadian provinces are considering adopting similar programs.

Parker Says RunWise May Satisfy the EPA

October 2, 2015 in event, Fleet Order, Hybrids, Hydraulic Hybrid, Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Hydraulic Hybrid Reduces Emission and Fuel Use, Manufacturer Says,
As It Seeks to Offer the Drive in More Trucks with More Engine Options

Heavy duty vehicle manufacturers worried about the federal government’s sweeping new greenhouse gas-fuel use reduction rules need look no further than RunWise hydraulic hybrid drive, already commercially available on Autocar refuse trucks, says developer Parker Hannifin.

Groups Urge Action to Make DGE Official

September 30, 2015 in CNG, Education, LNG, NGVs, Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Truck, Gas and Retail Associations, NGVAmerica Make Plea

Weights and measures authorities should adopt the diesel gallon equivalent as a national standard for natural gas sold as a vehicle fuel, states a letter from nine truck, gas industry, retail and natural gas vehicle groups. The matter is especially relevant, they say, since legislation was enacted to tax liquefied natural gas at the same energy content as diesel.

CARB Re-Adopts Low Carbon Fuel Standard

September 29, 2015 in Biodiesel, Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

National Biodiesel Board Is Quick to Claim LCFS Leadership

The California Air Resources Board last week formally re-adopted its LCFS, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard requiring a 10% reduction by 2020 in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels used in the state.

CARB's Mary Nichols

CARB’s Mary Nichols

“The LCFS, a pillar supporting the state’s efforts to fight climate change, delivers more clean fuels for Californians, and reduces emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants,” states a release.

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) was quick to state that its fuel has “the best carbon score among all liquid fuels.”

‘A Key Element of California’s Plans’

The agency action “builds on years of successful implementation and will continue reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector,” CARB chair Mary Nichols said in a release.

“Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gases in the state,” Nichols said. “This program is a key element of California’s plans to enact Governor Brown’s Executive Order mandating a 50% cut in petroleum use by 2030.”

Carbon Intensity

The LCFS program requires that transportation fuels used in California meet a baseline target for carbon intensity. That target is reduced each year. If a product is above the annual carbon intensity target, the fuel incurs deficits. If a product is below that target, the fuel generates credits which may be used later for compliance, or sold to other producers who have deficits.

“So far,” CARB says, “fuel producers are over-complying with the regulation.”

NBB's Don Scott

NBB’s Don Scott

CARB determines carbon intensity via a life cycle analysis measuring the amount of carbon generated during the extraction, production, transportation, and combustion of a fuel. The agency notes that the LCFS program does not require use of any specific fuel, “only that regulated parties find a blend of fuels and credits that will meet the declining target each year.”

It Depends on the Source

According to NBB, the new standard affirms that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 81% versus petroleum, giving it the best carbon score among all liquid fuels. (emphasis added: natural gas has a higher carbon intensity than the various biodiesel types, but the scores for renewable natural gas from landfills and feedlots are far lower.)

“Biodiesel is the most sustainable fuel on the planet,” NBB sustainability director Don Scott said in his organization’s release. “Low carbon alternatives can also be low cost alternatives when we use diverse supplies of renewable resources. This validates that California’s carbon reduction goals are obtainable.”

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Source: CARB and NBB with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

Federal GHG Process Is Heating Up

September 2, 2015 in event, Regulations, webinar by Joe Annotti  |  No Comments

Fleet Owner Is Presenting Ryder-Sponsored Webinar on September 23
As Deadline for Input on Greenhouse Truck & Bus Rule Is Now October 1

Concerned about the federal government’s new greenhouse gas emissions regulations affecting medium- and heavy-duty vehicles?

NGVAmerica ‘Dyssed’ by NCWM on DGE

July 24, 2015 in CNG, LNG, NGVs, Regulations, standards by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

‘We Will Continue This Effort State-By-State If That’s What It Takes’

NGVAmerica said this week that it’s disappointed that NCWM, the National Conference on Weights and Measures, did not adopt the diesel gallon equivalent standard for natural gas at its annual meeting in Philadelphia.

