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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE August 13, 2023

Top Story

The Clean Energy Future Is Arriving Faster Than You Think

By David Gelles reported from Tulsa, Okla.; Brad Plumer and Jim Tankersley from Washington; and Jack Ewing from New York to see how an accelerated energy transition is playing out. Photographs by Mason Trinca. New York Times  •    •  Posted August 13, 2023

The shift is happening so quickly that some of America’s most iconic automakers are preparing for a world beyond gasoline-powered cars and trucks. General Motors, which has the largest market share of any carmaker in the United States, has committed to selling only zero-emissions vehicles by 2035. It’s a “once-in-a-generation inflection point” for the 114-year-old automaker, according to Mary Barra, G.M.’s chief executive. Ms. Barra said her company began to consider an all-electric future in 2020. “We started to see this happening with the consumer research we did,” said Ms. Barra, who has subsequently bet billions on G.M.’s efforts to reorient its engineering, overhaul its manufacturing facilities and processes and build new battery plants. As the cost of batteries comes down, and the number of charging stations nationwide goes up, Ms. Barra expects exponential growth. “I think it’s going to be definitely an upward trajectory,” she said. “It’ll be a little bumpy, but bumpy growing.” [ read more … ]

Clean Energy

The Clean Energy Future Is Roiling Both Friends and Foes

By Jim Tankersley reported from Searsport, Maine; Brad Plumer and Ana Swanson from Washington; and Ivan Penn from Los Angeles to explore obstacles that could slow down the energy transition. Photographs by Mason Trinca. New York Times  •    •  Posted August 13, 2023

While Americans broadly support renewable energy, polls show, they are less enthusiastic about having it in their backyard. One survey from 2021 found that only 24 percent of Americans were willing to live within a mile of a solar farm; the number dropped to 17 percent for wind farms. Such resistance is often rooted in anxieties about broader social and economic change in communities where families have lived for generations. [ read more … ]

The Clean Energy Future Is a Battle for Hearts and Minds

By Jack Ewing reported from the Kansas City area, Clifford Krauss from Wyoming and Lisa Friedman from the Southeast to assess shifting attitudes toward green technology. Photographs by Mason Trinca. New York Times  •    •  Posted August 13, 2023

Green energy and transportation have advanced faster than many experts thought possible a few years ago. But many hurdles remain, including efforts by conservative politicians to prolong the use of coal, oil and gas and campaigns by environmentalists and local residents to block new wind turbines, transmission lines and mines. A clean energy future will require painstaking and individually tailored persuasion campaigns. About half of Americans say they are not interested in buying electric cars, and a little more than half say they have not seriously considered solar panels, heat pumps or electric water heaters, a recent Pew Research Center survey found. [ read more … ]

Carbon Capture

Is Carbon Capture and Storage a Climate Solution?

By Nicholas Kusnetz, Inside Climate News  •    •  Posted August 13, 2023

The technologies could, theoretically, help reduce emissions from coal- and gas-fired power plants and industrial operations like cement and steel manufacturing, and it could also be used to make low-carbon hydrogen fuel from natural gas. The problem is that building and running carbon capture operations is expensive, involves complex engineering challenges and presents environmental risks. One CO2 pipeline ruptured in Mississippi in 2020, sending dozens who were exposed to the gas to the hospital. Carbon dioxide that is injected underground can also leak into groundwater or the atmosphere if storage sites are not properly screened or maintained. [ read more … ]

Burgum confident carbon pipeline project will gain regulatory approval

By Agri-Pulse  •    •  Posted August 13, 2023

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum told reporters at the Iowa State Fair Thursday he has “every expectation” that the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline will be approved in his state, despite its initial permit application being rejected by the North Dakota Public Service Commission. [ read more … ]

