News

New Mexico legislators seek cleaner transportation fuels, would follow West Coast’s lead

Source: By MORGAN LEE, Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, February 15th, 2024

New Mexico’s Legislature has approved a bill aimed at reducing climate-warming pollution from cars and trucks through financial incentives to reward businesses that produce cleaner fuels. The Senate voted 26-15 Tuesday, on a party-line vote with Republicans in opposition, to send the bill to Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who supports the initiative. California, Oregon and Washington already enforce low carbon fuel standards. New Mexico would be the first to follow suit.

California EV sales are falling. Is it just temporary, or a threat to state climate goals?

Source: By Russ Mitchell, Los Angeles Times • Posted: Thursday, February 15th, 2024

After years of rapid expansion, California’s booming EV market may be showing signs of fatigue as high vehicle prices, unreliable charging networks and other consumer headaches appear to dampen enthusiasm for zero-emission vehicles. For the first time in more than a decade, electric vehicle sales dropped significantly in the last half of 2023. There are even signs that Californians may be growing tired of Tesla — or at least weary of its outspoken chief executive, Elon Musk — as state Tesla sales fell 10% in the final quarter of last year.

EV Chargers Take On Natural Gas for Power System Flexibility

Source: By Felicia Aminoff, E&E News • Posted: Thursday, February 15th, 2024

Electric vehicles are starting to challenge fossil fuels not only on the road, but also within the power grid. EVs are being used to balance power markets in places including the UK, mainly by way of tactical charging. They’re starting to compete with natural gas and oil generators to address grid congestion, and while gas has the edge today, BNEF expects this advantage to erodeas the EV fleet grows.

Vilsack defends USDA climate work during testy hearing

Source: By Marc Heller, E&E News • Posted: Thursday, February 15th, 2024

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack tussled with Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday over his department’s focus on climate change, pushing back against charges that it’s crowding out more traditional farm needs. “We’re not leaving anyone behind in this process,” Vilsack said in response to questions from Rep. Jim Baird (R-Ind.), who’d suggested that conservation practices not based on reducing greenhouse gas emissions are losing out in the Biden administration’s priorities.

What’s behind the Republican hatred of EVs?

Source: By Kelsey Brugger, Rebekah Alvey, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, February 14th, 2024

When Republicans think about electric vehicles they don’t think much of them — and the reasons are many. At a recent auto show, Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas), the Small Business Committee chair, confidently predicted: “EVs won’t exist in a few years.” Hybrids were more viable, argued Williams, the owner of a car dealership. After a recent cold snap in their state, Iowa lawmakers complained that President Joe Biden’s EV “fantasy” was completely unplugged from reality.

Looming Arctic oil sale reveals political risks for Biden

Source: By Heather Richards, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, February 14th, 2024

A congressionally mandated oil lease sale in the Arctic looms over President Joe Biden’s 2024 election campaign, threatening to revive attacks on the administration’s energy record as the president is looking to his environmental base for crucial support. Because of a 2017 tax law, the White House must hold the sale in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by December, forcing the president to advance potential crude oil development on untrammeled lands that he once promised to protect from drilling.

The Six Months That Short-Circuited the Electric-Vehicle Revolution

Source: By Nora Eckert, Mike Colias and Sean McLain, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Wednesday, February 14th, 2024

The Michigan plant where the F-150 Lightning electric truck is built used to vibrate with excitement.  President Biden visited in 2021 and test drove the blazing-fast pickup. Before the first ones even started rolling off the assembly line in the spring of 2022, Ford said it would expand the factory to quadruple the number it could build.  That energy is rapidly fading. Ford is cutting the plant’s output by half, and workers are relocating to other facilities, mostly those making gas-powered pickups and SUVs. 

Biofuel groups lobby Carper to support ethanol bill

Source: By Marc Heller, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, February 14th, 2024

Industry groups representing fuel retailers and related stores urged Senate Environment and Public Works Chair Tom Carper on Tuesday to advance legislation promoting higher-ethanol fuel. Carper (D-Del.) is the main obstacle to the effort, which would allow fuel that’s 15 percent ethanol to be sold nationwide throughout the year, according to the organizations. The groups writing to Carper were the National Association of Truck Stop Owners, Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America and National Association of Convenience Stores.

Waiting For Takeoff

Source: By Katie Schroeder, Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Wednesday, February 14th, 2024

Nearly 19 months after the Inflation Reduction Act’s passage, which established tax credits for sustainable aviation fuel made from low-carbon feedstocks, ethanol producers are still waiting for clear guidance on how they can join the push to decarbonize air travel. For many months, the ethanol industry waited for guidance on which carbon intensity models would be allowed for calculating the required 50 percent emissions reduction compared to standard jet fuel.

Fuel retailers push key US senator to back corn ethanol boost

Source: By Kim Chipman, Bloomberg • Posted: Tuesday, February 13th, 2024

 Major fuel retailers are urging retiring US Senator Tom Carper to back year-round sales of higher ethanol fuel blends, telling the environment committee chairman that his legacy on fighting climate change is on the line.  Carper, who isn’t running for reelection this year, is the “primary roadblock” to bills that would permit sales of motor gasoline blended with 15% corn ethanol.