News

Stimulus spending hasn’t delivered on ‘green jobs’

Source: E&E • Posted: Monday, April 16th, 2012

Three years after President Obama promised that millions of “green jobs” would sprout from $90 billion in stimulus spending earmarked for clean energy, only a small fraction have materialized. Supporters say the administration overpromised on the potential for job creation and worry that backlash could erode support for overall renewable energy policies.

Enerkem seeks to join growing list of companies going public

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, April 16th, 2012

Over the past year, approximately 10 biofuels and biochemical companies have filed to go public to finance technologies that are going from demonstration-scale to commercial scale. After Enerkem, the most recent filing was Coskata Inc., which is developing a biorefinery in Alabama to produce cellulosic ethanol. Eight other advanced biofuel and bio-product companies — including KiOR Inc., Solazyme Inc. and Gevo Inc. — have closed deals over the past 18 months.

New biofuel could have an edge over ethanol

Source: DAVID SHAFFER, Star Tribune • Posted: Monday, April 16th, 2012

A biofuel that will be produced commercially in Minnesota is turning out to have major advantages over ethanol, especially for engines that can’t burn that fuel at higher concentrations. Scientists who have studied isobutanol, an alcohol fuel made from corn and soon to be manufactured in Luverne, Minn., say it can be easily blended with gasoline at up to 16 percent, packs more energy than ethanol and doesn’t appear to damage the engines of older cars, boats and lawn equipment.

Subcommittee weighs bill to ease E15 to market

Source: Gabriel Nelson, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, April 16th, 2012

A new bill meant to help companies bring new fuel blends such as E15 to the marketplace will take its first step in Congress this week with a hearing in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The bill would take a step sought by gas stations and allow new fuel blends to be stored and dispensed with ordinary equipment. It would also spare oil companies, engine manufacturers and fuel retailers from legal liability for any harm that might occur because of the use of E15 — gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol — or another fuel approved for use by U.S. EPA.

Richard Mourdock Challenges Sen. Dick Lugar Over Ethanol

Source: Matt Sledge, Huffington Post • Posted: Friday, April 13th, 2012

Facing a fierce primary challenge this year from the right, Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar found himself accused Wednesday night of driving up gas prices during an otherwise uneventful primary debate.

Nearly 7M consumers couldn’t afford new cars under standards — study

Source: Jason Plautz, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, April 13th, 2012

Despite current rising sales of fuel-efficient vehicles with higher gas prices, the nation’s auto dealers are warning that federal fuel economy standards could raise vehicle prices so much that millions of potential drivers would be forced out of the new-car market.

Pentagon rolls out vehicle, renewable power initiatives

Source: Annie Snider, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, April 12th, 2012

The Defense Department is rolling out a trio of energy initiatives today that Obama administration officials say will cut fuel use on the battlefield, save lives and make domestic bases more secure — all while saving money.

Don’t Call It A Comeback: Ethanol Is Bigger Than Ever

Source: Dustin Dwyer, FORBES • Posted: Thursday, April 12th, 2012

“Ten years ago, we were using about eight times as much corn to feed livestock and poultry as we were to make ethanol,” says University of Missouri agricultural economist Ron Plain. “And now we’re using more corn to make ethanol. So it’s a dramatic change.” Five years ago, the federal government projected that in 2012, ethanol production would reach 11.2 billion gallons, and it would use up 30 percent of the nation’s corn supply. The actual numbers last year were 13.9 billion gallons, and 40 percent of the corn supply.

Most hybrid owners don’t buy hybrids again

Source: Julia Pyper, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Only about a third of the nation’s hybrid owners were repeat hybrid buyers last year, indicating that high fuel prices have so far had little impact on hybrid loyalty rates, according to the Polk automotive research firm. The number of hybrid models on the market in the United States has more than doubled since 2007, yet only 35 percent of hybrid vehicle owners returned to the market in 2011. Without factoring in the repurchase rate of Toyota Motor Corp.’s popular Prius, hybrid loyalty dropped to less than 25 percent.

Ethanol groups seek to intervene in oil industry lawsuit over cellulosic mandate

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Six ethanol trade groups are seeking to intervene in an oil industry challenge to the 2012 cellulosic biofuel requirements laid out by U.S. EPA under the Renewable Fuel Standard.