Grant program criticized by GOP helped create 75K jobs a year — Obama admin

Source: Emily Yehle, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

The Treasury Department’s $9 billion renewable energy grant program supported as many as 75,000 jobs each year it was available, according to a new report from the Department of Energy that counters Republican criticism of the grant-in-lieu-of-tax-credit effort.

Obama, Brazilian president tout partnership on biofuels, environmental initiatives

Source: Elana Schor, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

“Brazil’s been an extraordinary leader in biofuels and obviously is also becoming a world player when it comes to oil and gas development,” Obama told reporters today. “And the United States is not only a potential large customer to Brazil, but we think that we can cooperate closely on a whole range of energy projects.”

2 new ethanol blender pumps operating in Nebraska

Lincoln Journal Star • Posted: Monday, April 9th, 2012

Two new gas pumps in Broken Bow and Aurora will make it easier for Nebraska drivers to find fuels with more than 10 percent ethanol.

EPA raises allowable ethanol limit in gasoline to 15%

Source: Nick Snow, Washington Editor, Oil & Gas Journal • Posted: Monday, April 9th, 2012

Charles T. Drevna, president of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, said EPA’s announcement represents yet another in the agency’s “unwise, premature, and irresponsible series of actions in its rush to force E15 to the marketplace.” Drevna added, “This action is more about political science than real science because it is designed to protect the ethanol industry rather than the American people.”

New plan emerges for renewable-energy loan guarantees

Source: John McArdle, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, April 6th, 2012

The Department of Energy released a new plan today for moving forward on renewable loan guarantees, seven months after the Solyndra bankruptcy pushed the loan program into a political firestorm and slammed the brakes on new commitments. The statutory deadline for DOE to offer loans under the same Section 1705 program that provided the ill-fated Solyndra loan was Sept. 30, 2011 — just a month removed from the California solar energy company’s bankruptcy announcement.

Coalition urges Congress to support rural energy programs

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, April 6th, 2012

A coalition of 100 energy trade groups and conservationists today urged Congress to keep rural energy programs when their farm-bill funding expires later this year. In a letter to leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees, the groups request strong mandatory funding for the programs, which include initiatives meant to boost the advanced biofuels industry and provide funding to rural landowners for energy efficiency.

Energy Dept. to Revitalize a Loan Guarantee Program

Source: MATTHEW L. WALD, New York Times • Posted: Friday, April 6th, 2012

Six months after the expiration of a federal loan guarantee program that backed $16 billion in loans to solar, wind and geothermal energy projects, the Energy Department has decided to offer a smaller set of similar guarantees by tapping another pot of money appropriated by Congress last year. The department said Thursday that it had sent letters to potentially eligible companies inviting them to apply for the new money.

Lugar put on defensive on energy issues

Source: Maureen Groppe, Gannett Washington Bureau • Posted: Thursday, April 5th, 2012

The Indiana Republican speaks out repeatedly on the costs of “our oil addiction” and how the reliance on imported oil makes the U.S. less secure. He’s crossed party lines to support higher fuel efficiency standards, and strongly advocates for biofuels. He drives a hybrid car and regularly honors Hoosier “energy patriots” who have taken steps to improve America’s energy security.When Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis created a center to study renewable energy in 2007, they named the center after Lugar.

Oil, biofuel companies evolve into uneasy “frenemies”

Source: Matt Daily, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, April 5th, 2012

“You’re faced with a very well-financed group of people who don’t necessarily want this industry,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference this week. The legal move from the oil industry group comes despite significant investments in next-generation fuels by companies such as Chevron Corp. Phil New, head of BP’s biofuels unit, said the oil industry and the biofuels sector should be working together to advance the industry, which he said provided the only economically viable alternative fuel for cars.

Study finds E15 damages engines, roiling debate over EPA approval

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Two popular gasoline engines in recent-model cars showed mechanical damage from fuel blend of unleaded gasoline and 15 percent ethanol, according to a study by a nonprofit research group backed by the petroleum and auto industries. The Coordinating Research Council study of E15 arrives in the wake of U.S. EPA’s approval of the fuel blend. Preliminary results from the study were circulated after EPA announced the first registrations of E15 on Monday.