Matt Godlewski

Matt Godlewski

The DGE standard would have created greater uniformity and consistency for the natural gas vehicle industry, the association said.

“Unfortunately transparency, uniformity, and consistency have fallen victim to a dysfunctional voting process,” said NGVAmerica president Matt Godlewski said in a release.

“However,” he added, “state legislators understand the importance of this issue and we will continue this effort state-by-state if that’s what it takes to see this issue through.”

Better News in the Senate

Currently, NGVAmerica says, 26 states use the DGE for taxation of LNG, and ten have enacted legislation or approved regulations recognizing the DGE as a standard for dispensing natural gas. The association said it will continue to work with its industry advocates and allies at the state level until the DGE standard is a nationally recognized and accepted unit of sale.

The next NCWM annual meeting is slated for July 23-28, 2016 in Denver.

In happier news this week, NGVAmerica reported that the U.S. Senate Finance Committee passed legislation forward to extend expired and expiring tax credits, including those for alternative fuel and infrastructure.

The bill included an amendment to correct the liquefied natural gas tax inequity, the association said: “This change places LNG on parity with diesel fuel by taxing the fuels equally based on energy content, rather than volume.”

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Source: NGVAmerica with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

DGE Standard on the NCWM Agenda

July 17, 2015 in CNG, LNG, Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

NGVAmerica and Allies Seek a Positive Vote in Philadelphia

Establishment of an nationally sanctioned diesel gallon equivalent for natural gas is again on the table as the National Conference on Weights and Measures meets July 19–23 in Philadelphia.

NCWM_buttonAn official DGE standard would make it easier to compare the costs, on an accepted energy basis, liquefied natural gas as compared with diesel, much as GGE/gasoline gallon equivalent standard has done for compressed natural gas since 1994.

The DGE was voted on and defeated by a key committee at the NCWM annual meeting in Detroit last year (F&F, July 22, 2014). The GGE, while threatened last year, remained in place.

Advancing the NGV

“The adoption of the DGE standard is an important issue that will help to further advance the natural gas vehicle,” NGVAmerica said yesterday. The association thanked

In bringing the DGE standard issue to Philadelphia, NGVAmerica was joined by natural gas industry leaders, including

  • Love’s Travel Stops supplied this image showing a current price of CNG versus gasoline. Love’s CNG prices range from $1.79 to $2.39 per GGE. Love’s CNG locations map (direct PDF link). Love’s also has a Fuel Price Search tool on its website.

    Love’s Travel Stops supplied this image showing a current price of CNG versus gasoline. An official DGE would allow similar comparisons with diesel. Love’s CNG prices range from $1.79 to $2.39 per GGE. Love’s CNG locations map (direct PDF link). Love’s also has a Fuel Price Search tool on its website.

    AGA, the American Gas Association,

  • ANGA, America’s Natural Gas Alliance,
  • APGA, the American Public Gas Association,
  • ATA, the American Trucking Associations,
  • NACS, the National Association of Convenience Stores,
  • NATSO, the National Association of Truck Stop Operators,
  • TRALA, the Truck Renting and Leasing Association,
  • and SIGMA, the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America,

all of which, NGVAmerica says, “have expressed their support for the DGE approach as a sensible and necessary way to dispense, market and sell natural gas.”

The 21-year-old GGE standard, NGVAmerica said, “has benefited consumers and industry alike because it provides a common unit for comparing the cost of CNG and gasoline.

More Consistent Taxation

“If adopted, the DGE standard will become a national standard for dispensing LNG in DGE units. The DGE standard is universally supported by industry and would allow for the ready comparison of LNG with diesel.”

Further, an official DGE standard would provide a “benchmark for consistency with taxation methods and creates efficiencies associated with accounting and record keeping requirements.” Already, NGVAmerica says, 26 states use the DGE for taxing of LNG, and ten have enacted legislation or approved regulations recognizing the DGE as a standard for dispensing natural gas.

‘A Common-Sense Vote for Transparency’

“Adoption of this resolution is a common-sense vote for transparency,” said AGA policy strategy VP Kathryn Clay says in NGVAmerica’s Thursday notice. “The NCWM has a real opportunity to lay this important issue to rest in Philadelphia.”

