USDA approves first drought-tolerant corn

Source: Paul Voosen • E&E • Posted: Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

The Agriculture Department will allow the unlimited sale of a biotech corn designed to resist drought conditions, the agency announced this afternoon. Developed by the seed giant Monsanto Co., the corn is the first commercial biotech crop designed to resist environmental stress.

E.P.A. Issues Limits on Mercury Emissions

Source: JOHN M. BRODER • New York Times • Posted: Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled new standards on Wednesday sharply limiting emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from the nation’s coal- and oil-burningpower plants.
The new rule, unless blocked by Congress or the courts, will be the first time the federal government has enforced limits on mercury, arsenic, acid gases and other poisonous and carcinogenic chemicals emitted by the burning of fossil fuels.

South Dakota State panel OKs ethanol pumps fund

Source: Cody Winchester • Argus Leader • Posted: Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Fuel station owners soon will be able to apply for state grant money to install ethanol blender pumps. A legislative panel voted Tuesday to approve the rule, which establishes a fund of $3.5 million to be spent on ethanol infrastructure the next five years.

Most Iowa farmers believe climate change is happening, unsure of cause

Source: Lauren Morello • E&E • Posted: Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Nearly 70 percent of Iowa’s farmers believe climate change is happening, and more than 40 percent expect extreme weather to strike more frequently in coming years, according to a new poll.

End is near for controversial subsidy

Source: Jason Plautz • E&E • Posted: Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

It happens every year. As Dec. 31 approaches, energy trade groups work overtime to make sure Congress doesn’t let their tax credits expire.

Endgame impossible to predict as House GOP delays pipeline-payroll tax vote until today

Source: Elana Schor • E&E • Posted: Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

After delaying a vote that has exposed internal GOP schisms, House Republicans are poised today to turn back a bipartisan Senate proposal to force a quick White House ruling on the Keystone XL oil pipeline while extending a payroll tax cut.

Kansas City firm to re-open Mead ethanol plant

Source: ART HOVEY • Lincoln Journal Star • Posted: Monday, December 19th, 2011

Spectrum Business Ventures of Kansas City aims to bring a closed ethanol plant near Mead out of mothball status in the next few months. The former E3 Biofuels plant attracted widespread attention in 2006 as the previous management tried to pull together a project they described as a closed-loop system.

Extension of Tax Cut Stalls in House as G.O.P. Objects

Source: JENNIFER STEINHAUER • New York Times • Posted: Monday, December 19th, 2011

The House Republican leader on Sunday flatly rejected a short-term, bipartisan Senate measure to extend a payroll tax break and unemployment insurance, setting the stage for a bitter year-end Congressional collision and the potential loss of benefits for millions of Americans.

Baucus promises quick action on tax extenders next year

Source: Katie Howell • E&E • Posted: Monday, December 19th, 2011

The Senate’s chief tax writer vowed to pursue extensions for clean energy tax credits in January after the incentives were left out of year-end tax language the Senate cleared this weekend.

Ethanol Futures Hit One-Year Low as Subsidy Nears Expiration

Source: Mario Parker • Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, December 16th, 2011

Ethanol futures fell to the lowest level in a year as corn dropped and the expiration of a government subsidy approached.