Ethanol producer picks new CEO

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Jeff Lautt is the new CEO of ethanol producer Poet LLC, the company announced today. Lautt takes over from current CEO Jeff Broin, who is stepping down after 25 years at the helm to spend more time with his family and work on other projects, the company said.

Vilsack Addresses Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference

Farm Furures • Posted: Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack delivered the keynote address at the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. Tuesday. He told those assembled that less than half of our transportation fuels are imported today, down from about 60% when President Obama took office. However, Vilsack says the President’s goal is to reduce net fuel imports by one-third by 2025 and says more can be done to support the growth of advanced biofuels production.

Sales of fuel-efficient cars rise, tracking with pump prices

Source: Jason Plautz, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

With gasoline prices soaring, automakers are seeing sales of fuel-efficient vehicles rise and hybrid and alternative cars getting more attention from customers.

Sapphire gets cash for ‘Green Crude’ project

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Algae-to-energy company Sapphire Energy Inc. today announced it has secured $144 million in private investment for its planned demonstration plant in New Mexico. Among the investors in this latest round of private funding is Monsanto Co., which last year entered into a multiyear algae research collaboration with Sapphire. Sapphire plans to grow algae in ponds and produce what it calls “Green Crude” at the demonstration plant in Luna County, N.M.

EPA approves first registrations for E15

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

U.S. EPA approved the first applications today for registering ethanol for making gasoline that contains up to 15 percent ethanol, known as E15. Among the 20 approved producers are major players in the ethanol industry: Abengoa Bioenergy Holding US Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Co., Cargill Inc. and POET LLC’s Michigan venture.

API protests ‘unrealistic mandate’ for cellulosic ethanol

The Wichita Eagle • Posted: Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The American Petroleum Institute filed a lawsuit Monday in Washington D.C. challenging the EPA’s mandate for oil companies to the buy 8.65 million gallons of ethanol made from cellulosic materials and blend it into their gasoline for retail sale. Oil companies say there isn’t nearly enough cellulosic ethanol being made, forcing them to bid up the price — or just violate the law.

Harkin bill would reauthorize and fund imperiled rural energy programs

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The senator who introduced the first energy title to the nation’s agriculture policy in 2002 unveiled legislation yesterday that attempts to rescue those programs by making their funding mandatory. Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin’s bill would provide $1.275 billion in mandatory funding for rural energy programs over the next five years. The programs currently have no funding baseline after the 2008 farm bill expires in September.

Popular Treasury grant program takes hit as Boehner lashes out at Obama admin

Source: John McArdle, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, March 30th, 2012

Supporters of the Treasury Department’s Section 1603 renewable energy program have gone to great lengths to explain the many differences between the popular grant-in-lieu-of-tax-credit effort and the controversial Department of Energy loan guarantee program that was responsible for the Solyndra debacle.

Renewable energy has become a home run for pro sports

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, March 30th, 2012

They’re still debating the pros and cons of renewable energy in Washington, D.C., but it’s a slam-dunk for the owners of the Phoenix Suns. Strategic marketing of renewable energy through sports brands may have reached a new zenith this month as the National Basketball Association’s Suns became the latest professional sports franchise to tie its brand to environmental stewardship and renewable energy.

Unable to even define ‘subsidy,’ a gridlocked Senate shoots down energy tax bill

Source: Elana Schor, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, March 30th, 2012

The Senate turned back a proposal today to end oil and gas industry tax breaks and extend a passel of renewable energy credits, the latest twist in a political spectacle centered on a question worthy of Hamlet: What is a subsidy?