Obama stands firm behind CES, renewables

Source: Hannah Northey • E&E • Posted: Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

President Obama confronted a deeply divided and sluggish Congress last night and pledged to increase clean energy development on public lands. “The differences in this chamber may be too deep right now to pass a comprehensive plan to fight climate change,” Obama said during his State of the Union address. “But there’s no reason why Congress shouldn’t at least set a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation.”

Energy looms large in Obama’s agenda — and re-election plans

Source: John McArdle • E&E • Posted: Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

In his final State of the Union address before the 2012 election, President Obama did not shy away from some of the same energy and environmental issues that Republicans have said would be among his greatest weaknesses this fall. Obama referenced both his stalled climate change initiative and the bankrupt Solyndra solar energy company last night while chiding Congress for inaction on a host of energy issues. And while he did not directly engage on the controversial Canadian Keystone XL oil pipeline that his administration has held up, the president sought to focus the energy debate on how he plans to make better use of American energy resources.

For Obama, fairness means no oil subsidies

Source: Manuel Quinones • E&E • Posted: Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

As part of his plan for a sustainable economy based on fair play, President Obama is repeating his call for Congress to scrap subsidies on the oil industry. During his State of the Union address last night, Obama likened tax incentives for big energy companies to millionaires who don’t pay their fair share.

Unlocking Seaweed’s Next-Gen Crude: Sugar

Source: JOSIE GARTHWAITE • New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Seaweed often brings to mind thoughts of surf and sushi, not fuel. But that could change if a biotechnology startup called Bio Architecture Lab succeeds in building a new kind of energy company from designer bacteria and a low-cost process for harvesting seaweed. The key is a genetically modified strain of Escherichia coli bacterium, which can break down the sugars in brown seaweed, or macro-algae, to produce ethanol, according to new research published in the peer-reviewed journal Science. As one of the 14 study authors, BAL’s co-founder and chief science officer, Yasuo Yoshikuni, explained in a telephone interview, “Sugar is the next-generation crude oil — it can go to fuels and chemicals.” BAL’s breakthrough, he says, is about finding a way to “unlock the sugars in seaweed.”

Poet adds Dutch partner to cellulosic ethanol venture

Source: DAVID SHAFFER • Minneapolis Star Tribune • Posted: Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Poet, the largest U.S. ethanol producer, has formed a joint venture with a Dutch enzyme producer to build an ethanol plant fed by cornstalks and cobs rather than kernels. The 50-50 venture with Royal DSM that the companies announced Monday will privately finance a $250 million cellulosic ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa. Poet said it will turn down a U.S. Energy Department $105 million loan guarantee approved for the plant last year but not finalized.

Ethanol maker won’t need U.S. loan guarantee

Source: DAN PILLER • Des Moines Register • Posted: Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Ethanol maker Poet said Monday it will spurn a $105 million federal loan guarantee for its new cellulosic ethanol plant at Emmetsburg after it secured a joint venture agreement with Royal DSM of the Netherlands

How will clean energy fare in the State of the Union?

Source: John McArdle • E&E • Posted: Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

As President Obama prepares for his third State of the Union address tonight, there’s no longer any question that clean energy will once again play a role in the speech. In recent days, the White House has been openly telegraphing its intent to make clean energy a focus of this year’s address. But what remained unclear yesterday was how high of a billing the issue will get.

USDA to give $25 million to waste/ethanol plant

Source: Dan Piller • Des Moines Register • Posted: Monday, January 23rd, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday it has made a conditional $25 million loan guarantee for a $59.5 million biorefinery plant in Blairstown that will produce 3.6 million gallons of ethanol annually from municipal solid waste and other industrial pulps

Nebraska Ethanol Sales Top Ten Billion Gallons

Source: Nebraska Ethanol Board • Posted: Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Ethanol sales from Nebraska have officially reached 10 billion gallons, according to the Nebraska Ethanol Board. The history making tank-full was pumped in late 2011, after 34 years of ethanol being sold in the state.

Group requests SOTU call for extending credits, cutting oil subsidies

Source: Jason Plautz • Posted: Monday, January 23rd, 2012

A biofuels group asked President Obama today to call for the extension of tax credits for advanced biofuels and a reduction in oil-industry tax breaks in his State of the Union address next week. In a letter to the White House, the Renewable Fuels Association urges Obama to “recommit the tools at [his] disposal to ensure America remains on the cutting edge of renewable fuel production and continues to lead the world toward more sustainable energy options.” The group asks for an extension of the production tax credit for cellulosic ethanol and the Accelerated Depreciation Allowance for cellulosic biorefineries, which are both set to expire at the end of the year.