Clean Technology on the Brink

Source: JOHN M. BRODER, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Clean energy technology has grown robustly and come down in price in recent years, driven by hefty government stimulus spending, expectations of future regulation and substantial private investment. But that technology is going to fall off a cliff unless government steps in quickly to revitalize the solar, wind, nuclear, battery and clean vehicle sectors with new spending and federal policy, according to a new study from three research groups.

Corporate giants ‘building empires’ in advanced fuels

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Major corporations — most notably, oil and gas giants — are “building empires” in advanced biofuels as partners for startups that need cash and expertise, according to a market analysis released yesterday. Lux Research Inc. says 79 percent of companies scaling up in alternative fuels are connected to large companies. Serving as hubs for biofuels companies, Lux said: BP PLC, Valero Energy Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, France’s Total SA, Honeywell UOP LLC, General Motors Co., Boeing Co., Chevron Corp., DuPont and Waste Management Inc.

China lowers ethanol subsidies

Source: Dan Piller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Following the lead of the U.S., China is cutting its subsidies for grain for ethanol production for fear that it will run short of livestock feed, according to a report by Bloomberg News.

A Watershed in the Development of the Bio-based Economy?

Source: Stephan Tan, DSM, Huffington Post • Posted: Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

For those of you who have been patiently awaiting a commercially viable alternative to our economic dependence on oil, natural gas and coal, the past year has seen some very encouraging technology and business breakthroughs in the growth and development of a modern bio-based economy. These breakthroughs are so material and meaningful that it is perfectly legitimate to ask whether we are today standing at the cross roads, the tipping point, in the transformation of our economy and society away from the costs and limitations created by our dependence on petroleum products, towards the growth and freedom possible through the development of a competitive bio-based economy.

Majority of Americans support alt-fuel requirements — poll

Source: Jason Plautz, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

A majority of Americans would fill their cars’ gasoline tanks with fuels that include domestically produced ethanol, and more than 60 percent support a government requirement that mandates more ethanol and renewable fuel production, according to a poll released today by the Renewable Fuels Association.

Skeptical judges question EPA’s approval of E15

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

“You’ve got an excellent argument on the merits,” Chief Judge David Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit told the plaintiffs. “My problem is getting there.” Although the judges seemed unsure whether some or all of the challengers have standing, Department of Justice attorney Jessica O’Donnell conceded EPA hadn’t raised that issue in its briefs.

Green cars take top prize in U.S. racing series

Source: Julia Pyper, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

The fourth season of Green Racing kicked off last month in Florida with the 12-hour Sebring race, where the Audi R18 Ultra, a turbocharged-diesel running on bio-to-liquid fuel, came first on the track and off the track in the Prototype class of the Michelin Green X Challenge

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Headed Up Again

Source: JOHN M. BRODER, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

After dropping for two years during the recession, emissions of the gases blamed for global warming rose in 2010 as the economy heated up, the Environmental Protection Agency reports. Output of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gasses were up 3.2 percent from 2009 as the nation climbed slowly out of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, the E.P.A. said.

Court to hear arguments in lawsuit challenging EPA on E15 approval

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Attorneys for automobile, oil and food trade groups will argue in federal court today that U.S. EPA exceeded its authority in approving the sale of the ethanol-gasoline blend E15. At issue in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit are lawsuits that call for vacating EPA’s approval of E15, gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol. EPA, they say, prematurely approved E15 and did not have authority to allow some vehicles to use the fuel and to exclude others.

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.