U.S. Ethanol Production Near Capacity, but Constraints Limit Growth

Source: By Hoosier Ag Today • Posted: Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

The limitation on the amount of ethanol that can be blended with gasoline in existing vehicles is basically 10 percent. When you add in lower gasoline consumption because of greater vehicle efficiency and fewer miles driven, domestic demand for ethanol is further limited in expansion ability.

E10 gasoline now standard, but E15 push stalled, so here comes E30

Source: By Mark Stevenson, Green Car Reports • Posted: Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Pro-ethanol groups are campaigning to increase the approved blend amount for non-flex-fuel vehicles to E30, thus stoking demand in their own fuel. The EPA can approve the higher blends through a waiver program, which it has done twice in the past for E10 and E15. Glacial Lakes Energy, a refiner in South Dakota, says it has sold nearly 2 million gallons of E30 with no adverse effects.

Biodiesel tax credit fight idles following trade policy wins

Source: Marc Heller, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

A push to keep biodiesel importers from receiving a federal tax credit may be losing momentum, thanks to the U.S. biodiesel industry’s recent wins on trade policy. Biodiesel advocates didn’t push congressional tax writers very hard to tweak the biodiesel tax credit as last year drew to a close, meaning the most biodiesel producers may be able to hope for is to keep sharing the tax benefit with competitors that import foreign fuel, industry analysts said.

Trump’s Farm Bureau address touts end of ‘regulatory assault’

Source: Marc Heller, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

The president vowed to log more timber and export more renewables. But he said relatively little about some other signature issues for farmers, including boosting ethanol and biofuel mandates and crafting a North American Free Trade Agreement that’s beneficial to U.S. farm exports.

House lawmakers set to kick off DOE reorganization push

Source: Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, January 8th, 2018

DOE has already done some reshuffling of its own, announcing in December that it would split its main science and energy divisions. But members of Congress are eager to bring their own ideas to the table and have said they want to introduce legislation to enact a broad agency revamp. Priorities include examining DOE’s 17 national research laboratories and how they coexist with the agency. Members also want to consider what role DOE should play in dealing with threats to the electric grid and whether some functions of U.S. EPA would better fit inside DOE or if the two agencies should be combined.

Pruitt interested in AG job — reports

Source: Kevin Bogardus, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, January 8th, 2018

Politico reported on Friday that three people familiar with internal discussions said Pruitt had told associates he was interested in becoming attorney general. Bloomberg News soon followed with a report that the EPA chief would be willing to lead the Justice Department if the position became open. EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox denied that Pruitt was interested in the job, saying, “No, this is not true.”

Global auto execs question the future of electric cars, survey says

Source: By Kyle Hyatt, CNET • Posted: Monday, January 8th, 2018

Even as manufacturers crank out more and more electric vehicles, they remain skeptical of the long-term success of purely battery-powered cars. In a recent survey of auto industry executives by auditing giant KPMG, it was revealed that their outlook on the future of battery EVs was less than sunny. Those polled cited infrastructure problems and long charge times as the likely killers of the current wave of electric cars, though whether that is indicative of entrenched thinking from longtime industry vets or a fair and frank exploration of the system is unclear given charging advancements by companies like Tesla.

In Clash Between California and Trump, It’s One America Versus Another

Source: By TIM ARANGO, New York Times • Posted: Monday, January 8th, 2018

Beyond demographics and politics, charting its own course is part of the identity of California. “We are the frontier,” said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a political scientist at the University of Southern California. “Beyond us, there’s nothing but ocean.” California is not the only liberal state standing up to the Trump administration. But as the most populous state, with close to 40 million people — if it were a country it would be the world’s sixth largest economy, sandwiched between Britain and France — California has been energized in the age of Trump to take the lead in opposing what many here believe is a depressing reversal of American progress.

As Trump Appeals to Farmers, Some of His Policies Don’t

Source: By ANA SWANSON and JIM TANKERSLEY, New York Times • Posted: Monday, January 8th, 2018

American farmers are facing some of the most challenging times in a generation. Global prices for their products — including corn, wheat and other commodities — are mired in a multiyear slump, and the rural economy has remained sluggish since the recession. Net farm income has been roughly halved in the last four years, the largest four-year decrease since the Great Depression, the American Farm Bureau Federation says.

Can’t Please Everyone: Trump Energy Policy Riles Competing Sectors

Source: By Richard Valdmanis, Reuters • Posted: Monday, January 8th, 2018

The Renewable Fuel Standard was introduced under former President George W. Bush as a way to help farmers and reduce oil imports. But refining companies say it costs them a fortune and threatens their survival. Refiners expected changes to the policy after Trump named billionaire investor and refinery owner Carl Icahn as an unofficial adviser on regulation. Icahn and others proposed shifting the blending requirement to other businesses and reducing biofuels blending quotas.