USDA awards $25M for Iowa biodiesel plant

Source: Associated Press • Posted: Monday, January 23rd, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded $25 million Friday to an eastern Iowa plant for its project to turn garbage into fuel. Maryland-based Fiberight LLC is building the plant, which would work with a local landfill to obtain municipal trash that will be turned into cellulosic ethanol. The 55,000-square foot plant near Blairstown is expected to produce 6 million gallons of ethanol when it becomes operational next year.

Ethanol pipeline plan on hold

Source: Associated Press • Omaha World Herald • Posted: Monday, January 23rd, 2012

The nation’s largest ethanol company, Poet LLC, announced Friday that it is putting on hold its plan to build a dedicated ethanol pipeline because of the lack of prospects for a federal loan guarantee. Sioux Falls-based Poet and Magellan Midstream Partners LP had been studying the feasibility of a $3.5 billion, 1,800-mile pipeline that would send ethanol from plants in Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio to distribution terminals in the northeastern United States.

New study reveals higher octane in ethanol

National Corn Growers Association • Posted: Saturday, January 21st, 2012

As auto makers retool engines to maximize gas mileage while minimizing emissions to meet future Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards, a new study reveals that ethanol provides the higher-octane these high-efficiency engines require while remaining both affordable and environmentally friendly.

Shares of biofuel maker Renewable Energy Group rise a bit in market debut

Source: DAN PILLER • Des Moines Register • Posted: Friday, January 20th, 2012

Public shares of Renewable Energy Group, the Ames-based maker of biodiesel, opened at $10 each on their first day of trading Thursday, rose briefly to $10.29 and then settled back for the most of the day, closing at $10.10 on the Nasdaq market.

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.