News

Biofuels industry to Obama: Hang tough on renewable fuel standard

Source: By Zack Colman, TheHill.com • Posted: Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

The biofuels industry on Monday urged President Obama to resist persistent calls from governors and lawmakers to relax the renewable fuel standard (RFS), claiming dropping support for it would do little to combat high corn prices. The Biofuels Producers Coordinating Council, a recently formed group meant to organize the biofuels industry’s messaging, sent a letter to Obama refuting arguments that waiving the RFS would provide relief for drought-stricken farmers. The letter comes shortly after industry groups lauded GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for supporting the RFS in an energy plan he announced Thursday.

Obama Letter from Biofuels Producers Coordinating Council

Biofuels Producers Coordinating Council • Posted: Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Obama Letter from Biofuels Producers Coordinating Council

Opinion: Biofuel Tax Policy: Short Term Progress, Long Term Challenges

Source: Brian Siu, NRDC • Posted: Monday, August 27th, 2012

Runaway oil dependence puts our environment, public health and national security at risk. That’s why the Senate Finance Committee’s recent extension of the cellulosic ethanol income tax credit is welcome news. This incentive, which provides $1.01 per gallon of cellulosic ethanol, will help limit oil demand by encouraging private investment in cleaner, safer alternatives. But there’s still room for improvement. Over the long term, the tax code must incorporate features that address the environmental risks of biofuel production and encourage the development of the best-performing biofuels that protect our climate and natural resources.

Nebraska may see its first E15 gas soon

Source: World-Herald News Service • Posted: Monday, August 27th, 2012

Nebraska could soon have its first station offering gasoline with a 15 percent ethanol blend. Retailers in the state could offer E15 as soon as next month, said Kim Clark, director of biofuel development for the Nebraska Corn Board.
Tuesday, a second gasoline station in Kansas began selling E15. The Ottawa station and one in Lawrence are the only two retail location in the nation selling E15.

A mixed GOP message on ethanol

Source: Dan Piller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whose 2008 effort to waive the federal renewable fuel standard that is the basis for ethanol demand came back to haunt him during the recent Iowa caucus campaign, on Friday joined the governors of Arkansas, Delaware, Maryland and North Carolina in another request for the waiver. In a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency director Lisa Jackson, Perry said “”the RFS may have been a well-intentioned effort to move our country toward energy independence, but it has, predictably, done more harm than good. Not only is it driving up grocery prices for all families, it is also putting increasing strain on business.” The EPA last week opened a 30-day comment period on the waiver. It has 90 days to make a decison, a timetable that would effectively throw the politically-charged issue past the November Presidential election.

Expert warns of slow recovery

Source: Paul Quinlan, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, August 24th, 2012

Fifty-three percent of the nation is gripped by at least moderate drought conditions — up 1 percentage point from last week — but areas considered in severe and extreme drought decreased, a University of Nebraska climatologist warned today.

Calls to lower ethanol quota rise as U.S. corn crop withers

Source: By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times • Posted: Friday, August 24th, 2012

The worst U.S. drought in more than half a century has rallied critics of the federal renewable fuel standard, which will reserve about 40% of the nation’s corn crop for ethanol production this year. Critics have long questioned the commitment of a growing share of a food source for fuel use. But the calls for change have grown louder because the widespread drought has killed more than 50% of the corn crop, driving prices to record levels — and U.S. ethanol is made mostly from corn.

Romney energy plan supports U.S. ethanol mandate

Reuters • Posted: Friday, August 24th, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released an energy plan on Thursday that supports Washington’s ethanol quota, a mandate several governors want to suspend as the worst drought in over 50 years sends corn prices to record levels. Governors from North Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia and New Mexico, where large numbers of livestock are reared, have petitioned the Obama administration to waive the mandate which they say raises prices for corn, an important animal feed.

Issa urges White House to delay CAFE rules

Source: Jason Plautz, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Weeks after the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report accusing the administration of overstepping in setting fuel economy standards, Chairman Darrell Issa is calling on the White House to delay the release of the final rule. In a letter to Boris Bershteyn, acting administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the California Republican said the White House should return the rule to U.S. EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for further review. The letter says the process leading to the standards “will have real consequences for vehicle safety, vehicle cost and consumer choice” if there is not further review.

Branstad asks EPA to keep ethanol mandate

Source: Dan Piller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad urged the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to retain the Renewable Fuel Standard, which is the basis for the demand for ethanol. Livestock interests, angered by high corn prices and blaming ethanol and its use of about 40 percent of the nation’s corn crop, have asked the EPA to waive the mandate. In his letter, Branstad said “a decision by EPA to waive the RFS would signal that U.S. renewable fuels policy is risky.”