White House Announces Intention to Encourage Biological Manufacturing Methods

Source: ANDREW POLLACK, NEW YORK TIMES • Posted: Thursday, April 26th, 2012

The Obama administration is expected to announce a broad plan on Thursday to foster development of the nation’s “bioeconomy,” including the use of renewable resources and biological manufacturing methods. The National Bioeconomy Blueprint, as the plan is called, discusses a variety of measures and strategies to spur research and development of medical treatments, crops, biofuels and biological manufacturing processes that would replace harsher industrial methods.

Convenience stores say RFS-CAFE combo will hurt their bottom line

Source: Jason Plautz, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Convenience-store owners say the combination of federal fuel economy standards and the renewable fuel standard will cause severe harm to the retail market and could force renewable fuels to be too large a share of the market. In a report released today, the National Association of Convenience Stores say the CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) standards and RFS cannot coexist without addressing concerns in the retail market. The store owners urge Congress to conduct a review of the two regulations to alight their goals while minimizing the impact on the vehicle and motor fuel industries.

Report shows dirty air at dangerous levels in Twin Cities

Source: JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY , Star Tribune Updated: April 25, 2012 • Posted: Thursday, April 26th, 2012

For the first time in nearly two decades, air in the Twin Cities is dirty enough that it might violate federal health standards, the American Lung Association said in an analysis issued Wednesday. That could lead to more health problems for Twin Cities residents and more hospitalizations for heart attacks, asthma and other lung disorders that can be triggered by the higher amounts of microscopic particles such as soot from leaf blowers, generators, diesel trucks, auto shops, light industry and, most of all, cars.

Coalitions support E85 inclusion in alternative fuel tax credit

Source: Holly Jessen, Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Thursday, April 26th, 2012

The Governors’ Biofuels Coalition has joined forces with the Coalition for E85, pressing lawmakers to extend the 50-cent per gallon alternative fuel tax credit and make E85 eligible for the tax credit, alongside fuels such as compressed natural gas, propane and hydrogen.

Calif. gets court clearance for enforcing fuel standard

Source: Debra Kahn, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

California can enforce its first-in-the-nation emissions standard for transportation fuels while it is on appeal, a federal court panel ruled yesterday. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the state could continue with its low-carbon fuel standard while it decides on the law’s constitutionality. In force since last year, the rule is aimed at reducing the carbon content of transportation fuels sold in the state by 10 percent by 2020.

Senate subpanel approves energy, water spending bill

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

A Senate Appropriations subcommittee unanimously approved a fiscal 2013 energy and water spending bill today that would boost funding for clean energy and water infrastructure and authorize the Energy Department to begin finding temporary sites to store nuclear waste.

Ore.’s low-carbon fuel standard faces an uncertain future

Source: E&E • Posted: Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

A controversial low-carbon fuel standard in Oregon cannot be implemented until it passes a second time in the state Legislature, and it will not take effect until at least 2015, said Gov. John Kitzhaber’s (D) top natural resources adviser last week.

30 companies settle with EPA over fraudulent credits

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Thirty companies that purchased millions of fraudulent renewable-fuel credits from two biodiesel producers have reached a settlement agreement with U.S. EPA.

Conrad-Lugar amendment would give energy programs $800M

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) plan to offer a bipartisan amendment to the proposed Senate farm bill that would provide mandatory funding for rural energy programs. The amendment seeks to provide $800 million for the programs over five years, Conrad’s office said yesterday. It will likely be debated tomorrow at a markup on the farm bill, which Senate agriculture leaders released Friday afternoon.

E15 clears federal hurdle, but more obstacles to pump sales remain

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

The U.S. biofuel industry moved another step closer today to making E15 — gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol — available at fuel pumps. Ninety-nine ethanol producers have funded a nationwide fuel survey required by U.S. EPA in partial waivers approving E15, ethanol industry groups said today. The survey is the last federal action required before E15 can be sold to U.S. drivers, the groups said.