Obama’s denial opens new chapter in Keystone XL drama

Source: Elana Schor • E&E • Posted: Friday, January 20th, 2012

The political fallout from President Obama’s denial of the Keystone XL oil pipeline today began on both sides of the northern border, as Republicans raced to slam the White House while Canadians sought another outlet for their planned boom in oil sands crude production

Brown backs high-speed rail, more green energy

Source: Anne C. Mulkern • E&E • Posted: Thursday, January 19th, 2012

The governor praised California’s efforts on climate and renewable power. The state has set a goal of making one-third of its energy renewable by 2020. It also passed a groundbreaking climate law that includes a cap-and-trade program that starts next year. “The plan will require less carbon in our fuels, more efficient technologies across a broad swath of businesses and a carefully designed cap-and-trade system that uses market incentives instead of prescriptive mandates,” Brown said.

Bipartisan bill would include ethanol from fossil fuels in renewable standard

Source: Amanda Peterka • E&E • Posted: Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) today will introduce bipartisan legislation that would allow ethanol produced from domestic natural gas and coal to be included in the federal renewable fuel standard. The “Domestic Alternative Fuels Act” is intended to allow those sources to compete with corn-based ethanol and stop an escalation in food and feedstock prices, Olson said. It would create a new category for domestic fuels in the renewable fuel standard, allowing U.S. EPA to set volume obligations to meet the standard.

Agency’s first chief urges White House to refocus message on rules

Source: Emily Yehle • E&E • Posted: Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

As Congress begins its second session — and Republicans continue to push their anti-regulatory agenda — the original director of U.S. EPA says the White House should reframe the debate as one of sensible rules rather than no rules at all. “It’s not popular today to say you need rules, but you do, I’m sorry,” former EPA Administrator Bill Ruckelshaus — a moderate Republican — said in a recent interview. “Absent rules limiting human conduct, the tragedy of the commons will apply.”

Biofuels will fly high, U.S. officials predict

Source: Jon Hilkevitch • Chicago Tribune • Posted: Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

The Obama administration is committed to “help buy down the cost” of building refineries and growing feedstocks for use in producing clean, renewable aviation fuels, even though the current price of such biofuels is at least three times higher than regular jet fuel, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Monday in Chicago.

LUFT: Market-based future for ethanol

Source: Gal Luft • The Washington Times • Posted: Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

At current oil prices, ethanol is more costly than gasoline while the alcohol fuel methanol, primarily made from natural gas, is cheaper than gasoline on a per-mile basis. But the comparative per-mile economics of ethanol could easily improve if, as a result of a war in the Persian Gulf, the fall of the House of Saud or collapse of Nigeria, oil prices were to soar into uncharted territory. Ethanol contributes more to the U.S. automotive fuel market than the oil we import from Saudi Arabia since the industry sustains nearly a half-million high-paying American jobs.

Consumer group says new CAFE standards would save car buyers money from day one

Source: Julia Pyper • E&E • Posted: Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Ahead of three public hearings on the Obama administration’s new fuel economy standards, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) released a report yesterday that found higher standards will have immediate benefits for drivers’ pocketbooks. The new corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards require a fleetwide average of 54.5 mpg by model year 2025. CFA’s new research shows that a buyer with a five-year loan on a car that complies with the 2025 standard would start saving money in the first month.

Automakers urge frequent evaluations of 2017-2025 program

Source: Jason Plautz • E&E • Posted: Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Automakers commended the Obama administration for including a midterm review in its 2017-2025 fuel economy program but said they face too many uncertainties in their effort to meet the target, 54.5 mpg.

President’s jobs council recommends ‘all in’ strategy for energy

Source: Phil Taylor • E&E • Posted: Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

The Obama administration should open more federal lands to energy development and speed permitting of new pipelines and transmission projects to create jobs and strengthen energy security, according to a panel of business leaders advising the president. In a report delivered today, President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness also recommends sustained investments in research and development, the extension of clean energy tax credits and increased energy efficiency.

Valero Energy to invest in cellulosic ethanol plant in US

Source: EBR Staff Writer • EBR • Posted: Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Crude oil refiner Valero Energy has unveiled plans to invest $50m in a cellulosic ethanol plant which will be located in the US state of Michigan.