EU governments agree renewable energy targets for 2030

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

European Union environment and energy ministers on Monday agreed renewable energy targets for 2030 ahead of negotiations next year with the European Parliament, which has called for more ambitious green energy goals. Ministers said they would aim to source at least 27 percent of the bloc’s energy from renewables by 2030, up from a target of 20 percent by 2020.

Carper to block Trump’s CEQ pick

Source: Kevin Bogardus, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

Delaware Sen. Tom Carper said yesterday he would object to the Senate holding over the Trump administration’s pending nominees into next year’s session. Carper’s move — which would cause President Trump to resubmit all of his pending nominees next year — targets the nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White for chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

South Dakota Farmers Union to EPA: Stop Blowing Smoke and Enforce the Law

Source: By Karla Hofhenke, South Dakota Farmers Union • Posted: Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

South Dakota Farmer Union President Doug Sombke called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop hiding the true source and quantities of some of most harmful emissions of gasoline by updating their models and enforcing the law. In a letter to Christopher Grundler, Director of EPAs Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Sombke blasted the agency for its unwillingness to take the lead in reducing secondary organic aerosols that comprise the majority of urban particulates and are, by EPA’s own admission, directly linked to gasoline. “I think that you and your colleagues are the ones blowing smoke…do your duty to protect the health and welfare of the American people, especially the most vulnerable among us – our children,” Sombke said

California officials say housing next to freeways is a health risk — but they fund it anyway

Source: By Doug Smith and Jon Schleuss, Los Angeles Times • Posted: Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

State officials have for years warned against building homes within 500 feet of freeways, where people suffer higher rates of asthma, heart disease, cancer and other health problems linked to car and truck pollution. Yet they’re helping build the 96-unit complex, providing $11.1 million in climate change funds from California’s cap-and-trade program.

Tallying Economic Effects of the RFS Decade

Source: By Todd Neeley, DTN/Progressive Farmer • Posted: Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

Back in 2005 when the first RFS was signed into law, it was challenging just to keep up on the seemingly endless number of announced plans to build corn ethanol plants. Investor groups made public announcements, followed by local, small-town meetings attended largely by farmers and community investors curious about ethanol’s economic potential. Today, the farm economy continues on a decline as input costs have remained higher while corn remains priced in the $3 to $4 range. Imagine the state of things without the corn market created by ethanol.

Republican Tax Bill Passes Senate in 51-48 Vote

Source: By THOMAS KAPLAN and ALAN RAPPEPORT, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

Republicans took a critical step toward notching their first significant legislative victory since assuming full political control, as the House and Senate voted along party lines on Tuesday and into early Wednesday to pass the most sweeping rewrite of the tax code in decades. The $1.5 trillion tax bill, which is expected to head to President Trump’s desk in the coming days, will have broad effects on the economy, making deep and lasting cuts to corporate taxes as well as temporarily lowering individual taxes.

House Agriculture Committee launches Farm Bill webpage, videos

Source: By Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

On Dec. 13, the House Agriculture Committee launched a landing page for the 2018 Farm Bill that is designed to provide updates and information related to development of the legislation. “I’m committed to completing a farm bill on time,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas. “We’ve spent the past three years preparing—holding 113 hearings and six listening sessions around the country. We recognize what’s at stake. We’re working on getting the policy right and will use this site as a resource as we advance the next farm bill.”

Trump drops climate warming as threat in security plan

Source: Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

President Trump unveil his first National Security Strategy in a speech yesterday, but don’t expect the changing climate to come up much in the seminal document. Climate change was a major feature of the periodical statement of policy during the Obama administration. But the Trump administration did not list the two-word term as a security threat in its first version of the NSS.

EPA moves to replace Obama-era climate rule

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

U.S. EPA  is taking a first step toward potentially replacing the Obama administration’s signature climate rule. The agency released a notice asking the public for comment on what a replacement rule for Obama’s Clean Power Plan should look like.

China Unveils an Ambitious Plan to Curb Climate Change Emissions

Source: By KEITH BRADSHER and LISA FRIEDMAN, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

China is the world’s No. 1 polluter. It burns more coal than the rest of the world combined. It produces more than a quarter of the world’s human-caused global warming gases, nearly as much as North America and Europe put together. On Tuesday, China set out to claim another title that reflects its ambitions to change all that: keeper of the world’s largest financial market devoted to cleaning up the air.