“When consumers make business decisions, they want an easy way to make comparisons,” said ANGA market development VP Amy Farrell. “This is a good, common-sense direction that is consistent and understandable.”

“We need to get this right and take corrective action,” said ATA Vice President and energy and environmental counsel Glen Kedzie. “Selling and advertising natural gas in diesel gallon equivalent units is the most practical way to communicate the value of natural gas to truckers and fleets looking to use natural gas in heavy-duty vehicles.”

“NGVAmerica thanks our members, industry allies and public officials for their efforts to make the DGE standard a voting issue at the NCWM meeting this summer,” said NGVAmerica president Matt Godlewski. “The adoption of the DGE standard would provide greater uniformity and clarity for the continued use of natural gas as a transportation fuel.”

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Source NGVAmerica with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

EPA Phase II Webinar on Thursday

July 14, 2015 in Regulations, webinar by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Calstart Hosting Free Session on U.S. EPA-NHTSA Proposal

Pasadena, Calif.-based Calstart is hosting a webinar this Thursday providing an overview of the new truck and bus efficiency regulations recently proposed by the U.S. EPA and NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (F&F, June 23).

Calstart+EPA-FEATUREDThe free Calstart webinar begins at 11:00 Pacific time on Thursday, July 16.

The EPA Phase II regulations, which are expected to be finalized by March, cover truck and bus fuel economy – and carbon emissions reductions – for the next 12 years.

Calstart senior VP Bill Van Amburg will explain what the new rules require, their impacts and benefits, and how the regulation might be adjusted.

“This webinar will provide an overview of the new federal regulations, a preview of the fleet benefits information, as well as an interactive discussion about the key issues with industry and fleet attendees,” Calstart says, noting that it’s preparing a full report on the pending regulations as well.

The lengthy EPA-NHTSA proposal has now been published in the Federal Register, and the deadline for public comments is September 11. 

Calstart EPA-NHTSA Webinar Registration

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Source: Calstart with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

DuPont Blasts the EPA on RFS Proposal

June 30, 2015 in Biofuels, Ethanol, Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Proposed Rule ‘Is Misguided and Is a Major Step Backward’

The U.S. EPA’s proposed rule changing its RFS/Renewable Fuel Standards “is misguided and is a major step backward,” DuPont said after DuPont Industrial Biosciences grain processing business manager Brenda Heffelfinger testified last week at an agency hearing in Kansas City, Kans.

U.S. Proposes Huge Truck Efficiency Rule

June 23, 2015 in Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Sprawling EPA-NHTSA Rule Is Designed to Pare Operators’ Fuel Costs,
‘It’s Been a Year in the Making, Now the Fun Begins,’ Says One Advocate

The federal government has formally proposed its Phase 2 regulations for model year 2021 to 2027 medium and heavy duty vehicles. The sweeping regulation from the U.S. EPA and NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is designed to both reduce carbon emissions and slash fuel consumption. updated June 24

The new Phase 2 regulation is projected to save vehicle owners ‘about $170 billion in fuel costs over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in the regulatory timeframe,’ states an EPA-NHTSA summary.

The new Phase 2 regulation is projected to save vehicle owners ‘about $170 billion in fuel costs over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in the regulatory timeframe,’ states an EPA-NHTSA summary.

The proposed standards are expected to lower carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 1 billion metric tons, the agencies say, and to cut fuel costs by about $170 billion. They are to reduce oil consumption by up to 1.8 billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program.

The rule follows a goal set by President Obama in February 2014.

“It’s been a year in the making, now the fun begins,” says one expert, charged with helping clients respond to the proposal. EPA and NHTSA are taking comments until 60 days after publication of the proposal in the Federal Register – expected early in July – and will hold at least two public workshops on the proposal. They are currently expected to be held in late August, in Chicago and Los Angeles.

Engines and Trailers and Vehicles

The massive proposal, which runs to several thousands of pages in multiple documents from EPA and NHTSA, includes sections on engines and trailers as well as overall vehicles. It comes as the Obama administration’s heavy duty vehicle rules effective through 2017 are not yet fully implemented, notes Glen Kedzie, general counsel for ATA, the American Trucking Associations.

