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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE January 3, 2013

Hope springs eternal, but reality likely to intrude — and soon

John McArdle and Nick Juliano, E&E reporters  •    •  Posted January 3, 2013

Bledsoe noted that Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who will be leading the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the 113th Congress, have repeatedly stressed their close personal friendship and their desire to make the next Congress a productive one on the panel. “There’s every reason to believe that an energy bill can move forward,” at least in the Senate, he said. “It strikes me that a package that included increased access to domestic oil and gas reserves in tandem with more robust energy efficiency standards could strike the right balance to gain broad bipartisan support in both chambers because both of those measures are good for the economy. A Wyden aide said the incoming energy chairman hopes for some successes in the new Congress. “Senator Wyden isn’t going to give up trying to advance better policies, including overhauling energy incentives,” Wyden spokesman Keith Chu said in an email. “Given that those incentives were once again extended in piecemeal, short-term fashion, it’s even more important that Congress work on a permanent solution, to replace the boom-and-bust cycles and uncertainty that have plagued the energy sector.”
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Congress extends wind, biofuels tax credits

  •  Associated Press  •  Posted January 3, 2013

The bill Congress approved Tuesday night providing tax relief for most taxpayers also helps wind energy and ethanol producers by extending tax credits designed to encourage continued development. States like Texas, the nation’s leading wind energy producer, and Iowa, the leading ethanol maker, should benefit from the incentives. Many of the credits had expired in 2012.
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New EPA chief will face more legal battles, with less resources

Tiffany Stecker, E&E reporter  •  Associated Press  •  Posted January 3, 2013

Whoever fills the vacancy in the administrator’s office at U.S. EPA will be given a long list of expected rules and be warned of legal battles needed to implement them. Then he or she will have to brace for continuing controversy over how to use what will likely be less resources. As Lisa Jackson bids farewell to the agency, the new administrator has an extensive to-do list for climate and air quality efforts. Carbon emissions limits for newly built power plants that were proposed last March must be finished, and standards for existing power plants — the leading source of carbon dioxide emissions in the country — have yet to be drafted. The agency must also propose performance standards for CO2 from oil refineries. These New Source Performance Standards are the outcome of a settlement between EPA and a coalition of environmental groups and states in 2010. [ read more … ]

Farm bill extension omits energy title, limits conservation funding

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •  Associated Press  •  Posted January 3, 2013

The “fiscal cliff” package heading to the president’s desk includes a partial extension of the farm bill that averts a crisis in milk prices but fails to provide mandatory energy funding and several other programs. The deal negotiated between Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) came after a one-year extension agreement reached over the weekend between congressional agriculture leaders failed to gain any momentum on the House floor. It caps months of uncertainty over the nation’s farm policy but falls far short of the five-year bill that the agriculture community had been seeking. [ read more … ]

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.