DOE awards $1B for 2 carbon removal projects on Gulf Coast

By Corbin Hiar, E&E News  •    •  Posted August 13, 2023

The Biden administration has chosen an oil company and a nonprofit technology firm to spearhead the nation’s effort to suck carbon dioxide from the sky with two landmark projects that will be funded with $1 billion in federal grants. Occidental Petroleum Corp. and Battelle Memorial Institute intend to each build so-called direct air capture hubs along the Gulf of Mexico, a heavily industrialized region that is home to a constellation of oil wells and fossil fuel installations that have helped supercharge natural disasters and push global temperatures to record-breaking highs. [ read more … ]

Commentary

Editorial: Summit carbon pipeline is not a slam dunk: Pause Iowa’s approval process

By Des Moines Register Editorial Board  •    •  Posted August 13, 2023

Summit “has not provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the location, construction, operation and maintenance of the Project will produce minimum adverse impacts upon the welfare of the citizens of North Dakota,” the order says. That diplomatic legalese reflects a common thread in much of the technical and scientific debate over Summit’s plans: a predilection for secrecy, even though the project proposes to make use of hundreds of millions of dollars of federal tax credits annually and might require approvals to seize private property through eminent domain. Lawyers for North Dakota landowners were more blunt: “At every step of the process, and with virtually every interaction with landowners, the public, and governmental representatives, Summit has been the proverbial ‘bull’ in a ‘China shop. Its arrogance and hide the ball tactics have been on full display during the course of these proceedings. Greater disrespectful, condescending and arrogant conduct by a private business, its employees and representatives, is hard to imagine.” [ read more … ]

Opinion: Carbon pipelines aren’t everything; other actions can help farmers, ethanol now

By Doug Sombke, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted August 13, 2023

With gasoline prices once again strangling our pocketbooks, what are we waiting for? In short order we can get more ethanol into the pool and reduce carbon, protect public health, and lower gasoline prices. The bipartisan Next Generation Fuels Act, introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and fellow senators from both parties could provide the necessary impetus. A companion bill has been introduced in the House by Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa. This bill would immediately open the door to higher blends and capturing the carbon benefits Burgum and others are trying to help us achieve. [ read more … ]

Pollution

Global cardiovascular deaths, disability linked to particulate air pollution

By American Heart Association News  •    •  Posted August 13, 2023

Deaths and disability from cardiovascular disease linked to small particles of air pollution rose by about a third worldwide between 1990 and 2019, a new study says. Men were affected more than women, and poorer regions more than wealthier ones. And although deaths related to such pollution actually fell after adjusting for age, people are living longer with disability, according to the research, published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association. [ read more … ]

E15

EPA’s 4th Fuel Waiver Extends 15% Ethanol Gasoline Sales to Aug. 29

By Ann Meyer, CSP  •    •  Posted August 13, 2023

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued its fourth emergency fuel waiver of the year, effective today, extending sales of gasoline with a 15% ethanol blend another 20 days to Aug. 29 for areas of the country without a Reformulated Gasoline Program. The agency said it intends to continue extending the waiver until the “extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances” stemming from the war in the Ukraine subside. [ read more … ]

Markets

Global Oil Demand Hits Record and Prices May Climb, IEA Says

By Grant Smith, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted August 13, 2023

Global oil demand has surged to a record amid robust consumption in China and elsewhere, threatening to push prices higher, the International Energy Agency said. World fuel use averaged 103 million barrels a day for the first time in June and may soar even higher in August, the agency said in a report. As Saudi Arabia and its partners constrict supplies, oil markets are tightening significantly. [ read more … ]

New Ethanol Fuel Cell Technology Rivals Fossil Fuels and Electric Car Batteries

By Beatriz Nina Ribeiro Oliveira, UCF News  •    •  Posted August 13, 2023

Ethanol fuel cells offer cleaner emissions than fossil fuels and no charging times compared to electric vehicle batteries. In recent studies published in the journals Nature Communications and Joule, UCF NanoScience Technology Center Associate Professor Yang Yang and his team developed new catalysts to make direct ethanol fuel cells last longer and boost their power density to a record level. [ read more … ]

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