“We’re still in the middle of the Phase 1 rule,” he told F&F.

ATA’s principal concern is that while Phase 1 relies on technologies already implemented via the EPA’s SmartWay program, Phase 2 makes reference to advanced technologies, some of which are not yet commercially available. There is the further challenge, Kedzie says, of coordinating technologies pertinent to engines, trailers, and overall vehicles, all with a view to what will be in use in 2027, more than a decade away.

“Lots of things can change,” he says. “That’s the scary part of this regulation.”

‘Ambitious Yet Achievable and Affordable’

The agencies note that the proposed rule does not take effect until model year 2021 (model year 2018 for trailers). The proposed standards, says a fact sheet, “are the product of a comprehensive assessment of existing and advanced technologies and extensive stakeholder outreach.

“The agencies have had well over 300 meetings with manufacturers, fleets, owner-operators, dealerships, suppliers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), consumer groups, labor unions, and other stakeholders to identify and understand the opportunities and challenges associated with fuel saving technologies…

“In order to significantly reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions while ensuring the heavy-duty industry continues to meet the diverse needs of our transportation sector, the agencies have carefully designed a set of proposed standards that are ambitious yet achievable and affordable.”

‘Grounded in Rigorous Technical Data’

The proposal is “grounded in rigorous technical data and analysis,” the agencies say. “They do not mandate the use of specific technologies. Rather they establish standards achievable through a range of technology options, and allow manufacturers to choose those technologies that work best for their products and for their customers.”

Numerous organizations reacted to the proposal, most favorably, though often guardedly.

“Fuel is an enormous expense for our industry – and carbon emissions carry an enormous cost for our planet,” ATA president and CEO Bill Graves said in a release. “That’s why our industry supported the Obama Administration’s historic first round of greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for medium and large trucks and why we support the aims of this second round of standards.”

ATA president and CEO Bill Graves

ATA president and CEO Bill Graves

The Industry Needs Time

Kedzie, in the same announcement, sounded a caution: “We believe this rule could result in the deployment of certain technologies that do not fully recognize the diversity of our industry and could prove to be unreliable. This unreliability could slow not only adoption of these technologies, but the environmental benefits they aim to create.”

“To prevent this, truck and engine manufacturers will need adequate time to develop solutions to meet these new standards.”

According to Kedzie, fuel is typically a fleet’s first or second largest operating expense and most fleets seek a return on their investment in new equipment within 18 to 24 months.

Volvo Expresses Concern

“In 2014, trucking spent nearly $150 billion on diesel fuel alone,” he said in the ATA announcement, “so the potential for real cost savings and associated environmental benefits of this rule are there – but fleets will need a wide variety of proven and durable technologies to meet these new standards throughout the various implementation stages.”

Volvo, while supporting the government’s goals, took issue with the structure of then proposal. “In principle, the Volvo Group maintains that a separate engine standard is inconsistent with the Group’s interest in minimizing the complete, real world environmental impacts of its products.”

Matt Godlewski

NGVAmerica president Matt Godlewski

“A separate engine standard is at odds with the reduction of NOx,” Volvo said, “due to the natural trade-off between NOx and CO2 emissions from the engine. It also limits manufacturers’ flexibility to meet the regulated targets for each individual customer in a way that suits their specific needs, and it incentivizes optimization for engine test cell requirements versus real world efficiencies.”

Volvo made clear that it will make its position clear to EPA and NHTSA “within the allotted timeframe.”

