Delaware Governor's Blog

Delaware Senator Tom Carper is getting some advice from the state's former environmental chief.

Collin O’Mara, now president of the National Wildlife Federation, urged the Democrat to oppose a measure allowing higher amounts of ethanol to be mixed in with gasoline.

The bill would lift a 10 percent cap during the summer months.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Carper has said he has not made a final decision on the measure that would change the limits in the Clean Air Act rule.

pbf website

DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) - A state board has dismissed an appeal filed against a project that is going to significantly increase the amount of biofuel being stored at and shipped from a Delaware City refinery.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board voted 5-1 Monday to toss the case, ruling that the two civic groups who brought the appeal did not show their members would suffer direct harm from the project.

The battle over the ethanol expansion request by the Delaware City Refinery has pitted lawyers for the state and the refinery against citizen groups as they go before the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control along with the company claim that five of the seven arguments against the expansion are erroneous and reflect desperation.

But Delaware Audubon and the League of Women Voters of Delaware call the claims misdirection and say they are failing to follow the law.

Two groups are appealing the recent permit issued by state officials to allow the shipment of up to 10 thousand barrels of unblended ethanol per day from the Delaware City Refinery.

The appeal has been filed by Delaware Audubon and the League of Women Voters.

They are asking the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board to reject the decision by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Don Rush

The Delaware City Refinery has been given permission by state officials to handle shipments of unblended ethanol at its barge facility. It comes as part of a  federal government mandate that requires ethanol make up 10 percent of gasoline. However, a conservation group says the federal program is endangering habitat as farmers meet demand by growing such crops as corn for ethanol use. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with Collin O'Mara, president of the National Wildlife Federation, who said it's time to rollback the program.

PBF wants to dramatically expand the Delaware City Refinery’s output of denatured ethanol from 84-thousand gallons a day to 420-thousand gallons.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that currently the facility imports ethanol from other states.

It is mixed with gasoline and is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The paper reports that the company wants to commence work on the expansion late this year with production beginning early next year.

The company will need to get permission from state officials and expect to employ 20 to 25 workers.  

pbf energy website

It was a disappointing second quarter earnings for PBF Energy which owns the Delaware City Refinery.

Tom Nimbley, the company’s chief executive officer, warned that costly renewable fuel mandates could push up prices at the pump while cutting gasoline production at facilities like Delaware City Refinery.

The federal Renewable Fuels Standard was adopted before the recession and requires refiners to buy an increasing amount of corn-based ethanol for blending with gasoline despite falling demand.

Senator Ben Cardin says he does not believe it is in the national interest to continue the Mandate on corn ethanol.

The recent drought has hit the corn crop hard driving up grain prices.

And that has had a dramatic impact on the poultry industry.

The Maryland Democrat told the Salisbury Daily Times that he really is worried about its future…and called for a way to ensure that the drop in corn output doesn’t harm poultry farmers.    

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The governors of Delaware and Maryland are joining an effort to persuade federal officials to ease renewable fuel standards because of a severe drought that has led to a drop in corn supplies and a corresponding increase in corn prices.

Govs. Jack Markell of Delaware and Martin O'Malley of Maryland sent a letter Thursday to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency asking the agency to relax rules requiring that a percentage of the corn crop go to making ethanol.

Similar pleas have been made by the two states' congressional delegations.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski says she is among a group of senators asking the Environmental Protection Agency to relax renewable fuel standards to require less corn. Mikulski says that will help ease corn supply shortages caused by drought conditions this year.

Mikulski says other senators signing the letter include Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, and Delaware Sens. Chris Coons and Thomas Carper.