Lawmakers, advocates already looking to lame-duck vote on energy tax extenders

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Whatever happens on Election Day, members of the 112th Congress will have to return to Washington following their victory parties or concession speeches with a full slate of legislative business to complete before the year is over, including deciding whether to extend a suite of renewable energy tax breaks that are now scheduled to disappear after Dec. 31. Expectations that the lame-duck session will be a busy one are growing on Capitol Hill, as activity is expected to soon wind down so members can focus on their re-election campaigns. But that doesn’t mean lawmakers are looking forward to the end-of-the-year rush, which will be accompanied by the bruised feelings that inevitably follow a hard-fought election season.

Ethanol-free gas growing in popularity, despite cost

Source: CRAIG DAVISON, WSLS, Roanoke, VA • Posted: Monday, March 26th, 2012

Candy Burnett has to drive about 90 minutes each way from her home in Lynchburg to her job in Rocky Mount, so gas mileage is important to her. For the past two to three years, she has been fueling up at gas stations that sell pure gasoline. She said that as long as she can find gas stations that sell ethanol-free gasoline, she will buy it.

How Long Will Fossil Fuels Dominate?

Source: Kimberley Strassel, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Monday, March 26th, 2012

Daniel Yergin, the chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, says fossil fuels will continue to dominate U.S. energy consumption for decades to come. Vinod Khosla, a longtime Silicon Valley investor who runs the venture-capital fund Khosla Ventures, is betting alternative energy will play a bigger role much sooner.

Nebraska Ethanol plants grow with efficiency

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS • Posted: Monday, March 26th, 2012

Nebraska’s ethanol industry continues to expand along with the overall industry, but unlike a few years ago, when new plants were being announced on a regular basis, the expansion today has taken on a new form. Now the state’s 24 ethanol plants are becoming more efficient as a way of gradually adding to their roughly 2 billion gallon annual capacity.

Branstad tours ethanol plant during Siouxland stop

KTIV • Posted: Monday, March 26th, 2012

Ethanol was the top priority during a stop by Governor Terry Branstad in Siouxland Friday. He took a tour of the Little Sioux Corn Processors ethanol plant in Marcus, IA. Managers say they requested the governor stop by to talk about the future of their industry. The plant produces about 113 million gallons of ethanol a year.

A Tally of Green Jobs

Source: JOHN M. BRODER, NEW YORK TIMES • Posted: Friday, March 23rd, 2012

For the first time, the federal government on Thursday released an estimate of the number of so-called green jobs in the United States economy, saying that 3.1 million people are employed in the production of goods and services that benefit the environment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a unit of the Labor Department, spent more than a year compiling its report, which found that green goods and services accounted for 2.4 percent of total United States employment in 2010. The study, based on a survey of employers and a relatively broad definition of the term ”green,” will provide a baseline against which future job growth or decline can be measured.

API lowers projected impact of Tier 3 requirements on gas prices, refinery closures

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, March 23rd, 2012

An upcoming rule to lower the sulfur content of gasoline and diesel will not force any refineries to shut down but will increase their operating costs by between 6 and 9 cents per gallon, according to an industry-backed study released today.
The American Petroleum Institute released an updated assessment of U.S. EPA’s upcoming Tier 3 fuel rule based on assumptions that more closely mirror the requirements EPA officials have said they will include in the rule. A study released last year, which was based on more aggressive assumptions, predicted price increases in the range of 12 to 25 cents per gallon and that four to seven refineries would close.

U.S. Inches Toward Goal of Energy Independence

Source: CLIFFORD KRAUSS and ERIC LIPTON, New York Times • Posted: Friday, March 23rd, 2012

The desolate stretch of West Texas desert known as the Permian Basin is still the lonely domain of scurrying roadrunners by day and howling coyotes by night. But the roar of scores of new oil rigs and the distinctive acrid fumes of drilling equipment are unmistakable signs that crude is gushing again. And not just here. Across the country, the oil and gas industry is vastly increasing production, reversing two decades of decline. Using new technology and spurred by rising oil prices since the mid-2000s, the industry is extracting millions of barrels more a week, from the deepest waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the prairies of North Dakota.

Obama admin provides $35M for bio-based R&D

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, March 23rd, 2012

The Obama administration announced plans today for spending as much as $35 million over the next three years on the research and development of advanced biofuels and other bio-based products.

Imagining Carbon Emissions in Underground Exile

Source: RACHEL NUWER, NewYork Times • Posted: Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

In a perfect world, greenhouse gas emissions would be on the decline in the near future, with fossil fuels replaced by clean sources of energy like wind and solar. But current emissions are so daunting that the chances of the planet cleaning up its act in a timely manner are slim. “It’s such a big number that it’s sort of hard to grasp what it means,” said Ruben Juanes, a geoscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “With emissions as enormous as they are right now, even if we try to deploy alternate energy technologies as quickly as possible, there’s still going to be a huge source of emissions from fossil fuels that we’d better address.”