In other statements,

  • “Today’s proposal has the potential to be a win-win-win that will lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce fuel costs and reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil,” said NGVAmerica president Matt Godlewski. The final rule, he said, could “create new opportunities for fleets to use natural gas to further reduce fuel costs and emissions, while increasing energy security.”
  • “These proposed heavy-duty standards will help the nation fight climate change while driving new technology and reducing costs for truckers and fleet managers,” said California Air Resources Board Chairman Nichols. “We support this effort and will be working to ensure the final regulations help California meet our goals for 2030 and beyond.”
  • “Making our trucks go farther on less fuel will limit climate change and oil dependency while saving consumers and businesses money, and spurring innovation,” said Natural Resources Defense Council president Rhea Suh. “We will be pushing the administration to require compliance sooner, in order to deliver these benefits more quickly.”
  • “When heavy- and medium-duty trucks become more fuel efficient, the U.S. economy will benefit,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director of the clean energy initiative at the Pew Charitable Trusts. “Truckers will pay less at the pump, businesses will have lower shipping costs, and consumers will save on purchased goods – all while pollution is decreased, benefitting public health and the environment.”
  • “Cummins welcomes the proposal with its goals to improve fuel efficiency and reduce GHG emissions, creating a win-win for both customers and the environment,” said Cummins VP and engine business president Dave Crompton. “We are pleased that the new proposal builds upon the Phase 1 framework that aligns technological advances and industry success.”
  • “As a power management company committed to increased fuel efficiency and reduced greenhouse gases, Eaton strongly supports the next phase of standards for medium and heavy duty commercial vehicles,” said Eaton chairman and CEO Alexander Cutler. “These standards provide important incentives to help deploy the next generation of fuel efficient technologies. Eaton stands ready to provide cost-effective advanced drivetrain technologies that make vehicles more efficient while achieving significant operational savings for our customers’ commercial vehicle fleets.”

“Once upon a time, to be pro-environment you had to be anti-big-vehicles. This rule will change that,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in the EPA-NHTSA announcement. “These efficiency standards are good for the environment – and the economy, he said.

“When trucks use less fuel, shipping costs go down. It’s good news all around, especially for anyone with an online shopping habit.”

Two-Year Payback in 2027

Also according to the announcement, “The proposed standards are cost-effective for consumers and businesses, delivering favorable payback periods for truck owners; the buyer of a new long-haul truck in 2027 would recoup the investment in fuel-efficient technology in less than two years through fuel savings.

“We’re delivering big time on President Obama’s call to cut carbon pollution,” said EPA administrator Gina McCarthy. “With emission reductions weighing in at 1 billion tons, this proposal will save consumers, businesses and truck owners money; and at the same time spur technology innovation and job-growth, while protecting Americans’ health and our environment over the long haul.”

‘Payback periods for truck owners would be favorable,’ the government says: ‘the buyer of a new long-haul truck in 2027 would recoup the extra cost of the technology in under two years through fuel savings.’

‘Payback periods for truck owners would be favorable,’ the government says: ‘the buyer of a new long-haul truck in 2027 would recoup the extra cost of the technology in under two years through fuel savings.’

SDG&E Reports Broad EVSE Support

June 9, 2015 in Electric Drive, EVs, EVSE, Infrastructure, Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Diverse Coalition Backs SDG&E’S Electric Vehicle Charging Program

San Diego Gas & Electric reports a settlement agreement with environmental, environmental justice, EVSE/electric vehicle supply equipment providers, automakers and labor groups in support of SDG&E’s innovative Electric Vehicle Grid-Integration pilot project.

EPA Posts New Renewable Goals

June 2, 2015 in Biofuels, Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

RFS Proposal Disappoints Some Advanced Fuels Developers

The U.S. EPA has proposed new volume requirements under its Renewable Fuel Standard program for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016. The agency also proposed volume requirements for biomass-based diesel for 2017.

New York State Lifts Longtime LNG Ban

January 30, 2015 in LNG, Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

State DEC Sets Storage Permitting Requirements

“New York’s environment will benefit,” says Albany’s Department of Environmental Conservation, as the agency has lifted a long-standing ban on liquefied natural gas, setting up a new permitting regime for facilities storing LNG. updated February 2

APG Reports IUL Approvals from EPA

December 9, 2014 in CNG, Dual Fuel, LNG, NGVs, Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

V5000 Dual Fuel for ‘Larger Fleets Operating Newer Engines’

American Power Group reports the first U.S. EPA approvals of IUL/intermediate useful life engines, a “breakthrough” the company says provides “access to the medium to large fleet owners who operate 300-plus vehicles and keep their trucks four to five years.”

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