Ethanol Snaps Two-Day Losing Streak on Higher Production Costs

Source: Mario Parker • Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, February 17th, 2012

Ethanol futures in Chicago rose for the first time in three days on signs of higher manufacturing costs caused by corn export demand.

Putting Xi Jinping’s Muscatine comments into proper context

Source: Kyle Munson • Des Moines Register • Posted: Thursday, February 16th, 2012

“It’s my second visit to Muscatine after a hiatus of 27 years from my last visit, and all the memories of my being here are now coming back. Coming here is really like coming back to home. You can’t even imagine what a deep impression I had from my visit 27 years ago to Muscatine, because you were the first group of Americans that I came into contact with. My impression of the country came from you. For me, you are America. We came just a few years after the normalization of relations between China and the U.S. and just two years after Hebei Province and Iowa became sister states. It was also my first visit to the U.S. So at that time, everything was very new and fresh.

For the Vice President of China, Tea Time in Iowa

Source: KIRK JOHNSON • New York Times • Posted: Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Twenty-seven years ago, a young man named Xi Jinping, on an agricultural research trip from his home in China, came to rural eastern Iowa and slept in Eleanor and Thomas Dvorchak’s sons’ room. The boys had just gone off to college — their room still stuffed with the things of childhood — and Ms. Dvorchak said she felt bad. She had grown up reading Pearl S. Buck novels about the travails in rural China, and now here was a visitor, perhaps from that same hard place, and they had put him in there with the Star Trek action figures.

Cellulosic ethanol group asks for tax breaks

Source: DAN PILLER • Des Moines Register • Posted: Thursday, February 16th, 2012

In a letter to the ranking members of the U.S. Senate committee overseeing agriculture, the Advanced Ethanol Coalition has asked that producer tax credits and the special advanced depreciation allowance for cellulosic ethanol be continued in the next Farm Bill. “Several billion dollars have been invested in advanced biofuels development with the expectation that Congress will stay the course with regard to its commitment to the industry,” Coalition executive director R. Brooke Coleman wrote in the letter addressed to U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Pat Roberts of Kansas.

Biofuels get a boost from DOE, USDA

Source: Tiffany Stecker • E&E • Posted: Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

The growth of biofuels remains a priority of the Obama administration, whose budget yesterday unveiled close to $600 million dedicated to boost the development and regulation of the fossil fuel alternative. vThe biggest boost came from the Energy Department, whose proposed fiscal 2013 budget allots $6.3 billion to renewable energy. The amount set aside for biomass and biorefinery research and development through the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program is $270 million — a 35.5 percent increase over the amount enacted for fiscal 2012.

Obama’s Wish List for Energy

Source: MATTHEW L. WALD • New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

One of the biggest proposed increases was for the department’s office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which would get $2.34 billion, up from $1.81 billion, a 29.1 percent jump. Within that category, the development and deployment of biomass and biorefinery research, and advanced manufacturing, got the biggest increases.

Flat DOE budget proposal has extra spending for renewables, research, efficiency programs

Source: atie Howell and Hannah Northey • E&E • Posted: Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

The request maintains Obama’s previous priorities of investing heavily in clean and renewable energy research and development while slimming down budgets for traditional energy research programs.

Farmer subsidies targeted; renewable energy emphasized in President’s Budget

Source: Amanda Peterka • E&E • Posted: Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

President Obama today proposed to eliminate direct farmer payments, cap a popular conservation program and extend disaster assistance to farmers in its $154.5 billion budget for the Department of Agriculture. The proposed budget for fiscal 2013 would provide almost $23 billion in discretionary funding, a 3 percent decrease from the levels enacted in 2012. The proposal reflects priorities in renewable energy, utilities, research, infrastructure and rural housing and development, the administration said.

California asks appeals court to lift ban on low-carbon fuel standard

Source: Debra Kahn • E&E • Posted: Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

California regulators have asked a federal appeals court to lift the injunction on their low-carbon fuels program. The Air Resources Board filed a motion in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, arguing that a delay in its program to lower the carbon content of transportation fuels would hurt the public as well as fuel producers that are making investments in alternative fuels.

Supply-demand crunch pinching ethanol industry

Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Falling fuel demand, an ethanol oversupply and high corn costs could lead some Midwest biorefineries to cut back or idle production until profit margins improve, industry analysts say.